Kettlebell

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When I decided to get myself together in January this year, I didn’t go hard like I usually do. I avoided that approach as it inevitably ends in me falling off of the wagon due to burnout. I’d regain about 10-12 pounds and would then get my a@#$ back in gear, with resultant yo-yoing every year. (A word to the wise, it’s a lot easier to stay in shape then it is to get back into it. This fact becomes truer and more self-evident the older you get.)

So, this time around, I really took my time losing the weight. I didn’t eat “clean” every weekend. I love desserts, particularly buttercream. No, not cake, though I don’t mind that. I’ve had them both a few times over the last 6 months;). I didn’t work-out for 2 to 2 1/2 hours 5-6 days a week. I didn’t work out for an entire week 2 weeks ago. I didn’t hit the gym hardcore for daily weight and cardio sessions. In fact, I completely switched up what I’d been doing the last two decades of my life (off and on). I was a person who thought she could NEVER exercise at home. My whole mindset was, “Once I get home, that’s it, I’m done!” But finding the time to pack my gym bag every morning before work, along with my lunch bag and lugging it in and out of the house, in and out of the gym and the time added due to travel, changing at the gym, unpacking, etc. had become tedious.

Then, in January, I saw this KinkyShea Healthy and Fitness post on CurlyNikki.com about exercising with Kettlebells. Coincidentally, my mother had given me a small 3 pound kettlebell for Christmas, but I knew nothing about using it. The article said that kettlebell enthusiasts claimed that this cast iron bell was all one needed to increase strength, endurance and aerobic capacity in a limited amount of time. The thing is, tests proved it!  My interest was piqued by the potential efficiency and comprehensiveness of kettlebell workouts. So, I wanted to learn more. And I did. In February, I purchased a 10 lb. bell from Marshall’s and Angie Miller’s Kettlebell Bootcamp DVD from Walmart. I also purchased some exercise mats and a cheap DVD player from Amazon and set up a little home gym in the unfinished half of my basement.

My first three kettlebell workouts had me laid out on the floor and sitting in a chair huffing and puffing. I couldn’t even make it through the entire workout the first time. I had to just sit and watch a couple of the segments while I warded off a heart attack!! 30 minutes after my first, half-aborted kettlebell workout, I finally caught my breath!  It wasn’t that much better the second and third go-rounds! But that fourth workout? The workout after I went away on vacation and went to the local gyms and felt like I was killing it on the treadmill after struggling with running for three months? Yeah, that following workout? I knew I was ready to graduate to a 15 lb. bell. I made this fact be known to my good friends and, for my birthday in March, I received the Bob Harber GoFit 15 lb. contour bell. NICE!!!!

Well, the rest is history. I’ve been working out in my basement ever since with my kettlebell, the Powerbody  Brazil Butt Lift DVD series and the treadmill (which, prior to this year, was used the number of times I can count on one hand). I also incorporate hot yoga (which I LOVE) at a nearby yoga studio 2 days a week. I’ve been mixing up the Angie Miller DVD routine with Bob Harper’s shorter, 30 minute tutorial (which is still intense, especially after interval training on the treadmill). I have definitely seen rapid improvements in my strength, endurance and aerobic capacity with regular kettlebell workouts (2-3 days a week). However, I have come to realize that Angie Miller’s form is not the best when it comes to swings (she leans over when the torso should remain straight as when doing squats). So, I’ve done a little research and want to purchase the highly rated Lauren Brooks’ Ultimate Body Sculpt and Conditioning with Kettlebells DVD. It’s been sitting in my Amazon cart for FOREVER! But, think I’ll purchase it once I do the Rugged Maniac on July 9th and am not running as much.

Have you tried exercising with Kettlebells?  If so, what has your experience been like?

(Check out My Current Regimen if you want to learn more about my diet and exercise regimen.)

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20 responses »

  1. I love working out to Jillian Michaels at home. She has a kettlebell workout that I do sometimes. I like to mix my home workouts with gym workouts, but I feel like I get better results at home.

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    • Love Jillian too, but haven’t tried any of her workouts yet. I’m soooo bummed that this was her last season of The Biggest Loser!!! That Anna Kournikova replacement is doomed for failure. The girl is a stick with no muscle and seems dippy. I predict she’ll be replaced with someone else the following season. As to getting better results at home, I wouldn’t say that for myself. But, I save so much time and get good results, so I’m good!

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      • You MUST try Jillians workouts! OMG! Then you’ll understand what I mean about getting better results at home. She is sooooo focused. I’d say her best series is the 30 Day Shred. I’m sad that she left The Biggest Loser too. She’s so motivating, even when she’s yelling. LOL.

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        • LOL! She cracks me up when she gets into people’s a@#$!! LOL!! Maybe after I do the Rugged Maniac I’ll get her DVD. I’ve seen that one. But, I had so many things going on already, couldn’t incorporate one more thing. I picked up the Shape with her on the cover and I wouldn’t be surprised if her shred workout is similar to the one in Shape.

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  2. I’ve been doing the KettleWorx program, which consist of various 20 minute workouts 3x each week. Each DVD targets specific muscle groups, which I also enjoy.

    Thanks to you and one of my friends’ love of hot yoga, I sought out a local gym that offers hot yoga classes. I typically prefer working out at home, but the lure of hot yoga and a sauna sold me on a temp membership.

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    • Tanya, have you done your first class yet? Would love to know your thoughts on it. I had suuuuuucccchhhh a good practice this Sunday. When I have a good session, I feel so accomplished. Even when I have a rough session, I feel good because I still sweat like a racehorse running the Kentucky Derby!!

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      • My first class is today provided I don’t get off from work too late.

        I’m looking forward to it. I have everything ready in my bag, except a towel. I’m so disorganized. Yikes!!!

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      • *cue violins, birds chirping sweetly and Disney characters skipping through the woods* I am in love. Namaste. Hot yoga was the truth and the light. This morning I felt so calm and relaxed as I drove in to work. I also noticed the tightness I’d been experiencing in my upper back the past couple of weeks seems to have disappeared. I’m going back for 2 more sessions over the weekend.

        Thanks so much for helping to put me on to this form of yoga. Namaste.

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        • LMBO!!! That is awesome!!! I am sooo happy you loved it!!! Your back responded far more quickly than mine did, but I had the same results. My back muscles were really tight and bunched up from kettlebell and stress, I think. It took a few sessions, but all those knots and tightness have dissolved! Isn’t it great to find an exercise that you love doing?!?!

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      • I spoke too soon about my back. The tightness returned today, although not as bad as before. My next hot yoga session is tomorrow morning, so I think over time the hot yoga will continue to counteract the tightness I get from kettlebells and my outdoor sprints. My dog pulls on her leash while I’m running and I declare she throws my form off. Oh well, perhaps she calls herself my personal trainer and is encouraging me to go faster. 🙂

        I’m so happy to find something new to add to the regimen. I get bored otherwise.

        Thanks again.

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    • I’m glad you found it helpful. Good luck and remember to focus on proper form. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t get through the entire workout as there is a quick learning curve.

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  3. Ditto the 30 Day Shred. It’s a *itch and a half. I went running this morning and came back and did Level 2 of the DVD and now I’m ready to pass out. Thanks for the tip about the bell DVD.

    How long did it take you to start seeing results? Which part of your body did you see change most significantly? Could you tell if it was from the bells, or the combination of bells, yoga and running?

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    • Hey Michelle, I believe that it was a combo of time, consistency and variety that gave me results. But, what kettlebell did was get me conditioned more quickly. I was having a difficult time getting where I wanted to be with my jogging/running on the treadmill before I started kettlebell. After I had done it 4 times, I got on the treadmill (this is when I was on vacation) and, as I stated above, breezed through my run/jog. I felt fantastic. Then, when I returned home, the 5th workout was like, almost, cake! That’s when I knew I needed to graduate to the 15 lb bell! Around the time that I started with the kettlebell, I was also doing the Brazil Butt Lift series on alternating days. So, anyway, I just think that my body was being put through all of these different routines and that’s why I started seeing results. In regard to what area I saw result in first, I really lose weight consistently all over my body. But, generally, my upper body and abs will become more defined first, then when I’m approaching 125 lbs and getting close to my ideal weight (118-120), I’ll start seeing my legs slim and my derriere decrease in size=). But, my proportions and shape remains the same, pretty much. I’m just a smaller version of it with abs and definition=).

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    • I agree with Shelli. The thing I love so much about the kettlebell workout was that I was able to combine cardio with the weight training, which places your conditioning on the fast track. With everything else, I’m alternating days and spending far too much time in the gym.

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