Monday, November 21, 2011

Approach The Kettlebell As If...

When I saw this picture in my daily Groupon newsletter, I knew that I wanted the coupon. I checked out the website and saw that, in addition to boxing, the gym also has kettlebell classes so I took myself to Kettlebell 101.

Before we started the instructor, Mike, asked us newbies if we'd been exercising. One woman, Mary Ellen, said that she hadn't exercised in six months. Whattttttttttt??? That's mock shock because ME certainly had enough stamina to make it through the class which started with shoulder, arm and hip rotations. We also did three versions of jumping jacks with mountain climbers thrown in and a few other things that I can't remember.

Before the warm-up this woman, without any solicitation on my part, told me that, for three months, she only took a kettlebell class once a week and dropped a size -- didn't lose any weight -- but dropped a size.

After the warm-up, Mike asked the newbies to follow him and he left one of the more experienced class members in charge of the larger group and stepped over to give them new tasks in between instructing us.

We worked on the kettlebell swing, press, around-the-body (recovery move), one arm swing, etc.

Mike talked about the importance of hip action and how he approaches every kettlebell as if it weighs 100 pounds. He also said that the kettlebell is a mobile gym -- if you know how to do it and incorporate circuit training. I think he likened it to having a airplane but needing to know how to fly it.

After Mike stayed with us for about 40 minutes, we joined the larger group and did more stuff in 30 second segments, including a push-up series where we tapped the kettlebell with one hand...push-up...tap with the other hand...

Mike reminded us of the importance of breathing, a reminder that I seem to get in many settings these days.

After class, the same woman who told me about dropping a size suggested that I get protein after class. She was super nice and everyone else was for that matter -- proving that there really are more nice people in the world than not.

Other classmates smiled and warned me about impending soreness. I thought, yeah, I just went shopping and I've got Epsom Salt for that...

And, oh yeah, Mike said that he's done a lot of training and he finds that a kettlebell workout provides the best full body workout. They all say that, don't they? It is a pretty intense workout though.


  1. I would love to do a kettlebell class! I haven't found anywhere in KC to take it.

  2. Ms. Bad MJ,

    There are only a couple of places around here that offer kettlebell classes and I didn't know about this place so I'm really glad that I checked out the Groupon...

  3. I love kbs. :) Two things I've found helpful in terms of improving my swing: this Dan John video (about 14 minutes) and his article from Feb 2011, The Metabolic Swing.

  4. Mich,

    It's not love yet but I do like kbs a lot.

    Thanks for the links. I think the references to the plank and quarterback position will be very helpful.

    Dan John also said something very similar to what Mike, my instructor, said. Mike told me not to try and control the kb when it's going toward the zipper zone...