As a precocious 8th-grader, I remember spring semester art class when our teacher introduced us to clay. While my buddies were busy molding ashtrays and bookends, I sat down to sculpt a 1/10 scale model of Spiderman in an action pose as he swung from building to building
"This is cool!" I proclaimed, "I LOVE CLAY!!"
My art teacher peered disapprovingly over her rimless glasses (this was the mid 70s and she was a bit of a hippie chick...moccasin boots, maxi skirt, tie-dyed shirt, no bra, and a flower in her frazzled hair), "you cannot love an inanimate object!"
"Really? Why not?" I said, peering approvingly on Spidey's outstretched arms.
She started droning on about consciousness, expressive meaning, stimulus and response....and I focused back in on getting Spidey's legs just right as he shot some webbing out his wrist to the bridge span below him.
But for years that phrase, "you cannot love an inanimate object", has resonated with me. And I still ask, "Really? Why not?"
And today, 40+ years later, I can proudly proclaim, "I LOVE KETTLEBELLS!!"
Many of Spark buds have read about my fascination with these cast-iron beasts (see blogs bit.ly/1n5IZOO
). I've got to tell you....I'm hooked!!
"The Kettlebell is an ancient Russian weapon against weakness" - Pavel Tsatsouline
For about 2 months, I've been doing sets of kettlebell swings and Turkish get-ups after each of my strength training sessions. I've even got SWMBO doing Turkish Get-ups with me (albeit, with no weight, but still...)
So last weekend, I took an 8-hour Kettlebell clinic with some certified SFG instructors (SFG stands for Strongfirst....a pretty amazing outfit that focuses on strength training with kettlebells, free weights, and body weight... www.strongfirst.com
). It was great! We went over swings, goblet squats, Turkish Get-ups, and overhead presses. The instructors watched & corrected our forms, then went on to give us pointers, techniques, and cues to think about during each phase of each exercise, as well as programming information on how to create a kettlebell training plan or to incorporate them into your existing plan
It has helped immensely!
Did I mention that I LOVE Kettlebells!
I think Kettlebell Swings and Turkish Get-ups are incredible. Swings seems deceptively simple, but when done right and done often, they work out every part of your body, especially your whole posterior chain (butt, hamstrings, lower back) as well as your core and cardio capacity. I really, really recommend a book called "Simple & Sinister" by Pavel Tsatsouline. It tells you everything you need to know about how to do them and how to develop a training plan to get fitter doing them.
I've noticed some incredible changes these past 2 months. My aerobic capacity has improved dramatically. And many basic and simple movements are now amazingly smooth and graceful. Just twisting to get out of the car, up out of a chair, even standing and walking seem totally different. I feel like every movement is getting initiated out of my core and that my sense of balance and posture is finally right after being wrong for years.
I do one-handed swings and Turkish Get-ups with a 35-lb KB, 2-handed swings with a 53-lb KB, and have just started doing 2-handed swings with a 70-lb KB on weekends at my Sunday gym.
I still have a goal of lifting a combined 1,000 lbs between squats, bench press, and deadlifts this year....my next Powerlifting meet is 26 June....I probably won't be ready to do it at that one, but by Oct, I should be able to nail it.
But I'm already thinking about afterwards. The more I read about kettlebells, the more convinced I am that they're all you need to stay very fit....at any age. You can vary the weight you lift, or the speed with which you move it, or the rest time between exercises....it really is amazingly versatile. We'll see....more to follow!
What inanimate objects do you LOVE??
Have a great night Spark friends!!