Focus On: Kettlebells Training

Hey friends hey 😀 How was your day? Thanks again for all of your feedback on the new blog design <3

Today was a good day- but isn’t any day that involves pizza?

pizza

Yes, I believe so 😉

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I FINALLY busted out the Amy’s gluten-free pizza that I had in the freezer. [The original plan was to eat it last Friday with my tempeh bacon on top, but since I ended up eating half the tempeh bacon cooked, and the rest raw while the other half was cooking, that’s an entirely different story] The verdict: I LOVED it. The crust was soft and doughy, almost like a cornbread type dough and the sauce was more of a sweet balsamic than a marinara. With sautéed mushrooms on top, it was pretty much face-rocking. The only downfall was that it was a little high in calories (430) and fat (20g), considering how small it was. I had a salad an hour or so later to make it a more *whole* meal.

Earlier this morning, I met up with my bro and nana at the Delicious Egg before getting started on the day:

egg

Salad with balsamic, egg whites, black beans, peppermint tea 🙂

MY OTHER VIDEOS

After a glorious nap, I was poked with two types of needles.

The not-so-fun kind:

blood test

(bloodwork- bleh!!)

and the fun kid:

acupuncture Source

(acupuncture… yum)

The rest of the day has been pretty chill.

Lots of work

and field trip with Bella to PetSmart

bell

and time to shower and curl my hair. Who knew?!

hair

I used my new curling iron and can totally make a how-to video for you guys- just wanted to practice on myself instead of a mannequin head first 😉

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This took 15 minutes!! <—same amount of time it takes to straighten my hair

Well I’m off to make some food and then it’s Zumba time!

Have a lovely night and I’ll see ya in the morning <3

xoxo

Gina

Focus On: Kettlebells

Kettlebells is one of those things I’ve wanted to include in my routine, but felt a little intimidated. All of the studios in Tucson require you to take an intro class before you can take a *real* class, which I’m thankful for, as they look like they’d be easy to cause injury. To err on the safe side, I’ve only used kettlebells for plie squats, upright rows and some core work. Since I wasn’t an expert at this one, I consulted the tweeps to see if someone would be interested in writing today’s “Focus On”- I was so glad when Michelle offered to 😀

Here’s what she had to say:

kettlebell Source

What is it: Kettlebells training utilizes a cast-iron weight to perform dynamic exercises that increase strength, cardiovascular endurance and flexibility. Many gyms offer Kettlebells classes in a group setting, which I recommend that you attend in order to gain a better understanding of how to properly perform the moves before you venture out and use these on your own! It’s an intense workout that can definitely give you quick results because it is a total-body workout that utilizes so many of the major muscle groups at once.

What to expect: To sweat – a lot! Most Kettlebells classes that I’ve been to have been less than 30 minutes in length (this means that there is usually a 5-minute warm-up, a 20-minute circuit-style workout comprised of a few different moves that are repeated, and finally a 5-minute cool-down/stretch at the end), but expect to work hard. The first moves that most instructors will have you master are things like the traditional swing, snatch, and variations of squats; as you try more classes you’ll learn that many of the movements replicate “real life” movements – I guess at least if you do hard manual labor for a living! Also, because many moves (like the swing) are dynamic, meaning you are moving throughout the exercise, you can expect to use a heavier kettlebell than you probably think you can even lift. For example, I use 10-12 pound free weights, but for many Kettlebells moves I can swing with a 25-pound kettlebell. I can barely lift it in the first place, but swinging it is no problem.

What to wear: Because of the high-intensity nature of the class, you’ll definitely be getting your heart rate up. Wear something that will help you stay cool; a moisture-wicking tank top and either shorts or crops are ideal. There are some ab moves (like the Turkish Get Up) that have you on the floor during the exercise, so if you choose to wear shorts, you’ll want to make sure they give you adequate coverage so you’re not flashing anyone. And don’t forget to wear supportive sneakers and bring lots of water and a towel to wipe your hands off with – you don’t want to let the kettlebell slip out of your hands when you’re sweaty!

kettlebell-SDK-cap-barbell Source

The Pros:

– When you’re crunched for time, this is the perfect way to fit in an intense workout that is a combination of cardio and strength training. It may seem like nothing when you’re watching videos of these moves, but I promise you will be exhausted and sore from this workout!

– There’s no tricky choreography to learn. Because each class is usually made up of just a few different moves that are repeated in circuits, you’ll be able to get into the swing of things (literally, in this case!) pretty quickly. It’s also a great class for beginners to try because you can go at your own pace.

– While it may seem like a hard-core, guy-oriented class, it’s really not. In fact, most of the women in my classes have been better than the guys because we tend to do more cardio in general, so we’re not as exhausted during the class. It looks tough though, so you’ll impress the dudes with this workout.

– You will see results in your strength and in your body composition pretty quickly. Because you are engaging so many muscle groups in ways that they’ve probably never been used before, so you’ll see definition pretty fast. I credit this class for my buff arms!

The Cons:

– You can get injured easily if you use improper form. This is why it’s so important to take a class with a knowledgeable instructor before trying any of these moves on your own, because they’ll be able to correct you if you’re swinging incorrectly. It can be especially hard on your lower back, so if you have back issues, this may not be the workout for you.

– It’s not an accessible workout for people who don’t have access to a gym that offers Kettlebells classes. And unfortunately, unless you can get that experience, I cannot recommend that you purchase a kettlebell on your own, or any DVDs (like Jillian Michaels’ Shred It With Weights), for the reasons stated above pertaining to the risk of injury.

Thanks again, Michelle!

Have you used kettlebells or taken a class before? What was your experience like?

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69 Comments

  1. Anne McKeel on May 15, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    hi Gina,
    Have been enjoying your site ! Just bought 2 kb’s. thats not all….. Love your hair so I ordered a Style winder 1″ as well.
    Wondered, do you use product before curling ?

    • Fitnessista on May 15, 2011 at 10:43 pm

      i dry it straight and use an ionic hairspray after curling it.

      • Fitnessista on May 15, 2011 at 10:44 pm

        before i dry it, i rub in a little fredderick fekkai hair smoother, too

  2. Denise on May 18, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    I had no idea what the Kettlebell craze was all about until I found this new online fitness community tool called Fitango. It was recommended to me by a fitness trainer. Boy, let me tell you, it worked me into shape! I’m still using it for other things, but I highly recommend checking it out and getting the Kettlebell Actionplan.
    Anyway, keep it up! 🙂
    Denise

  3. Taylore on May 18, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    Hiya! I’ve been wondering, what does the foam roller do and what do you do on it? 🙂

  4. Liz on June 30, 2011 at 8:13 am

    I introduced myself to kettlebells a couple years ago after three classes, very necessary for understanding form. Now I do them at home and take a kettlebell on the road with me. They make a great hotel workout because you don’t need a ton of room. Jillian Michaels 30DS with weights uses kettles as an option…they’re great workouts. There are also a couple good iPhone apps out there for kettlebells.

  5. Husna on September 12, 2012 at 11:43 am

    I use kettlebells as my primary source of exercise, but I believe it’s helped me improve in pretty much any other physical activity I do (running, lifting, and other sports). I highly recommend reading up on Lauren Brooks – she has a great book on kettlebell training for women. She also has several very good workout DVDs. They kick my ass harder than CrossFit workouts, and I can do them at home in bare feet and pajamas. Also look at http://www.dragondoor.com for elite and authentic information in kettlebell training as well as high end kettlebell merchandise. Women should train with a minimum of 15lb or 8kg bells, not these 5lb “fluffy” weights most gyms offer. People interested in kettlebell training should pursue a russian kettlebell certified trainer to learn the proper form and techniques. Folks like Jillian Michaels are considered to be a big joke in the RKC community.

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