Friday, May 16, 2014

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 and ). 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... ). 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 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 any age. You can vary the weight you lift, or the speed with which you move it, or the rest time between really is amazingly versatile. We'll see....more to follow!

What inanimate objects do you LOVE??

Have a great night Spark friends!!
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'm with you on kettlebells! Since beginning kettlebells over a year ago, I've become a swinging fanatic! (Even now, as I write you this comment, I noticed that I'm wearing a "Swing Quest" bracelet that I got from the "queen of swing" Tracy Reifkind!)

    BTW - if you're interested in being a part of a very active kettlebell forum, you should check out the "10,000 swings per month for 2014" topic in the Kettlebell challenge team

    Swing on!
    2564 days ago
    Cool Spidey sculpture!

    Just came to check this out after I read your comment on my blog about kettlebells. I'm currently looking up the book you recommended in another tab too. Turkish get-ups are pretty difficult for me at the moment since my current strength level is preeeetty poor. I should have taken strength more seriously from the start, but hey, we all make mistakes.

    I'm sure my form isn't always perfect on certain exercises, but looking at pictures only helps so much. I'll have to find some videos to really see the moves in action, but at least I haven't hurt myself yet so I can't be too far off, lol. I'd take a class, but with social anxiety, it's not a great option for me.

    Hopefully between the book, and some videos I'll be even better at it, and be stronger than ever too. Hopefully it can help my "skinny fat" problem.
    emoticon emoticon
    2624 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4876431
    WOOHOO! Comgrats on finding a new passion:) By the way, the Spider-Man clay figure is amazing!

    Thanks for the book recommendation. I will have to check it out this summer. I do love kettlebells also. They give you a fantastic whole body workout in a short amount of time:)
    So cool that you got your wife on board also!

    Hope you have a great Sunday!

    2636 days ago
    I can't quite put my finger on it, but I'm going to take a wild guess and say you love kettlebells??
    emoticon emoticon

    I'm not quite sure where I'd have time at the moment, but I want to get further into kettlebells. Thanks for sharing!
    2636 days ago
    Wow! Is this a picture of your clay Spiderman? If so, it is just great! You should do more of them!
    I have never tried kettlebells so I don't have any feeling for this thing, but I can say that I love the inanimate object "voice" - high ones, low ones, soft ones, or strong ones... they are fabulous and versatile and can touch your heart!
    - I Love Voices! -
    Have a great week with your animate and inanimate loved ones.
    emoticon emoticon

    2637 days ago
  • BILL60
    You rare a sick "puppy". Love kettle bells? Are you for real? Perhaps appreciate what they do for your body, but love them? No way. I can't love anything that gives me pain. Respect it, yes.
    BTW: I surpassed my 173lbs for several weeks.
    2637 days ago
    I still am building up the strength in my injured shoulder but once I feel stronger I am looking to get into kettlebells too
    2637 days ago
    When I was learning to do TGUs I was not given any weight at all. I was given a Dixie cup (2 oz size) half filled with cold water. If you do the TGU correctly, you won't spill the water LOL.

    Try it, it's an interesting way to check your form!

    2638 days ago
  • JUNEAU2010
    I can't do TGUs, but I love Swings! Thanks for the head's up about Pavel's book - I have not read or even heard of that one.
    2638 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.