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The Swing! by Tracy Reifkind – Kettlebells, Diet, and Showing Up


The Swing! by Tracy Reifkind

Let’s start with Tracy Reifkind’s results, the only logical starting point when someone is choosing a personal trainer or a book to follow.

At age 41, she was unhappy with her weight, like most people I know.Unlike most people I know, she took action and changed her life, losing over 100 lbs in the process. I was following Tracy’s progress before I became an RKC (certified kettlebell instructor in Pavel Tsatsouline’s system), and I have continued to follow it since I left the organization.

What attracts me to Tracy is her willingness to show up and do what it takes, and her compassion for others. Take a look at her blog or any of her kettlebell forum posts and you’ll see what I mean.She and her husband Mark have always been very kind to me and that goes a long way.

Now, let’s talk about her book, The Swing! Lose the Fat and Get Fit With the Revolutionary Kettlebell Program.

It’s a great introduction to Tracy’s story and a great starter kit for anyone looking how to get started with kettlebells.

My only caveat is that I don’t think there’s anything revolutionary about kettlebells. I love them, they’re my favorite tool to train with, but they’re just a tool. The reality is that we’re simply not going to see fitness books that don’t come with inordinate hype in the titles and marketing.

But those results: Tracy has them.She took charge and made herself an authority over her own health, body, and mind. Maybe she can help you do the same.

She is as strong as she claims, she has put in the time, and that makes her, and her book, worth checking out.When someone has achieved what she has, I’m going to raise my eyebrows and hear them out.

The Swing!

The book is divided into three sections.

1. The mind – how to get yourself in a state of mind that will allow you to return to your training over and over, to enjoy your workouts, and to train with purpose. It’s a pep talk, essentially. Tracy is positive, motivating, and plain-spoken.

2. Workouts and technique – Tracy teaches you how to swing a kettlebell, and provides workout templates that are easy to follow.

3. Food

Anyone who has lost as much weight as Tracy won’t be telling you that they did it all with exercise. Nutrition was a huge part of her success. She explains everything she has learned about the diet that worked for her, how to keep food interesting even while “dieting,” and how to make sure you get enough to eat so you’re never starving.

The good

  • Easy to understand, easy to follow
  • Tracy makes it easy to feel like you’re just hanging out with her, rather than reading an exercise book
  • I genuinely believe that she wants to help people–it comes through in the way she speaks and writes
  • She walks the walk–again, those results should impress anyone
  • The book looks great! It’s nice to see a kettlebell book that isn’t written in 48 point font, with 80% of each page being a photo, and the remaining third of the book being devoted to shrill, obnoxious ads

Potential limitations

  • If you don’t love to swing a kettlebell, this program is going to bore you to tears. Will it work? It obviously did for her. Will it feel like drudgery and toil? It might, if you don’t find swinging a kb enjoyable. This will obviously vary from case to case.

That’s actually the only possible negative I have. I don’t follow programs anymore and I include as many movements as possible in my training sessions.

Some people love a workout template and want it all laid out for them. If that’s you, and you can do these workouts and put in the time, you’re going to make great progress.

Tracy is a good instructor and the best kind of trainer: someone smart and compassionate who has actually been where many of her clients are starting from.

I’ve always been grateful to know her and am thrilled by her continuing success.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours April 27, 2012, 12:48 pm

    It’s so hard to make exercise recommendations across the board – people vary so much in what they like to do and are willing to do on a regular basis. Still, this sounds like it could be a fun workout for me!

    Thanks for being on the tour.

    • Josh Hanagarne April 27, 2012, 2:22 pm

      Heather, it’s absolutely worth a try if it sounds like something you might enjoy. You’re very welcome. I hope Tracy has a ton of success with the book.

  • Johnny April 29, 2012, 2:33 am

    I am curious to understand what made you go away from rkc