This is a guest post from Mrs. World’s Strongest Librarian
I used to go to the gym and pick up a few light dumbbells off the rack and find an inconspicuous corner to do my reps. Wait, there are no inconspicuous corners in those gyms with the mirrors on all sides and view windows into the aerobics room. Nevertheless, I would put in my headphones and try to get through my routine three times a week. The worst problem: boredom. I didn’t feel challenged by it. Getting to do a few more reps just wasn’t very interesting.
Enter the Kettlebells
It took me a long time to decide to try lifting with kettlebells. I was intimidated. Our supply of the things had been growing steadily (my husband later became kettlebell certified) and I was literally tripping over them in the house. They seemed too heavy, too bulky, and too man-like for my girly hands.
When I did my first few swings, I couldn’t believe how much effort it took. It was an immediately heart racing activity (very different from my gym lifting routine). I was only swinging the 16K (35 lbs) to begin with. I tried some other exercises with an 8k (18 lbs) like overhead waiter walks, heartbeats, and rows. After every workout, my husband asked, “Do you feel strong?” I had to admit that yes, I did feel strong. And it was fun, too. I was learning new exercises that required some skills.
Progress, Progress, Progress
The second week (5 workouts in) my husband told me to start swinging the 24K (53lbs) kettlebell. I thought he was crazy, but I tried it anyway. I was thrilled to see that swinging a heavier weight forced my form to improve and was actually possible. I’ve been working on working for more minutes in a row and adding more skills ever since then.
One of the challenges for me with kettlebells is building up my hand strength. My grip is the first thing to fail when I work out. But it’s a work in progress and one that I can see results in with every workout. I have moved on to do Turkish Getups, snatches, jerks, windmills, and other fun exercises. It’s so much better than those boring dumbbell curls I was doing at the gym. And wow, am I getting stronger.
The best thing I’ve done yet is to add Gym Movement and biofeedback testing to my workouts. I don’t have a ton of experience in strength training yet, but I know enough to train myself and make myself feel good!