First up was kettlebells. My number one complaint about my Great Fitness Kettlebell Experiment last September was that I never got any live instruction with the little iron wonders and while they have similar properties to a dumbbell, they are not used in the same way a dumbbell is. Hours of reading and Go Fit! videos and online tutorials by the KB Queen notwithstanding, I still felt like I would have used them better with a little in-person help. Enter my free lesson.
It started off well with Gym Buddy Allison and I forgetting that I had signed us up for the class. Thankfully Krista was on the ball and reminded us by shooting emphatic looks at us through the studio windows until we clued in. We made it in at the last second. Warm-ups were light floor aerobics, entertaining mostly because Allison forgot she wasn’t in Hip Hop Hustle and did a very cool dip in the middle of her grapevine left. Which would’ve looked cool if she weren’t the only one dipping. And if we’d had Turbo Jennie’s disco ball going. As it was, we just giggled a lot.
The class itself was a 30-minute butt-kicker. I knew the power of kettlebells to get the heart rate pumping but it was even better having someone else kick my butt rather than me yelling random instructions at the Gym Buddies. I completely pitted out my shirt in the first 10 minutes. The rest was just sweaty gravy. In addition to the KB swings, lunges and presses that we were used to, we got to try out a few new moves, my favorite being the one where you hold the handle and rotate the ‘bell around your head. I believe the move was called an “around the world” and not only was it a great shoulder burn but it was also good for my ego. (My head being the world. Get it??) My only complaint with the class was that the instructors didn’t do much to teach proper kettlebell form resulting in one Gym Buddy with bad back pain, a common first-time kettlebell complaint. Although the teacher later told me that in the paid classes, emphasizing and correcting proper form would be a priority.
The underlying principle of kettlebells, as I understand it, is twofold: a) whatever you do, keep moving and b) lift heavy. Other proponents of the lift-heavy and don’t-rest-between-sets crowd include my fave The Monkey Bar Gym, my love-to-hate CrossFit and traditional body builders everywhere. They promise a lean, cut, muscular look sculpted in a short but intense workout. You remember CrossFit chick right?