You’ve seen them on TV. I’m talking of those adverts selling you the next fitness machine that can give you sexier abs, bigger muscles and promises that you’ll get the body you’ve always wanted with minimal effort and no pain. You drool over the bodies of models with rippling muscles (guilty J ) or tantalising figures that try to convince us that we too could have a body like that by using that one piece of home equipment. Luckily many of us recognise them just for what they are – a marketing gimmick designed to sell the product. I mean surely, if they were that good, they would sell themselves, wouldn’t they? Well that’s been my view on them from day zero and I’m happy to say I’ve stayed clear of them and have happily resorted to using the weights and the odd bosu ball at my gym for all the resistance and toning work I need to do.
But four weeks ago that changed. And it all started when I joined a gym at my new work (Sky News) and they were offering kettelbell classes. I’d heard of kettlebells before but never been to a class. Now, I’ve seen these cannonball-shaped weight with a thick handle on one of those channels before so I was a wee bit reluctant to go. But then my adventurous side kicked in and I thought, “If there’s a whole class being offered to swing this thing around, then I may as well just go for the comedy value of it just to give me a break from my regular running.” J And let me tellyou my friends, laughing was definitely what I did as I walked out of that place! Let me explain……
Weary eyed on a Friday morning at the unGodly hour of just after 7am I stumbled into the Sky News gym. I was greeted by two young strappy young lads (that woke me up J) They introduced themselves to me (the newcomer) as Stephen and Ben from Richmond Kettlebells and explained that this workout was totally different to any other workout I may have done in the past. Stephen said that kettlebell training is all about basic training that requires functional whole body fitness. So it was a great way to get a whole body workout in a relatively short space of time. And he said that this wasn’t some new fad that appeared out of thin air, but indeed this 18th century Russian technology had seen a 21st century revival at fitness clubs. But being a skeptic when it comes any exercise fad, I rolled my eyes at the ceiling (when Stephen wasn’t looking of course!) but smiled politely and took my position in class
And then the session began. The whole class opted for two different kettlebells – a lighter one for the warm-up and a heavier for the actual workout. Stephen started off with a 5-10 minute warm out which consisted of a series of exercises such as the halo, sling shots and lunges all the time holding the kettlebell in a safe manner. The warm-in itself was enough to make me break out a sweat and I still had the main component to deal with! But I have to say I was already feeling that I was having a good workout out. We then progressed onto the main workout which was intense to say the least but really enjoyable. As if we weren’t pumped up already, Stephen’s enthusiasm took us on another level. His encouragement and the fact that he made a tough workout look and sound fun really helped to take out minds off our tiring muscles. Before we knew it, we’d finished 45 minutes of our workout. It sounds like loads but the workout was divided into segments of six, eight, and 10 minutes and the time just flew. I have to admit that it was one of the best workouts I had done in a long time and I’d bloody well enjoyed it. But still unconvinced of its long term benefits, I wanted to know exactly what this workout had done for my body so in true inquisitive journalist mode, I cornered Stephen and grilled him on the key benefits of Kettlebell training. He progressed to tell me:
“This is a full body workout. You are combining all elements of fitness into one hit! Not only are you working aerobically but burning fat, strengthening your core, improving muscular endurance, flexibility, speed, power strength….and the list goes on. Whatever your goals, this type of training will get you there faster.”
And there’s a lot of evidence online to back what Stephen told me. One study by physician John Porcari which tracked 10 volunteers between the ages of 29-46 found that a 30 minute workout with a kettlebell consistently burned 1,200 calories per hour! Put that against any other exercise including aerobics, boxing, running for the same amount of time and you’re hovering around 600 – 800 calories.
Well I’ve been doing this workout for 4 weeks now and you know what? For the first time I’m getting “Sabs Fab Abs!” Not only is this giving me results but I actually enjoy this workout more than any other workout I’ve done! I would suggest you give it a go and if you live in the London area, then I would strongly recommen giving Stephen’s classes a go. (He trains the stars like Fearne Cotton!) The beauty of his training is that he’s mobile with his kit so he can come to YOU so no excuses! Stephen’s fun approach to the training will relaly get you into the swing of it (pun intended! J )To get in touch with Stephen’s training log onto his website via http://www.richmondkettlebells.co.uk
As for me I’m truly a convert. I’ll clearly be going to my classes at the gym but for when I can’t get there, I will be able to swing a kettlebell in the comfort of my home or wherever I will be. For I’ve been my own Kettleworx kettlbell and DVD’s set courtesy of Fitness TV Sky Channel 282 who I will be soon working with thanks to this blog and the support of all of you my lovely readers! (more on that soon J )
In the meantime I wish you all the best in your training and I’ll leave you some more benefits of the mighty kettlebell!
The workout will give you a body transformation in 6 weeks by doing just three 20 minute workouts a week.
It combines cardio and strength training
It burns over a 1000 calories in an hour
Great solution for busy people
It can be down by any aged person shape or size
Far great for fat loss
Strengthens every muscle from head-to-toe
Helps build a lean, muscular physique and women won’t bulk up!
Easy to learn
It’s serious cardio without feeling like cardio
Increase mental focus