I haven’t really personally known a person who has lost a lot of weight besides the transformations I see on The Biggest Loser T.V. show. So, when I was asked if I can review the book, “The Swing,” by Tracy Reifkind, I just had to see just how much of a physical transformation she has accomplished. Her last name may be familiar to you if you’ve read my post, “My RKC Experience.” Yes, she is definitely Mark Reifkind’s wife. I have met Tracy a few times in the past when I was training with Mark and also at one of the Russian Kettlebell Certification (RKC) events I attended. I’ve also heard about her losing weight through swings but I didn’t realize just how much weight she lost.
A Background on Tracy Reifkind and “The Swing”
If we just look at the title, “The Swing,” we may think that this book is all about how to perform the kettlebell swing along with some workout programs. The book is about that but much more. It is also a book about Tracy’s journey of losing 120 pounds using kettlebell swings and emerging as a completely new person, both inside and out, at age 41.
During the few times I met Tracy, I didn’t have a clue just how much weight she lost. I wouldn’t have thought that this woman in front of me used to weigh 250 lbs because she is one of the fittest person I’ve met at those kettlebell events. At her heaviest, Tracy talked about reaching a point where she totally disconnected from her body. Instead, she used the false and temporary pleasure of overeating to soothe her even though she felt guilt and shame whenever she overate. She didn’t own a full-length mirror so she could avoid looking at her body.
Tracy’s extra weight was affecting her life so much that there were also when she would avoid talking to people while she’s running errands just so they didn’t see how much weight she’s gained since the last time they saw her. At the same time, she took a lot of effort to avoid getting her pictures taken at all costs.Her transformation began after having been at 250 for nearly ten years and one day, she knew it’s only a matter of time before her body starts to give in and she won’t be able to dodge the bullet anymore. Her first jump start came when six of her co-workers decided to do a weight loss challenge where every person wagered $100 per person for a total of $700 and whoever lost the most weight percentage wins the pot. Three (3) months and 50 lbs later, Tracy won the $700!
The Things I Like the Most About the Book
I won’t go into too many details about everything Tracy went through. You’re better off reading it directly from the book than having me paraphrase everything in this post. However, I do like to tell you about the one thing that surprised me about this book – it was the the kettlebell swing training program Tracy used. Having been a part of the RKC community for quite sometime, I thought I have seen and done many of the kettlebell swing workout programs. Before seeing this workout plan, I thought, “how can a person only use 1 kettlebell exercise when there are several to choose from?” The answer came once I saw the workout plan.
Tracy starts with one of the most detailed how-to kettlebell swing instructions I’ve seen in a book. But, what drew me the most was the simple way she teaches you how to determine your fitness level so you can figure out the level to which you should start your training and customize it. She calls them the On the Minute Workouts. After you’ve determined the right level for you, you can then go into the training phase where all the fun begins. She has created multiple variations of the swing workouts that last anywhere from 20-30 minutes just by combining 2-hand swings with 1 hand-swings in ways that looks like so much fun, it gets me so excited to want to try them myself.
Then…there’s the 2-minute set. Once you’ve gone through the training phase, you can advance your training even more by doing these 2-minute sets. Mark Reifkind explained it as getting the best of both anaerobic and earobic systems where you get just enough intensity to really develop muscles and just enough time to really tap into fat stores as well.
Of course, a book on physical transformation will not be complete without talking about nutrition. Tracy talks about some of the nutrition strategies that helped her with her transformation. She talks about anywhere from simple calories, to food journaling, to learning knife skills, to meal timing, and so on. Looking back to my own personal transformation, it was those things, some of the most basic but essential skills, that really made the difference for me as far as getting results and Tracy talks about all the nutrition skills and strategies necessary so the reader can reach his/her goals faster and more efficiently.
Who is “The Swing” For?
After reading the book, I have become an even stronger believer that the kettlebell can transform our bodies, our workouts, and our lives in a simple yet very effective way when combined with the right nutrition strategies. This book has re-inspired me to start using kettlebell exercises, especially the swing, in my workout routines as more of a required staple instead of just doing whichever kettlebell execise I felt like doing without any kind of plan. This book is more than just a diet book. It is also about developing the right mindset especially when you’ve tried every “diet program” out there only to get temporary results. It is also about inspiring the reader about what is possible when we focus our intentions towards a very important goal, health or otherwise. It does not matter whether you have less than 10 or over 100 pounds to lose, this book will give you all the tools you need in order to break free of whatever weight loss plateau and/or negative self-image you’ve created in your mind. Tracy’s story will inspire you to take action and her strategies will bring you success. Once you’re done reading, “The Swing,” you can also join Tracy’s Facebook community by going here. You may also follow her blog here.