Tag Archives: Kettlebell workout

A Home Workout Equipment for under $100

A Home Workout Equipment for under $100

Posted on 27. Apr, 2010 by .

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Nowadays, people are looking for convenient solutions to their problems. A home workout equipment is a great way to remedy the problem of not having enough time to go to the gym and/or not having the money to pay for a gym membership. Having your fitness equipment at home is also helpful because you can workout whenever you want on your workout days and don’t have to worry about getting child care if you have kids. Not to mention that you’ll save yourself the trouble of fighting to get your hands on gym equipments if you go to the gym during peak hours.

Lately, I’ve been working out at home and I enjoy all the benefits that I just mentioned above. If you’ve never worked out at home before, you might think that you’d have to spend a lot of money on expensive home fitness exercise equipment like the Bowflex. To be honest, I’ve never tried one of those and I probably never will. Most home gyms cost somewhere between $300 and up and I don’t even have the space to have one at my place. So, I’ve found a great alternative to my dilemma. Today, I get a very effective, full-body workout with kettlebells.

beach_workout [You can even workout outdoors or do a beach workout with just body weight exercises if you don’t have any exercise equipments at home. Photo by Gettyimages.com]

Women usually start with an 18 lb or 8 kg kettlebell while men will do well with an 35 lb or 16 kg kettlebell. An 8 kg kettlebell costs about $63 plus shipping while an 16 kg one costs about $79.95 plus shipping at Dragondoor.com. Either way, both options are still under $100. You might think that you can’t really do much with one kettlebell. I used to think so too until I got a full workout from just one kettlebell while I was training for my instructor certification. Granted that my husband has a 35 lb one but I didn’t use it until I was a little bit more advanced which took me about 8 months of focused training.

Here are some exercises that you can do with one kettlebell:

  • Swings
  • Turkish Get-ups
  • Snatches
  • Cleans
  • Presses/Military Presses
  • Lunges
  • Squats/Goblet Squats
  • Rows
  • Halos
  • Around the world/Slingshot
  • Figure 8
  • 1-leg Squats
  • Clean and Jerks
  • Windmills
  • Bent presses and many more

I mainly use kettlebells for our weights in the bootcamp along with some jump ropes, resistance bands, and body weight exercises. This just goes to say that you can have an effective, full body, home gym workout with minimal equipment without the cost of expensive ready-made home gyms out there. If you think about it, you never have to buy another kettlebell for awhile because these things are so durable that they would probably last for your whole lifetime. Just don’t leave them outside otherwise they’ll get rusty. And, just like with anything in life, in order to really use these equipments to their full potential, you’re going to have to do some learning on your own to perform the exercises well or get a good workout program that is designed to be done with minimal equipment.

One of the programs I highly recommend if you want to do full kettlebell workouts is Kettlebell Burn by Master RKC, Geoff Neupert. I mentioned to Geoff that we named our programs the same and he said that “great minds must think alike.” So, if you know about my kettlebell e-book, just be sure that you don’t confuse mine for Geoff’s new program. His program lasts 16 weeks and it comes with a training log and a nutrition guide. After buying Kettlebell Burn and reading through it, I immediately decided that I’m going to follow it for the next 16 weeks. Geoff has designed it so that I make progress in every workout. It is a solid program.

Last note, kettlebell exercises can be technical so make sure that you take some classes with a certified instructor. The cost of paying for classes versus paying for a gym membership will be a lot cheaper in the long run because you don’t need to be paying for instruction or classes forever. Compared to a gym membership that you have to pay month after month, getting a home gym is the way to go in terms of cost and time as long as you know what you’re doing.

If you’re doing a kettlebell workout, please do let me know how it’s going in the comments section. Everything else on your mind or questions, please leave a comment as well.

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What is a Snatch?

What is a Snatch?

Posted on 08. Jul, 2009 by .

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One of the many things that have been keeping me busy lately is my preparation for the Russian Kettlebell Certification. I haven’t talked about it much because I’ve been busy with the launching of my latest project, Primal Fit Bootcamp, in my local area (Pleasant Hill, Ca). Anyway, I’ve been training with Master RKC, Mark Reifkind at Girya Strength in Palo Alto and he designed a Kettlebell (KB) workout that I can do at home when I’m not training with him.

This was the most recent KB workout that I did:

Snatch technique

2 sets of 5 repetitions (reps) each arm with 8 kg
3 sets of 10 reps each arm with 12 kg

Turkish Get Ups

One rep per arm with 8 kg for 5 minutes ( switching each rep of course)
One KB Front Squats – 12 kg
8 sets of 5 reps per arm

One Arm Swings – 12 kg

10/10 (10 right, 10 left)
10/10/10 /10 (transfer after each ten and just keep going)
10/10/10/10/10/10

Overhead KB Hold per Arm

8 kg- 30 sec hold
8 kg – 45 sec hold
8 kg – 60 sec hold

This workout will smoke you no matter how great in shape you are in!

My biggest accomplishment with this workout is I was able to perform 60 repetitions of the KB Snatch with minimal rest. If you are not familiar with the RKC, students or “victims” need to pass the Snatch test which requires you to perform the snatch 100 times (both arms total) with a 12 kg Kettlebell in 5 minutes. While I am still almost 2 months away from the August Certification, I have lots of work to do in terms of conditioning, perfecting my KB techniques, and finally performing my mock snatch test.
To give you an idea of how the snatch looks like, I attached a video of me doing it with a 12 kg KB. But, before you watch it, here are the basic foundations of a snatch:

* Start with a basic swing with a “snap” at the hips
* Practice the High Pulls (that’s what I’m doing in the video before I do the actual snatch) before you even attempt a Snatch
* When you feel good with your technique with the first two, you’ll be ready to snatch

Of course, I am “in training” which means that I have a lot to learn. I wanted to wait until I shot a video of me snatching a 12 kg but with my other responsibilities, it is getting to be impossible at the moment. *Note: I have updated this post with a new video with proper instructions since I first wrote this article.

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How to Workout at Home

How to Workout at Home

Posted on 27. May, 2009 by .

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Lately, I haven’t felt the need to go to the gym because I’ve been training with my beloved Kettlebells which I let gather dust for quite sometime. I also decided that I’m going to get my Russian Kettlebell (KB) Certification in August so the heat is on in terms of preparing for this gruelling and demanding task. I also haven’t been wanting to go to the gym lately, not because I don’t feel like it, but because:

  • It’s been so nice outside here in Cali lately that I’ve been doing some of my workouts outdoors. My favorite workouts have been doing HIIT at a nearby park and KB swings.
  • My dog has been left by herself all day that I couldn’t bare to leave her alone for another hour and a half (I go to the gym after work).

So, when I chose a Turbulence Training (TT) workout, I chose one that incorporated equipment that I already have and have bodyweight (BW) exercises (which are not as easy as most people think). Another main consideration for me was my Kettlebell training. I needed a workout that had KB exercises in place in order to avoid overtraining.

My criteria lead me to March Madness. I know what you’re thinking…it’s not March…haha. Craig released this workout this year in honor of athletes and it mimic how they train in the real world. I absolutely love this workout for the many reasons I mentioned above and also because I didn’t expect it to be so tough. Once again, my expectations from a TT workout were exceeded – I have yet to find a TT workout that didn’t challenge me.

Without further ado, here is how my workout went. I am now on my second week on this routine and this is workout B.

Warm-up Circuit

• 2 times through the circuit using a 1-0-1 tempo for each exercise.
• Prisoner Squat – 10 reps
• Jumping Jacks – 40 reps
• Pushup – 12 reps
• Split Squat – 10 reps per side
• Stick-up – 10 reps

Workout BKB-BW 10×20 Circuit

I went through this circuit 2 times through.

#1 Kettlebell (KB) Squat – 26.5 lb KB x 20 reps
#2 Extended Pushup – 20 reps
#3 KB Swing – 35 lb KB x 20 reps
#4 Walking Lunge – 20 reps per side
#5 KB High Pull – 26.5 lb KB x 10 reps per side
#6 Mountain Climber – 10 reps per side
#7 KB 1-Arm Swing – 26.5 lb KB x 20 reps per side
#8 Close-grip Pushup – 20 reps
#9 KB 1-Arm Row – 26.5 lb KB x10 reps per side
#10 Stability Ball Leg Curl – 20 reps

I’m sweating buckets after this workout but I feel great! Next week, I plan to go through this circuit 3 times through – wish me luck!

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What is a Kettlebell?

Posted on 14. Jan, 2009 by .

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If you don’t have a clue what a Kettlebell is, here is a picture of the ones that I own (right).

8 kg and 16 kg Kettlebells

8 kg and 16 kg Kettlebells

Kettlebells (KB) can come in different colors but it is basically a round ball made of metal, usually cast iron, with a thick handle on it. Their weight can either be measured in kilograms or pounds and can go from 8 lbs and up. KBs originally came from Russia which they have been using to train their military branches way before KBs were introduced in the United States by the Russian strength coach, Pavel Tsatsouline. I can talk about the history of KBs in more detail but I think that the benefits of using it will benefit you more.

The Kettlebell is fast becoming one of the most popular training equipment in the fitness and entertainment industry because of its versatility. Ironically, I first heard about them while I was reading Reader’s Digest (yes, I read them…haha) in an article interviewing Katherine Hiegl (who is hot by the way). Hiegl was asked what she does to stay in shape and she mentioned that she works out with kettlebells twice a week for 20 minutes. I remember going, “are you serious?”

So, the curious creature that I am, I Googled the word “Kettlebell” and I landed on the
Dragon Door Publications web site. Back then, there were only a handful of retailers selling kettlebells and sometimes their sales people (try the kitchen section?) did not even know what the heck I was talking about. To make the long story short, I bought two Kettlebells one is 8 kg. and the other one is 16 kg. I also bought an instructional DVD entitled, From Russia with Tough Love, by Tsatsouline. I know, it sounds corny but it really is tough love. I highly recommeng this DVD too because Tsatsouline goes over all the basics in every excruciating detail to make sure that you train safe.

Beginners usually start with 8 kg (~ 18 lbs) for women and 16 kg (~ 36 lbs) for men. This is a good guideline to follow because even if you’ve been lifting for awhile, Kettlebell workouts can be tough. Unlike traditional strength training or weight lifting, KBs can give you a full body workout because you are incorporating several muscle groups in one exercise. Some examples of these exercises are the KB swings and the Overhead Presses. Side note: If you look at my video from the third Turbulence Training challenge, I was doing both exercises somewhere in the middle of the video. Some other excercises that are reserved for more advanced KB users are jerks, snatches and the Turkish get up which I haven’t even done yet.

Here are some great benefits of KBs and KB workouts:

  • Builds strength and endurance which can be great for sports training or just doing everyday activities like lifting heavy objects, etc.
  • Builds core strength due to the use of your stabilizer muscles
  • The KBs compact size makes it easy to travel with. It’s like a mini-gym in a ball.
  • They can be a fun, cheaper, and more effective alternative to boring cardio
  • You can look cool (or weird) doing some exercises because no knows what the heck you’re doing (that is, if you work out in a public place)
  • KBs can double as a lethal weapon…j/k but be careful with them if you have pets or kids…haha

So, now that you’ve had your introduction to the kettlebell, I’d like to leave you with my “light” day workout. It’s not necessarily light because I sweat profusely after this workout but it is a quicker workout than my regular ones. Here it is:

Warm-up: 50 repetitions (reps) with 8 kg KB swings

Workout circuit:

30 reps with 8 kg KB swings
20 reps with 16 kg KB swing
10 Burpees
3 Eccentric Chin-ups (lowering part only for 7 seconds each time)
I took a 1 minute rest and repeated the circuit 3 more times.

This workout usually lasts for about 20 minutes but boy those are 20 minutes of hard work! The good thing about this workout is I always have fun doing them. It never gets old because there are many other KB exercises to choose from which are just as tough, if not tougher. I can almost feel the fat melt off of me when I do these!

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