Tag Archives: kettlebells

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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Shape Ups or Easy Tone: An Alternative to Working Out?

Shape Ups or Easy Tone: An Alternative to Working Out?

Posted on 19. Jan, 2010 by .

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As I watched t.v. on a lazy Sunday afternoon, I saw a bunch of ridiculous weight loss commercials. But, the 2 ads that stood out the most for me were those for Skechers’ Shape Ups and Reebok’s Easy Tone. Both companies claim that wearing their shoes will help you burn calories and give you more toned legs and a rounder butt. The price? These shoes cost as much as $110! Aside from the ridiculous claims, they also come with a ridiculous price. These claims stir up some anger in me – just imagine me looking angry with smoke coming out of my ears.

If you haven’t heard of these shoes, here is an ad for Shape Ups that I found on Youtube:

If you go to Skechers’ web site, you will find that they have testimonials and “research” that back up their claims. It says that wearing Shape Ups is like walking on sand – takes more effort which therefore burns more calories compared to walking on pavement. I’m not saying that you won’t burn more calories with these shoes. But, the calories burned just won’t be enough to make you see the results that they’re suggesting you would get. You want a cheaper alternative? Just go to the beach and walk/run there. No, seriously, here is a better alternative…

A Strategy for a Rounder Butt: Kettlebell Swings

You probably know by now that I am a big fan of kettlebells. The reason for this is it’s cheaper than a lot of fitness equipments out there but it is also very effective in giving you a great total body workout at home (or anywhere you wish). They’re definitely cheaper than these shoes that will not deliver on their claim and longer lasting as most kettlebells are probably indestructible.

Want tighter glutes and sexier legs? Do swings instead and eat less.

Here is a video that I created that demonstrates what good kettlebell (KB) swings should look like:

After putting my class through their very first workout of just swings, they report being sore for days at a time. This is not unusual as most people since a lot of us forget how or don’t know how to really squeeze or activate our glute muscles. Of course, this soreness goes to a more normal cycle of about a day or 2 once you’re used to doing swings.

From my experience, I saw that my glutes got much tighter and looked a lot better in my skinny jeans ever since I did KB swings as an alternative to my high intensity intervals. But, I didn’t see this right away. It took a good 3-5 months before I even saw a difference. I used to think that a person is born with a nice butt but I think that most people can achieve a nice, rounder looking behind if they just consistently worked on targeting them on a regular basis. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that target training is effective either. This kind of result can only be achieved with overall fat reduction. Reduce the fat on top of your butt muscle and exercise that muscle for that “toned” look. This is the only way results happen.

By now, I am immune to infomercials for ab equipments but I see these commercials for Shape Ups and Easy Tone as another generation for exploiting the public’s need for immediate gratification. I wish having a beach body was way easier. Believe me, I would be the first person to tell you about it but it just isn’t. I know that eating less and moving more doesn’t sound very sexy compared to just walking your way to a leaner body but doing these two things will definitely save you time, money, and heartache in the long run.

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My RKC Experience

My RKC Experience

Posted on 31. Aug, 2009 by .

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Things are still a bit of a blur to me as I write this post. I just came back from the Russian Kettlebell Certification (RKC) in San Diego this past weekend. I’ve got to say that I haven’t experienced a more thrilling, satisfying, emotional, tiresome, painful, gratifiying experience than this event. I thought that I had a very good idea of how this weekend was going to take place but it was much much more than I expected.

Forgive me if parts of this post do not make sense. I still haven’t fully woken up and recovered from everything that took place during the RKC. I’d like to write this article by detailing (at least the stuff that I remember) the RKC on a day to day basis and what was going through my head during those days.

Day 1

The first person who greeted me was my instructor/mentor and Master RKC, Mark Reifkind a.k.a Rif. It’s nice to see a familiar, smiling face (especially if it’s the face of the person who taught you everything you know about kettlebells) in the midst of all the nerves that have been building up inside me from the night before. The first thing that he asked me was: “Who’s your team leader?” Snap back to reality…I was so worried about the snatch test that I didn’t even think to find out who my team leader was.

Me with my instructor/mentor, Mark Reifkind aka Rif, Master RKC

Me with my instructor/mentor, Mark Reifkind aka Rif, Master RKC

Later on, I found out that it was, Doug Nepodal, Senior RKC. Who is he? He’s the guy who wears a kilt so if you see a guy who’s wearing one, that’s him. Ok, that shouldn’t be hard to find. I went off to register and find the guy wearing a skirt.

More details in between but let’s skip to the dreaded snatch test.

The first day starts with the snatch test. I have one chance during each day of the certification to pass the test but I didn’t want to give myself that option. I have to pass this test today!

Ok, my turn…damn…I can’t believe I am in this moment right now…if only I could pinch myself and find out that it’s all but a dream (or nightmare).

Never mind…it’s now or never.

Go! one, two, three….I put the bell down on the 60th repetition. Shake it off….last 40 reps…done in 3 minutes, 59 seconds. Yes! I now feel a burning sensation in my throat – where’s the water cooler?

Erik, one of my team mates asked how my hands are. I said, “They’re fine.” I looked at my left hand and saw two torn callouses. Wow, I didn’t even feel that. My right hand was good.

I’m glad that was over. A big sigh of relief escapes me.

The first day is all about Swings and Turkish Get Ups (TGUs). I’ve never done so many swings in one day. To top it off, everytime somebody makes a mistake, you have to get up from the teaching position (belly down and on your elbows – like a kindergarten kid) and do how ever many swings they tell you to do – I need the practice anyway – bring it on. Pavel passes by as I perform my swings. He says, “Nice!” I hear hallelujahs in my head.

Break time – before you go on your break, you have to earn it first by doing a workout. This is the first time that I can say that I don’t look forward to break time…lol.

Practice time for TGUs…how come no one’s paying attention to me and my partner? Nikki Shlosser, one of our assistant RKCs, said that if we get ignored, that means that we’re doing them right. Ok, I feel a little better now.

Lunch time – I’m so tired that I’m not even hungry but I need the food for energy so I eat anyway. The rest of the day went by with lectures on a lot of topics that I’ve never even thought about before. I’m seeing training in a whole new light.

End of first day: I came back to the hotel room and my niece asks me why my eyes are red. My sister says that I’m so dark – not tan, dark. My dinner was Hawaiian Pizza and half a Pizookie from BJ’s – I just spent a crazy amount of calories, I can afford it…LOL.

Day 2

I woke up feeling like somebody just beat me up the night before. I proceeded to the hotel gym to at least release some of my muscle soreness. If I were to get through the rest of this day, the foam roller will surely help.

The second day is supposed to be the hardest of all three days – that was nice to know especially now that I’m sore and tired from the previous day. I can do this!

Lecture goes on about cleans, presses, and the goblet squat. I’m not very proficient with my cleans and presses but the squat is my favorite exercise until….workout #8. I have one word for this workout – BRUTAL! It’s a ladder wokout of alternating goblet squats (holding a 12 kg KB in front) and swings but you can’t get up until everyone’s down or until the leader (Yoana Snideman) says the number of the rep – please stop talking and say the number already…lol. I thanked the person who invented the foam roller.

Time for the snatch lecture. Does this mean we’re doing snatches later? Why did I even ask?

Before the day ends, we all perform workout #10: the VO2 Max Snatch. Snatch for 15 seconds, rest 15 seconds, switch hands and snatch for another 15 seconds. Total time: 10 minutes.

Wow, I succeeded (not survived) day 2, I should be ok now. But then again, we still have all day tomorrow.

Day 3 – Last Day

I kept waking up all through the night because every time I moved, I felt the pain. Alarm clock goes off at 5:30 a.m. I’d better wake up already. At the pace that I’m moving, I need all the time that I have….gets off the bed and walks like an old woman on crutches…limps to the bathroom. I considered using the foam roller at this time but I don’t think that I can even prop myself up on top of it at this point.

We get a little break this morning. We have a marketing lecture with John Ducane for 2 hours. Ok, that won’t be too bad.

Next up, technique testing – NERVES! Ok, I passed it. I’m good now…NOT. I still need to teach a “victim” (definition: a person who volunteered to be taught like a potential client). I heard that some people have passed everything but fail the teaching part. When will this end?

My partner, Mandy, and I had a victim named Tom who does KB swings during Crossfit. We had to undo some of his bad habits but he’s a fast learner. I liked this drill. It gave me tons of ideas of how I can teach my potential clients. The victim gets asked if he would hire me as an instructor. I was hoping he would say yes.

Are you getting the drill now? Teaching the victims was not the last test. The RKC saved the best for last – The Grad Workout! We had to perform swings, cleans, presses, and hold the KBs overhead for the length of a football field. The other end of that field never looked so good.

One more set, I can see almost see the end.

I finally reach the other end of the field. I still have all my body parts right? All my limbs are still attached? I’m still walking and talking. Except for the exceptionally painful soreness going through my body, a few blisters and a couple torn callouses, I made it!

Tears of joy well up from my eyes….why am I crying? I should be jumping for joy. I see that some of our assistants are wiping their eyes as well – ok, it’s not just me. I’m such a cry baby. We’re still waiting for some of our team mates and the rest of the class to finish. Go Mandy, Go Kristen, Go Tyson, Go Kyle…come on…you guys can do it. I didn’t expect this to be a very emotional moment but it was. After all, we all have endured tremendous amounts of physical pain and emotional roller coaster.

Me with Pavel Tsatsouline himself after I received my certification

Me with Pavel Tsatsouline himself after I received my certification

What an experience! I will never forget it for the rest of my life. As my mentor, Rif, said, “you would have enough stories to tell your grandchildren.” The RKC has made me a better trainer (to myself), better instructor to others, and a much better person.

My only regret is that I forgot to take a picture with the rest of our team, team leader, and team assistants. So, I’d like to end this post with a sincere appreciation for the all the assistance that our super cool team leader, Doug Nepodal, and our motivating assistant RKCs, Nikki Shlosser, Delaine Ross, and John Devitt, provided to all of us. To all my team mates, I thank you for all the support and I appreciate the camaraderie that we have developed in such a short time.

Here’s to the whole team…

  • My partner: Mandy
  • Joy
  • Kristen
  • Tyson
  • Erik
  • Jason
  • Al
  • Keith
  • Kyle
  • Louie
  • Manny
  • Neal
  • Rick
  • Roger

Power to us and power to the people. We have all made it!

On the side lines, I wouldn’t have made it without the support of my friends, TT friends and twitter peeps: Liz, Porsha, Donna, Gurpreet, Sally, Milan, Crystal, Lilian, Tabitha, Mike Z (stbf), Alex (roundballnz), Fred (fred0828), strongsarah, Greenteagirl, that70sgrl, sandierpastures, Gail, and many others. If I failed to mention you, I’m sure that you know how grateful I am to you.

Of course, it wouldn’t be right to end this post without thanking my husband, Anthony, for all the support that he has given me during this big transition in my life and our lives. From California to Kuwait, I want to thank you for everything and for believing in me. Come back whole. I’ll be waiting for your return in December. I love you, baby!

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