Kettlebell challenge: will I make it?

December 19, 2010

Gosh, there’s a lot to do before Christmas isn’t there? Finishing up at work, shopping, planning, present-wrapping and kettlebelling.

You know I have my priorities straight.

So, we left off with me having done 5,500 swings of my 10,000 kettlebell swing challenge. The deadline is Christmas Day.

Amusing as our guests may find it, I really don’t fancy this kind of scenario:

nor this

and especially not this.

(Note to self: this much kettlebelling can make a person look really tired, evidently…)

So I’ve been swinging my bells (sounds kind of festive?) every opportunity I get. Bearing in mind I’m currently lifting some pretty heavy weights in the gym, this has been a challenging goal. My muscles have sometimes tried to persuade me to give it up, but I’m nearly there:

14th December: 500 at home
15th December: 100 as part of my gym warm-up
16th December: 300 at home, 100 later on as my gym warm-up
17th December: 150 as part of my gym session
18th December: 150 as part of my gym session
19th December: 200 as part of my gym session, then 750 at home later (yes…a mild sense of panic setting in!)

Total=7750 (I think? Maths never my strong point)

So, 2250 with 5 days to go. Hm.

Are you kettlebelling with me? How are you getting on?

By the way – just a quick funny – blogging does make me laugh sometimes. Here are some of the search terms people have put into Google (other search engines are available) and then ended up at my blog. I genuinely can not fathom how some of these pointed to my blog. Hope they give you a giggle:

– speedo dads
– train routs from camberley to bournemouth
– good dog, bad husband
– black and white devils hand
– guy taking ice bath
– hairy torso
– images of giants with serpentine legs
– open girdle
– weather report 1971
– chafing groin swimming
– pictures of ice cream van at dorney lake
– is it common to be so hungrty three days after running a half marathon
– words with ow that fit with happens in water (…what?!)
– elderly people on a picnic

Kettlebell challenge: will I make it? is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

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Fitness trends for 2011

December 15, 2010

It’s a great time of year for setting goals and thinking about shaking up your fitness routine. I’ve got a big change and an exciting goal up my sleeve which a few of you already know about. The rest of you will know just as soon as I have a firm date to attach to the goal! 😀

What are your 2011 fitness and sport goals? Are you aiming for an event, wanting to try a new sport, or setting yourself more private and personal goals?

I blogged here about Leisure Industry Week earlier in the year, where I sat in on the FIA (Fitness Industry Association) keynote, which was packed with thought-provoking ideas and updates about the direction in which the industry is heading.

This month, I asked those in the know to tell me what they thought would be fresh and exciting in 2011. Here’s what they had to say:

Nigel Wallace, Director of Training at Lifetime, a national training provider in the fitness industry thinks: “Traditional gyms will evolve with a shift towards niche facilities that target specific demographic groups. The gym will be a hub of fitness and advice rather than a prescriptive home for ‘this is what you need to do…’

“The future of the fitness industry is behaviour change management. iPhone apps allow, and will further develop, exercise routines to extend beyond the typical hour-long face to face sessions. For example, when a client goes on holiday, their PT can contact them, motivate them and update their training programme via the apps.”

Ben Jones, Teaching and Curriculum Manager at Lifetime (and a nutrition specialist) adds: “There is going to be a trend towards genetically modified foods. We already have the technology to add artificial vitamins and minerals to food. Crops will be made with higher protein quantities/fewer calories, There will need for increased education around obesity – better regulation and signposting.”

Rob Beale, Group Health and Fitness Manager at David Lloyd Leisure says: “2011 is going be even better with new classes starting and more of a focus on children’s fitness, as we all work together to improve the health of the nation and get people active. Improving children’s fitness has never been more important with childhood obesity increasing at an alarming rate. Health and fitness operators will look to provide better facilities for children and look to educate them and their parents better.

Triathlon is Britain’s fastest growing sport and we predict an increase in triathlon based activities. Triathlon clubs will be run in all David Lloyd clubs.

Indoor group cycling will be transformed by the introduction of a new class – Adidas Zone Cycling, inspired by Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton. Exclusively at David Lloyd Leisure, this class will take you on a journey around The Velodrome and get your heart pumping.

“We also predict that more health clubs will affiliate themselves with injury specialists and sports medicine professionals to offer members an extra service and help members to make the most of their time at the gym.”

I’ve got my eye firmly on nutrition at the moment. Dr Nina Bailey, a nutrition scientist, thinks EPA will be big news. “An omega-3 fatty acid generally associated with fish oils, it’s emerging as a natural product that, when taken in high enough doses (1-2g/daily), can have a profound positive effect on mood. Being hailed as ‘mother nature’s antidepressant’, regular intake of ethyl-EPA supplements may be the answer, not only to keeping Winter blues at bay, but also providing clarity through its brain boosting powers, to help us focus on achieving our January goals.”

I think kettlebells will continue to be a strong trend for 2011 – and you know all about my love of the ‘bells!

You’ve already had my review of the Gravity Training System, and I do think that total body training will be popular in 2011. What’s not to love? It saves time, hits the entire body, provides cardio and strength. Gravity classes like the one I did use your own bodyweight and a variable incline to deliver muscular endurance, cardio endurance, strength, agility and flexibility. If you’ve got a Nuffield Health Club near you, lucky you – give a class a go (search gyms here).

There are also some great new fitness DVDs coming out which I’m going to be reviewing soon, so stay tuned for those (I’m taking a stack of them away with me to wintry Wales for New Year).

Music and its effect on training and performance is an area I’m really interested in. Who doesn’t love a brand-new playlist on the MP3? There’s a new CD aimed at runners and gym-goers which I’d like to tell you about. I’m going to blog about it in more detail soon but, for now, I’ll just mention that The Workout Mix 2011 is a great package (ideal for a pressie actually) – not only do you get 3 CDs of (bang up-to-date, original artist!) music mixes but you also get free passes to Fitness First, access to the website with bonus features and training tips, and a bonus 30 minute training session led by Personal Trainer Matt Roberts. The CDs are cleverly done with each mix of music ramping up in BPM tempo over a 60-minute period to keep you motivated and pushing through your training session.

What do you think? Are there any bits of kit, new classes or forms of technology which you see shaping your workouts in 2011? Let me know; I’d love to hear about them.


10,000 kettlebell challenge: nearly there!

December 14, 2010


(This pic obviously has nothing to do with me, I just liked it)

Getting there with the 10,000 swing kettlebell challenge! I do love kettlebells and like the fact that setting challenges like this one reminds me how great they are.

With so much else to choose from (gym, classes, cardio outside), I can go weeks without picking up my ‘bells. I shouldn’t neglect them! They are ideal for Winter (I am of the view that – as a channel swimmer – I’ve spent enough of my life being unbearably cold. So nowadays I refuse to be any colder than I have to, and that extends to running or cycling outside when it’s sub-zero). They deliver a fantastic full-body/cardio/resistance workout within a very short space of time. And then can be done in a small space.

So, how am I getting on? When I left off, I was at 4,100. Since then I’ve done:

6th Dec: 50 swings at the gym as part of my warm up
7th Dec: 350 swings at home (done as sets of 50s with upper body exercises between) then 500 swings at home at the other end of the day (done as 50s and 75s, with lower body stuff between)
8th Dec: 50 at gym as part of warm up
9th Dec: 50 at gym as part of warm up
12th Dec: 100 at gym, 300 at home

So that brings me to 5500 with 11 days to go. I’m aiming for 800 today as my cardio session. How about you?

Are you joining me on this challenge? Please let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you. My ladies Jo and Viv, how are you getting on?

PS Sorry for lack of pics but there’s a limit to how exciting I can make pictures of kettlebells!


10,000 kettlebell challenge: progress

December 6, 2010

Afternoon, kettlebellers! How’s your 10,000 KB swings challenge going?

A quick, image-free post from me just to keep up-to-date with the 10,000 kettlebell swings by Christmas challenge.

I’d already done 1,800 swings when I posted last. Since then, I’ve done:

Nov 30th: 50 swings at the gym as part of my warm-up, 600 swings at home in a separate session.
Dec 1st: 50 swings at the gym, 300 swings at home later.
Dec 2nd: 600 swings at home: I did this as 6×100 swings, and did stuff between each 100, namely some sort of jump, some sort of kick, some sort of lunge, some sort of squat, some sort of balance and then finally some core. (Apologies to PT Kat Millar for the “JKLST” type of workout on which this was based).
Dec 3rd: 100 swings as gym warmup. As an aside, I think I must be about the only person in the gym who uses the KBs. I was getting some funny looks (and I know my form’s good).
Dec 5th: 600 swings at home in a heart-pumping session which went a little something like this:
50 swings, then kicks
50 swings, then lunges
50 swings, then squats
50 swings, then balance
100 swings, then kicks
100 swings, then lunges
100 swings, then squats
100 swings, then balance
Phew! This all took me about 40 minutes, and was done at home with the heating on…so I could definitely tell I’d worked! 😉

Total to date: 4,100

How is your 10,000 swings challenge going? Think you’ll be done way before Christmas, or will you be doing one-handed swings whilst basting the turkey*?

*The Fit Writer can not condone and does not advise mixing exercise equipment with kitchen utensils, sharp knives or hot ovens.


10,000 swing kettlebell challenge

November 28, 2010

Do you kettlebell? Want to join me on a little challenge? It will keep us occupied on these cold, icy days and nights leading up to Crimbo.

The 10,000 swing kettlebell challenge isn’t my idea. I can’t remember who came up with or, nor where I first read about it. If anyone knows, please let me know in the comments so I can give credit where it’s due!

10,000 kettlebell swings before Christmas Day

Anyway, it’s really quite simple (if you have access to a kettlebell). You simply need to complete 10,000 swings within a set timescale – normally 30 days and, in this case, before Christmas Day. Unless you want to be swinging a kettlebell with Bucks Fizz in your other hand. I don’t. I want to keep my other hand free for a devil on horseback.

So, who’s in? I started my 10k swing challenge a few days ago but no matter, you can catch up I’m sure. I have kettlebells at home (thanks Mum and husband!) but you could just as easily use them at your gym if they have them there. Just make sure you know how to use them. I was taught by the very lovely and wonderful Charlotte Ord of Phoenix Pro Fitness in Godalming, but there are good kettlebell-trained trainers in most towns.

I’ll be tweeting about this challenge with the hashtag #10kswings, and I’ll update here from time to time. Do let me know if you’re going to join in by leaving a comment, and then let me know on Twitter using the hashtag.

Here’s where I’m up to:

Nov 24th: 300 swings
Nov 25th: 300 swings, 450 swings
Nov 26th:
Nov 27th: 750 swings
Total so far: 1800 of 10,000

You can do ’em two-handed, one handed or combine the two. You can do what I tend to do, which is 100 swings, and then a “something”, 100 swings, then a different “something”, and so on. (My somethings tend to be plyo exercises – like squat jumps, bodyweight exercises – like chin-ups or press ups, or stuff with the kettlebell – like rows or weighted lunges or whatever.) Get creative, or just do the swings: as you like!

Kettlebells rock. I hope you join me on this challenge. One of the selling points for me is that it’s a fantastic way to get some cardio in without leaving the house. I mean, come on, have you tried going for a run or a bike ride over the past few days?


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