After swinging kettlebells for two years now, I can say with 100% confidence that “Kettlebells are Best Everyday!”
After my 30-day kettlebell challenge was over, I needed something new. I was looking to create the perfect weekly training schedule that involved all my activities in the best combination. So I tried alternating days between running, lifting, kettlebells, yoga, etc… until my head was spinning trying to keep it all straight. My calendar was a mess! I tried doing kettlebells every-other-day, every third day, everyday except Pilates days, everyday except hill-running days, everyday except race days, everyday except gym days…and on and on. Let me tell you, it is all a scheduling nightmare. It was such a headache trying to keep track of it all. I would try to figure out what sort of things I should be doing on “off” days… and then what I needed to fill in with on my “kettlebell days”. Nothing felt right. Here’s my conclusion:
Kettlebells are best everyday.
The main advantage is that you don’t have to try to remember “is this a kettlebell day?” because everyday is a kettlebell day! And, truly, kettlebells fit in with everything else just fine. (30 days straight might not have been ideal from a “rest” requirement standpoint, but it did great things for my metabolism.)
Here’s the deal: we know we need to give our muscles time to recover from a strength training workout. There’s enough research out there to convince me that taking a “day off” can do wonders to pack on the muscle by giving the muscle a chance to break down and rebuild itself. But that said, this is why we have different size kettlebells!! At this point, the yellow kettlebell feels light to me (8KG is about 17.6 pounds) so I have decided that this will be my “day off” kettlebell. I will still do 20 or 30 minutes of kettlebells, but if I use the light one, I will get more of an aerobic workout and still be giving my muscles a break… overall. Then, the other days I’ll push it with the green kettlebell (12KG = 26.5 pounds) and focus on the “tear down”.
I really like this new plan, and for the next 30 days I’m going to see how feasible it is with my schedule. I’m packing so much into each day lately, it has to be a no-brainer for me, otherwise it won’t work… because here’s what happens: Let’s say I’ve set aside one hour for a workout. Before I know it, I’m already into my hour. Time is ticking… now I have 50 minutes and I’m still deciding what music I need for this particular workout. Unless I have something I know I can jump into and honestly focus on, it is so easy to waste that 50 minutes. As I said earlier, sometimes just scheduling the time on your calendar is a feat. So now that you’ve done the hard part, commit to really dedicating yourself to that workout. Clear your mind, don’t think about anything except what muscle you are using. Visualize that muscle moving, and see it getting stronger. Your mind and body are connected in a very powerful way that no one completely understands yet… but we do know that visualization works, and your mind can tell your body what it expects from it, and your body will listen.
And on that note… here’s a pet peeve of mine I’ve seen around the gym: You can’t read a novel on the leg press machine and expect your legs to become stronger. Honestly, you just can’t! You can’t read a magazine or watch Oprah while you’re on the treadmill and expect great results. Your mind is not focused on your body. It’s really as simple as that. If you’re watching Oprah, your muscles are watching Oprah. Put the focus where it needs to be, and the results will surprise you, I promise.
It feels good to be back… I threw around the kettlebells at 10pm tonight and had a great workout. Finished the evening off with a salad created entirely with various lettuces from my garden and a homemade blackberry ginger balsamic. Perfection!
(one final note… I realized I forgot to mention BCAA’s in this post. If you have committed to doing kettlebells everyday for a period of time to get fit and enhance your physique, consider adding in a Branched Chain Amino Acid supplement to your daily diet. Your muscles will thank you! I have been very happy with the MRM brand, mostly because they make all natural products which contain no artificial flavor or color (muy, muy important!!) And they also seem to tailor their products to bodybuilders… so I like that and I’ve been very happy with the results.)