Archive for June, 2012

English: Arthur Saxon performing a bent press....

English: Arthur Saxon performing a bent press. Français : Arthur Saxon effectuant un dévissé à un bras (bent press). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been swinging kettlebells since 2009, so why return to the fundamentals?  Fundamentals enable advanced skill development.  Without the basics you can’t expand your abilities or perfect your game.  If you think about it, sports and music are similar in that they both take dedication, commitment and frequency of practicing skills and drills to expand your talent.

So when my kettlebell trainer, Dr. Dan Nelson, mentioned that he was going to start a new 8-week kettlebell class focusing on core skills, I was in!  (By the way, he was recently certified as one of 12 Advanced Kettlebell instructors in the U.S., so it was time for him to spread the wealth of his new-found knowledge!)

The class was small (only 7 or 8 students) so we had lots of personal attention, and we were also able to partner up for a few drills, which keeps everyone working hard.  It was a 75 minute class, and focused on a dozen or so core kettlebell movements.  We would start with about 10 or 15 minutes of warm-up exercises, then we’d learn a few new movements, and then start the “circuit of the day” which was often grueling!

Warm ups are something I usually skip in my workouts, so it was good to get an idea what I should be doing.  My tendency is to jump right into my workout without spending too much time warming up.  I know it’s important (and in a class environment, this is especially true) but on a day-to-day basis, we know what we’ve done throughout the day and if we need to spend time on a warm up or not.  The other day I went for a quick 15-mile bike ride… so I figured that was my warmup.   But you know your own body.  You’ll know if you need 10 or 15 minutes of floor exercises.  But I like the idea of mixing kettlebells with other activities, so typically I’ll do a morning yoga class and then come home and swing a few kettlebells immediately afterward.  Or, a few days ago I went for a longer ride (about 40 miles) which was my main workout, but I supplemented with some kettlebell lifts for triceps when I got home.  Today we did a hike in the mountains, and again, mostly a leg workout… so it’s tricep time!  (lying on your back, kettlebell positioned on the floor over your head… hold the ball part of the bell and lift up keeping elbows by ears.  This is my new favorite.)

But I digress.  The fundamentals class reminded me of how pure and perfect these exercises are… and the effectiveness of these core movements for cross training, injury prevention and rehabilitation.  Building core strength will help you in all areas of your life… for the rest of your life… it is the key to everything else we do.  I am still amazed at the power of kettlebells!

Look for some videos soon of some new fun stuff… coming soon!


Beat the Bridge, RESULTS!

Posted: June 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

It’s taken me nearly 3 weeks to follow-up on the Beat the Bridge race!  (I’ve been busy cross-fitting… more on that later!)  Anyhow, this is an 8K race here in Seattle and the course goes over two drawbridges.  The first one is at the start of the race, but the next one is about 2 miles in… and that’s the one they raise if you’re not fast enough!

In a previous post I mentioned that my goal was to do a 9-mile pace at least for those first 2 miles, just to ensure that I wouldn’t get stuck on the wrong side of the bridge!  Here’s what happened: The adrenaline kicked in, and for the entire race I ran a sub 9-minute mile!  All the way to the second bridge I was booking it at about an 8:40 pace, but then I slowed down a bit after beating the drawbridge and finished with an  overall average of 8:52.   Total time: 44 minutes.

The frustrating part??  My husband beat me by 22 seconds!   I had him right up until the last little stretch when he pulled ahead of me.  We had no more than a quarter of mile to go… I saw him pass me out of the corner of my eye, so I kicked it into high gear and pulled ahead of him… but then he dug deep and took some long, fast strides and pulled ahead of me.  He busted it out all the way to the finish line… ahh… 22 seconds!  Oh well… there is always next year!

Overall, I am very happy with my time… a new PR for an 8K… and I bet you’re wondering if kettlebells helped?  Absolutely!  The dynamic movements and aerobic conditioning I get with a kettlebell workout prepared me very well for the first two miles where I needed to rely heavily on speed.

Perhaps the best part was my recovery.  As I explained above, I really pushed myself in this race…(I typically run a 9-9:30 pace)… and even so, my recovery was very quick.

Here is a good article about the incredible cardiovascular conditioning you can get with kettlebells:—A-Half-Marathon-Experiment&id=1782450

More later, I’m off to CrossFit!