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My Favorite Kettlebell Workouts

(Top left and around)Bob's Workout, Sculpted Body, Cardio Shred, and Shred it with Weights are just a few of my favorite kettlebell specific workouts.

Of course most kettlebells come with some type of tutorial DVD, to get you introduced to some of the key moves, and instructions on how to do things. One could REALLY hurt themselves if they do not hold the bell correctly or if they swing it into their body, lacking control.

While I’ve never launched my kettlebell through a wall, I can see how that could happen. I have accidentally swung that puppy into the side of my leg before – and trust me, it hurts!

There are plenty of kettlebell workouts on the market, and honestly you can use your kettlebell in workouts that don’t even suggest a kettlebell. Especially squats with weights, sit ups with weights, jumping lunges or clean and presses.

Once you become comfortable with the moves that it works best with – you’ll discover you can challenge yourself and your muscles in new ways just by adding in the kettlebell.

When I first got my kettlebell, I used it with Shred it with Weights (Jillian Michaels), and doing level 2 – I could burn about 320 calories in about 30 minutes. Not bad!

Later, I read some of the reviews about her kettlebell moves – which seemed to indicate they’re not “beginner” moves, and one could hurt themselves starting there. After learning more about this type of workout, I would agree. I started with a 7 lb kettlebell, as mentioned before, so it wasn’t AS dangerous, but I think it would have been safer starting with one of Bob Harper’s Inside out “kettlebell specific” workouts, and focusing in on that 10lb kettlebell size.

Bob’s Cardio Shred workout is faster paced, and I’d say I like it more than the sculpted body. Both are good about introducing you to the specific moves before picking up the pace. I would also recommend his plain “CARDIO REV” Inside Out workout (not pictured) – which you can definitely use a kettlebell with. I actually prefer it to just a free weight in that workout.

Lastly, “Bob’s Workout” DVD also has a series with stepping up kettle bells – with at least 3 weights. This can be done with a heavier set of free weights also, but it’s nice to have those additional muscle challenges that the kettlebell exercises provide.

So fill me in, do you have kettlebells – sound too strange to you? Thinking about trying them? I can’t say enough good things about them – definitely worth the investment (your inner thighs will thank you).

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own…”

1 Cor. 6:19

Feel That Bell a Ringin’

That’s right, I said FEEL, vs. hear.

If you haven’t met yet, let me introduce you to the kettlebell.  This fun little (or big) dandy is a surprise of a good time…  and the only ringin’ you’re going to be feeling, are your muscles burning.

My 7lb Kettlebell from GoFit™ (Bob Harper)

The good time is that when you’re in the workout, it doesn’t seem like you’re doing that much…  I remember the first time I’ve done each new kettlebell workout, I didn’t feel like I had done much at all.  HOWEVER, the surprise comes the following day or two… or three, when it feels like someone squeezed the tar out of your inner thighs and rear.

Sound good?  It is!

Let me advise you to skip the 7lb kettlebell purchase.  When I was getting introduced, I just didn’t know what I’d need so I bought the smallest one.

That was pointless.  My children sometimes use it, so I suppose it’s not completely worthless at our house – but for you – save the money on my mistake.

The 10lber is where you want to start some hurtin’…  and it really isn’t that bad.  (Remember what I said at the beginning!)  I usually use the 15lb kettle bell, and then the 20 lbers for some reps, and other action in a few of the workouts I have…  but I started with that 10lber, and it was plenty of a challenge for many months.

My 10lb, 15lb and 20lb Kettlebells from GoFit™ (Bob Harper)

Now there are several brands of kettlebells out there, and they do have different designs.  The kettlebell originated in a completely different purpose of exercise than what I use in my home.  A quick Youtube search on the bell will show you how weightlifters throw that baby around.  Believe me, you won’t want to do those moves in your house – but that’s where the more “ball” or round shape comes from.

The ones I’ve purchased are from Bob Harper.  The moves he, and some of Jillian’s DVDs require, fit more in line with the contoured shaped kettlebell.  If you have bad wrists at all (like I do), then you’ll appreciate the side being smoothed out vs. a ball smacking against your wrist bone again and again, causing further damage.

Stay tuned we’ll be talking more about my favorite workouts with my special kettle bell weights later this week!

Need a giggle today?  Check out this 16 month old doing some killer dead-lifts.  If she can do it, so can YOU!

“Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually.”

1 Chronicles 16:11

Worth It or NOT?

Whoa.... crazy image of what these are worth in "workout" calories.

My friend Kori shared this picture image with me yesterday. (Thanks Kori!) It’s a great picture of what we should have in our minds as we consider our non-necessity foods…

Yes, I know… donuts are NOT a necessity.  Who knew?

I looked at a few of those and thought – NO WAY is that worth it.  Now… there are plenty of things out there that are worth it – just make sure it IS worth it to you.

Just a shout out to Kori – who has been on an “Insanity” challenge.  Way to go!  For those of you who have done some of the Insanity workouts, they’re not for the faint of heart.  Kori was an encourager to me years ago to try out Jillian Michaels and the 30 Day Shred.  I never did it as a 30 day workout challenge – but I kept improving, and working at it.

I still go back to Jillian now and then for a quick workout that works – but God has allowed me to be able to tackle much longer, and more difficult workouts…  and for that, I’m thankful.

What workouts are you enjoying right now?

“You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.”

Psalm 86:5

It’s a Major Heart Issue

Your heart is the most important muscle in your body. The vital organ that keeps the others functioning… And keeps YOU alive.

Heart disease is the number one killer among women… You’ve probably heard this before. If not… Think about it.

Why?

When I was younger I worked out for all the wrong reasons.

Vanity.

I, like most women didn’t feed my body the things it needed to keep me strong and healthy and I starved my heart of the nutrients it needed. I didn’t think about strengthening my heart muscle back then. I didn’t want to get bulky so I didn’t lift weights-especially weights for my upper body.

There is something about having toned arms and the connection it can have with your heart. I’m not talking about having to be a women with “man muscles”…. But admit it, we reach an age when gravity is really working against you and things start shaking and flapping around. Most women would agree they don’t like that feeling… Because, even if you’re not overweight, it makes you feel out if shape. Now, think about how out of shape your heart is… Could it be in better shape?

How much time do we focus on upper body strength and workouts?

When I started working out and learning circuit training exercises… I learned quickly that doing moves with weights in your hands can make moves more difficult and as I brought my hands with weights above my heart muscle, it really got things hoppin’ and had me gasping to catch my breath. (Not to mention it burns more calories! My husband started running with lighter weights last year-it makes a difference in your form and posture too!)

What it also does… Is it calls on your heart to pump blood harder against gravity. It’s tougher, yes, but – it’s such a great workout for you to really work that muscle and make it strong.

Try it out. Do 20 jumping jacks. Then try them with weights pushing them up from your shoulders.

Do you feel that?

Strengthen that heart muscle and your spiritual heart each day and kick heart disease to the curb!

* if you don’t have weights, use soup cans or use gallon jugs filled with dirt or sand. “no money for weights” isn’t an excuse not to get moving! Eat lots of green leafy vegetables and lean protein to keep that heart healthy!

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.”. -Psalm 139:23-24

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Move it or Lose it!

Let’s talk about this work out thing a little more…

Let me preface this by saying I DID NOT start out doing one hour hard-core work outs.  It doesn’t work that way.  At the point my body was at when I began this battle for my health, I would be on the phone with my husband… walking up the stairs and he would ask, “Honey… are YOU ok??” as I gasped for air when I reached the top.  Heavy breathing… he just KNEW I was being attacked.

NO.

I wasn’t ok.

I wasn’t in shape and I’m sure my heart was struggling to keep up with the excess fat I was carrying around on my smallish frame.  My knees ached at night, my back hurt often, and I was SO tired.

Sure I had heard, “oh exercise gives you energy….  exercise will help your back…”

Buuuuuut what if I didn’t have the energy to START exercising?  What if I was SO tired from working until the wee hours of the morning and schooling kids all day long.  How was this going to happen??  Remember – God knew I was tired… I’m sure He understood.

That wasn’t the Truth.  I knew it in my heart… but I proceeded to tell myself the lie because then, I wouldn’t have to change.  I might not have been aware of that at first, but I can see it now… clear as day.

The experts are right – exercise does give you energy more, it helps your stress level, it helps me rest better, makes your back feel better, it’s good for your heart…. what was I waiting for??

So I started with walking tapes and DVDs, workouts with an exercise ball, and I eventually a friend turned me onto the “30 Day Shred” work out video, (circuit training) by Jillian Micheals.  I figured if I could do each level for 30 days, instead of trying to complete it in 30 days, I would be making progress and… THAT would be better than doing nothing.  It hurt though, and I think I started with 3 lb weights.  The hopping, the weights, the movement… it wasn’t easy for me at the time and I didn’t always look forward to it at the end of the day – but I had my reasons for getting healthy – and posted it to remind me of my goals.

One of my favorite quotes she says is... "Think of all of the reasons you want to be fit and healthy...Think of THAT when you're hurting!"

I enjoy working out now because I love how I feel… I know in my heart that my body was made to move.  I like knowing that I’m doing the best I can for my heart – physically and spiritually.  My goal is always 30 minutes of some type of workout and I love to rotate them, but if I have time for an hour or so – I do that instead.

So tell me about your workouts – what fun stuff do you do?  If you’re NOT moving… then find some things you like.  If it’s not DVDs, do you like the accountability of a trainer or a gym?  Do you prefer to be outside and exercise?

I liked to make excuses before on why *I* couldn’t exercise.

I think it was Danna Demetre that said – “all excuses are equal – they are equally worthless.”

Point taken.

This wasn’t about ME anymore.  This was all about God.  What could I do to serve Him in my body, this precious gift?

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” – Hebrews 4:13

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