Tuesday, March 09, 2010


My new-found enthusiasm for fitness has culminated in a more open-minded approach to exercise. Since it's my week in-between the finished boot camp and the next one (yes, I signed up for a second one), I'm trying to keep up my fitness levels.

My brother, a life devotee to exercise/fitness fanatic of note, who has completed such hardcore sporting events as the Comrades Marathon and Ironman South Africa, has recently started supplementing his swimming and boxing training with kettlebell workouts. As such, he offered to introduce me to this rather odd workout and I thought that this week was a good time to try it out.

Apparently, the origins of kettlebell use are obscure, with the Russians believed to be the ones to popularise it, while the robust heaving and throwing nature of Scottish Highland games hint at the possibility of something similar being developed in the Celtic culture. Either way, kettlebell training seems to be quite du jour in the US, with proponents such as Pavel Tsatsouline and Mike Mahler pushing the overall strength-cardio benefits of this workout form.

Using a 7kg kettlebell, I did 10 rounds of a beginner's kettlebell progression workout my bro brought along for me, which I've uploaded here if you'd like to try it for yourself. If you do a web search for kettlebell training/workouts, you are bound to find a website (or twenty) which demonstrates the form of these exercises via video uploads.

Verdict? It was an enjoyable 30-minute workout which left my heart pounding and my shoulders aching. And while I wouldn't say that I was hooked by this workout form enough to run out and buy my own kettlebells, I would highly recommend it for anyone who is bored with their hum-drum gym routine and wants a strangely robust new challenge which makes you feel as if you're getting in touch with your prehistoric genetic roots. :-)