My First Time…

March 25, 2011

Training with an RKC


I’ve been training with Kettlebells for about two years now and I am truly sold on them. I firmly believe that nothing else can give you the same results in the same amount of time as they do. And if you’re a busy mom or dad, then getting your workouts in and keeping your sanity can be trying. Hence the Kettlebell. Done properly, you can wear yourself out in 20 minutes. Sometimes, that’s all you can muster up in a day.

Kettlebells aren’t something you can grab and just start working with. They’re totally different than your normal gym fare of dumbells, barbells, smith machines and the like. Any reputable fitness pro will strongly advise you to get proper instruction before training with them.

Here lies my problem. I live near Longview, Tx. No certified RKC (Russian Kettlebell Challenge) instructors near me. I’ve had to rely on videos such as Enter the Kettlebell, and blogs from instructors I’ve met on Facebook, like Sandy Sommer, Geoff Neupert, Chris Lopez and a few others. They’ve got great blogs with tips, advice even a few Paleo recipes for great eating. I’ll post their blog addresses later.

I finally managed to get a lesson last week with Michael Spain, owner of Summit Kettlebells in Fort Worth, Tx. I met Michael last February when I bought a new bell from him. He had just finished a marathon the day before, the Cowtown I think, so obviously he was in no condition for a lesson. He told me this week that he did no run training for the Cowtown. Stritcly Kettlebell Swings for cardiovascular training, wow.  In a 10 minute conversation he gave me some great tips. It was time for a new bell, or two so I reached out to him again. You might ask, drive 3 hours to buy some exercise equipment? Are you crazy? Maybe, but there was a method to my madness. First, kettlebells are heavy and shipping can be expensve. Secondly, I thought I’d grab some training while I was there. Smart huh?

Well, Michael proceeded to wear me out for about 45 minutes. It was all wanted. What he also did was tweak my technique on my Swing, Snatch, and Turkish Getup. I couldn’t believe I had waited that long to get a proper lesson. Granted, my Swing and Snatch form wasn’t that bad, thanks to the guys mentioned above. They really do put out great information, but nothing beats the feedback from someone right there, pushing you, making you go a bit harder than if you were working out alone.

I also learned a few more things

  1. I miss working out with someone – I love working out at home, but maybe a group setting, every once in a while wouldn’t be a bad thing
  2. I’m not working out hard enough. I need to turn up the intensity
  3. Personal trainers, one on one sessions can be cool
  4. I’m definitely not stretching enough.
  5. If you kettlebell, any time spent with an RKC is time well spent

This is just the top five. Long story short, it was worth the drive there and I will find a way to get back for more training. Who knows, maybe HKC or RKC certification is in my future. At the very least, it would give me a great goal to shoot for.

Here are the site links for the Gentlemen I listed above. Check them out.

Sandy Sommer –  Charm City Kettlebells    Baltimore (I’m actually about to get some distance training from Mr Sommer)

Geoff Neupert – Chasing Strength    Durham, NC. Wish I would have known about Kettlebells when I lived in Charlotte

Chris Lopez  Kettlebell Workouts   Oh, Canada – The grand city of  Toronto

Michael Spain    Summit Kettlebells   If you’re in DFW, check him out!


Monday workout

May 3, 2010

I’m considering entering the Turbulence Training Transformation contest. It actually started Saturday 5/1, but I’ve got a few weeks to enter. It’s a 12 week program, typical rules, take a pic, before and after and the best transformation wins. Turbulence Training is a system by Craig Ballantyne, . Craig is one of the guys who I’ve learned a lot from the last year and a half or so. I haven’t followed his system to the T, but have used a lot of his principles. If I enter the contest, I’ll have to use his workouts, which is fine by me. In fact, it may be a good change to the workout regimen. Afterall, change can be a good thing.

One of his directives is working out 3-4 times a week, every other day, with “active rest” on the off days. I have been doing 2 or three days on, one off, sometimes two. This could be a good change of pace.

That being said, I had a nice Kettlebell workout Saturday, and ran Sunday. One mile of intervals in the middle of a 2 mile run. Not bad for an “active rest” day. Tomorrow is T-ball, so that will be a good “off” day.

Here is my workout for today.

1 handed swings, alternating 35lb bell :30/:30 x6

Snatches, 35lb bell  :15/:15 x10

Swing/pushups 44lb bell 10/10 x5

Nice workout in less than 20 minutes, including warmup.

A nice Saturday workout

May 1, 2010

The last week, I seemed to have slacked a bit in my diet and workouts. I think the workouts were just a product of  life, the universe, and everything. Maybe it’s time to get up a bit earlier and get some work done in the a.m.

My back has been hurting a bit and I’m not sure why. Could be from 2 weekends in a row of T-ball tourneys where I’m on my feet for longer than I’d like to be on a Saturday. I did try some double bell work, and may have overestimated my ability, or maybe it was bad math skills…. Maybe I’m just getting old. Who knows. One thing I did notice in my workout today was maybe snatch ladders with a 44lb bell isn’t the right thing to do. The 35lb bell may be the right tool for that job, until I can improve on my form. Especially when those ladders are at the end of what I think was a pretty nice workout.

Here it is


  • Jumprope, until I miss a beat
  • 10 squats
  • 10 pushups
  • 10 goodmornings
  • halo, 35lb bell, 5/5 each way x2


TGU’s w a 44lb bell 7 minutes, alternating sides

Swings with a 44lb bell 7 min :30/:30

C&P, 44lb bell, 5/5 x5 – I may have done 6 or 7 sets. Was watching Kick Buttowski and possibly lost count

Renegade Row, 44lb bell, 5/5 x5

Snatches, 44lb bell  2 ladders, 4 rungs