I like to change up my fitness routine from time to time. I take the attitude that I’ll be exercising for life, but I don’t want to keep doing the same old same old for life. And since my arms are a bit flabby and I don’t want to get osteoporosis, I’m concentrating on strengthening exercises this Autumn. So this is what led me to my latest fitness wheeze – Kettlebells.
But kettlebells with added glitter, just for funsies.
What are Kettlebells?
Essentially, it’s a solid metal ball with a handle in the top. Weights start at 4kg and go up to around 40kg. Kettlebells date back to the 18th century and were originally used by Russian farmers to weigh crops. At some point, somebody noticed that the Russian farmers were all super muscly and thus a fitness craze was born.
How they work is that the weight is not distributed evenly, so all your muscles have to work hard to counterbalance as you swing it around. What you get is a cardiovascular, strength and flexibility workout all at once. My Kettlebell class is only half an hour, but it feels like I’ve done more than I do in an hour of BodyPump.
You can buy Kettlebells for use at home and follow online tutorials. They don’t take up much space and the routines aren’t difficult to follow so this is a good one if you want a quick, comprehensive workout to do at home.
Kettlebells for beginners
When I went into my first Kettlebell class, I automatically picked up the smallest 4kg weight. I figured I would learn the routines and then build up on weight from there. The instructor told me off for this, with the mysterious advice If it’s too heavy for you to pick up, then that’s the right kettlebell for you. I don’t quite get the logic there, but it’s something to do with the fact that you spend a lot of the class swinging the kettlebell, so it needs to be heavy enough to build up momentum.
I ended up doing the class with an 8kg weight, swapping down to a 4kg when I was half dead. That night I couldn’t sleep because my abs were aching so much. Since then I have done most classes with a 6kg weight, which I can handle comfortably for a full class without feeling like I’ve been kicked by a horse the next day.
Also, the glitter
As well as taking up Kettlebells, I have also started wearing more glittery eye shadow to the gym. Essentially my reasoning for this is – Why the fuck not?
A few years ago I was unfortunate enough to read one of those boring magazine articles all about how December is glittery eye shadow season. Unless you’re over 40, in which case glittery eye shadow is dead to you, grandma.
This made me kind of depressed because I have a beautiful pot of Urban Decay Zodiac Moondust which I like to crack open on a regular basis. How many Decembers do we have in our lives? Never enough. Not enough for all the times you’re feeling glittery, anyway.
I also wear bright nail varnish, which has a training function in that it gives a bit of visual distraction when I’m struggling with an exercise. My face may be purple but that doesn’t matter because Look at my lovely orange nails. Having something to look at when you’re huffing and puffing at the gym really can take your mind off it enough to keep going a little longer.