Conditioning – kettlebells melted my lungs.
Wednesdays are conditioning days, which I’m pleased to say no longer fills me with panic and dread. I’m either getting fitter or I’ve learned to accept the horrible inevitability of it all. Who gives a shit anyway, as long as I can hammer my body of iron on the anvil of pain, forge a will of steel in the fires of discipline and cast some abs of zinc in the crucible of awesomeness.
In the fitness industry fads come and go all the time; powerplates, bosu balls, bodyblades, shake weights and toning tables are just a few of the many atrocities perpetrated upon gullible gym goers.
Amongst the foetid piles of dross there is occasionally the odd shine of a well hidden diamond. Two come readily to mind; kettlebells and the TRX. The TRX is basically a pair of straps that you hang off something sturdy and then use a part of your body weight to perform various exercises with. You could do an entire body workout on them but I prefer to use them to superset with more traditional gym lifts.
The Russians have been doing unholy things with kettlebells for donkey’s years and is even a major competitive sport over there. A kettlebell is a metal ball with a handle on top which causes the centre of it’s mass to extend beyond the hand. This allows you to do various swinging and ballistic movements that works the entire body at the same time. They mimic real life movements such as digging roads to and from Gulags, working on collective farms in Siberia and changing toner cartridges in Slough.
The workout you get from standing still and waving around a lump of pig-iron has to be experienced to be believed, I’ve gone from relaxed to the point of death in less then 2 minutes on regular occasions.
Try this for a truly unpleasant way to spend an afternoon in the gym:
5 mins cycling and then 5 intervals of 30 secs fast 30 secs slow.
Lots of squats and lunges to limber up the old carcass
Bear complex – 3 sets of 5 with 40kg
Kettlebells – 30 secs on 30 secs off of swings/single arm swings/cleans/clean and press/snatch. Done continuously for 20 mins with the 24kg bells. Nasty.
Loaded carries – using 30kg dumbells I did max distance carries for farmer’s walk, waiter’s carry, rack, suitcase and double waiter.
The whole thing was like a fairy tale. Grim.
Yours in crippling pain,