Hello team! Just checking in with you all, as we are now only a matter of days away from our big event. And as the designated driver of this epic kettlebrawl, it’s time to come in with “the rules.” Listen up—because there will be a quiz.
Before I start enumerating “the rules,” let’s cover some business. Please share this information with anyone to whom it might apply.
This may come as a “duh” to those of us who have been working on this event for the last little while, but many people may not have considered what kind of problems arise when one shows up at an artificial turf facility to throw kettlebells around whilst wearing high-heeled shoes. Don’t do it. And while many experienced KB technicians prefer a barefooted approach, I don’t recommend it for beginners. Especially beginners, next to other beginners, next to other beginners. Let’s be safe and bring appropriate, preferably closed-toed footwear. It’s easier to get across campus in flats anyway.
Also, leave your rings and watches home or locked away somewhere. I will be responsible neither for replacing broken timepiece crystals (trust me, it is unavoidable; you wear it, you repair it), nor operating the pliers to pry your now smashed hexagonalish wedding ring from your round finger. Let’s try not to learn the hard way.
Some of us have experience, and even expertise, with kettlebells and some of us don’t. This workout is designed to be an INTRODUCTION to kettlebell work, comprised of some simple staples of beginner kettlebelling. The combination of these exercises is in no way a comprehensive or exhaustive example of all the things you can do with a kettlebell. For example, this workout will not show you how to use your kettlebell as a doorstop for your office or a wheel chock for your RV. But I hope that you will seek out opportunities to keep your kettlebell education going by utilizing some of Seattle’s great, local kettlebelling talent. You can seek out kettlebell workouts through The Whole U’s network of discounted fitness facilities.
At the event, you will be given a choice of a five-pound, a ten-pound, or a fifteen-pound bell. I will review some general safety guidelines with you on Friday, but as you arrive, select a weight for yourself with this in mind: it will get heavier as the clock ticks.
Okay, here are my rules. Please let yourselves read over them several times and then swear The Kettlebeller’s Oath to obey them for your own wellbeing:
- Go SLOW. Approach every move my demonstrators and I do very slowly because it will be easier for you to avoid injuries like pulling and straining your muscles and tendons. Summary: Go slowly to avoid injury.
- Go EASY. You do not have to kill yourselves on Friday. Settle and rise into the movements GENTLY. Be nice to yourselves and allow your large and small muscle groups, and neuro-muscular system, to adjust to this strange work without being under too much stress… just take it easy. Summary: Ease in gently to let your coordination catch up.
- Feels good? GO—as long as you’re feeling good and in control of that bell, keep training. Summary: Good equals “go.”
- Feel pain? STOP!!! If you feel anything in your body erupt in pain—not just the kind from being tired— stop and take a rest. If it continues, stop completely. Our record will not be jeopardized if a few of us have to bow out this time. Please stop if you become injured or for any reason are unable to continue. Summary: Bad equals “stop.”
- GRIP— Keep your grip dry and safe. Use your towel to keep your hands and your bell dry, even if you have to interrupt your work to do it. Just take a second and tend to the problem and then return to the movements. This is essential so that the bell doesn’t slip out of your hands and onto something breakable like your foot or head (ouch). Summary: Babysit your grip.
- REST if ya gotta! If you need to breathe for several seconds or more, stay in your spot and stand and take a rest. Sit or take a knee if you need to. And when you’re ready to rejoin the ranks and keep learning and training, hop back into the action. Summary: Ain’t no shame!
- HAVE FUN! Clearly, you all get the concept. Otherwise, it would have taken more than 24 hours for this event to reach capacity. Tell yourselves “this is fun” at the 20-minute mark when you’re all rethinking your choice. This is kettleplay, people. You’re gonna love it. And so will your quads.
After party rule: SHARE your new knowledge and your kettlebell with a coworker. No, you don’t have to share ownership of it, but it would be nice to share the experience with someone who was unable to attend. Connect with another staff or faculty member to form a two-person team. Network with others and tag-team some “couplets.” A couplet is a combination of two movements, like swings and weighted squats. Get a bunch of people with bells and a bunch of people without bells and trade off the work and rest periods. Be a leader. Organize some teams, select a time and place, and give each other fifteen really hard minutes. Or register to connect with me for one of my Friday kettlebell scrambles, where two athletes can share one bell. Suffer together. Compare calluses. Do your best to wear the iron off of your bell.
Now finally, YOU WILL BE SORE from this workout. We won’t work you so hard that you need to worry; this is meant to be fun! We will not exhaust you or ask you to perform at intensity. But…your wrists will be tender from making contact with the bell. The more you train, the more tolerant your wrists will become at the contact points, and your intensity levels will naturally rise as your body adapts. Your hamstrings, quads, glutes and back might bark at you a bit; your shoulders, biceps and lats will be a little tender, too. Saturday morning everyone will know you attended Friday’s event because you might be moving a little differently than you usually do. Look forward to it. Why? Because it means you did something real this Friday inside Dempsey Indoor. It means you all didn’t sign up for a walk in the park; you signed up to make history.
See you there!