Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pushmore's Kettlebell Class

DOMS usually sets in after about 12 hours post-workout. Not on Saturday, though. On Saturday, after a few short hours my posterior chain is killing me. My wrists hurt like hell. And the back of my left forearm is sporting a pretty visible bruise. Heck, pretty much my whole body is sore.

This is all thanks to the kettlebell class I attended at Pushmore. It's conducted by Jon, if anyone's curious.

The class lasted all of 2.5 hours but it felt pretty much like a lifetime. Albeit an informative and an enjoyable one. In a masochistic kind of way. Jon taught us three basic kettlebell moves:

  1. The Swing: One armed, two armed, Russian, American

  2. The Snatch

  3. The Press

Although I have done my research prior to the class, I have always thought that the kettlebell moves (save the kettlebell press) are more focused on the lower body. As my battered body can attest, it targets everthing: glutes, hams, lats, delts, forearm, wrists, grip... the list could go further.

The experience of doing the swing and the snatch i.e. heartrate, the exhaustion is akin to what I experience whenever I go for a running session. Less than 10 minutes into the snatch (we didn't do that many, mind you, because we were more focused on technique compared to volume) left me dripping with sweat.

Needless to say, I always looked forward to our water break.

However, I'd like to highlight that the swing and the snatch in particular are highly technical. The bruises I got at the back of my forearms were souvenirs of the wrong snatch technique. Heck, even the swing is quite technical.

I would honestly not advice a newbie fitness junkie to go straight to kettlebell swings without first knowing how to do proper bodyweight squats. If you can't do a proper bodyweight squat you should not touch a kettlebell yet.

All in all, the kettlebell is a very good tool for conditioning purposes (it's way cheaper than a bloody treadmill - that should be a huge plus point in itself). And I think it is a good tool for assistance exercises. It's also great for training grip strength as well.

I would say that the using the kettlebell is complimentary to your training. Nothing beats a barbell. But during those days when you don't feel like running outside (or maybe you avoid running like the plague) - the kettlebell swing is an excellent alternative. The snatch is a fantastic assistance exercise that smokes the whole body. Both the swing and the snatch make fabulous finishers to end a good training session.

p/s the fees include the purchase of our own kettlebell. But it would only arrive in April - of which a short refresher course will be conducted. I don't mind waiting till April. And I certainly don't mind going back to Pushmore.

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