Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Of cardiovascular endurance

As your typical hardgainer, I have long ditched any typical cardio exercise in order to hang on to as much lean mass as I can. I did that gladly, since cardio is not something I look forward to doing. The monotony drives me absolutely crazy.

Unfortunately, I've become extremely deconditioned. While I may be stronger than the typical woman, I get winded pretty quickly. What's the point of being strong when you have the endurance of a 90 year old?

Maybe even Homer Simpson can beat me at a marathon

So I tried to run again. From hating to run I became indifferent to it. But I sure as heck don't enjoy it. Running is actually good, provided that you know how to run properly. Or else you're just gonna be susceptible to injury (this applies to everything else in general). And when you don't enjoy doing something you tend to not do it. So I stopped running.

I still want a decent VO2 Max though. I want decent cardiovascular health.

Enter the kettlebell. Initially, I saw the kettlebell as yet another strength training tool. But as I did my research on it I discovered that a lot of people are using it to improve their cardiovascular health as well. Seriously? How could something like that be better than something as classic and old school as running?

I quickly changed my mind when I went to the kettlebell class at Pushmore. The feeling was the same running. I was panting, sweating loads and begging for mercy. Yet unlike running, it wasn't monotonous. It wasn't boring. There are plenty of ways to spice things up.

It saves my joints from all that jarring that I tend to experience whenever I run. Some are natural born runners. I'm definitely not one of them.

Kettlebellin' y'all....

Anyway, even the humble kettlebell swing would burn your lungs; as I discovered. Yesterday, after my upper body training, I finished it off with 3 sets of kettlebell swings. 25 reps per set. I used my newly acquired 12kg kettlebell. Interesting how a less than 10-minute exercise left me drenched. Maybe it's because I'm not used to it. But I like the feeling it gave me.

It felt good, like a decent running session. But can be done both indoors in a limited space, or at the great outdoors... on a field or at a playground.

My kettlebell is definitely a keeper.

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