For the past 2 1/2 weeks Gina and I have been doing an outdoor kettlebell class with Julie from Julie Mac Fitness on the Halifax Commons. If you don’t know what kettlebells are or what a kettlebell workout is, have a quick read over Kyle’s post “Benefits of Kettlebell & Bodyweight Training” and then come back and finish this article.
Now, I consider myself to be someone who is in pretty good shape. I can weight train with the best of ‘em and I’m no slouch when it comes to playing sports, but an issue I’ve always had has been my cardio. Simply put; I hate it and it hates me. I like running, but not far. I don’t mind the bike, but I go hard and then I’m spent and don’t want to ride for more than 30 mins. I was a sprinter in high school and never ever did the cross-country run. I think you all understand the point I’m trying to get across here… SO, the thing about kettlebells is that it’s not JUST a workout with weights and it’s not JUST a weight training workout, you get your cardio in as well and you feel it!!
To give you a quick run down, there’s something called a “Tabata” that is basically hell summed up in 4 mins. It’s 20 seconds on of one exercise as hard as you can go followed by 10 seconds of “rest” (I use the quotes because 3 of those seconds are setting down your weight and 3 of them are picking it back up), for 8 sets. This could be 20 seconds of a press, rest 10 seconds then 20 seconds of burpees, rest 10 seconds and then 20 seconds of cleans… etc, etc… This wouldn’t be SO bad if after only a minute water break it wasn’t followed by a superset of other kettlebell exercises where you DO NOT STOP OR SET THE BELL DOWN for what feels like an eternity, Gina’s words, but in actuality is probably only 4-6 mins.
Tonight, I’ve got to give Julie props… She kicked my ass like it hasn’t been kicked in a long time!
We started the night learning some moves which is always a good workout, but nothing too strenuous and I usually catch on pretty fast. What I didn’t realize was what was next; That the nice demeanor and non yelling patient voice that Julie used for the first two weeks while we learned all the new kettlebell moves, was about to go the way of the Do Do. (Side note: Julie is actually a VERY sweet girl, I knew her before I took her class, so this side of her was new to me!)
After our quick learning session, we did three Tabatas and two supersets like we’ve never done before and I have to say, I had the shakes like you wouldn’t believe afterward. My active asthma even kicked in for the first time in many years. Now don’t think “Oh my god, she’s a monster” because my asthma kicked in and she worked me too hard! I blame the crappy, cold, rainy weather here in Halifax for the asthma, not on Julie. But I WILL give her the joy in that I know she gets out of me saying that she kicked my ass, I had the shakes and I haven’t had a good workout like that in a very very long time and I’m looking forward to the next one on Friday!
I know I’m giving her a lot of crap right now, but seriously, she’s a great teacher and I need to be growled at to train harder sometimes and she’s good at it. Check her out and if you get the chance, take one of her beginner courses, you’ll love it!