It has been a wonderful week getting back to my routine of training hard. Not only did I finally have the opportunity to move some metal in the form of a kettlebell, I also ordered and received a TRX suspension training system. Wow. So many ways to work out, so little time. Below are two workouts I did this week plus the one I’m doing tomorrow. NOTE: Read the Disclaimer! Please work with a certified kettlebell trainer when starting kettlebell training.
Turkish Get Ups and Swings
A very simple protocol. Set your timer for whatever time you have: 15-20 minutes. Perform 15 swings, one or two-handed. You know what you need to work on. Then perform one Turkish get up. Just one, not one per side. Repeat the sequence alternating sides for the Turkish get ups, until time is up. This is my go-to workout. It is so simple, but it is a complete strength and conditioning workout.
Mixed TRX exercises and Swings
Set your timer for :30 work/:30 rest for 24:00. Complete the following exercises:
- TRX rows, Swings. Repeat twice.
- Goblet Squats, Swings. Repeat twice.
- TRX Chest Presses, Swings. Repeat twice.
- TRX Ab Rollouts, Swings. Repeat twice.
I needed a rest day after that one. When I did the workout, I actually substituted some kettlebell snatches for swings. I ended up with a pretty good case of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).
For tomorrow’s workout I’m focused on lots of swings. They are starting to get easier and I can tell my conditioning is improving. I want that trend to continue. I am also still a little stiff and don’t feel ready for any more TRX work yet. Here is what I will do:
On the Minute Swings
Set your timer for 1:00 intervals for 10-20 minutes. When the timer goes off, perform 15-20 swings. Put the bell down and rest for the remainder of the minute until the timer goes off again. You decide how many swings to do each minute. Only do as many as you can do with excellent form and listen to your body. I like to record how many I do each minute in a log book and tally them up at the end.
These workouts were probably stolen from someone else at some point. I would give credit if I could say for sure where they came from. I think Sandy Sommer, RKC first gave me the idea for the On the Minute protocol. Feel free to adapt these workouts to suit your fitness level and ability.
If you try them, please leave a comment below. I’d love the feedback.
Yesterday I went to the gym and did this barbell complex workout. (Do NOT perform this workout if you aren’t in good condition or haven’t been trained in each of these exercises. If you are going to try it, make the exercise substitutions suggested by my friend, Laura, on her blog. Best idea: just read about how Laura, Julie, Jimmy and I got through it.)
Choosing the right weight for the workout was difficult. Having recently completed Stage 7 of New Rules of Lifting for Women, I knew that I needed to pick a weight that would be lighter than I would normally choose for any of the individual exercises. I ended up going with a 30# preweighted barbell, and I think it was the best choice for me.
I made it through all 6 rounds. I think it took me about 28 minutes. Unfortunately, when I got to the gym, I couldn’t remember how to start a new session on my spanking new Polar heart rate monitor. So I was unable to time my workout precisely or capture any of the other fun data the watch provides. That really stinks, because I’m sure that I burned a ton of calories and I KNOW that my heart rate got way up there.
Nausea during a tough workout is not uncommon for me. I usually notice it when the exercises alternate between upper and lower body and are performed in a circuit fashion with little rest. True to form, I started feeling the nausea around the second round of this workout. It never got really bad, though, and I was able to shake it off during each rest period between rounds. I also became aware of lactic acid building up at about the third round.
The military presses were becoming difficult for me by the end of the fourth round. On the last two rounds I really had to work to perform all 8 reps. That confirmed to me that choosing a heavier barbell would have been a problem. I didn’t fatigue too much on any of the other exercises. However, by the last round, I had to really convince my legs to cooperate when it came time for the lunges. After that, I knew the end was in sight, and I just pushed through.
Overall, the workout felt great. I really love performing some of those movements, especially the Squat/Push Press. (By the way, I did substitute a front squat/push press for that one, partly because it is an exercise I have experience with, and I didn’t want to have to think too hard when fatigued!) Explosive movements are my favorites. I also enjoyed the fast tempo of the workout, and the simplicity of using just one weight for an entire workout.
Doing this kind of workout periodically to gauge your fitness would be kind of fun. I may just have to revisit this workout or a similar one in the near future.
If you decide to give this one a try, leave me a comment below and let me know how it goes for you!