Wednesday, April 9, 2008

7 Vital "Must Knows" for the Russian Kettlebell Beginner

The following day, and the next day and the day after that, the front of my thighs were sore and stiff, because you don't use the muscles in the front thigh very much. When you put your muscles under stress, the stress or load is distributed according to the laws of physics across the entire supporting structure (in this case, your body). After each set I check my pulse, and I recommend that you do the same. I was sore and stiff from head to toe. But that was nothing compared to the first time I overdid my kettlebell training. Remember, as you start to workout, your appetite will increase, your body will begin to convert the stored fat into glycogen (via the liver), there will be more waste in your bloodstream that needs to be eliminated. The organs in your body are not muscles. By using the lighter weight first, your muscles respond differently to the load that is applied to them. Train Hard, Less Often

Once you have been training on the kettlebells for a whil! e, you will want to increase the intensity of your training sessions, and when you do I recommend that you remember the words of training guru Pete Sisco; "Every day is a liver day". If your lower back is sore after your kettlebell training (beyond a slight muscle stiffness), then that will serve as a reminder to keep your head up next time.

4. I wouldn't want to wish my 'cardboard cutout' day on anyone, and it might just put you off your training to have a day like that. Russian Kettlebell training is a very effective and rapid method of achieving your strength and fitness goals. I recommend any of Pete Sisco's books for a much more detailed explanation, but the simple concept is this; Train Harder, Less Often.

7. One way to guarantee that you do not curl your back is to always keep your head up. In this article I cover 7 things you should keep in mind if you are just starting out on your kettlebell training that will smooth your transition into this type! of training.

1. Stretch gently, and keep warm.

S! o that a bout wraps it up. Or to put it another way, the more intense your workout, the longer the rest period between workouts should be. Any load failure will occur at the weakest point in the structure. Take It Easy!

When I was a teenager, I climbed the local mountain with some buddies. For more articles and tips to use in your kettlebell training, go to the Russian Kettlebells Guide website On the way down we had some fun by coming down the path as fast as we could by a technique I describe as run-hop-skip. Unlike the muscles, their abilities are limited. I personally started with Pavel Tsatsouline's Russian Kettlebell Challenge and a 12 kilogram kettlebell. Do the Squat Exercises

In the first section of Russian Kettlebell Challenge, Pavel shows you some squat training exercises, such as sitting down on the edge of a chair or squatting against a wall. This is important because yo! u do NOT want the weaker muscle to fail on the heavier weight, as the consequences could be dire.

Personally, I use the 12kg (26lb) Kettlebell for any new exercise/technique, and once I have the form good and I can feel that there are no weaknesses in my load bearing ability, I move on to the 16kg (35lb) Kettlebell to train with.

Personally, I have a full and interesting life outside of fitness and I am only interested in doing the minimum amount of exercise to keep fit and strong. I remember getting off the bus and walking to the office like a cardboard cutout. Watch Your Heart Rate

Kettlebell training is an incredibly intense form of exercise, and as a result it is very easy to raise your heart rate to dangerous levels very quickly, particularly if you are not very fit when you start like I was. They do not respond to stress as fast, or in the same way, and they will always have a limit on their processing power. I proceeded to walk around slowly unt! il my HR had dropped to a safer level.

5. You can alway! s ramp u p later as you get fitter and stronger, and believe me, you are going to get fitter and stronger, guaranteed.

2. You cannot curl your back with your head tilted back. If you are starting out, do yourself a favor and take it easy! I personally use a watch with a built in monitor. When you are starting out, you should do these basic exercises each and every time you train. So it might take a little longer to get the results you are looking for, so what? Those muscles that are weaker will have a greater growth response than those that can easily bear the load. Remember, with nearly all kettlebell exercises you are using muscles from head to toe. While the DVD covers everything you need to know to get started, I personally found that there are some things that no one talks about that can really help when you are just starting out. I was surprised early on in my training that after one set my HR had shot up to 160, dangerously high for someone in my condition. The! easy solution is to get yourself a cheap heart rate monitor. Kettlebells fit that requirement perfectly.

6. My advice is, don't.

Kettlebells are without doubt one of the best and fastest ways to get fit and strong, but they are very different from other types of exercise you may have done before. Like me, you are probably tempted to rush past these basic exercises and get into the meat of your training. Another thing that doesn't help is the macho posturing of many in the forums online. The foundation of all kettlebell exercises is the swing. So once again, tend towards under training when you are starting out. Raise your chin, look forward, or up, whatever it takes to keep your head tilted back. If you don't get the swing right, you will not be able to do the more advanced exercises. Master with Light, Train with Heavy

Because dropping 32kg of solid cast iron on yourself is potentially very dangerous, perhaps even fatal, it is vital that you maste! r each technique with the lightest kettlebell first before usi! ng the h eavier bell. Stretch After Training

This is not the place for an exhaustive description of stretching, but in brief, once you finish your workout you should stretch your arms, shoulders (trapezius), lats (latissimus dorsi), calves and hamstrings. The foundation of good swing technique is correct squat form, and so it is vital that you practice the basic squat exercises to improve your squatting form as a lead-in to correct swing technique.

3. Keep Your Head Up

Following on from the squat exercises above, it is also important that you never, ever curl your back on the descent (squat) part of the swing. This has two advantages.

(1) It allows you to perfect your form before using the heavier weight

(2) It allows the required muscles that are weaker to 'catch up' and 'balance out' your strength.

This is vitally important because of something called 'load distribution'. Remember comrades, take it easy, do the squat practice exercises, keep! your head up, watch your heartrate, master with light, train with heavy, train harder, less often and stretch after training.

Until next time, dosvydanya.

Ian Thompson of has been training with kettlebells for 6 months and has already felt the benefit in strength and fitness that this unique training equipment provides. Every step, every time I stood up, moved around, sat down my muscles complained.

While it's true that it is possible to over train with any time of exercise, it seems particularly easy with kettlebells.

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