Tuesday, January 10, 2012

100 Russian kettle bell swings!

Firstly, happy 2012! Seems it’s been some time since I’ve posted anything here, but looking back it’s as though this has turned into a diet/exercise blog… Guess it just reflects whatever I’m into at the time, and right now I’m keen on getting healthy; I’m getting closer to 40 years old, and have realised that each day is probably the healthiest I’ll ever be from now on, so I’m working to make the most of it.

Towards that end, I’ve been on the 4HB slow-card diet for almost a year, and have been exercising with Russian kettle bells, as the book recommends. And it’s going really well!

My body recomposition goal when I started out at around 75Kg was to get down to around 70Kg, and my target with the kettle bells was to get to 75 repetitions of the basic two-handed swing using a 20Kg unit. Since hitting that goal last year, I decided to simply keep going and push for 100. Today, I finally made it!

100 swings in a single set

I do a bunch of different swings with a 12Kg unit to work as many different muscle groups as I can, and finish off with the two-handed swings using the 20Kg to focus on fat burn and core strength. The entire routine takes around 25 minutes now, with carefully timed 25 second breaks between each set. My first time hitting 100 swings took 2:54, or 174 seconds - and average of about 1.74 seconds per swing.

A bit crook in September

One advantage of my diet & lifestyle is that I pretty much never get sick, not even so much as a runny nose, but last September I got taken out by a nasty virus that kept me in bed for a few weeks with a high fever. I skipped my exercises for a few weeks, lost my appetite, and lost a couple of Kg that I haven’t been able to restore yet. You can see dip in the graph where I’d just hit 80 reps, but backed it off to 75 again when I started exercising again. Hopefully the weight loss was body fat and not muscle atrophy, although I wasn’t tracking body fat back then so there’s no way to know for sure…

Where to go from here?

So here’s my plan going forward: I’m going to increase my weights by 4Kg to 16Kg for the smaller, and 24Kg for the larger kettle bell. I’ll just jump in and see how many reps I can do without compromising my technique, but aiming for 75 with 24Kg. If I can do it, that’s great, otherwise I know that with perseverance and patience, I’ll get there eventually!

I’m also hoping to gain some lean body mass by taking the 4 means/day recommendation more seriously; until now I’ve been eating breakfast within 30 minutes of waking, lunch within 4 hours after, but then going 6-7 hours before my next meal with only a light snack of nuts or something in between, and nothing afterwards. That’s good way to trigger the body’s emergency energy storage mechanism (fat). This year I’ll try to get 4 meals a day, every 4 hours, to maintain consistent blood glucose levels throughout the day without triggering starvation mode.

Otherwise, I haven’t made any new year’s resolutions or any such bollocks, I just intend to keep working my hardest in everything I do to make it as awesome as possible!