Category Archives: kettlebells

Mission accomplished!

Woo hoo! I did it! I just finished the Beginner 21 Day Kettlebell Challenge and I’m so excited to have finished. This was a great three weeks. I lost weight, I lost inches, I gained inches and I rekindled my love for the kettlebell. 🙂

Many  thanks to Jamie Espalin for encouraging me to take measurements and photos. I am going to save the photos for a day in the future where I think you’ll be able to see a huge change. But I will share the measurements with you. It’s pretty astounding.

Overall, I had a net loss of 13.25 inches. That includes the inches I gained. 😉

I gained a half an inch in each bicep and 1/4 inch in each of my forearms. I could fairly feel my forearms growing that 1/4 inch, too. I’m happy with gaining inches in my arms because I’ve been swinging Mick every day for three weeks and it only makes sense.

But what doesn’t make sense is the inches I have lost. Astounding is the word I come up with because I’ve never experienced anything quite like this before.

I lost two inches from my hips and an inch and a half from my waist. In three weeks. For real. But here’s a crazier thing. My natural waist is above my belly button where they say you should measure your waist so I usually measure both. At my belly button? I lost 7.75 inches. In three weeks. For real. Astounding, no? 🙂

I thought it was weird when I first took my measurements that my right thigh and calf were each an inch bigger than the left side. I was so sure I was wrong that I measured twice. (I did that with my belly button measurement, too, eventually asking David for help because I was so sure the tape measure wasn’t in the right place.)

Anyway, I lost an inch off of the right thigh and calf and now I’m symmetrical. 🙂

I’ve been eating very clean paleo throughout the challenge. The book suggests having a cheat meal of one hour once a week and I’ve done that. I like it. It gives me a chance to eat things that I don’t otherwise eat and keeps me from craving or missing them the rest of the time. Plus, I don’t end up feeling bad after eating it because I have permission.

I lost a full 10 pounds. In three weeks. For real. I’m super excited about that, too.

Over the course of the 21 days, my average swing went from 17 in each 30 second interval to 19. And the one minute rest period started seeming long.

So…starting tomorrow, I’m going to move up to the intermediate version of the challenge and do another three weeks. I’m excited and a little nervous because it looks like a real challenge but I know I can do it.

Thank you again, Jaime, for encouraging me along and thank you for teaching me how to do the swings!


Virtual high five!

Woo hoo! I did it!

Day 11 of the 21 Day Kettlebell Swing Challenge was 20 minutes long and represents the longest workout in the program. There are two 20 minute days and this day was five minutes and four sets longer than the previous longest workout of fifteen minutes.

I was excited because I didn’t dwell on it, I ate a banana and I knew I could do it. 🙂

I slept a little later this a.m. because I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t sleep for about an hour. I knew it was important not to go into this workout tired.

By the time we got back from walking, it was 9:00 a.m. Later AND warmer than I’m used to.

I took a whole gallon of water out with me and a towel so I could wipe my sweaty brow without ruining my grip.

After the third set, I was hot. In my one minute of active rest, I ran in the house and swapped my t shirt for a sleeveless shirt.

After set seven, my feet were hot. I remembered that one of the best things about training with Jaime is that he said it’s actually better for your grip to do the swings barefoot. How could I forget? I love that!

After set nine, I was in familiar territory as the fifteen minute day has nine sets.

It was a fabu, strong workout. I did seventeen swings in each 30 second set except for the first one where I had to start the timer, put it down and get over to the kettlebell.

This is the hump. The halfway of the 21 Day Challenge and I’m so excited to have done it so well!

Virtually high fiving you! 🙂

What a difference a banana makes

And the right frame of mind.

Today, in the 21 Day Kettlebell Swing Challenge, I had a tough 15 minute workout. This workout is the same as Day 4, a day where I thought I had surely killed myself.

I read the Day 4 workout after Day 3 when I went to set my Gymboss. I freaked out at the thought of doing a 15 minute workout with 9 sets of swings. I thought about it all day long.

When I started the work out on Day 4, the first two sets of swings were crap. Because all I could think about was how I wasn’t going to be able to do it. I didn’t want to fail. And by not wanting to so much that I couldn’t stop thinking about it, I almost did.

I finished the workout and promptly threw up.

But I didn’t feel like I deserved mad respect. I felt sick to my stomach all day long, with a blinding headache. When I went to bed that night I prayed that God would let me wake up in the morning. I never want to feel like that again.

I thought a lot about why I ended up feeling that way. We drank an extra large amount of coffee that day before we went for our walk because we got up earlier. I’m not typically an eat before you workout kind of gal so I went into the workout with all that coffee, my system further emptied out by our morning walk, and the sure thought that I would not be able to do this workout.

I think I bottomed out. My blood sugar just went through the floor.

I saw a couple of days ago that the Day 4 workout was going to repeat today. I told David, “I am not going to think about this and let it get into my head”.  And I didn’t.

Because of how badly I felt after Day 4, I wanted to be sure to eat something before I trained today. An early morning google search of just what I should eat turned up a lot of fruit related suggestions. I have been trying to stay away from fruit and focus more on veggies, meat, and nuts so many of the options we didn’t have in the house. But over and over again, I saw the banana as a suggestion. We have bananas.

When David isn’t being

He’s being

I grabbed four Brazil nuts before our walk and, when I got home, I had a banana while I was grabbing my Gymboss, water and kettlebell.

Wow! What a difference a banana makes. My workout was AWESOME! I felt so happy to feel so good.

When I passed the halfway mark, still feeling strong, I thought, “This is why I’m doing this challenge. This is what it’s all about.”

So I’m super excited that I don’t have to pray to stay alive today. I’m thrilled to have had a great workout and to get past Day 8 of the Challenge! 🙂


So I’m doing the 21 Day Kettlebell Swing Challenge. And it’s going great! It’s really intense but so far, so good. 🙂

I have been setting my Gymboss each day after that day’s workout for the following day. This way, I can come back from our walk, all warmed up, grab the Gymboss and kettlebell and get started.

Yesterday, I get to Day 6 and I see plank alternating with swings. Huh?

I scroll down until I find this:

with a description of proper form. Apparently, in this program (and maybe in general) the plank is a precursor exercise for push-ups. The Beginner level, which I am doing, has planks while the more advanced levels have push-ups.

Okay. So there are 30 seconds of swings followed by a minute rest then 30 second plank followed by a minute rest. Two sets of each. Sounds easy.

But then I start to think about it. 30 seconds can seem super fast when you are on, say the fourth set of 30 second swings followed by 30 seconds of rest. You barely have time to catch your breath before the beep that signals the next set.

Or, 30 seconds can seem incredibly long when you’re on the ninth set of 30 second swings followed by a minute of rest.

So what will it be? Will I be able to do it? I’m sure going to try.

The first set of swings was beautiful. The minute rest seemed like a long time.

Plank time. I focused on proper form. Keeping my body in a straight line, sucking in my abs, neutral neck, don’t let hips drop, don’t let back arch.

Whew! By the time I did all that, 30 seconds was up. Woo hoo! I did it!

David was fixing his breakfast and I shouted my excitement to him through the open kitchen window.

The second set of planks was a little bit more difficult. I was a little more tired, my abs were starting to tremble and my arms were pleading with me to just let go. And I made it!

I know it was only two planks for 30 seconds each but I’m just beyond excited that I was able to complete them!

You have to start somewhere, right? 🙂


21 Day Kettlebell Swing Challenge – Day 1

I’m so excited to have finally been able to start the 21 Day Kettlebell Swing Challenge. If you remember, back in August, I went to DSD in Tulsa to learn proper kettlebell swing form. I had read that it’s the very best full body exercise. As I was planning to move to Saudi at the time, I wasn’t sure what the gym situation was going to be when we arrived and I knew, if I brought a kettlebell, I could still work out no matter where I was.

Jaime taught me the swing and other things important to being strong. I love being strong! I knew it was important to get the form down correctly because I’m sure it would be pretty easy to really hurt yourself if you did the swings wrong.

I found the 21 Day Kettlebell Swing Challenge and then, after reading through it, I realized I needed the Gymboss which Jaime had recommended that I get. The Gymboss measures intervals and also has a stopwatch function that is handy.

I finally got the Gymboss in the mail the day before I left for Texas for a week to watch Lauri and Laurence. I’m now home and rested and just finished day one of the 21 day challenge.

The first order of business was to figure out how to set the Gymboss. I’m hopeless with reading instructions. I’m more of a hands-on kinda gal. The video they have on their website is terrifically helpful!

My Gymboss is pink. 🙂

Now I was ready to start. I got my middle sized kettlebell. She is 12 kgs or around 26 1/2 pounds. 26.4554715 pounds to be exact. This is the kettlebell I use most often at this point.

I have a smaller and a larger one, too.

The intervals were 30 seconds swinging with proper form followed by 60 seconds of active rest. Jaime told me that I need to keep moving on the rest intervals so I don’t freak my heart out and cause it to stop. (He was more technical than that but that’s the general idea.)

I did the workout fully! And it was a good one. I focused on really squeezing my glutes and thrusting my hips at the top. This makes the swinging easier since all of the power comes from your hips.

I averaged around 18 swings per 30 seconds.

I parked her badly after the fifth set.

Big dumb mistake: I didn’t bring water out with me. I guess I thought that since the workout was only 10 minutes long I wouldn’t need it but it sure would have been nice to have it at the rest break after the second set and probably every one after that.

Ahhhh live and learn.

Anyway, I’m super excited about this workout challenge and look forward to seeing how it goes! 🙂