Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Top 5 Benefits of Using Kettlebells

1. A seriously strong physique.
A good kettlebell workout doesn’t require you to use heavy weight.  Kettlebells are best used for lots of repetitions with lighter weight.  By lifting lighter longer, you’re being gentler on your joints AND you end up lifting 1/3 to twice as much as you would in a traditional weight lifting workout.  The result is long, lean muscle which yields amazing strength and muscular endurance.

2. A faster metabolism to help you lose or maintain your weight, give you more energy and help you feel better.
Interval training and lifting kettlebells in a high-intensity (but low-impact) manner like we do at Seattle Kettlebell Club elevates your metabolism and provides a post-workout after burn. This means on top of the massive calories you burn during a kettlebell workout (one ACE study reported over 800 calories/per hr) you’ll continue to burn at a higher rate than you normally would up to 14 hours after you’ve finished.
3. Feeling better now than you did 10 years ago by being active without injury… no matter how old you are.
Lifting kettlebells does a remarkable job of increasing bone, tendon and ligament strength. Ligaments and tendons take twice as long to adapt to the stress of weight lifting, so a lighter-weight/high-volume approach is the safest approach to increasing weight lifted; especially for people over 30 who begin to lose strength in these areas unless they proactively train them.

4. Living a long, happy life as a champion. 
The strength and cardiovascular training that occurs during an intense kettlebell workout helps regulate blood pressure and lowers your resting heart rate.  Lower blood pressure has been linked to living longer, and many of our members have reported being taken off blood pressure medications after coming to class regularly.  A lower resting heart rate typically indicates a healthier heart, and is an important aspect of being an endurance athlete.  Lots of marathon runners and triathletes train at SKC.


5. Having a quick-mind and being able to call yourself ‘coordinated.’
A lesser known but super-beneficial aspect of kettlebell lifting is its effect on the central nervous system. In kettlebell lifting like we do at SKC, you’re working out your nervous system by constantly and quickly alternating between tensing and relaxing your muscles. The main functions of the central nervous system are sensory, communicative, integrative and motor functions, so don’t be surprised if after using kettlebells you find yourself more coordinated, and thinking more quickly and clearly.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Workout Wednesday: The Rich Robins Challenge

Rich Robins is a good actor. He claims to hate working out, yet you wouldn’t know it due to his consistent presence at Seattle Kettlebell Club.

At SKC, we have a 21 Day Challenge, and I'll joke that a level up from that would be called The Rich Robins Challenge, which would include 6 classes a week (SPORT and FIT), a weekly session of barbell exercises, and the occasional handstand.

Along with getting a great workout at SKC, Rich admits to being a competitive person by nature, which is why he enjoyed competing at SKC 2nd Annual Pro-Am in December
PC: Truong Win

“Being from South Florida, working out is kind of something everyone does even from the smallest age. Having said that, I think it’s something that has been ingrained into me; however, as I’ve gotten older, I just want to be able to eat a tub of ice cream without feeling guilty.”

Rich ran track in high school, (he even coaches now too) and after moving to Seattle just over a year ago, he realized he was not a fan of running in an area so rainy and hilly, which is when his friend suggested he give SKC a shot.  

 Rich works for a leadership development and training organization, does stand-up, runs a Podcast, and DJ's with his brother.
PC: Truong Win

Rich appreciate the homey environment SKC offers and that he doesn’t have to plan his workout, yet he still gets a 45-minute session where “you can work your ass off.” He also notes that the classes here are extremely helpful in alleviating stress, and he no longer suffers from lower back pain.

Thanks for being part of the SKC community, Rich!

For more information on SKC's 21 Day Challenge follow this link. 

-Camille Borodey 

Monday, March 18, 2019

Motivation Monday: Heath Hayden Finds Strength in Kettlebells

Heath Hayden has always been super strong, which is why their wife suggested that they give kettlebell training a try. Although nervous about taking the Intro Classes, Heath now comes to Seattle Kettlebell Club 4 times and week! 

“I came in with chronic back pain, and after a month I realized my back didn’t hurt anymore,” Heath said. “I have more flexibility and more mobility, and I’ve noticed a huge improvement in my abilities to move about and do physical things.”

PC: Truong Win

Heath takes both KettleFIT and KettleSPORT classes at SKC. They enjoy SPORT for the technique training and FIT for the variety of exercises.

"It seems like Seattle Kettlebell club is constantly adding variety into movement, which I really appreciate," Heath said. "This is the only workout that has worked for me for probably a decade in terms of consistency. I think it’s largely because of the variety, and the instructors are really dedicated to helping improve. I just learn something new every time I come.”

Heath has also participated in SKC’s 21 Day Challenge on multiple occasions.

“I like that it’s a small period, and I like setting goals for myself. I think actually with doing the 21 Day Challenge, I’ve gotten more into goal setting, and I’ve never been into that at all," Heath said. 

Training for competitions is another way that our members set goals, and Heath competed for the first time back in December at SKC’s 2nd Annual Pro-Am. They praise other members and the trainers for helping them come to the realization that competitions are much more about each lifter’s personal goals than they are about competing with others. 

Heath had a whole crew of supporters during SKC's last competition.
PC: Truong Win

And while Heath's fast progress and high class attendance is enough to prove that they love SKC, we can all admit that once in a while we need a little extra motivation to get to the gym after a long day’s work. 

“I think part of the effort is just getting here, but there have been times where I’ve not wanted to come and forced myself to be here. Then I came, and I felt 100 times better afterwards,” Heath said. “Forty-Five minutes is the perfect amount of exercise, but it’s also good quality exercise. Usually I just tell people, ‘it’s only 45 minutes. You can get through anything in 45-minutes.”’

PC: Truong Win 

Speaking of work, Heath is a librarian at Bellevue college and the chair of the LGTBQ Task Force on campus. When they aren’t swinging bells at SKC, Health enjoys aqua aerobics and exploring Washington. They also note that training with the SKC crew has improved their overall quality of life. 

“I really love Seattle Kettlebell Club. I love coming here. I love the members. They are so friendly and nice. Everybody’s always checking in with me; the instructors are really awesome too, and I just love the community feel," Heath said. 

 -Camille Borodey 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Transformation Tuesday: Valerie Weeks Runs to Recovery

Four years ago, Valerie Weeks suffered a nasty fall while volunteering at a community garden, which resulted in a trimalleolar fracture and a dislocated foot. She now has a six-inch plate, ten screws, and tension wire holding her joints and once shredded ligaments together.  Although she wasn’t an active runner before the accident, being bed ridden for a long period of time really changed her perspective.

“It’s amazing the things you want so badly when you literally can’t do them. I felt like a prisoner, and I would dream about running,” Valerie said. “When that cast came off nine weeks later, I swore I would never take the gift of movement for granted.”

Valerie notes the road to recovery has been long, and in the beginning, just getting out of bed was excruciating, but she took it one day at a time and started running in May 2018. Although it was extremely painful at times, she powered through with the okay from her doctor.

  “My favorite part of coming to class is checking out the screen to see how gnarly and awesome the workout is going to be! It’s kind of exciting.”

“Some days are great, some days aren’t. I used to listen to cheesy motivational YouTube videos when I didn’t want to run. This is going to sound really lame, but I go just ten more steps because there are people out there who dream about running and never will.” Valerie said. “My momentary pain is nothing. I’m fortunate.”

Now, Valerie is training for a half marathon in May at Yosemite National Park, and she recently signed up for a Learn to Row class at South Lake Union Crew. She notes that classes at Seattle Kettlebell Club have been a fantastic and effective addition to her marathon training and rowing and notes that even on weeks where she’s unable to log all of her miles, KettleFIT classes have been an excellent supplement for running.

“Dave and Hailey [instructors] often help me modify things like burpees and plank jacks, so I can still challenge myself and not push my bionic ankle too hard,” Valerie said. “Now, I’m logging 7-9-mile training runs and my pain is minimal. I believe SKC has played a major part in my journey. I’m a much stronger runner. I used to think I used kettlebells as cross training for running, but I wonder if it might be the other way around.” 

Valerie also mentioned that coming to SKC has helped improve her life outside the gym.

“If I can make it through a four-panel class [one of the more challenging KettleFIT's], I can make it through anything!” Valerie said. “SKC is a community. Everyone has been really nice, and I love seeing my classmates. It’s a fantastic workout! The instructors are amazing people. I just love it here.”