Free the press.

The courier struggles to your door with a many-times-retaped box in his arms, and an Expression on his face. You thank him too effusively, and wait till he has driven off before struggling down the hall with your new kettlebell.

This is it. The dawn of a new era. No more Mr Soft Butt. No more Mrs Fitness-Equipment-Gathering-Dust-In-The-Loft.

But two pale grey clouds flit across the empty blue sky of your consciousness. Like fortune cookies, they yield little messages.

One says, ‘How will this not be another piece of pricey junk that I use inexpertly for less than a month then transfer to door-stop/clothes-drier duties?’

The other says, ‘What are the first things I need to do to get going with a kettlebell?’

Let me try to disperse the clouds and answer those nagging little questions.

Second question first; at its simplest, a kettlebell is good for pressing. You can ignore the ‘clean’ part of ‘clean and press’ because it is a little technical for the untutored beginner. So just pick up that bell by the handle, bring it to chest height, lay it on your forearm and press it vertically upwards until your arm locks out. The bell will be hanging over the back of your hand. Biceps (or what passes for them) close to your ear. Lower it to chest height, swap sides, go again. Keep going until you feel like stopping. Err on the side of caution if it is your first go at strength training for a while. Don’t worry about sets and reps to begin with. Just think, ‘I want stronger shoulders and this will do the job.’ There’s something to be going on with. Press your bell, and press it frequently.

To deal with the first question: I play a couple of musical instruments, not particularly well, but enough to make me happy. I pick up my harmonicas (for that is what my passion is) every day. I pick up my bass every day. I have to because I don’t feel I am anywhere near mastery, and that is what I aspire to. If you put your kettlebell where you can always see it, and you pick it up every day, and press it once or twice, you will start to love it. But if that shifts to every other day, every two or three days, once a week – there you have the slippery slope to doorstopness. Or clothesdrierness.

I’ll write another post, or more posts, to expand on what to do with a kettlebell when you first get it. But for now you have something to get your teeth into. Get stuck in.




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