Bells, Bikes and Belief

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I’ve now completed my 6th week of Functional Fitness and I can definitely see improvement in my workout.

In my first post, I mentioned using a 8kg for my first 2 classes. That was pretty tough. I even went out and bought my own 8kg bell to practice!

In my 3 class ever, my trainer Gerry promoted me to using a 12kg bell and that was even tougher. Like real tough. (Not to mention, my 8kg bell was sitting there, lonely ane brand new! *sad face*) I feel like I had to double my effort with the 4kg increase. What’s that you say? Sounds easy? Its only 4kg? You try it. See how you go and then tell me it’s easy. Here’s your workout.

30 x 2 handed swings
15 x sumo squats/goblet squats
30 x alternative hand swings

30 second break (we only had 15 second breaks but I’ll be generous)

15 x sumo squat with vertical thruster
30 x 2 handed swings
15 x sumo squat with vertical thruster

30 second break

30 x alternative hand swings
20 x knee crunches
30 x 2 handed swings

30 second break

10 x left handed squat press
30 x alternative hand swings
10 x right hand squat press

30 second rest

30 x 2 handed swings
10 x left kneel down get ups
30 x 2 handed swings
10 x right kneel down get ups

(I did replace these kneel down get ups with more crunches for obvious knee reasons but you should be fine)

Not so easy now, right? When you are trying to press the bell above your head, 12kg certain becomes heavier than you thought. Especially with your non dominant hand. I struggled. Yep, I’ll admit it. I got to 7 on my left and I felt like I could not do anymore. Gerry and the class had already finished their left handed set and I had 3 to go. I felt like I was holding the group up but I didn’t wanna give up at the same time. Gerry picked up his own bell and said, ‘How many do you have left?’. I told him 3. He counted and completed them with me. I could feel the emotion within my own body after I’d completed it. The relief and feeling of being proud my achievement washed over me but I still had those right handed ones to complete. They were slightly easier, only because I’m right handed. I pushed out the 10 reps without a break and felt much better after I finished them.

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I’ve now been using the 12kg for my last 3 classes and I can feel my body improving with this weight.

We altered the workout after that third class, only slightly but it was still an alteration. Instead of the second lot of squat thrusters, we replaced more crunches. We also added 5 high swings after every 10 in the 2 handed swings. This alteration was used in the forth and fifth class.

Gerry had been completing the exercises with us the entire time and I tried to stay at his pace so I could have something to gage myself on. He uses a 16kg bell. Wowie. I tried a bit of swinging with the 16kg and thought I might be able to move up a few kgs but wasn’t sure on another 4kg increase. Gerry suggested adding a small weight to the bell I had been using, taking it from 12kg to 14kg just for the 2 handed swings. Presses I would still use a 12kg so I could master it. I thought, that’s a pretty good idea. I like a challenge, why not?

It was only the next day, I had an upper arm day at the gym and there was that 16kg bell, just taunting me. I altered my own workout and decided to give it a try. It was only 20 x swings (along with 20 x push ups and 10 x 10kg bar bicep curls) in between each weight machine. That makes it a total of 200 swings for my entire workout. Did I complete them? Absolutely. Did it hurt and burn? Absolutely. However, did I feel greatness after them? Absolutely.

If there was one thing I could say about myself at the gym, it would be I have an attitude that I don’t give up. Do I feel the pain (good pain, not injury pain) and burn of a workout? Hell yes! I also have thoughts constantly running through my head of ‘Conquer’, ‘Learn to love the burn’ and for times when I am running ‘Run with your heart, not your legs’ ‘You’re brain will give up much quicker than your legs will’. It might sound corny and typical fitness inspirational but IT HELPS!

Yesterday saw me complete the sixth functional workout. I haven’t missed a week yet. Touch wood. If you keep training the same with no variation on your workout, you’ll never improve. So, this lead to a completely different set of exercises with the bell and the introduction of speed bikes. (This morning, I am sore. I’m not sure if I lacked technique last night but my back is aching. Whinge complete. Back to the workout) The group was split in half with one completing a kettle bell session and the other the spin bikes. As you can guess, we swapped after the completion of each workout.

I had the bells first. It was a 5 round burst that consisted of the following:

10 x knee crunches
6 x swing, clean and press (each hand)
15 x sumo/goblet squats
30 x alternative hand swings
30 second break

After 3 rounds, I could literally feel the sweat running down my face. I was getting tired but I tried to keep my technique and good as possible. I also tried to complete the swings with 2 x 8kg bells (one in each hand), swinging at the same time. This time, it was too tough for me. I will try it again next week though.

Next was the spin bikes. It was almost like a HIIT session. There was a mixture of light and tough resistance, fast and slow-ish peddling and even 1 foot peddling. After that workout, I was exhausted. I use another word but let’s keep it ‘G-rated’. We took a heart rate measurement and I was working at about 162 beats per minute which for my age is about 85% work rate. Apparently that’s a good range. I’m not 100% sure on what the fat burning range for a 24-25 yr old is but I definitely feel skinner afterwards. *wink face*

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I know next week will be somewhat the same and I will try the 16kg swings again and see how I go. My presses have definitely improved on my right arm. I just need to work more on my left.

It’s upper body day at gym tonight so I guess I’ll see how I go. Who knows, I might be able to throw 300 swings in with the 16kg. I’ll let you know next post.

There are no reasons on Earth why you should not believe in yourself. Find your reason and conquer your dreams.

La love,
C. x

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