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Kettlebelling with Ms Humdrum and Mrs B

Mrs B and myself, well we like to call ourselves Exercise Tarts. We like to try new things, stay for a while, then find something else. From dancing to clubbercise, tennis to circuits, we've tried it. (Well, those are the only ones we have done, but you get what I mean.) 

Since giving up tennis circuits at the end of the last school year (and with all the changes Year 7 brings, we never got around to returning), we've been saying we must start something again. So when Mrs B tagged me in a competition to win a month free at a kettlebell class, I though OMG I bet we'll bloody well win it and have to do it! Oh well, at least it'd give me something to write about.

And we did win! A free month of classes with Southsea Kettlebell Club, based in town near Commercial Road!

So we started two weeks ago, nervously approaching, not knowing what to expect. Maybe our instructor expected two gym bunnies, or maybe he did think he'd find two mums in need of a little help? Henry was extremely friendly and chatted to us about the class before the others turned up. 

During the first class, I have to admit the warm up almost did me in! (It's certainly more hardcore than our clubbercise one.) I looked at the clock twenty minutes in, but that was the last time until nearly the cool down. After the warm up, we concentrated on (learned in our case) two or three exercises before the cool down. The first week, we learned how to do the dead clean, where you pull the kettlebell up from the ground to rack position, where it rests on your forearm, with your thumb tucked into your collarbone and elbow tucked in). I've had to google these terms as I can't quite catch them when the instructor tells us! Then we lifted the kettlebell up with our arms straight. We also squatted and lunged with them, before cooling down. I managed to lift 8Kg, but Mrs B used smaller ones which look like little handbags. It depends on the exercise as to how much you can lift, so we've swapped around a bit. 

Because you're learning about the technique and really have to concentrate, the time goes quickly and before you know it, we're walking outside, endorphins having clicked in, laughing about what we've actually just achieved. We can't believe we've been once! 

I'd forgotten about how much you ache on the second day, not the first day after - oh dear. Bending down at work was horrible, my thighs, despite me running, had never worked so hard.

The next week, we sign up for two classes, which in hindsight, was probably a little too keen, as on the first session, we were still feeling the effects of the previous week. The warm ups were easier on both these sessions, and I have to say I didn't notice the time go by at all, as we were concentrating so hard. We built up on what we'd learned previously, learning how to swing the kettlebells, changing hands in between, and did a little competition of lifting and walking with them, with much encouragement from the other team members. We were able to lift more than we could previously, though Mrs B struggles with her forearms, and I struggled with a sort of row from plank position - Mrs B sailed through it, I was extremely unstable and not very good at supporting my upper body weight. The windmill was a little scary, but I managed to do it, not, as I feared, dropping the kettlebell while snapping my arm in half.

I know we're not going to see amazing results immediately from classes like this, but I do feel I'm improving. It's become easier and I'm able to increase to lift up to 10Kg currently. Our instructor Henry is very friendly, explains everything in a way even Mrs B and I can understand, is very patient but also tries to work us hard. I could really see us continuing with this, I like the idea of becoming stronger, not just losing weight. It is something completely different and very opposite to the old ideas I had of lifting weights (very slowly); kettlebell exercises can be fast and jerky almost. I am of the age when I am thinking of strengthening my bones too, so this seems like a good idea. Long may it continue!

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