Another late post I'm afraid, but in my defence I did spend the last few days in Oxford having a little break.
A break from your mission of one month's training with the 24, Craig?!
Well, no, happily not, as it turned out, since the hotel gym had a dust covered and barely used 24kg 'bell hiding in the corner.
I'd actually planned a few purely bodyweight workouts, which, due to my happy discovery, I didn't need.
However, if you guys would like some purely bodyweight days included in the final programme please comment below or let me know by email.
With regards, to training, it's all going well, and pretty much the same as my last update:
Also, and this is extremely anecdotal, my partner commented that my glutes were 'looking nicer'
a) I believe she meant 'even nicer', and
b) I wasn't aware improvement was required.
I think that's what they call a back-handed compliment.
The only potential downside is the effect on my top-end strength, and on my favourite exercise that I've deliberately excluded, the pull-up. This coming weekend is the end of the four weeks, so I'll be repeating the tests I did with the 24 during week one, then testing strength on heavier bells and pull-ups. As always, the truth will be revealed here first...
Firstly, allow me to apologise for the lack of midweek update. Things have been pretty hectic this week with the opening of our new massage room, and time has run away from me.
So to bring you up to date:
It's the half way point, and already I'm experiencing some major WTH Effect.
The WTH Effect is the term we use for unexpected and inexplicable gains from simple kettlebell movements - for instance, the work we do with MS sufferers leads to improvements in strength, balance, and proprioception - this is in sufferers of a degenerative disease. Yes, I know that doesn't make sense,,,hence the name 'WTH'
Back to the programme, and the effects I'm noticing.
Firstly, with the odd exception (which will be rectified for your free programmes) none of the workouts are longer than 35 minutes, and most fit comfortably within half an hour.
If that's not incentive enough to follow the plan, let me tell you what I've experienced so far:
Sure, I'm tired at the end of each workout, but within an hour or two I feel so energised I could train again.
This is anecdotal, measured thus: Sometimes when I have my hands full and i'm going upstairs at home, I try to climb over the stairgate to save putting things down and picking them up again. Two weeks ago this was at best difficult, at worst painful, and a complete failure one out of three times,
Now, it;s not even a challenge.
Decreased Body Fat:
As I had no desire to drop body fat I didn't actually think to measure it at the start of the month, but I can definitely see even more definition in my abs and back, and there are veins popping out all over the place.
Am I dieting?
Hell no, I'm eating like a horse - a ball park figure, but I'd say I'm eating maybe 20% more calories than I was when I started.
Exciting stuff, eh?
I'll fill you in more about what you can expect in terms of training in a few days time.
Have a good start to the week, Spartans.
Week One is over, so it's time to check in and deal with a couple of questions you guys have asked.
Firstly, the programme. In terms of my own training, everything has been as planned. I have, however, made a few notes on how I'm going to modify your programme so it can be adapted to suit your skill, strength, fitness, and crucially, your kettlebell availability.
At this point, I'd like to add how much I'm enjoying this so far, so I really hope the programme will giive you the same benefits. The simplicity of using just one piece of equipment, far from being boring, as some people have suggested, is actually a breath of fresh air. So don't worry that you'll find January boring if you decide to try your free programme out.
Secondly, I'll deal with some queries that a few of you have raised.
What Am I Hoping To Get From This?
On an altruistic level, simply what I've already stated - I want to be able to give you guys a simple, effective, fun amd excuse free programme, so that you can enjoy Kettlebells as much as I do.
On a selfish level, it's not so simple.
I'm using a bell below the weight I'd normally do nearly all of the programme exercises with, so I'm not expecting strenght gains. My bodyfat is already where I want it to be at this time of year, so I'm not expectiing a significant drop in bodyfat - especially as I'm finding myself hungrier than with my usual training programmes, and I'm basically eating as much as I want (although I'm eating clean, of course)
So what am I expecting?
As I mentioned above, the ease of training with just the one tool is a breath of fresh air.
Lack of Pain
After a training and competitive career spanning over thirty years, my body has more than it's fair share of aches, niggles, and recurrent problems.
In fact, injury rehab is the reason I leanrt to use Kettlebells in the early years of this century, but that's another story.
I'm hoping the functionality of the exercises, and the pure ergonomics of the movements, will remove some of my pains the way they did when I first started.
Proof Of The 'WTH effect'
This ties in with one of the questions I've been asked...
Am I Worried I'll Lose Strength?
In short, no...because the practice of perfecting the movements, what Pavel calls 'greasing the groove', combined with tempos to give me lots of time under tension, should maintain, if not improve, my strength. This week's programme has included some test protocols that I'll use to prove or disprove this theory in three week's time.
And finally a question I've been asked a few times:
What Size Kettlebell Will You Need For The January Programme?
Obviously I can't specify a weight, as I don't know the individual capabilities of all of you. As a rough guideline, I'd suggest a weight that you can strict press for between three and five reps. However, I'll be building alternatives into your prgramme so that if you only have one 'bell and it's either lighter or heavier than the 'three to five reps' rule, you'll still be able to folllow the plan.
If you want to follow the plan but you don't feel happy with your ability to carry out all of the exercises, or you don't want to commit to buying a kettlebell, don't worry - I have some exciting news that I'll be revealing to you at the end of the month!
Have a great week, guys, and I'll check in again mid-week.
Firstly, welcome to the exclusive Pooding Club Blog, and thank you for your interest.
I'll be checking in very few days with updates, but first I'd like to give you an idea of the thought process and aims behind this four week project.
Foremost, it's a part of the return to our roots that I promised in the first blog on the revamped website. Whilst it's good to have the unique equipment that we have at Sparta, it's also good to know that you can achieve everything with one simple tool - which is exactly how I started Sparta Fitness and Conditioning (as we were then called) over 10 years ago.
The simple tool in question is a 24kg - or 1.5 pood - Kettlebell.
The programme that I'll make available to you for January is based on using just one bell, but a bell that you can comfortably do all of the movements with. That could be a 24kg bell. it could be an 8kg bell, it could be a 32kg bell - it's totally up to you.
Why just one bell?
Because this enables you to carry out all of your training with nothing more than one piece of equipment (which may be as inexpensive as £15) and a couple of square metres of space.
For this reason, and after much deliberation, I've omitted one of my favourite exercises, the pull-up. Yes, you could buy a pull up bar to use at home, but it's more expense, more hassle, and a potential excuse.
What I'm giving you as a low cost, zero, and most importantly, excuse free programme. If you want to follow this and succeed, you will.
Currently I've completed three days, two hard days and an active recovery day...because recovery is vital to this programme, and it's one of the things that will make it accessible and effective to you, no matter what your starting point.
I'll check in again at the end of the week with a frreport of how the first week has gone, and a bit more eleaboration on my aims and hopes for this programme.
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