Thursday, March 17, 2005

Been busy

Not many posts lately because I've been swamped just writing- I've discovered that my movie title writing exercise is horrendously addictive but rewarding- I've got a ton of new material out of it. The problem now is finding time to write the blasted stories!

Also, I've been been keeping at the Kettlebell (KB) training. As I've said before using the KB is great fun- it's also a lot easier to ad lib workouts- no weights to change, no swapping dumbbells for bars- just one bit of kit. My strength is building and my CV fitness is also much improved- I feel like I've got a lot more energy now than since I was about eighteen. Yeah, they're that good.

I've all but stopped the military press though, as my shoulders are getting strong enough without them. I prefer now to stick to the swing, clean and jerk and the snatch. A few sets of each is more than enough to get the heart thumping and to bring on a good sweat. It also takes very little time. I also stick on a set or two of squats at the end of the workout. I've binned the box squats in favour of a plain ass-to-ground squat with the kettebell held by the horns in front of me- adds a bit of resistance and also helps me to keep my balance. I've discovered that squats aren't really necessary with KB training as the exercises above are great for your legs- my hamstrings have NEVER been this powerful before- but I'm hoping to start doing pistols soon and this seems to be a pretty good way to get my legs prepared. A pistol, BTW, is a one legged squat that goes very deep. Also, the advantage of the KB squat is that you can get down really low- none of this thighs parallel to the ground nonsense (which is necessary with a bar across your shoulders). Again, my thighs are in better shape now than when I was doing leg extensions, legs presses, calf raises,leg curls and deadlifts- my thighs are showing good development all over. It sounds crazy that a fairly light weight like a KB should do all this but it does work.

I've also realised that I would have been a thousand times better prepared for the rigours of Marine training had I been using a KB. If you are in the service or want to join up, or know someone who is planning to, then get a KB. It's a real strength training tool and is much more effective than going to the gym to lift weights. Muscle mass might look good but military service calls for strength- and KBs deliver. The type of fitness they develop is also very suitable for military training- explosive power for all the sprinting and dashing around, endurance, raised energy levels to cope with the rigours of service life, and a strong back and hamstrings for yomping in full kit. All without the extra mass of gym muscle. I'm hooked.

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