Friday, April 07, 2006

Kettlebell Set-Back

My kettlebell training has been going pretty well lately but all that came to a screeching halt at the weekend. As my training has progressed so has a set of calluses on each hand, an inevitable result of the "crush grip" used to control the girya as it swings around on its axis. Usually I have no problem with this- but that changed without warning. Halfway through a workout the pain flared up in my hands and when I looked each callus was surrounded by an angry red ring- and I couldn't grip the kettlebell tight enough to control it.

I took a couple of days off but it didn't help- the calluses remained as bothersome as ever and so I was forced to soak my hands and get to work with a pumice stone and then follow up with hand cream; so much for my "hard man" workout!

The pumice stone seems to have done the trick but after the break I decided to lay off the 32kg girya and go back to using the 16kg weight. I thought that perhaps with the heavier weight I was beginning to develop some bad habits in my form and that might be the cause of the calluses.

Using the 16kg weight is entirely different- with this light weight I've got much better control over it (I can squeeze the grip at the top of the snatch and prevent the girya from falling down onto my forearm) and the workout takes on a new shape- one I'd forgotten: high reps with no breaks in between. It's exhausting and because I've adapted to using the 32kg girya I don't feel quite so battered after a workout- I do end up with my muscles burning with effort but after a rest and a protein shake my body feels pretty normal, nowhere near as drained as I have been feeling following the heavy sessions.

It's a refreshing change to use the lighter weight - and it makes me realise that a set of kettlebells, rather than just one or two at the weight you want to focus on, is a much better investment. These recent sessions feel a little like a holiday they're so different from the grind of working the heavy girya.

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