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I had been letting tech and logging get in the way of my kettlebell swings

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It turns out that one needn't keep track of how many swings you make, how heavy they are, or how often—especially if it gets in the way of swinging the kettlebell
I had been letting tech and logging get in the way of my kettlebell swings

My kettlebells chalked-up for action

Just do it might be the most important bit of advice that anyone has given anybody. Thanks, Nike. It turns out that letting a charging watch, a misplaced logbook, piece of tech, or GPS is the best way to get in your own way, fitness- and health-wise. 

I was inspired by a chat I had last week with my buddy Mark Harrison about language-learning. Mark loves languages and can speak, fluently, German, Spanish, English, and, functionally, French, as well as enough Yiddish, Portuguese, and Swahili to get along.

I always assumed he just "picked them up;" however, after knowing him since he and I were both 18, I know for a fact that he works extremely hard at not only learning them but also becoming fluent to the point of adopting regional and local dialects. For example, being able to speak deep urban Berliner or Hochdeutch. On the call, he told me, "I learn languages overnight the way skinny people lose weight overnight."

I was also inspired by YouTube celebrity Michelle Khare as she records all of her I Trained Like series of videos. I keep on forgetting how much your very own clay can be moulded in such a short while; also, imaging how much change one can make with a more longer-term, incremental, training pursued with purpose and everydayness. 

I learned that this is a real, concrete, and humbling way this AM.

Instead of making sure I could find my log and getting all funny about counting swings and jotting them down onto a pad or into an app, I just started swinging my kettlebells before my morning shower.

They were right there and I was up. I just started swinging. I started with my 12kg CFF Fitness Competition kettlebell. Even then, I just swung and swung until I was swung out. 

Then, I moved on to swinging my new 16kg cast iron RKG Dragon Door kettlebell until I was done. I don't know what done is; but, for me, it means to the point where I leave a lot of gas in the tank (I am not currently well-conditioned right now and I don't want to strain or injury myself).

Finally, I moved on to my new 20kg Metrixx Elite Precision E-Coat kettlebell from Kettlebell USA and swung that guy until I was, again, done. 

From there, I kept on doing sets of swings, swinging for as long as felt safe to me, knowing that I will become more conditioned in time, knowing that this is only training and not a daily fitness test. 

Always remember: your daily training doesn't need to be a fitness test. To quote Seth James DeMoor, it's all about putting the incremental work in and filling that tank with good miles. That there are no such things as bad miles (and, there are no such things as bad swings, either, I presume).

Also, I always try to remember what Pavel Tsatsouline constantly reminds his readers: always leave gas in the tank. This is an important reminder that I keep in my head. Why? Because I have to have plenty of energy to get through the rest of the day and I need to make sure I am not in traction from joint and muscle pain when I wake up the next day. Firsts, I am 50 now; secondly, I am not Dan Krueger, my business partner (that guy's a beast!).

I didn't swing my 24kg kettlebell this morning even though I was ready. It's been a week since I have hit the bells so I just wanted to easy in. It's all about consistency and about persistence and about not burning out or hurting oneself, right?

Same thing with my 32kg and 40kg bells.

The 24kg, 32kg, and 40kg are all Kettlebell USA bells. The older model that they discontinued (so I got them cheaper).

I really can only use the 32 and 40 for deadlifts and deadlift-like lifts. I am just not physically in the space where I am not completely intimidated by the those big boys.  I can use the 24kg for swinging, I just didn't get to to it today since I really am trying to just dip my toe in there.

I guess my point is that I have been using excuses like logging or tracking or making some sort of daily number get in the way of my actually doing the work—even if it's too light or too few. Baby steps, day by day.

I am the founder and moderator of /r/slowjogging and I am working hard, day by day, trying to really put the work in to get back into shape and get fit and lose weight and get strong and also get my heart and body back into condition.

And, since it's been so long, into condition, because it really is so far away from me right now.

So, that's my very simple and easy and extremely cliché bit of advice:
  • All you need for a kettlebell workout is a kettlebell (you don't even need shoes)
  • All you need for a cardio workout is a pair of running shoes (you don't need a GPS watch or a playlist or a heart rate strap or even a cool Stryd footpod)

It can really be so completely simple. I only share this with you because it just occurred to me.

When I started running, I do think I did carry a Sony Walkman with me on my runs. The yellow one with the sports headphones.  I also used those all-in-one FM radio headsets from Sony. Later, I used an iPod and then a Shuffle and a Nano and all that stuff.

I really didn't get a GPS watch until I bought a Garmin Forerunner 310XT (loved it!) and then, even then, the only time I used a heart rate monitor was when I was erging, though the ANT+ Garmin strap I had for the Concept2 rowing machine was compatible with my Garmin GPS watch.

Now, I really need to return to simplicity, simplicity, simplicity. 

There is never any barrier between myself and a good kettlebell swing workout besides not wanting to get sweaty (just after a shower) or for about an hour before bed (the last thing I need is to be jazzed up and amped before trying to get to sleep).

How's it going with your training. Are you your own worst enemy, like I am?

From now on, I am not going to make my kettlebell swings something I track or share or log. All I need to know is that I am doing them and that I have done them.

Have a great day. Thanks for stopping by.

Magnesium Carbonate, AKA chalk, is the only substance approved for competition in most kettlebell organizations (sorry, no pine tar allowed). Luckily, the chalk will help keep your hands dry and the skin on your palms more resilient. As you sweat, the chalk will rub off of your hands.