Monday, January 20, 2014

Just You and the Bell. (Jeff's 10 x 10)

I had an awesome time on my trip last week to Milwaukee WI.  I was born, raised and have lived my whole life here in Northern California (south of SF) and although we have snow just hours away I've never been one to purposely choose to be cold!  More about my snow adventures in a bit....

My main motivation for taking this trip was to re-connect with my friend Diana and experience doing some new things and meeting new people.  This was the first time I met her husband Jeff, and her son Jared.  I also met another internet friend Tracy Mangold.  Both Diana and Tracy have men in their lives that don't share the same enthusiasm for kettlebells as they do!  It's not uncommon many of the people I meet (mostly women) that are attracted to the way I program and design interval kettlebell training may seem a bit nutso to their partners.....that's why we become friends!  And let's not forget, my own husband/partner, Mark, thinks I'm crazy too!  I'm not going to say that it's a man/woman, male/female, husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, "thing", but I will say that it's NOT unusual for men and women to have, or want, different ways of exercising.  Interval and high volume training/sport (like cycling, running, etc.) is equally enjoyed by men and women, but it's not necessary for, and may not motivate, everybody.  I can see how a person could feel slightly intimidated or even left out by an overachieving, enthusiastic partner. Good thing there are other ways of training with kettlebells, and it can be done at any speed, with no one else around, any time of the day, any day of the week!  Don't think you have to "keep up" with anybody else.  Training kettlebells is about your ability, skill, time, needs and desires.  It can be just about you and the bell.

After talking with Diana's husband Jeff about his past experience with trying kettlebell training and being married to a woman driven by high cardio exercise, I was inspired to maybe help him start his own program; something different that what Diana does.  So on my way back home I decided to try designing this next "10 x 10" with another approach with the focus keeping it simple, quick, and hopefully easy.  This 10 x 10 does in fact lead up to 10 swings.  For some who have done very little, to no, exercise in a while, ten kettlebell swings may not feel easy to do!  And when something doesn't feel doable, easy, fun, or in any way satisfying then there is little chance of finding the motivation to continue on to another workout, much less regular consistent workouts.

I confess, I designed this 10 x 10 with the male audience in mind.  In my own experience men like or need a slightly heavier starting size bell.  They generally have more upper body strength and tend to "lift" and "lower" the bell, much like a "front raise" than a swing, this is why this 10 x 10 starts with practicing the hinge/deadlift.  If anybody (man or woman) begins with a 16kg, 20kg, and maybe even a 24kg, starting the kettlebell swing from the deadlift position may be safer (but let's admit, guys like to lift heavy stuff).  Men also tend to want and need less reps, and more rest between sets, which is perfectly fine!  What's not fine is not doing anything to improve health, strength, and fitness.  Do a little, do a lot, JUST DO IT!

In this 10 x 10 I first demonstrate what I want you to do, then I do it with you!  After I demonstrate your set starts at the top of each minute, so that means that your work to rest ratio is about 1 part work, to 3 parts rest. Always, always take the rest you need.  Ten sets of practicing the drills that lead up to 10 solid swing reps, "10 x 10".

Jeff's 10 x 10

1. Hinge/contract quads, glutes, abs
2. Hinge, touch the handle
3. Dead lift
4. Dead lift/touch the ground, with the bell, in between your feet
5. Dead lift / hover / hike pass 3
6. Dead lift / hover / hike pass 3, swing 1 rep
7. Dead lift / hover / hike pass 1, swing 3 reps
8. Dead lift / hover / hike pass 1, swing 5 reps
9. Dead lift / hover / hike pass 1, swing 5 reps
10. Dead lift / hover / hike pass 1, swing 10 reps

This workout my be your point of entry, or for someone in your life that you love!  I can think of at least a half dozen people in my life that I would love to see practice this routine at least 2-3 times a week until they get their confidence, or get their confidence back, to do one of my other 10 x 10's with more swings.

Commit to 10 workouts, consistently over a period of 3-4 weeks, about, or less than, 20-30 minutes a week!  Really?  Can you do it for us?  Can you do it for yourself?  I can guarantee you one thing, and one thing for ain't gonna kill you!  Slip away, all by yourself, in your back bedroom, down in the basement, in your garage, no one has to know, no one has to watch....just you and the bell. (and me :))


Diana said...

Thank you for this!

Jeff said...

This is "the" Jeff and I want to thank you for taking the time to get us new (again) beginners out there getting our hands through that handle again!

I started on this past Saturday!
Co-owner of the best bed and breakfast in Wisconsin! :)

Tracy said...

Love this. :) Hopefully I can get Jess to get swinging. Thanks for posting, Tracy :D

Tracy Reifkind said...


Now just let Jeff go do his thing, on his time, and when he builds the confidence to share the experience with you it will be much easier for him :)

Or not. He may always want to train on his own, and that's fine! As long as he does something! Right Jeff?

Tracy Reifkind said...


Ah, thanks for leaving a comment! It was a real pleasure meeting you and getting to know the family. You have some great resources so close (like the bells in the basement), but promise me that next time I'm in WI snowshoeing (or tubing) you'll come!

Everything in life is better when you feel capable, strong and confident. And you can feel that way in every part of your life :)


Tracy Reifkind said...


Well, he better get started or Ann Shirley is going to out swing him before she's 7! lol

Mark Reifkind said...

Go get it Jeff!

Diana said...

I'm holding you to that "next time I'm in WI snowshoeing" comment!
However, if my guy goes, so does yours! :)