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Thread: Kettlebell question

  1. #1
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    Kettlebell question

    Finally signed up to kettlebells and love it. My one concern is that my instructor is pushing me a bit too much.... I lost 66lb with cardio exercise and diet, never been to gym before and have little or no muscle tone at all.
    She started me off with an 8kg kettlebell for first 2 classes and then gave me a 10 for the 2 hand swing and 8kg for the rest. We have started to do the clean and press (I think that's the name for it) - sort of a swing, pull and shrug movement - I just can't get it right and I'm pretty sure a lot of it is the kettlebell is too heavy for me for the pull. I did ask for a smaller one but she said a smaller weight would do me more harm than good. Other people in class use 4/6/8 kg and I think there's one guy uses a 12kg.
    Am I being a wuss and just need to get on with it? Can I expect improvements soon? I do 3 by 30 min classes a week ... or shall I insist on a smaller weight?

  2. #2
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    I'm a little astonished that she would say a smaller weight would do you more harm than good - I can't understand that at all. Did she elaborate? It sounds to me like she's trying to be motivational and push you but not respecting that you know what's right for your body. If it doesn't feel right and you don't feel you're using proper form, then experiment with lower weights or doing moves more slowly until it feels right. Rushing things with weights that are too heavy is how injuries happen and injuries can throw you off entirely. Far better to work up to things than have to give up due to injury.

    8kg sounds incredibly heavy for a beginner. Kettlebells do appear to be lighter than a same weight dumbbell when swinging them because of the momentum (which doesn't apply to many lifts/presses), but a lot of people in this forum have started with 5kg or lighter. The fact that there are people in your class using lighter weights shows that sometimes it's appropriate. I started with a 4lb bell which is about (1.8ish kg) and worked my way up from there.

    Can you try a few swings/lifts with the lighter bells before class to decide what will suit you? It's pretty common to be able to use a heavier bell for swings and a lighter one for lifts/presses etc - this makes sense when you think about the size and number of muscles involved in those movements. Swings involve your legs and core whereas presses only use your arms.

    You will see improvements but only move up weights when you're ready. Sounds like the trainer isn't doing a great job of treading the fine line between motivating and drill sergeant!

  3. #3
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    I agree! I started with a 4kg then moved up to a 6kg .. Was starting to use the 8kg about 4 mths in just for swings and some arm work.. But had to build up to it!

    I'm post op keyhole surgery 5 mths and used a 2kg, to start again with about 2 mths ago and now just started using 3kg and 4kg - need to build your strength up!

    My injury was not caused by kettle bells - but the 8kg did I think contribute to it as was just too heavy lol for shoulder presses etc with my weak shoulder.

    I think trying a 6kg for over head work etc might be better until you gain more strength - if your form is suffering lower the weight! Or if you can handle the 8kg make sure your form is correct and do each move slowly and correctly

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