Round 13: Hello Kettlebell

skogg_logoHello 2015.
It’s a new year, and with it comes a new Round.

This Round 13 marks the beginning of my 5th year pursuing personal fitness in earnest and in the privacy of my basement.

All along, I’ve worked hard and enjoyed good success with various programs sold by Beachbody, LLC, specifically: P90X, P90X2, P90X3, Insanity and Tai Cheng. And as I was completing my latest round of Insanity, looking forward into this year, I put together a 90 day Hybrid routine of P90X2 and X3.

But, as much as I was looking forward to starting the year with that Hybrid, I also had the nagging feeling that I was getting into a bit of a rut. And that maybe it would be better for me to start the new year with something entirely new. I’ll likely proceed to the X2/X3 Hybrid later this year.

So I started reading about kettlebells. It sounded appealing. Strength training with movement that requires cardio and core. But it also sounded like a great way to get injured in my basement if my form wasn’t good. Not eager to go out into the cold and seek professional tutelage, I researched instructional DVD workout programs that had solid reviews regarding the quality of the instruction.

This research let me to the 5 DVD Skogg System. The instructor, Michael Skogg, takes you on a 12 week journey of progressively advanced kettlebell work. Having completed the Skogg 101 intro DVD, I can say I like Mr. Skogg’s calm demeanor and clear, repetitive instructions.

I also purchased three kettlebells: 8, 12 and 16 kg. Here’s why:

During my between round recovery period, between yoga and Tai Cheng Neural Reboots, I started with the Skogg 101 Introduction DVD. It’s a 30 minute primer on the basic moves and techniques of the kettlebell. When I first attempted this, I possessed one, 12 kg kettlebell. During this first attempt, I decided that it was too heavy for a novice like myself and it would be better if I started with a lighter weight so I could better focus on form. I also found out a couple of days later that my entire body was sore from just 20 minutes of swinging that 12 kg kettlebell. Very sore. And the soreness lasted for about four days. How much of this soreness was due to poor technique versus too much weight I cannot say. But it very clearly underscored a weakness that screamed to be corrected.

Based on this initial attempt, I purchased two additional kettlebells: the 8 and the 16 kg. The rationale for the 8’er I’ve already explained. The reason I also purchased the 16 kg kettlebell was because I felt I could already handle that for the squats. The first kettlebell I purchased was a RKC Kettlebell. The next two were Kettlebells USA Metrixx e-coat kettlebells. I went this route because the Kettlebell USA kettlebells seemed of the same quality for a substantially lower price.

My chosen instruments of torture for the next 12 weeks.

My chosen instruments of torture for the next 12 weeks.

Since purchasing the Skogg System, I’ve completed the 101 video four times. Saturday, January 17 was the fourth time. And that’s also when I decided to count it as Day 1 of the 12 week Skogg System journey. Every other day of the calendar allows for a stretch/recovery day. On these days, I intend to choose from Yoga (X, X2 or X3), Dynamix (X3), Recovery & Mobility (X2), Cardio Recovery (Insanity) or Tai Cheng Neural Reboot 4.

Today, I proceed with the “Roots” DVD. Wish me luck!

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