James McQuarrie

A collection of random links and thoughts curated by James McQuarrie

Hitting 10% body fat – Kettle bells, kettle bells and more kettle bells

My quest for fitness took a little diversion over the Christmas period. Looming deadlines, holiday shopping, end of year gatherings, traveling around, etc all added up to very little exercise in the weeks leading up to the holidays and over the holidays themselves.

Still, I managed to stick to my slow carb diet right up until Christmas week, when I unleashed and enjoyed all the sugary, dairy and carb filled foods of the season, so the damage hasn’t been too bad.

Now, it’s a new year and a new six week exercise plan has been started. This next six weeks is all about kettle bells. I’m still looking for the most effective workout routine, and having found kettle bell swings to be very productive, I thought this six week stint would be a good time to try some other kettle bell based moves out.

The weekly plan is simple, short and only three weeks in, I’m already feeling the benefits. It breaks down as follows:

  • Monday – 200 crunches (can’t not do crunches) – Turkish get up (with a very light bell for now as I learn the movement which is harder than it looks) – kettle bell swings.
  • Tuesday – 200 crunches – 20 press ups – 5k run
  • Wednesday – 200 crunches – Turkish get up – kettle bell clean and press
  • Thursday – 200 crunches – 20 press ups – 5k run
  • Friday – 200 crunches – Turkish get up – kettle bell high pull

On the kettle bell days those swings, presses and pulls are all done with my heaviest bell (16kg) and are each done for a length of time dictated by rolling two dice and adding their values. The shortest time could be two minutes (1 and 1) and the longest time could be twelve minutes (6 and 6).

Whatever the length of time I try and do as many well formed sets of reps as possible, with rests where needed.

The idea is that by working for fixed but random lengths of time my workouts are varied over the weeks and hopefully there’ll be no plateaus in grains as I can up the weight / and number of reps per session.

Over time I should be able to do more reps with less rests in any given time frame. And the best part is that I’m not having to spend hours every day doing the workouts.

So far, my back and core are feeling stronger and my legs are feeling more powerful so it feels like it’s working well. We’ll see when the six weeks are up and my weight and body fat percentage numbers are in.