Tag Archives: kettlebell

Day 147: Off-days

Day 147 - front

  • Weight: 137.0 lbs.
  • Workout C: 8 minutes, 43 seconds; next: Workout C, Jan. 28
  • Total inches: 124.5
  • Protein: 136 g (7 g over target)
  • Calories: 2,311

This month is a typical month. “Typical” meaning January is like December, the only 2 months of the kettlebell-heavy routine.

I work out three times a week, about 13 times a month, for about 16 minutes each time or three-and-a-half hours total in a month. But what do I do on the 17 or 18 days off?

Ideally, walk or do yoga. In reality, very little of either.

I have made Project Bulk a priority, sticking rigidly to exercise schedules. And while I maintain my photos and diet every day, I have not made too much effort to move otherwise.

I am consumed by project work, which leaves me little time to walk the neighborhood or pop in the yoga DVD. Or, at least, it’s a good enough excuse.

Originally, I didn’t want to skew the numbers with additional exercise, but I feel confident that the current workouts are, well, working out. So walking would just be for fun and fresh air, with a few calories burned to boot. Yoga would be to help with breathing, flexibility and focus.

Late at night, I am content to slow down, settle in, not move. As long as I swing the kettlebell 150 times a week, I’m set.

Day 147 - side

Day 99: For whom the kettlebell tolls

Day 99

  • Weight: 133.2 lbs.
  • No workout today; next: Workout C, Dec. 10
  • Total inches: 121.9
  • Protein: 128 g (2 g over target)
  • Calories: 2,207

I wanted to change up my workout routine for December. It felt like I hit a plateau with Workouts A and B.

Reading through “The 4-Hour Body” [Amazon | iTunes aff. links] again, I found three options. The first was to focus on kettlebell swings (page 162). This was my original direction, but I saw more choices.

The second was “From Geek to Freak,” a series of 10 exercises, most using gym equipment (page 187). I looked for home options for each one, but decided it was too complicated for me right now.

The third was to split into pushing, pulling and leg exercises (page 221). Again, it was too complicated in tracking the days between workouts.

So I followed through on my original choice: kettlebell swings on Mondays and Fridays (Workout C), with barbell and dumbbell work on Wednesdays (Workout D).

I’m looking for more rapid development throughout the month on my arms, waist and hips. I’m also shooting for a lower body fat percentage by year’s end.

My total workout time (which I’ve forgotten to include in my monthly reports) for December will exceed October and November combined. But it won’t be much, about 4 hours total.

I’ve also done some walking around the neighborhood, which I’m tracking through the Runkeeper app. It’s fun to see the miles traveled and the calories burned.

One hundred days in, and the changes continue.

Day 4: On the fly

day 4

  • Weight: 123.4 lbs.
  • Workout B: 53 minutes
  • Total inches: 116.6
  • Protein: 117 g (1 g over target)

I am not a gym rat.

When you’re a nerd in school, you find ways to get out of PE. Climb the rope? Have rubber balls hurled at your head? No thanks. (Though I did dig the square dancing.)

So given the choice between signing up for an expensive gym membership or getting the most basic equipment at home, I took the latter. (I think I could’ve gotten away with doing a free 30-day trial membership, but what would I do if I didn’t bulk up fast enough in that period?)

I’m now the proud owner of a dumbbell set, barbell, plates and a workout bench for just under $130. I also built a T-handle from pipes ($19) as a decent kettlebell substitute.

Even with my careful shopping, I hit a couple of potential setbacks with today’s Workout B.

“The 4-Hour Body” [Amazon | iTunes aff. links] has great workout suggestions if you’re using a fully equipped gym. Otherwise, you might spend some time looking for alternate routines.

The first exercise is the slight incline bench press. Since I don’t have a power rack or a spotter, the safest alternative was using dumbbells instead of barbells.

Video: Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

YouTube has so many videos demonstrating the proper way to do each routine. This made it a little easier in doing the exercise with different equipment or method.

The second exercise is the barbell squat. Again, without a squat rack, I didn’t want to take chances injuring myself using the barbell. Fortunately, the dumbbell squat provides similar benefits.

The third (optional) exercise is the kettlebell swing, and author Tim Ferriss gives a great homemade substitute to pricy kettlebells. In the book (and this video), he explains how to make a T-handle (or T-bar).

Video: How to make a T-handle as a kettlebell substitute

And the last exercise (also optional) is 3 minutes on a stationary bike to alleviate any leg soreness. I do have a mountain bike, but the tires are flat and the frame in general needs a tune-up.

So I did bicycle exercises on my back. Take that, neglected mountain bike.

The home gym is working out nicely, thanks to some improvised solutions. That makes me a home rat.