Friday, July 08, 2011

Stronger Still

The last couple of days I've hit some new milestones with my swings. On Thursday I did all 100 swings without a break, using the 26lb kettlebell. It only took a few minutes, but by the time I got to 90 I wasn't sure I could do the that last 10. I did though, and when I put the bell down and walked up the basement stairs I cataloged all the places I thought I'd be sore the next day. Pretty much my entire body felt wobbly and drained.

But I woke up the next morning feeling fine. Really hungry, but otherwise fine.

Today I tried to use the 53lb bell for my entire workout, but I couldn't quite manage it. 53 pounds is just really heavy (a considerable percentage of my current body weight). Sometimes my biggest problem just comes down to grip. My hands and forearms feel so fatigued after a while I feel like I'm slipping too much on the handle if I get the least bit sweaty. Still, all week I've been shifting between the 35lb bell and the 53, doing five sets of 20 swings. I thought I could do small sets and manage with the 53 the whole time. My mistake was getting over-ambitious and doing a set of 20 in the middle. That wore me out and I had to do my last 20 swings with the 35lb bell.

As far as the practical results of my 100 swings a day project, I have to say they are dramatic. Yesterday I was shaving in the shower and I kept looking at my razor head because I thought the little swivel joint wasn't working. After a little while I realized the razor was fine, but my legs have gotten so much firmer, running a razor over them feels completely different. That little extra layer of softness between my skin and my muscle is gone. There is almost no give when I press down.

So in short, I'm noticing changes in every little aspect of my life. On horseback, I am increasingly able to ride in a more balanced manner and keep myself upright and solid in the saddle, particularly at the faster gaits, which in turn helps Steen move more freely.

In all truth, I am shocked at what a comprehensive transformation this one simple exercise has worked on my entire physique. I spend between 10 and 20 minutes in the basement each day, heaving a weight around, and 2.5 weeks later I think I can safely say I'm fitter than I've been since high school. I've lost exactly 0.6lbs, but all my clothes are loose. Although I can see an increase of underlying tone everywhere, I've not gained any bulk at all. I'm definitely going to keep this up until my 30 days are up, and after that I think I'm going to do a 30 day set a few times a year just to keep myself in the swing of it, so to speak.

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