The KettleBelles’ Christmas Challenge 2011

The countdown to December is on! Less than 48 hours until The KettleBelles’ Christmas Challenge begins.  I suppose I should shed some light on the who, what, where, when, and whys of this challenge (I know, that is so grade 7)!

Who?  Me, and anyone who wants to join me. I’d love to have women from all around the world doing this challenge with me! 

What? Every day, the KettleBelle advent calendar will allow you to discover a ‘treat’ behind that day’s date! Usually it will be a quick, intense, fun workout for you to try! Sometimes it will be a rest day and I’ll share with you some of my clean eating culinary secrets so that you can make healthy treats to keep you on track over the holiday season. For the workouts, I’ll be maintaining a leaderboard, so you’ll want to email/comment on the workouts letting me know how you got on!

Where? Your own home. If you’ve got a kettlebell, you’re set. If you don’t have a kettlebell, buy yourself an early Christmas present 😉 They’re available EVERYWHERE these days! If that’s just not an option, don’t worry, as I’ll give you alternatives that will use everyday items found in your home, such as an easy-going pet. Just kidding, don’t even try to swing your cat – things will not end well!

When? Every single day of December. From the 1st to the 25th, you’ll be treated to the luck of the advent calendar. From the 26th to the 31st, I have a surprise planned for you! 

Why? The average person puts on 11 pounds in the 5 weeks leading up to Christmas! Every year, we get to choose if we want to be average or not.  I choose not.  I’ve been detoxing for the past 5 weeks knowing that December is going to be a ‘relaxed’ month in terms of my nutrition, but I do not want to jeopardize all of the positive gains I’ve made recently, and so I am doing MAJOR damage prevention!  The workouts are going to be for the whole body, so nothing gets left out!  You’ll also be getting some tips about staying in control and not going overboard! 

Let’s end 2011 with a BANG! Who wants to begin 2012 stronger, fitter, healthier, & happier?  If that sounds like you  . . . well, I hope you know what to do 😉 (join me on this challenge). 

Take a look at your 2011 advent calendar below… but you have to wait until Thursday to see what I’ve got in store! 

xx

Donna 

 

P.S.  These workouts are 10 minutes, MAX.  Everyone can find 10 spare minutes in their day! They are suitable for all levels (modifications will be given). 

 

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Celebrating the first in the series of SuperWomen Sundays!!!

When we decided to go ahead with SuperWomen Sundays!!! (SWS!!!) (about 5 days ago), I had mixed feelings about everything. Personally, I love spending half the day working out, and the other half being totally & utterly lazy. However with short notice & it being close to Christmas, I wasn’t sure how many women could commit to a Sunday workout sesh, not that it really matters, as I’m happy to do a session for one if they want it!

As it turned out, there was quite a bit of interest for the Sunday sessions, and about half of those interested were able to make it to one or a few or all of the sessions held today in the studio. This makes me all the more excited for the second SWS!!! taking place in mid-December.

The magic of The KettleBelles’ studio:

I’ve said it before on Facebook (& maybe in this blog), but for some reason, every time a woman walks through our doors, she puts a remarkable amount of effort into the workout given to her. Of course, this is what you would expect and it shouldn’t be a surprise, but it is. And the reason it’s a surprise is because there exists a type of woman who will pay for a class workout or 1-2-1 training or a gym membership and then complain or give up or work at 20% of her potential, which means that she doesn’t see the same magnitude of results that her fellow participants do.  I could go on about this, but I won’t, because this phenomena hasn’t been observed in our studio.

So, I just wanted to say a huge thank you to the women who made the first SWS!!! a success –  Frances, Jo, Tania, Karina, Jessica, & Lucy. The KettleBelles appreciate you coming & can’t wait to go onwards & upwards with these Sunday camps! We will be releasing the schedule for the next SWS!!!, happening on 18 December, soon. I just know it’s going to be bigger & better, and we’ll be brainstorming for the next three weeks to make sure of this!

x

Donna

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A KettleBelle Breakfast

Everyone has an opinion of what constitutes a healthy breakfast. This KettleBelle is no different! Sure, some mornings I crave fruit or fresh green juice, but usually I try to have a protein-rich breakfast to start my day right.  Sometimes it’s a stir-fry, other times it’s poached eggs on a bed of kale sautéed in coconut oil.

Lately, it’s been homemade protein pancakes with pancetta.  I love these. I could eat these for breakfast most mornings, although sometimes I would add banana and cinnamon to make a sweeter treat (and eliminate the pancetta).  These are exactly what I need to prepare myself for a kettlebell workout!

Here’s the ‘sort of’ recipe if you want to give these a go:

Pancetta – a few strips per person – begin to shallow fry these in some coconut butter in a pan. Keep the heat low. You want to cook them without crisping them at this point.

In a bowl, mix 2 eggs , approx  80 g ground almond flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 tbsp chia seeds, & 1 tsp agave nectar. The consistency should be that of conventional pancake batter!

In your pan, push the cooked but floppy bacon/pancetta to the side, make sure that there is a nice layer of coconut oil/pancetta drippings and then drop spoonfuls of batter in to make pancakes of your desired size. Allow these to cook on a medium-low heat until golden brown on the bottom. While they fry, I am constantly tilting my pan in all directions to make sure that they are evenly coated with oil.

Flip the pancakes & then take the pancetta (which is getting crisper as time goes on) and allow it to rest on top of the pancakes. This will impart a tasty flavour into the pancakes & keep everything moist.

When the pancakes are cooked through, cut them in half and make them into little pancetta sandwiches. Drizzle a bit of agave nectar over top if you want.  Enjoy!

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Introducing SuperWomen Sundays! (oh, & other exciting news too)!

Supply & demand.

You keep asking for weekend classes & courses, so that’s what you’re gonna get!  SuperWomen Sundays kicks off on 27/11/11 & if successful, will continue to run monthly, in addition to other weekend classes that will be added to the schedule soon.

What is SuperWomen Sundays? In a babybell (what I imagine the kettlebell equivalent of a nutshell to be), SuperWomen Sundays is a series of five 45 minute sessions back-to-back in the middle of the day. The purpose is to allow those who haven’t made it by the studio yet to experience the variety of courses we have to offer, and to give our regulars a great excuse to stay active throughout the weekend. You can either book per session at a daringly low price of 6 quid a pop, OR, you can save a fiver by booking the whole day for only £25!

These sessions are suitable for all levels of experience. Fear not, SWING!!! graduates, for you will be given a more challenging workout in the Kettlebell Taster Sesh that begins the day! For more details, check out the poster at the end of this post.

I promised you some ‘other exciting news’ as well! We are going to be launching more evening classes  AND we will be running classes thru’ the Christmas holidays!

Lastly, The KettleBelles’ Christmas Challenge kicks off on December 1st. I hope that all of you will take part in this amazing adventure with me, especially you, Mom! More details will be announced this weekend, but basically, if you’ve ever considered buying a kettlebell, GET ONE NOW so that you have it for the challenge. If you’ve never done kettlebells and aren’t sure, don’t worry… I will provide you with a list of ridiculous home substitutions that will get you through the daily workouts. This is coming from the girl who has 2 different sized pumpkins in her living room that her husband isn’t allowed to throw out because they’re ‘medicine balls.’    Anyway, it will be fab & will keep us all strong & functional throughout the holiday season & there is a cute little logo to boot:

Read on to learn more about SuperWomen Sundays!!!


Remember, something is better than nothing (for many things, like fitness, not necessarily for other things).  If you haven’t got off your butt today, I want you to drop & give me 3 rounds of 10 tricep dips, resting 20s between rounds. Dips are demo’d HERE.

Please subscribe if you enjoyed this post & want to take part in the challenge – EVERYTHING will go up via this blog!!

xx

Donna

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Interval Cleaning

In today’s day and age there never seems to be enough time in the day. Each morning presents a new challenge of how to juggle work, family, house cleaning, and fitness, among other tasks.  Unfortunately, daily workouts usually take a back seat. If you’re a worrier like I am, this has the consequence of increasing stress levels & causing cortisol secretion.  Higher & prolonged levels of cortisol in the body leads to increased blood pressure, lowered immune responses, and increased abdominal fat.  Not good!

So, what can you do when you find yourself  torn between cleaning the house & working out? Interval cleaning! Okay, so your calorie burn might not be as high as it would be with a  dedicated workout of similar length, but vigorous house cleaning can definitely raise your heart rate, and positively effect on your blood pressure and risk of heart disease. The bonus is that your house WILL get cleaner, which will also reduce your level of stress!

All you need is an interval timer of some sort.  If you have a GYMBOSS that you can clip to your shirt, this is ideal as you can set your work & rest periods, and the alarm will eliminate the need to constantly keep checking your watch. There are numerous free interval timer apps available for smartphones, and you can even find online interval timers such as this one to keep you focused.

My interval cleaning workout for the day was a 10/1  – – 10 minutes of cleaning, 1 minute of recovery.  I worked for 60 minutes total as I have 6 rooms in my house. Starting with the living room,  and finishing with the bathroom, I managed to clean every single living area of my house today.  Of course some rooms need longer than others, but that’s either a job for tomorrow or for the husband 🙂  I raced up and down stairs, scrubbed harder than I’d ever scrubbed before, performed a few ‘get ups’ whenever i needed to reach under the sofa or bed for something and vacuumed with a vengeance!

Not once did I check Facebook or my email. I only had 10 minutes per room and wasn’t about to waste any of that on the computer!  During my minute of  recovery, I re-hydrated & prepared myself for the next room.  This is also when I moved the vacuum upstairs for the second half of the workout or pulled some disposable nitrile gloves from the linen closet before tackling the bathroom.

My house is now 60 minutes cleaner, I’ve had a bit of exercise to kick off my busy afternoon, and I consumed one-quarter of my daily water requirement.  It was the most productive cleaning I’ve done in a long time.  The weird adrenaline rush it provided as I raced against my GYMBOSS meant I also had some fun! So much fun, that I’ll probably do it again tomorrow 🙂

Go ahead and try it.

x

Donna

 

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New Registration System

We’ve implemented a new registration system that should make it easier for you to come & try our courses.

http://www.signupgenius.com/go/week220

You will have to make an account with SignUpGenius, but this takes less than a minute and is very straightforward and doesn’t require much.  Our whole schedule for the next week has been uploaded, so it’s very easy to pick & choose what you’d like to attend.

All classes are STILL buy one, get one 1/2 off.  If you’re interested in our beginner’s kettlebell SWING!!! course, which runs Wednesday evenings from 7-8 please get in touch with me at cambridgekettlebelles@gmail.  It is possible to attend the remaining 5 sessions if you were unable to come to the first session!

 

x
Donna

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Schedule for the week!!! ALL COURSES ARE BUY ONE, GET ONE 1/2 OFF!!!

The studio has been open for a couple of months already & we’re finally filling out the schedule! This week, the following courses will be running:

For a description of these courses & prices, see below:

As we are sort of ‘launching’ this week, all of our drop-in courses will be BUY ONE, GET ONE 1/2 OFF!!! (Cheapest class will be discounted by 50%).  This allows you to experience more of our excellent courses!!!  I have to warn you though, there are only 10 spaces in each class (with the exception of the women’s running club on Thursday evening) and they are first come, first served! Book your place by emailing us at cambridgekettlebelles@gmail.com
xx

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Strength, not Size

This past month has absolutely flown by at the Cambridge KettleBelles studio! Next monday will be the final session of our inaugural 6-week SWING!!! beginners kettlebell course and I have to say, it has been a brilliant 5 weeks so far.  We have 6 women registered in SWING!!!, and they were of varying levels of experience prior to beginning. One thing they all have in common is that they recognise the importance of strength training for women and don’t let common women’s fitness myths hold them back from getting the most out of their training.  We wholeheartedly advocate that ‘Strong is the New Skinny’ and our KettleBelles truly embody this!

The kettlebell can be intimidating – it looks like a cast iron cannonball with a handle – but it can quickly become a woman’s favorite piece of fitness equipment. Kettlebells are:

  • compact: take them to a park or on vacation, and there’s no need for a dedicated home gym space
  • versatile: with a single kettlebell and some bodyweight exercises, you can condition your entire body.
  • efficient: 20 minutes of kettlebells can easily constitute your workout for the day and have you burning calories for an additional 48 hours
  • complementary: they easily integrate into a running/cycling/swimming/walking/etc training program to give you a fantastic cross training workout.

Many women are under the impression that training with weights will cause them to bulk up, and so they stick to aerobics, pilates, running, and other training without load. In reality, women produce about 15-20x less testosterone than men and are incapable of attaining the ripped bodybuilder physique without some chemical aid and a seriously custom diet.  Using heavy weights will promote strength, and not size (although muscles will inevitably become more visible as you lose the fat layer that’s hiding them, giving the coveted ‘toned’ effect). To read more about why heavy weights won’t bulk up a woman, check out this excellent article.

Our KettleBelle courses are designed so that you get a total body workout (with a mix of cardio training and strength training) and will leave you burning fat for a further 48 hours.  Our 6 week SWING!!! course will introduce you to kettlebells and teach you the fundamental kettlebell exercises (swing, clean, military press, snatch, turkish getup, windmill, squat) and their variations. After we spend some time on technique, you’ll be put through your paces in a workout that’s never the same! By the end of the course, you’ll be welcome to attend any of our  kettlebell courses on offer.

Beginning in November, there will be some exciting additions to the KettleBelles timetable, including yoga, foam rolling, CrossFit-style drop-in sessions, Ab sessions, and many more which still need to be confirmed. If you know any fitness instructors who have a special skill set to offer (pilates, zumba, etc), please send them our way as we have empty time slots in the schedule to fill!  Finally, we will soon be offering gift cards – these would make perfect Christmas present for the woman who takes her fitness & health seriously (or for a Bride-to-be in your life who wants to look as fabulous as possible for her wedding)!

To stay up to date, like us on Facebook & subscribe to our email newsletter by filling in the form on our website.

 

Keep on swinging 😉

x

Donna

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The First Post (!)

This is just a short but sweet post to officially launch the KettleBelles’ Blog – soon to become your favorite weekly read!

In our blog we’ll be writing articles about our ongoing classes, using kettlebells & other strength training equipment effectively, and we’ll be talking nutrition & supplements! Sometimes we’ll share great posts from other kettlebell or crossfit fanatics & sometimes we’ll post some workouts that you can do at home and let us know how you get on!

The sky’s the limit!

x

Donna

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