Every morning at 7am I go for a walk and use it as my “learning time”. I take a small notebook, a pen and my iPhone which has several business or professional development audio programs on it and I walk – for 27 minutes – to the local espresso shop while listening to some type of educational material.
During the walk, it won’t be uncommon for me to stop, mid-stride, and jot something down in my notebook. In fact, the idea for this post came from a moment where I jotted something down during my morning walk.
I used to do this walk in a pair of old school New Balance 574s (you know, the grey ones that your grandpa used to wear), but back in March, I finally invested in a pair of Vibram Five Fingers “feet gloves” (as my 3yr old, Mikey, likes to call them).
The first morning I bought the Vibrams, I slapped them on and went for my walk.
Having never worn them before, I’m sure you can guess what happened…
The next day when I woke-up, my entire lower body was sore – from my a$$ to my toes!
Why? Well I just exposed my body to a new stimulus.
And it had no choice to adapt. It did that by using different muscles that were probably firing in a different sequence and being used in a different way.
So I ended up sore.
After a few days walking consistently in them, the soreness went away.
My body got better and more efficient at using the muscles necessary for me to walk barefoot.
***As an aside, I strongly recommend that you get on the barefoot walking/training bandwagon and get yourself a pair of some type of barefoot shoes. Since converting, my low back, feet and ankles have felt great!***
So what does this have to do with Kettlebell Training?
Well, let me give you another first hand example.
The Military Press has been my Mt. Everest of kettlebell lifts for as long as I’ve been training.
For a long time, I could never really press more than 24kgs.
After learning a bucketload from my RKC weekend last October, I realized that KB training – and strength training in general – is a lot about practice.
To be good at something, you’ve got to practice.
For example, according to Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers”, to be an expert at something, you’ll a cumulative of 10,000 or practice.
Approaching your kettlebell training the same way will likely help you get through your sticking points and allow you to improve your lifts.
With the Military Press, I practiced lifting a 28, 32 and then a 36kg kettlebell.
I did that EVERYDAY.
I didn’t drain myself going to fatigue, trying to get my delts bigger and risking injury, however.
I cleaned the bell and did one rep (or 2, but no more than 3) – making sure that I was rooted properly, that my lats were firing, that I was power breathing and that my technique was as perfect as I could get it.
I practiced and made sure that I was always fresh for each repetition. I’m not doing some crazy “go-until-you-puke-or-tear-your-hands-up-trying” workout.
And so, after time, I was able to comfortably press heavier kettlebells and get over my “Everest”.
The important thing to remember is that kettlebell training is about practicing and improving your technique.
As you practice, your body will adapt and will become a more efficient (and better looking and functioning) machine.
This is one of the main reasons that I advocate training for performance and not for “looks”. If you understand that looking good will be a bi-product of your training, then you are in a good headspace and training becomes a lot less stressful.
You’re no longer chasing the calorie burn or the feeling that you didn’t do enough or workout for long enough.
Focus on performance – doing a drill in less time that it took you the last time; lifting more weight than you did the last time; doing more reps with the same weight than the last time – and your body will naturally adapt and get better…and as a result will look better too.
Chris Lopez, RKC
p.s. PRACTICING and improving your performance is the foundation behind the TT Kettlebell Revolution. You can check out the program HERE…