Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Two kettlebells on sale at Fred Meyer's: $35

Lifting the kettlebells with one hand onto the checkout stand: Easy

Look on the checker's face when she couldn't lift one of them with both hands: Priceless

Look on the checker's face when I picked them up and handed them to my 11 year old who easily put them in the cart: Even better.

Sometimes I forget how weak the "average" person is. We've come so far from the world of my great-grandma, a world where you might have to cart water in buckets from the well (at nine pounds per gallon, a three-gallon bucket is twenty-seven pounds, and I bet most people in 1900 could lift one with each hand easily). When I go to pick up chicken feed at the feed-n-seed store, the guy there always asks with concern if he can carry it out to the car for me. Nope, a forty-pound sack is something any woman should be able to lift with ease. But I bet even a lot of men can't do it these days, not without throwing out their back or something.

If you are not strength training, you're cheating yourself. If your strength routine consists of lifting weights that are suspended from a machine by a cable which is then attached to some muscle-isolating device (like a bicep curl machine), you're cheating yourself. You're cheating yourself out of all of the benefits of lifting free weights: Balance, core strength, strength of smaller muscle groups instead of just the big ones, coordination, and more.

I know free weights are intimidating for a lot of women (they were for me). We don't typically grow up being introduced to using them, and we may feel that they are for men who want to get pumped up with big huge muscles. It's worthwhile to take the time to find a coach, trainer, or program (like Crossfit) that helps you get used to lifting free weights. Whether that's a kettlebell, an Olympic weight bar, or a set of hand weights, learning to use them right brings so many fitness benefits. And it prevents the embarrassed checker syndrome!


tinaparker87 said...

I just bought a kettle ball! Looking forward to using starting tomorrow. Today is already filled with run/bike and the laundry list for eveything else.

k-go said...

First, I LOVE my kettlebells!

Second, I experienced this not with kettlebells, but with bags of kitty litter. I was carrying three 20 pound bags to the check, two in one hand and one in the other with a bag of 10 pound cat food. The cashier couldn't lift ONE of the 20 pound bags. I had to take it over the scanner for her! I was shocked to see her struggle with something I can lift with ease.

Being a strong, healthy woman is the epitome of sexy!

Marv said...

I live in the country and everything seems to be a lift, push, or pull of some kind. I think capability is one of the rich joys of life.