© 2015 jen

Ab-solutely Kettlebell: My New Love

I have a new love: Kettlebelling! Yep, I just turned it into a verb. Kettlebells are my new fave thing to do. I got hooked from my friend Heidi, who is seriously one sexy, badass exercise mamma-jama.

What The Hell – Kettlebell?

In truth, Heidi has been saying that we should work out together for years, because she follows my blog and she follows me on Instagram, so she knows that I’m a person who exercises regularly and really enjoys moving my body. But, I was totally intimidated by her rippling muscles. I could never stand to do anything long enough to become a person with rippling muscles. Also, muscles on females get weird fast, so I was pretty anti the whole idea of me being ripped. Then I’d see Heidi and think, “God, she looks great! Maybe I should see what she’s up to!”

Here are a few photos from Heidi’s Instagram account:

PicMonkey CollageFollow Heidi on Instagram.

As I finished my sugar detox I realized that my stomach was like a deflated balloon. I was trying everything to deal with the extra skin on my lower belly. I did crunches and about a million other things to try to get that skin to comply, but nothing was working.

On a whim, I finally reached out to Heidi and she told me to meet her at Mt Tabor. She said she had a kettlebell with my name on it. I was scared! It would probably be hard and lame, but I was going to try it anyway.

On our first workout, the weather was so rainy and windy we just walked around the park a few times, but for a good chunk of the time Heidi talked about loving the kettlebell. She told me that a major reason for all of her muscle definition was due to the kettlebell. She said that although you get some arm and shoulder exercise from the kettlebell it mostly targets abs, butt and thighs. That’s all the stuff I need! So I went out and bought my own kettlebell that day, and if you know me at all, you know I researched the hell out of the kettlebell so I could know about all of the possible benefits.

Here’s what I learned about the Kettlebell

1. You can have a total body workout with just one kettlebell! It targets all the major muscle groups.

2. It’s one of the best core workouts out there and you can see results quickly.

3. This is a high calorie burning exercise. A 20 minute workout with kettlebells burns 400 calories.

4. It helps with anatomical alignment (I can use all the help with being aligned as possible. I’m pretty crooked!).

5. It increases mobility, coordination and flexibility – which helps increase functional strength in your everyday life.

6. It promotes lean muscle development in half the time of a traditional workout.

7. It’s neurologically challenging to the brain to do these exercises, so your brain gets a workout too.

8. It helps improve posture.

My first kettlebell workout

The first time I worked out with my new kettlebell I thought, “Oh, this is fun!” I did sets of 10  and just a few reps of each routine that Heidi had messaged me and I felt good about it. Later that day I was feeling the burn of my abs in ways that I’m not used to feeling. That night I woke up in the middle of the night to a low-down ab muscle screaming at me. It said, “What the hell? We don’t work. What are you doing to us? You’re gonna wake us up with exercise? We’ll keep you up at night!” The next morning when I woke up I could feel my ribcage knitting together. It made me feel taller and thinner. After my second workout my ribcage got a lot tighter – more knitted together, to the point that I cannot even eat as much food in one sitting anymore. It’s like I’m wearing a ribcage girdle or something. I cannot remember having such a strong ribcage ever before and it gives me more of a defined waist too.

At this point I’ve only worked out with the kettlebell 5 times, but I can feel MAJOR effects from it.

My stomach has always been my problem area – what with having had a baby, a c-section, and chronic bloating for most of my life, due to undiagnosed celiac disease. I’d giving up on the idea that I could have a more toned stomach, but now I believe I can have a toned stomach, better anatomical alignment and that I can be much stronger than I thought possible.

Heidi and I did some kettlebelling on Mt Tabor, overlooking the city, and she thoroughly kicked my ass. Did I mention that she is hysterically funny and really flattering? Here are a few things she said to me during out last hangout/workout, “You just wake up looking that foxy? Just boom, like that on a Tuesday morning for no reason?” Or, “I think we’re on the same period iCloud account” (when we discovered our period cycles were already in synch). Or when we were working out and she was trying to keep it easy for me, so we did less reps and shorter sets, but as we kept repeating the circuit I started saying, “5 more!” And Heidi, was like, “YES!” And then I said, “5 more!” again. And Heidi said, “You’re an animal, Jen!” Meanwhile I was laughing my ass off and working out even harder. Heidi wasn’t quite to the level of the scene in When Harry Met Sally, but it had that flavor and really made me laugh.

 This is us after our workout last Tuesday. I’m downright shrimpy next to her, which never happens to me, but it does with her.

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 Heidi must be around 6 ft tall. And, if you can’t tell already she’s not just funny, flattering and fit, she’s also gorgeous and she’s a talented artist too!

Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 7.08.00 AM

This is one of her illustrations. Find more of her work here.

As we talked about art, body image, fitness and living a healthier life I realized we have TONS in common. I also learned that Heidi will be a personal trainer in the next few months. So she actually knows what the hell she is talking about.


Sometimes I’m struck by the strange life I live. When I needed someone/something to help me firm up skin and muscle in my stomach I just happened to reach out to the person who has been rattling my cage for some time, but I finally reached back and she had information that I need now. Info that I probably wasn’t ready for a year ago, but I am ready for today. Getting to work out with someone whose company I enjoy so much is a major bonus!

I’m working out with her next Tuesday morning. I’ll be there, come hell or high water, because the level of fun, fitness and health that the kettlebell workout and this woman provides is impossible to pass up.

Wanna do your own kettlebell workout? Here’s the workout that Heidi sent me. It’s a great starting place. Read about your form first and then click over to the workout. I’ve started with a 10lb kettlebell which I got at Fred Meyer, but they sell them at lots of different places including Target and probably whatever big chain store is near you.

Happy Kettlebelling!