I’m only just now coming up for air. My son was born two weeks ago. And of course, for those of you who have kids, you’re right – you told me so. My time is not my own any longer.
Right now, my in-laws, God bless them, are visiting and helping us out for 2 weeks. Cooking. Cleaning. Shopping. Being good sports and just giving us time and space. I just went back to work. And my wife seems to spend 80% of her day feeding, changing, and soothing the boy.
Workouts for the past two weeks were very limited and very time based.
Which brings up a great question –
Why don’t we make our kettlebell workouts more dependent on time?
Is it because everything else is?
Commute – 30 minutes each way.
Work – 8.5 hours, not including lunch.
Is it because we are so over-scheduled that we give ourselves open-ended workout times?
Sure, you may allot 60 minutes to work out, but do you need all of it?
(That of course challenges some other assumptions we make about exercise, which of course, why the kettlebell is such a good tool – it frees us, if we so choose, from traditional exercise assumptions and therefore programming.)
What if you really don’t have 60 minutes to work out? Does that mean you won’t work out at all?
What if you only had 15 minutes a day?
Could you do it?
Well that’s what I was doing last week.
I gave myself 15 minutes to train – for my kettlebell workouts – in my basement – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday and 10 minutes on Wednesday and Saturday.
Here’s what I did:
Monday / Thursday: Double Clean and Press 2x32kg
Tuesday / Friday: Double Front Squat 2x32kg (ok, admittedly, I escaped to my studio on Friday and was able to do some barbell squats…)
Wednesday and Saturday: Snatch, 32kg
I just used the ol’ density protocol, which Charles Staley popularized about 8 years ago, and went to it.
I wasn’t trying to kill myself, just attempting to get some numbers on the board, so-to-speak. And I wasn’t worried about reps. I just did what seemed natural, or intuitive in that particular moment.
For example, on Monday, I used sets of 3 on the C+P. Thursday, sets of 2,3,5 cause I just felt like it. And my goal was to do more work (volume, or total reps lifted) in that same time period. No pressure. Just focus and fun. And progress.
And that’s the key – Progress.
So it doesn’t matter how long your kettlebell workouts are. That’s kind of missing the point. The point is really, what kind of progress can you make, that helps you get closer to your goal, in whatever time you have. Not only that, but can you consistently make progress toward your goal?
Those are valuable and worthy questions to ask the next time you pick up your kettlebell.
Speaking of the next time you pick up your kettlebell, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Am I making the best use of my time and my choices of exercises in my workouts or am I just going through the motions or incorporating things because I feel some external pressure about doing so, like “I should?”
2. How much time do I really need to workout? Am I using all of it wisely, or am I goofing off? Am I ok with goofing off or is my goofing off when I should be working out causing stress in other areas of my life (i.e. with my spouse or kids)?
3. Am I still making progress – real, measurable progress toward my goal? Or have I stalled and am I just marking time?
4. If I answered any of the questions in such a way that violates my own sense of personal justice – that is, that violates my conscience about what I want to achieve, am I willing to do anything about the area in question or am I just going to keep doing what I’m still doing? Can I live with that?
So, yeah, I know those are some deep questions.
But now that my time is not my own and I want to share it more with my wife and my son, I’ve been asking myself those types of questions. I thought I’d pass them on to you.
I’m learning that it’s the questions and the quality of the questions you ask that determines the outcome and results in your life – and the same holds true for your kettlebell workouts.
Next time, I’ll give you some more ideas for short, efficient, kettlebell workouts.