Coming Clean

One woman’s honest quest to clean up her unhealthy life for herself and her family.

Experience Life Magazine

Team Kettlebells

As I’ve been working hard to lose weight, I’ve found a great support system in my teammates at Experience Life magazine. My co-workers have a wealth of knowledge and have either lost weight themselves or are maintaining weight loss, or are generally eating healthy, trying different detox methods (for the body and mind), or are working to improve their strength and fitness.

Several of my co-workers are registered yoga teachers. One competes in long-distance cross-country skiing competitions (always my go-to guy for tips on outdoor winter gear). One is big into rock climbing. A few are avid bikers. And our senior fitness editor and author of Survival of the Fittest, Jen Sinkler, is a certified kettlebell instructor (RKC and KBA), senior-level USA Weightlifting coach, CrossFit Level 1, and L.I.F.T. certified through Ultimate Sandbag.

Every week, our team gets together to do a kettlebell circuit designed by Jen. This circuit gets your heart pumping and builds strength. You can also modify it based on your level of fitness (or if you forgot your workout clothes and are wearing stockings). Two rounds are about 10 minutes; work your way up to four rounds if you have the time. You can also grab heavier kettlebells as you get stronger.

  1. Alternating Walking Press, 45 seconds. Hold two 15-pound kettlebells at shoulder height with wrists straight. Press the right kettlebell up, lower, and then press the left kettlebell straight up. If the kettlebells feel heavy, use a push press (squat a bit and use your legs to help) to raise the kettlebells overhead. Rest for 20 seconds.
  2. Row, 45 seconds. Bend at the hips and place your free arm on your thigh. Using your left arm, pull a 15- to 25-pound kettlebell up — bend your elbow and squeeze your shoulders as you row. Keep your gaze in front of you on the floor so your neck remains neutral. The back can often handle more weight than the shoulders, so you can use a heavier kettlebell. On round two, use your right arm to row. Rest for 20 seconds.
  3. Jumping Lunges, 45 seconds. Lunge backward and jump straight up as you switch legs; lunge on the other legs; jump to switch again and keep a fast pace as you continue to switch legs. You can also perform regular lunges here to decrease the intensity. Stepping back vs. forward on lunges is often easier on the knees. Rest for 20 seconds. 
  4. Waiter Carry, 45 seconds. Press a 15-pound kettlebell straight up with your left arm, keep your core tight and walk around the room. Make sure you don’t lean to one side! On round two, carry the kettlebell on your right side. Rest for 20 seconds.

Repeat the circuit after your 20-second rest. Once complete, you should appear as happy as this:

Here I am doing Alternating Walking Presses with 15-pound kettlebells.