The Swing! Book Review

Last week I checked out the local library for the first time!

Feel the literary lending power.

I sort of forgot that libraries are a thing, and I don’t need to push my Amazon and Kindle budget to the limit to get a few good reads. Plus, I was on a missions to find a training book on Olympic lifting or kettle bell, and though the selection at my branch left a little to be desired, I did find one book that was about beginning kettle bells for women. Score.
I devoured The Swing!: Lose the Fat and Get Fit with This Revolutionary Kettlebell Program by Tracy Reifkind in one quick evening and the next day got to work with the prescribed training program. All I really wanted in a training book was some basic technique recommendations and a beginner-level program that I could just open up and follow. Please tell me what to do, and don’t make me think too hard is my training style.

A lot of the book just explains over and over again how quick, simple, and fun kettle bell swinging is. I may have skimmed through most of the beginning where the author talks about her back story of losing 130 lbs with basic yet challenging kettle bell workouts and a clean diet. It’s great, but it’s not really what I am focused on. I picked up the book, you already have me convinced to try kettle bells! Then the book breaks down the swing technique and offers some simple exercises to get the motion down, and provides modifications if needed. Finally, a progressive 16-session workout series is introduced which I am now working through. The last part of the book is diet recommendations, which I wasn’t too interested in either. It’s your predictable clean eating, whole-food plan emphasizing plants and lean meats and staying away from processed food. All good things, but nothing revolutionary. 

This book was written for a woman who maybe has never exercised before, is perhaps just starting out on her health journey and doesn’t really know where to begin. I’m still looking for a book that has a little more technical and varied material, but this is a great place to start. This would be perfect for someone who has expressed interest in getting in shape, but is worried about cost, effort, and time constraints. All you need to do these workouts is a kettle bell, a clock, and 15 minutes.

And that’s how I’ve been following the program. I have a 25 lb kettlebell that I use, and so far have completed 3 of the exercises. The first time … Wow, I could hardly stand afterwords without my legs shaking! I was a bit sore the next day, but it wasn’t the worst DOMS by any means. And it really is quick: crank up some loud heavy metal, do some dynamic stretching to warm up, swing away for 15 minutes, and I’m done!

A word of caution: DO NOT swing a ‘bell where dogs or small children are unrestrained and running freely around you. They don’t understand physics or the conservation of energy, and I almost beaned Olive over the head when she ran in front of me mid-swing. This might be an activity best saved for nap time, or near a pack-and-play or similar child detainment device.

In other news, we’re still blazing forward in my loose “drunken caveman” paleo eating style. Breakfast was a quick Starbucks coffee and double smoked bacon breakfast sandwich, because mornings. Then lunch out with coworkers turned into taco Tuesday:

This lunch was 100% worth it, paired with tomato basil soup as a side. So good.

Hulk has been experimenting with chicken and rice dishes for dinner. We cooked some bone broth the other day, and he’s been using that to cook rice with chicken and veggies. It is so savory and good. I will never cook rice without broth again.

I guess my meals aren’t truly paleo, but I’m resisting the snacking and holiday goodies that are starting to surround me. I figure I’ll use my willpower on the obvious stuff and not worry too much at meal times. Last night I did skip my usual post-dinner beer, and when everyone else was enjoying leftover pumpkin pie (it just won’t die!) I had some lemon tea. No deprivation, I just wasn’t feeling it so why bother?

I decided I’m going to end posts with some questions, for fun. If you want to respond, feel free to leave a comment. Or comment on something unrelated. Or don’t comment. I’m fine with that; I’m a lurker too!

‘Merican readers, Do you still have Thanksgiving leftovers?

Do you visit the library, prefer to have your own books, or hate reading in general?

That’s it for now. Go make it a great day!