Posted: January 11, 2013

In the world of fitness there are many options. Kettlebells, crossfit, bootcamps, and a host of other names that might or might not be familiar to you. I am asked by many, which one is right for me? Well, I used to tell people to pick one that sounds like something that they will like. Now, I tell them to pick one that is compatible with their level of training.

Crossfit is taking the limelight by storm. We have Crossfit gyms
showing up everywhere. My physical therapist says that the Crossfit craze will keep her in business forever! What she means by that, and I agree, is that Crossfit is not for everyone. It is the type of workout that adds extreme energy bursts, from one exercise to the next. From Olymic lifts to bodyweight exercises, it is not for the timid. It also uses exercises that have a level of difficulty meant for someone that has a strong background in weight lifting, and a pretty good cardio capacity. If you ask me, Crossfit is for someone that is already strong, with no previous injuries that need babying! Although some people have stories that say they never worked out, and had great results with Crossfit, enter at your own risk.

Kettlebells are a tool that can be used by everyone. Most people that ask me about our Kettlebell gym, think that they can’t use kettlebells since they have a bad back, or previous shoulder injury. I have many past injuries. I use kettlebells often, and for many reasons. Kettlebells are a heavy, weighted “ball” with a handle. Kettlebells come in many different weights and can be used for a number of exercises. With a kettlebell workout you gain muscular endurance, a cardiovascular workout and strength. Your core is engaged the entire time, and since the kettlebell is held in the center of your body, you are working most muscles from your shoulders to your ankles! Most kettlebell workouts start with learning the basic move, the swing. The swing is powered by your hips.  Performing a swing will get your heart rate soaring and your muscles engaged. You can use the kettlebell for an entire workout, using every muscle in your body. You can do swings, rows, presses, squats, and deadlifts as I do in my bootcamp classes. Kettlebells should not be used for swinging unless you know the proper technique. Just as in any new workout, you can get injured if not using the equipment properly. Get instructions by someone certified in Kettlebells, as my husband is in our gym. Michigan Kettlebells Strength & Training Center.

Bootcamps are what I think to be the best option for someone that wants to get stronger, and burn a ton of fat. Bootcamps are usually done in interval fashion. Timers are set, a group of stations are set up, and you do as many reps as possible in the given set of time. There is a short rest, and the group rotates to the next station til the sequence is done. If the timer is set for 30 seconds, you can either do 5 reps, or 25, depending on your level. This is great for most people since you are only competing against yourself. Strength gains can be seen in as little as one time per week, however, I recommend that people do this type of workout 2-3 times weekly. Every muscle in the body gets challenged, the heart rate soars, and it is fun! In a bootcamp the workout can be anything from bodyweight exercises to kettlebell swings. I highly recommend this type of workout.

Asking yourself which type of workout is the best for you, should be the one you will stick to. Whether it be kettlebells, crossfit, bootcamps or any other class type of workout, pick the one that goes with your level. Make sure you are coached with proper form to avoid injuries, and pick trainers that have certifications in the class you sign up for.

Most of all, have fun, be safe, and keep challenging your body to different exercises. The body has an amazing way of adapting to the demands you place on it, so keep adding new ways for it to be challenged.
With a clean diet, and a workout that uses your muscles, and your heart and lungs, you will start to get stronger, and leaner. So get up, and get moving.

NOW is the time to start!

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