Project Fit Pregnancy: Week 17


Image shows a pregnant woman cradling her belly outside

Last Thursday night, I was laying in bed and just could not get to sleep. You know how it is; the ol’ brain just won’t shut down.

It was almost midnight when I suddenly felt something and realized hey, that’s not a digestive complaint.

So last Thursday marks the first time I felt the baby kicking and I knew for sure it was the baby. Since then, there’s been some kicking here and there every day.

There really isn’t anything quite like it. Definitely one of the most amazing things about the miracle of pregnancy.

So, where were we? Ah, yes, working out.

I mentioned to Gabriel that I’d like to run a 1/2 marathon on (or around) my 29th birthday. He said, “why not you 28th” to which I replied, “dude, I’ll be six months pregnant. I’m dying just thinking about it.” case closed.

Despite not running these days, I am getting some cardio, mostly in the form of HIIT (that’s high-intensity Interval Training for those who don’t know). Although I admit, my “high intensity” is probably a little on the wimpy side. I keep saying I’m going to go out and run sprint intervals, but it rarely ever happens – in this cold weather, I tend to be something of a housebound hermit.

Nevertheless, it is cardio in the form of kettlebell swings, burpees, and a few other torturous forms of exercise that I can’t find an excuse not to do since they can be done anytime right in the middle of the living room. And I’m pretty happy with it.

So, without further ado, here’s the breakdown for last week:

Bench press
Military press
Bent over row

Barbell squats
Single-leg glute bridge
Calf raise

Bench press
lat pulldown
Kettlebell swings

Barbell squat
Kettlebell deadlifts
Kettlebell lunges

You can see on Saturday that almost everything was done with kettlebells. The squats could have been switched from the backloaded barbell to kettlebell goblet squats to make it entirely kettlebells.

The simple reason for using kettlebells Saturday was that we keep our barbell set under the carport – and it’s cold out there. Whereas we keep the kettlebells right next to the couch in the living room… where it’s warm.

The Olympic weight set is something Gabriel brought into our marriage, and I’m very thankful for it. It’s given me the opportunity to become familiar with traditional weight-lifting exercises.

Most people don’t have room or the inclination to invest in an Olympic set, though – I certainly wouldn’t if we didn’t already have one.

That’s why I love and use kettlebells so much. A couple of kettlebells are a fairly small investment, and they’re just about the most versatile piece of equipment I can think of.

Why Kettlebells Rock

Image shows a black kettlebell

It may seem like you’d have to get a ridiculous variety of weights in order to do all the exercises, but that really isn’t so when you use just a little creativity.

For instance, you could do single-leg deadlifts with your kettlebell just as effectively as you do regular barbell deadlifts with three times the weight. There’s a big difference largely because of all the energy you put into balancing during single-leg exercises.

Likewise, you may be able to back squat your body weight, but can you goblet squat half that (for as many reps) with a kettlebell?

With this same kettlebell that you use for lower body days, you can perform bent-over rows, snatches, and, if you’re really strong (or have a smaller kettlebell), “bench” presses, etc., on upper body days.

You can also use it for swings and such for cardio.

If you’re interested in fitness, I highly recommend looking into kettlebells. But do yourself a favor and stay away from paperweights and training DVDs that use paperweights or say something like “slim and tone” in the title.

My standard is that anything Garrett can lift is a paperweight – and I saw him lifting a ten-pounder a few days ago.

Personally, I started with 25 lbs. and moved up to 36 on swings and basically anything that doesn’t require the bell coming up above my shoulder. I use those weights because that’s what we have (Gabriel also brought the kettlebells into our marriage).

I’ve seen it recommended that ladies start with 15 lbs. and work up from there. The main idea is that you not short-change yourself on the weight – not if you really want to see benefits from working out.

I won’t lie; kettlebell workouts can be grueling. That’s at least partly because they (the traditional moves at least) kill two birds with one stone by incorporating strength training with cardio. It’s good stuff.

Disclaimer: Please understand that I am not, nor do I claim to be, a health or fitness professional. Please consult with a qualified professional before following any advice you find on this webpage.

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