I hale from warm climates. The type where summer days are spent tempting a myriad of UTIs and fungal infections due to living in a wet bathing suit. The results of summers spent in sweltering conditions means that like a camel, summer has been my season of abstaining from my usual inhalation of food. You know there’s a problem when your internet history shows obsessive variations of searches using search terms such as ‘water weight,’ ‘hormone changes.’ and ‘metabolism problems.’ Traditionally, like a bear, I put on weight in the winter for hibernation and spend my spring cursing myself in the changing room while I attempt to pour my seal like physique into a bathing suit .
There is only one thing to blame: The summer was not kind to either of the CSL editorial waste lines and we do not want to be fat for Christmas. As I type this, my knee high fall boots look like they are cutting off my thigh circulation. We are turning over a new (autumnal leaf) and after a phone call which involved me screaming ‘None of my f*%cking autumnal clothes fit me. I have to tight roll my waste into my jeans. What has happened?!’ Amanda did what is customary in our relationship and let me throw my tantrum and then said ‘Strong is the new skinny. Ok, I know this woman and she is going to help us.’
Meet Marie Barton who is the chief instructor at HiiTMe. (This really made me laugh because this is generally how I feel about exercise- I’d rather be punched in the face). I was rather terrified to meet her as Amanda had at one point been her boxing student. My first words were ‘I don’t box or do anything that could injure my face.’ It was then explained to me that boxing nor injuring oneself was not part of Kettlercise.
WTF is Kettlercise?
Think Kettlebells- but not the insanely heavy ones. Kettlercise covers a huge range of 37 kettlebell exercises ranging from high energy pulse raises to being able to place extra emphasis on target muscle groups like my non-existent core or my portly thighs all with maximum effectiveness. The best part? Each exercise only lasts ONE MINUTE! I can do anything for one minute. At boarding school I was a competitive eater and won the contest for who could eat the most jalapeños in one minute and a few lunges holding a kettlebell couldn’t possibly wreak that much havoc on my body so I was confident.
My First Kettlercise Class
Before class started, I asked if it was ok for me to just do the class without the kettlebell. Always looking for the easy way out, I told her I worried I might get irritated and launch the kettlebell at another participant. I miscalculated her response as she said ‘Absolutely! That way I can watch your form and make sure you are doing the exercises right.’ Whether this was a jedi mind trick or some reverse psychology exercise, the next thing I knew, I was warming up, kettlebell in hand.
I’m not going to lie. After the ‘warm up,’ I wanted to die.
While doing something called a ‘windmill’ while bobbing up and down sideways to the left and looking up towards the kettlebell held in my right hand, she told me I wasn’t pulling in my belly button enough. While I wanted to defend myself, I didn’t have the breath to argue and we were quickly on to our next exercise…and well, because she was probably right.
She guides us through each move, and yelled out encouraging phrases like ‘Come ON!’ which I was sure was directed at me. I am weak. This is a fact so I require encouragement when physically exerting myself. When we were meant to pass the kettle bell under each lunged knee, I nearly fell over, yet found myself nailing it and did a little victory dance in my head. I love the music because it isn’t so loud my fillings rattle and if I could breath I would definitely sing along. Before the end of each exercise, the next one is explained and so on. Marie is a motivational teacher and she does each exercise herself which leads me to assume this is why she has Angela Basset arms.
The Morning After
I couldn’t sit on the toilet. Couldn’t actually sit down and briefly considered investing in the original female urinating device; a Shewee. Perhaps it wasn’t invented by a woman at a festival who didn’t want to wait in line- perhaps it was ACTUALLY created due to the morning-after-a-kettlercise-class?
The whole program is 6 weeks long, one class per week. I mean, there is the option to do 2 classes per week but I like to dip my toe in and I also needed a week to fully recover. I must say- with each class, I felt the hour went by much quicker. Before I knew it we were on to our floor work- (my personal favourite part of the class because it means…well, being horizontal). I also found myself feeling stronger and even going up from my 4kg kettlebells to 6kg. I saw a classmate use an 8kg but I’m under no false notion that I will ever get there. When I do a bit of research on this type of exercise, it seems people all over the world are taking 12 week/total body transformation Kettlercise Challenges. A total body transformation sounds like something I could definitely be down with….as long as I can pee sitting down on a regular basis.