Tracy Reifkind: The Transformative Power of the Kettlebell Swing
Tracy (and Mark) Reifkind detail how kettlebells transformed her body and how those changes inspired her to use the kettlebell swing to its full potential.
Mark taught me how to swing a kettlebell. I started with an 8kg . . . and I didn’t want to do it. I couldn’t imagine how this thing could do anything.
He’s like, “Just do 10 reps at a time. 10 reps.”
“Okay, I’ll do it. I’ll do it.”
So, that’s how I started. 10 reps at a time. And within a very short amount of time, very short, I was looking in the mirror one day and I saw these shoulders, that I’ve never seen before in my life. I saw these arms that I would have died for in my 20s. I saw a solid foundation. I saw abs. I saw all kinds of stuff and I knew it had to be from the kettlebells because I had done things in the past—all those reps and sets with standard weight resistance in the bodybuilding days—and I had never seen the body that I was seeing in that moment.
I thought, ‘Wow, if 10 reps can do this, what would 100 reps do?!’
So, I started training the kettlebell swing like a madwoman. The kettlebell swing helped me find the athlete inside of me . . . but it brought it to the outside by transforming my body in a way that I never thought possible. Especially in my 40s and coming off a 100-pound loss.
I’m going to share with you how I developed my way of doing a lot of swings.
Of the things that happened with Tracy when she started training with longer interval sets, the physiological changes that started happening with her body were very interesting. It was a combination of aerobic and slightly anaerobic work. There was the aerobic component of higher-volume, minute-long sets (or even longer) but because the kettlebell ballistics and the force of the work, there was an anaerobic component—that’s why they come up with these 1,200 calorie-per-hour burns—it’s not just aerobic metabolism, it’s the combination of aerobic and anaerobic metabolism.
For most people who want to burn a lot of calories and build muscle at the same time, that’s what was so unique, all of a sudden you have this musculature that you wouldn’t think would come from aerobic-type exercise.
That’s what really made the difference . . . and that’s what most people want. They want to lose weight and they want to increase their tone in the shortest amount of time. Doing these one-minute and two-minute long sets is that perfect blend of metabolic conditioning and muscular activity that gave her that transformation.
To learn how Tracy’s kettlebell swing programs can transform you, continue with Programming the Kettlebell Swing:
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