Sunday, October 18, 2009

Post-HKC Training: Enter the Dumbbell!

Also the barbell and (gasp!) the cable machine. Did I just say "machine"? Yep, I sure did.

And the stability ball. And the TRX. And whatever the hell else I feel like using in addition to my beloved kettlebells.

Because here's the thing: when you're training for general fitness, your best results come from consistency. And for many of us, myself included, it's easiest to be consistent when our workouts include a variety of modalities. Kettlebells will always be my favorite strength and conditioning tool because they are so wonderfully versatile ... but just because I like kettlebells best it doesn't mean I can't enjoy other types of workouts from time to time.

Put it this way: ninety percent of the time when I do my nails I paint them pale pink (Essie Mademoiselle, one coat). But I have about 10 other colors of nail polish lurking under my bathroom sink, because sometimes I just feel like having nails that are red or coral or burgundy or fuschia. If I could only have one color I'd pick Mademoiselle, but since I don't have to choose why should I?

Besides, having options helps me enjoy my favorites even more. I had a great kettlebell workout today, my first one in over a week. And I'm sure the reason I enjoyed it so much is that my workout schedule actually called for me to do something else. But kettlebells were what I felt like using so I modified my plan, substituting biomechanically equivalent kettlebell drills for the barbell and dumbbell exercises I had been thinking I would do.

In all honesty, this eclectic approach isn't terribly effective for achieving specific performance goals. If you've got some of those, you really do kinda have to suck it up and do some workouts that may not be what you feel like doing on a given day. For instance, I have a 5k to run in about a month, so that means I need to start running again at least a couple of times a week. I have a high level of cardiovascular fitness but my joints aren't used to the repetitive stress of running outdoors for any distance so I need to work on that. I may not always feel like it, but I will do it because I know it's what I have to do.

I'm also going to be doing a lot of pointe prep work whether I feel like it or not because I need to get a lot stronger for Nutcracker in December.

But everything else is negotiable, at least for now.