How to get started with Kettlebell Training Workouts

Kettlebells are one of the greatest tools to improve your strength and fitness in my opinion. Adding a couple of Kettlebells into your home fitness equipment list adds a whole new dimension to your strength training and range of functional exercise options. The other benefit is they are relatively cheap to buy and take up much less space than a treadmill or rowing machine.

Kettlebells build full body strength and will improve motor skills for many daily activities and sports. Using Kettlebells can incorporate the three planes of movement and strengthens groups of muscles at a time rather than one, basically, they are a really useful tool for building up functional fitness levels.

Kettlebells can be used to develop and improve:
• strength and power
• hypertrophy
• muscle endurance
• functional abilities
• core strength
• sports performance
• active flexibility
• body composition
• cardiovascular fitness

A common question that I get asked is what weight should I get to start with? I would say that a good starting weight would be 6kg or 8kg. I personally prefer the cast iron ones like this over the plastic ones as they can be a bit bulkier and harder to handle. 

If you already have kettlebells at home and want to build up your confidence using them, then I have a Get Started with Kettlebells Programme that you can access here.

If you have any questions about kettlebells or how to use them please leave me a comment.

Please note that, unless specifically stated, the information provided by Aimee Pearce Personal Training is for people who are medically fit and not pregnant, with no medical, joint or health problems.  

If you require specific advice regarding your personal circumstances please contact me at aimee@aimeepearcepersonaltrainer

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Neither Aimee, nor anyone associated with, will be responsible or liable for any injury sustained while exercising at your home, gym or elsewhere as a result of the information provided on this website, downloads or programmes. You use the information and workout at entirely your own risk.

If you are unsure please consult a Doctor before starting any exercise program.

Pregnancy and Postnatal Fitness

The main goal during pregnancy is to maintain current levels of strength and fitness. However, a goal that is equally as important is to keep you pain-free and active for as long as possible, throughout the pregnancy and into the recovery stages postnatally.  

The ideal scenario would be that you are already training and building up muscle before you fall pregnant, but whatever stage of pregnancy or postnatal recovery you are at, exercise will be beneficial for you.

Exercise During Pregnancy

Walking is a good place to start if you have not been exercising prior to getting pregnant. Start with 10-minute walks every day and slowly increase the time spent walking as you feel more comfortable.

If you have been training prior to getting pregnant you can continue your usual routine for as long as you feel comfortable. You may need to make some adaptations once bump starts getting bigger and your centre of gravity changes.

Postnatal Exercise

The recommended guidelines for returning to exercise postnatally is six weeks after vaginal birth and twelve weeks for a Cesaerean delivery. However, I have had clients who are ready to return before these time frames. Also for some these official guidelines are too early for them to even think about returning to exercise.

I would always recommend that you wait until bleeding has stopped before you restart any physical activity.

The most important thing to consider when returning to exercise is to listen to your body and make sure you are ready. There is absolutely no rush to return to fitness after having a baby and you should not feel any pressure to do so. Being pregnant and having a baby is an intense period of your life, don’t rush it away worrying or feeling pressured to restart exercise too soon.

Please also consider that the hormone relaxin can stay in your body for up to six months postnatally so be careful about over stretching and pushing joints too far. In particular some yoga positions might be too intense and can cause injury.

Being aware of your posture postnatally can make a big difference to your pain levels, especially in your lower back. Check out my post below for more information on pelvic alignment.

Coming back into exercise after having a baby can be frustrating, especially for those who were mega fit and exercised regularly prior to and during their pregnancy. Being pregnant puts a big strain on your body and its important to heal and take the time to recover before pushing your body too fast. It will take time to build back up to pregnancy levels and that’s ok!

The focus of your training should be on building full-body strength, not just the areas that you feel are your “trouble spots”. This might also be a good time to re-assess who you are following on social media and mute or unfollow any accounts. In particular, any accounts that make you feel bad about your body or are promoting “get your body back after baby”, you haven’t lost your body, it hasn’t gone anywhere so you don’t need to find it. Your body has done an amazing thing and should be celebrated not punished for changing.

How to stay motivated to exercise with a baby

If you feel ready to start exercising this is a gentle postnatal exercise routine for you to try. Remember to take your time and rest when you need too. Its not a competition!

You might also be interested in my weekly Fit Mums Online session, where you can workout with baby from the comfort of your own home. All the routines will be led by me and will be real-time and suitable for pregnant or postnatal stages.

If you are unsure of where to start exercising when pregnant or just want a helping hand in the recovery and rebuilding strength after baby please get in touch.

How to Stay Motivated to Workout Regularly

Something I hear a lot is just how much people struggle with motivation, how to stay motivated when you’re on the right track, and how to re-motivate yourself when you have fallen off that wagon.

It is impossible to be motivated all of the time!!

The most important thing that I want you to remember is not to beat yourself up if you do not feel motivated to exercise. You cannot let one bad day, or one bad week, turn into one bad year that means you stop completely because you’ve missed a few sessions. It’s really important to make a plan and work out how you are going to get back on track. Being harsh to yourself is not going to help.

A good way to help with motivation levels is to make yourself accountable. That’s why Personal Training works so well. I am there to keep you accountable, to coach you and design the sessions for you. You have to explain to me as to why you are not going to attend a session that you have booked with me. At another level this accountability can be easily achieved by arranging to meet up with a friend to workout or go for a walk or bike ride together.

Another way to help keep yourself accountable, is to post in my Facebook group to say what your intentions are for the next few weeks, that can really help to keep you motivated and keep you on the right path.

A really important key to staying motivated is to schedule time in your diary to workout, ideally at the same time each week. Take some time to look closely at your routine and at your lifestyle for the next few weeks and actually book in a slot for yourself. Make that commitment to yourself by making an appointment in your diary, it will be less likely to get overlooked if you have it scheduled in.

If you do need to cancel that session for whatever reason, don’t beat yourself up about it, life is busy and things do have to get moved around and cancelled. Just look again to your diary and book that next session in.

Its really important to make your workouts fun and enjoyable. You are much more likely to stick to a regular workout pattern if you are enjoying the sessions that you have booked in with yourself.

If you are struggling to stay motivated because you just don’t know where to start and what exercises to do PLEASE DON’T STRUGGLE! I’ve got lots of routines that you can do on my YouTube channel. I also go live every month in my Facebook group to deliver a 30 minutes body weight exercise routine.

If you’re part of my membership group, there’s loads of real time routines that you can do at a time that suits you. I also have a four week programme for you to follow with ten routines to work through. This will help to keep you focused when you do come to exercise.

I hope these tips do help you, if you still feel that you are struggling please download my Find The Time Ebook for more tips.

Reasons why women should lift weights and increase muscle mass

Muscle mass has a protective effect on all-round health, so whatever your age, fitness goal, or current fitness level you will certainly benefit from increasing the amount of muscle you have in your body, especially as a woman. Lifting weights with the goal of building muscle will mean a better quality of life now, as well as when we are older. We will be able to look after ourselves for longer and lead a more independent life. 

A common concern among women is that building muscle will make them look bulky. However more muscle means increased metabolism and it will make you a more efficient mover, meaning fewer injuries and pain. It takes a lot of hard work in the form of heavy training and increased calories for women to gain muscle mass due to their genetic makeup and hormones. 

Focus on what your body can do, rather than what it looks like!

There is absolutely no age limit when it comes to fitness training and especially not with strength training and lifting weights. Our muscle mass starts to decline rapidly after the age of 45, with major reductions again occurring at age 65 and 80.  We need muscle to allow our body to move and function effectively that’s why it’s so important that we start to build up the amount of muscle we have in our body when we are able to do so.

The more muscle we have to begin with the better protected we are from the natural physical decline as we age. Think of your body like a bank account and muscle is money. The more money you have in your bank account the more you can afford to lose as we age or if we have a serious accident or injury. 

The only way you can build up your bank account is to continue to make deposits. We can only build more muscle in the body is by continuously giving our muscles the signal that they aren’t strong enough. This then sends the message to our muscles to make the changes to grow and get stronger. As part of a muscle-building programme you should be changing your routines and increasing the resistance (the weight you are lifting) every four to six weeks. 

To get started building more muscle in your body, bodyweight exercises are a good place to start. Once you feel more confident and stronger you can then progress onto increasing the resistance via free weights such as kettlebells or dumbbells.

The videos below will give you a good starting point for sessions you can try at home. 

Solo Camping as a Woman

This week I went on my first solo camping trip. In preparation I read a few blog posts, one of which advised that I take pepper spray and a gun with me! While I agree with the need to be cautious, these are my top tips for going solo camping without needing to buy a firearm.

If you have never camped before I wouldn’t recommend camping in a tent solo straight off. If it is your first time camping or camping solo and you feel a bit nervous I would recommend going into a log cabin or a bell tent. Choosing a glamping option is also a good idea if you want to try camping without forking out on all the gear. In some places, the cabins have beds already in and you just need to take your sleeping bag. Bell tents can also be a good option as they will be already pitched ready for when you arrive. 

I would say that you need at least two nights away on your own to fully reap the benefits and start to switch off completely. 

Have a rough itinerary in mind. For me going camping on my own allowed me to go on some bigger adventures that I just couldn’t do with a dog and a herd of kids in tow. I use the Kamoot App to plan some rides and walks in the local area I will be staying. However, it was also good to have some time just to sit and read a book or sit and people watch. Don’t force yourself to relax but aim to do as many things that bring you joy but you struggle to fit in in everyday life. 

One of the bonus’ of solo camping is that everything is on your own terms and pace. When, where and what you eat. All time restrictions can go out of the window so go at your own pace and don’t feel guilty for having that nana nap in the afternoon.

Research your location. I use Cool Camping to find my campsites. You can search by location as well as by what facilities the sites have. There are also lots of reviews to help you see what other visitors have to say about the facilities. The first time you go away solo, pick somewhere fairly close to home. Always let someone know what campsite you will be staying at and what time you are expected to be back home. 

Check your kit. Before you go make sure you know how to put your tent up and check that everything you need is in the bag. If you haven’t been camping for a while it is a good idea to check the tent isn’t covered in mould or needs any repairs before your trip. Most campsites do sell basic camping kit like pegs etc but it’s one less thing that you need to worry about. If you have a new tent or it’s going to be the first time putting it up on your own, then have a practice run before you go. 

Take a tripod. You can get cheap tripods for your mobile phone as well as a Bluetooth clicker so you can take some great selfies to document your solo trip. 

Take a real book. Kindles and other electronic devices are great but this is a good time to go off grid with a real-life physical book that won’t run out of battery! I would also highly recommend taking a journal with you. There will be a lot of time for you to sit with your thoughts and feel empowered and confident. Make a note of them in your journal so you can remind yourself of these moments when you get back home and back to “normal”.

Plan for the worst. What are you most nervous or worried about when you think about going away on your own? What can you do to minimise that fear? What can you put in place to ensure that if this fear does happen, you have the tools or mindset ready to face and overcome it?

If you don’t have the luxury of getting some time away on your own why not take the kids along with you, my blog post on this might be useful.

I really hope that you give solo camping a try. If you do please tag me in your pictures using @aimeepearcept or share them with me in my free Ladies Only Lifestyle Support Group.

Happy Adventuring! x