CONFIDENTIAL likes to put me through my fitness paces.
Hand me a weight and I’ll lift it, tell me to squat and I’ll attempt to squat a gazillion times.
There's something quite exciting, and dare I say fun, about tossing a 12KG kettlebell between your legs and over your head. The fear of knocking your teeth out (or someone close by), keeps you focused on the exercise at hand.
In general, I’ve tried yoga in sweltering heat, crossfit, martial arts, boot camps, Insanity challenges and more because apparently I think I’m an indestructable force.
Y Club’s new Kettlemix class is one of the latest fitness classes to hit the Castlefield gym and the workout I was keen to try. The classes use a combination of workouts with the cast-iron weight that resembles a deactivated canon ball and challenging high intensity aerobics. Kettlemix was designed to build strength and burn fat in hour sessions and what I'd soon discover the classes would also test my shockingly poor upper body strength.
Fit as I am, I am by no means weightlifting Olympian, Zoe Smith.
Spread out in the Castlefield Health Club's fitness studio, were the kettlebells and a plethora of scary looking apparatus and instructions. Split into teams, we would have to complete a circuit of kettlebell swings, lunges and lifts and move on to skipping, TRX exercises and a mixture of exhausting cardio techniques that involve a lot of jumping up and down.
Our instructor would time two minutes on each course. And as with every gruelling exercise, two minutes can feel like two days. Even so there's something quite exciting, and dare I say fun, about tossing a 12 kilogram kettlebell between your legs and over your head. The fear of knocking your teeth out (or someone else's), keeps you focused on the exercise at hand.
Originating from Russia and used by many Russian athletes, Kettlebells work your entire body. My legs and bum felt equally as worked out as my core muscles and skinny chicken wing arms. Repeating the lunges, lifts and swings, saw an improved kettlebell technique and it was clear that with constant practice you could see a much stronger physique. Russian gymnast strong.
Harder still were the TRX workouts that were alternated between the kettlebell swings. Two elastic straps attached to the wall allow you to transfer your body weight to either your feet or hands as you complete a set of reps. Given that I've only managed to master 'lady push-ups' on my knees, TRX allows you to complete push-ups and more in the correct postion. And boy, is it difficult.
The kettlemix classes don't allow much time for slacking.
Where some of the class would be figuring out how to complete a press-up and lift a kettlebell at the same time, others would be red faced doing jumping jacks and remembering how to skip. The busyness in the room keeps the energy levels high and you manage to plough through the circuit.
The best thing about the class is the variation of workouts. They enable easily distracted minds to keep entertained and challenged. Looking around it was clear to see why Kettlemix is an attractive workout class for men, women and all ages. By the sight of everyone's sweaty faces we were all equally challenged, yet importantly equally capable of completing the circuit.
Kettlemix's difficulty is not off-putting and I felt as if I would like to include kettlebells into my workouts more as a whole. Under the watchful eye of Y Club's trainers, you're assured that you won't do your back in, and, again, end up with a face full of cast-iron.
Kettlemix runs in Y Club's fitness studio every Monday 18:30- 19:30 Find out more about Y Club's classes on its website
The health club is based on Liverpool Rd, Castlefield, Manchester M3 4JR.
Follow @LOreal_B on Twitter