Tuesday, June 19, 2007

What Am I Training For?

KB's came into my life for a couple of reasons, first, I knew I had to add some sort of weight resistance exercise in addition to my walking after my inital 20-30lb weight loss, and I knew having muscle burns more calories AND looks nicer than no muscle. Second, Mark named his studio Girya and was totally into kettlebells at the time, so what else would I do, go to 24 HOUR Fitness???? Not.

So there I started. Just swinging for 20 min. (5 sets 2 1/2 min. sets, 2 1/2 min. rest, combos). After about 3 months I noticed something that I had never seen before, shoulder definition! And I knew it was the KB's. So I thought....hmmn....if this is the result of 20 min. of swing combinations, what will 40 minutes do?? Even with all the power lifting and bodybuilding exercises I had done in the past I had never had the shoulder and arm definition I had always dreamed about, until KB's.

I was hooked, I was hooked on the way I looked. Especially on my way down from such a big weight loss I never imagined that my body could ever recover from that kind of damage. Yes, I would be smaller, but what would I look like? The more training I did, the better I looked, and the more training I did, the better I looked, then my natural endurance kicked in, combined with a tendency to become obsessive, and I started getting leaner and stronger.

I'm just somebody who's worked really hard to acheive my goals, to lose weight and get "in shape". The fact that my style of training has produced an incredible amount of work capacity and upper body strength was a side effect, so what to do with it? There's a couple of ways to test the effect of my training, the SSST or the rules of GS sport. Could I do well if I specialized in either? I think so. Do I want to change my training to do so? I don't think so, if it ain't broke don't fix it. It's fun to challenge yourself but I'm really interested in the physical effects of KB training not just numbers.

So what am I training for? Bottom line, I want to look good, I'm 43 years old and I have a second chance in my life to be the best I can be . I don't train specifically for one or the other, I've never claimed to be an expert in either. I can specialize in SSST or GS or specialize in looking good? Winning for me is getting the body I've always wanted.


Christine said...

Look at those guns! :)

I'm weird in that I have to have something to train "for". This has been my challenge since retiring from football.

Darwin said...

Quick question, feel free to ignore if too personal: as someone on the tail end of 100 lbs loss (15 lbs to go), did you find you had a lot of loose skin? Or did the kettlebells get rid of most of it?

Zorbs said...

You look totally awesome!

fawn said...

Wow, Tracy, your arms are look awesome... and they should, you are the swing/snatch stamina Queen! I envy your focus and endurance! Rock on!

charley allen said...

And you did it with high rep sets of swings for time. Amazing what a simple routine, consistently applied, with sensible eating will do. The nice thing about it is that what you are doing gives you a margin for error on those days when you decide to throw caution to the wind and eat whatever you want in the quantity you want.

I know you aren't training for competition, but what you are doing is not much different in philosophy than what the kettlebell lifters at the American Kettlebell Club are doing for fitness.

How is your male client getting along in his quest to shed some fat and pounds?

Tracy Reifkind said...

Christine, That's waht I mean when I refer to having "fun" challenges for me. My post about dancing in the gym is really how I feel about KB's, it's fun.

I hate using that word because the "fun" for me is the hard work, the sweating, getting some numbers, AND, most importantly, THE RESULT!

I can't lose...as long as I swing that damn thing, whether testing myself for a specific purpose or just pounding out sets/reps.

But, I am competitve and I'll keep reaching for more, that's just my nature.

Can I e-mail you? Tracy

Tracy Reifkind said...

Darwin, Quick answer,

My bikini days have been over since the birth of my first son when I was 18.

If you look at my before picture, it's a freakin miracle I look the way I do and it's all diet and KB's. Is my body perfect? No. But for the first time ever in my life I love my body, flaws and all.

If you ever need to get more personal, my e-mail is,


Tracy Reifkind said...

Zorbs, I feel awesome!

Tracy Reifkind said...

Fawn, I'm lovin the 16kg! I can't wait to test SSST with it....soon....10 minutes!

Tracy Reifkind said...


EXACTLY! Thank you! You get it!

My life is so good, I train consistently, I eat more and well.

The competition is with myself, if I get caught up in the politics of sport it doesn't serve me.

My male client was just visiting the area for a couple of weeks but he's awesome! He has already lost 30-40 and has 100 to go! I know he's going to do it, I can tell! He's motivated, he knows what he needs to do about his food (lots of veggies & more nutritional choices)and just as importantly he has chosen KB's to help. I'm very excited for him!

JD if your out there feel free to chime in!

Franz Snideman said...

Damn....nice arm!!!!

You have earned your LEANNESS Tracy!

Kori Bliffert, NASM-CPT said...

Tracy you look amazing! It is great to see another woman want to put on muscle and show it off. Too many women are scared that they are going to get "bulky" with putting on muscle. Well you are proof that WON'T happen!

Royce said...

There is nothing wrong wth training to look good. You have, however, done a hell of a lot more than that. You built an engine to power the body too. Screw the politics too, I still love to watch GS and appreciate the hell outta those folks. And I love the HS swing where you stay connected to your hammies and generte as much force as possible. It's all good.

Himitsu Joe said...

Hi All,

Doing well in losing some lbs. Just posted a bunch of status stuff on my blog. KB Blog

Basically, Losing a steady 10lbs a month. Looking to kick it a bit and work on more concentrated KB work for the next 3 months. Less Elliptical. Tracy really got my swing feeling much better. Although I'm not sure my quads will ever thank her. =)

I must admit the most important part of this has been the mental realization that all this weight loss stuff is just hooey. You move good weight/iron, You eat health and less. You fell GREAT.. Yes I have about 100lbs more to go. But I've already lost 50. Anyhow. Tracy ROCKS!!!

Brett Jones said...

Tracy does indeed ROCK!

Unknown said...

Hi Tracy,

I just wanted to tell you that I've really enjoyed reading your blog. I've had "food" issues myself my whole life. I was wondering if when you were losing, if you went off the wagon at any point? and how you got back on track?

best wishes

Tracy Reifkind said...

Franz & Kori, Thanks for the comments as well as the compliments!

Tracy Reifkind said...

Royce, I love any display of incredicle athletiscism, I apprecitate it all.

The dedication to training and the drive to want to go farther applies to all athletes especially to us regular folk doing our best!

Tracy Reifkind said...

Yeah Joe! YOU rock! It was great working with you, I know for a FACT you're going all the way! And it's exciting to be witness!

Best of luck...I'll see you again when you're in the area....of course I won't recognize you...LOL


Tracy Reifkind said...

Brett, Back at you!

Take care of my guy this weekend and make sure he doesn't have to walk to every single dinner!

Tracy Reifkind said...

Charles, I still go off the wagon at least once a week!

I don't know how far back in my journal you started reading, but I think I've written a few posts about my food in the first year of dieting.

I credit my "cheat day" for giving me some relief from strict dieting and from ever hitting a plateau in my loss. Combined, of course, with my KB workouts.

I was a chubby child. so my "food issues" go way far back. Weight and/or food has always been a struggle for me...a struggle that I finally really feel as if I can win at. I know I can manage it and the emotional pull, which is the real problem, is getting weaker as I get stronger.

The one thing that is different about losing weight this time around is that I've NEVER fallen off the wagon 2 days in a row. That is significant. I ALWAYS get right back on the next day.

I hope this helps...best of luck, determination and success.


Christine said...


email away: phnx71@yahoo.com