Our Student Spotlight this month is Super Kettlebell Momma Amy Long, SFG. She has an adorable almost-3-year-old girl and just added a boy to the clan 6 weeks ago. She’s funny and inspiring and always looks great, so we decided to pick her brain to try and figure out how she does it!
NBKB: What drew you to kettlebell training?
AL: It was more of an introduction than me seeking them out. I was introduced to them five years ago by my then trainer, Mike Spiegel of New York City’s Crunch Fitness. Mike helped me find Val who helped me find Gabby and North Beach Kettlebell when I moved back to California from NYC.
Once I was introduced, I was hooked. The practice of kettlebells has done so much for me – major strength gains, cardiovascular improvement, body fat reduction and overall, it just makes my body feel good. If I have any pains, I know a few solid practice sessions will get me walking tall and pain free again.
Kettlebells are such an efficient way to work out. Why run all over town to different types of gyms for different types of training, when I can get what I need in one compact 20 – 45 minute workout? I’m a mom who barely has time to shower let alone spend hours working out. Not to mention, I think my family is pretty rad and I like to spend time with them.
NBKB: How long have you been using them in your fitness practice?
AL: Five years.
NBKB: What is your favorite lift and why?
AL: I love the clean and press and bent press. Oh, and pistol squat.
I like doing clean and presses because the gains are very tangible for me. I can feel myself getting stronger. I’ve learned how to use tension and relaxation through my practice, and I can apply them most effectively with the press.
The bent press because it feels good everywhere and I feel like a badass when I do it.
And, the pistol squat is just so hard! I get all giddy when I do them, and especially when I can add weight. It takes all my concentration to make it happen, and I just love that.
NBKB: You continued your training with kettlebells through two pregnancies. Did that work well for you?
AL: Yes, it worked out better than I could have imagined. My first labor (active) was about 20 minutes and my second was 12 minutes. Three pushes with the first and a sneeze with the second.
My practice had to change, obviously, but I wanted to be as strong as possible going into the labors and deliveries, as well as bouncing back to my pre-baby weight and strength. Pregnancy is something that’s taken for granted these days. It’s a major event! Your body goes through so much; so many changes through the course of a pregnancy. I wanted to treat my body well so it would return the favor. My recovery with both deliveries has been a breeze, and I give a lot of credit to my kettlebell practice.
NBKB: As an NBKB Instructor and mom to a 2 year old and a newborn, what advice do you have for other moms and moms to be?
AL: Be kind and patient with yourself. Being kind means taking care of your body and staying strong and healthy. The patience comes in when you want to press a 20kg bell or do a five minute snatch test with the same fervor as before and you realize it’s not the best idea, or you simply can’t do it! Adjust what your training means and what you want to get out of it. Be realistic, but develop your routine early. Like in the first trimester. You may be sick, you may be tired, maybe you’re both. Push through, listen to your body, and on your worst of days just get out and move. It will be way harder to get moving later in your pregnancy.
For me, I was more tired than I thought possible. The only thing that got me through the fatigue was exercising. When I got tired, I rested. You must listen to your own body. It knows best.
Your body is going to go through a lot of changes – some you haven’t even thought of yet. Embrace them, love every minute and set yourself up for success. Again, listen to your body. And, just move!
Oh, and talk to your doctor.
Explore kettlebells. I’m telling you, it’s the most efficient workout you will find. When all else fails, I grab my 16kg (well, it’s really Gabby’s) and swing it for 10 minutes. I’m a sweaty mess when I’m through, my glutes, quads, pelvic floor (ahem, ladies, pelvic floor…) and core have all gotten a solid workout.
I’m six weeks postpartum with my second and I don’t know what I would do without the kettlebell quickies. I’m trying to get the baby to settle into a schedule while keeping up with a 2 – ½ year old and just don’t have the time for a long workout. And frankly, I don’t want a long workout. I want fast and effective so I can spend time with my husband and our amazing, super fun babies.
Least of all, don’t worry. It will all come back. Slowly but surely your body will respond to what you’re asking. You’ll feel your abs again, you’re skin will tighten and that annoying pregnancy induced cellulite will begin to fade.