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How 10,000 Kettlebell Swings Helped Me Transform My Body

From Men’s Health

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, I was working out five days a week. I ate relatively healthy, too. While I was never exactly shredded, I was making good progress on the big lifts and felt comfortable taking off my shirt in public. But when lockdown started, all of that changed.

I was still eating like a person with an active lifestyle, but the most movement I was getting was walking from my bed to the couch. My gym closed. My office closed. The natural routine of my day-to-day life crawled to a near stop. That, coupled with the new existential threats of daily existence under the pandemic, meant I was eating a lot of take out, and food became a distraction from the casual terror of everyday life.

When I stepped on the scale last month, I discovered I’d packed on about 21 pounds. It wasn’t a surprise that I’d gained weight. With all the changes over the last few months, of course I was going to put on weight. The question now was what did I want to do about it?

Photo credit: Men's Health
Photo credit: Men’s Health

Dan John‘s 10,000 Kettlebell Swing Workout has earned a reputation as a simple, brutal fitness challenge. The breakdown of the program uncomplicated, but daunting: you’ll perform 500 kettlebell swings, five days a week for a total of 20 workouts over four or five weeks. The swings are supplemented with squats, presses, or dips for four of the weekly training sessions. John claims that people who have taken on the challenge dropped fat while adding muscle, saw noticeable improvements in posture and body composition, and made significant gains in overall strength.

I wanted a program that didn’t require regular gym access while still offering big results to combat my pandemic pounds and general malaise. Swinging a kettlebell 10,000 times seemed like the best available option.

By the time the challenge was finished four weeks later, I had dropped nearly all the pandemic weight and a quarter of my body fat. The change was not subtle, and the work was not easy. This is what it was like for me to swing a kettlebell 10,000 times in a month.

Week 1 of the 10,000 Kettlebell Swing Challenge

There are thousands of trainers on the internet insisting their programs are the absolute best way for people to lose weight. What those people often leave out is that the equation is often even simpler than following their plan. You need to expel more energy than you’re putting in (this is called a caloric deficit). That can happen through careful focus on diet, exercise, or most effectively, some combination of the two.

When people don’t get the results they want it is usually because they didn’t actually follow the program. They don’t do all the workouts. They eat food they’re not supposed to. If you want to achieve your goals, the key is consistency and tracking. Unfortunately, I am terrible at consistency and

Scientists who helped identify Hepatitis C virus win 2020 Nobel Medicine Prize

The Daily Beast

Photos Show Why Miami Public Schools Could Be the Next Ron DeSantis Coronavirus Debacle

MIAMI—Last week, a few days before Donald Trump revealed he came down with COVID-19, Karla Hernandez-Mats went on a coronavirus safety fact-finding mission in South Florida schools ahead of their reopening on Monday.The president of United Teachers of Dade, the local teachers union, Hernandez-Mats said she and her colleagues conducted surprise inspection visits at 17 Miami-area schools that suggested administrators were still scrambling to put safety measures in place.At Miami Springs Senior High, one of the 17 schools inspected, administrators initially refused to allow her colleague, United Teachers of Dade First Vice-President Antonio White, to enter the building and called a police resource officer on him, the union officials told The Daily Beast.“When administrators act like that, their schools are usually not prepared,” White said in an interview. “That was the case at Miami Springs.”COVID-Skeptical Florida Guv Outdoes Himself, Lifts All Restrictions on Restaurants and BarsFor instance, the school appears to be supplying teachers with alcohol-free hand sanitizer, which may be ineffective in killing coronavirus, the union officials said, providing The Daily Beast with a photo of just that. (The Centers for Disease Control’s COVID-19 guidance recommends people use hand sanitizer that is at least 60 percent ethanol-based or 70 percent isopropanol-based.) Union officials also provided photos showing decals marking 6-foot distance requirements that were already peeling off the sidewalks near the school’s entrance, and desks arranged in such a way that does not allow for 6-foot social distancing.Reached by phone, Miami Springs principal Torossian said he was unaware of police being called on the union official and referred further questions to the school district’s media relations department. Spokeswoman Jacquelyn Calzadilla did not specifically address what had occurred at Miami Springs, but she said “our school site administrators are working around the clock to ensure a safe return to the schoolhouse for our students and employees.”The flap illustrates the daunting task facing the public school system in Miami-Dade County, which has been the epicenter of Florida’s COVID-19 outbreak for most of the pandemic. More than 10,000 teachers and 133,000 students begin filing into 340 schools this week on a staggered schedule. This after the Miami-Dade School Board voted to resume in-person learning under pressure from Florida Education Commissioner Richard Cocoran, a Gov. Ron DeSantis appointee who threatened to cut the school district’s funding if classes did not resume by early October.Miami-Dade’s daily positivity rate rolling average for the 14 days ending on Oct. 4 stood at 4.78 percent, just below the 5 percent positivity rate that the World Health Organization recommends maintaining for two weeks before lifting shelter-at-home and social distancing protocols. During the same 14-day period, Miami-Dade reported 5,456 new cases, bringing its total to 172,205.School reopenings have been a mess of infection, quarantine, and closure across America in recent weeks. But conversations with teachers, labor leaders, and experts in South Florida painted a picture of Miami schools as a new guinea

‘After My Leg Was Amputated, Fitness Helped Me Focus On My Gains Instead Of Losses

Photo credit: Christine Yi
Photo credit: Christine Yi

From Women’s Health

In an effort to balance working hard with playing hard, I once took a red-eye flight back from Whistler to New York City after a big ski trip and went straight to my office where I spent a long day managing a hedge fund. By the time I hopped on the subway to head home, I was so exhausted that I lost my balance while I was exiting the train. I fell between cars, landed on the tracks, and my lower right leg was crushed beneath a wheel. I had to have a below-the-knee amputation as a result.

That was 17 years ago, and since then, I’ve undergone over 20 surgeries and seven blood transfusions—my most recent hospitalization was this past summer. At first, it was a struggle for me to walk just one city block—I didn’t have the muscular endurance or cardiovascular strength to support the prosthetic leg.

I was so tired and just felt defeated. But finally, one day, I remember thinking: Today’s the day. I’m going to try to walk farther and do it without a struggle. That’s when it finally clicked. I started walking on the treadmill, trying to imitate other people’s gait.

The first time, I was drenched with sweat and had tears streaming down my face from the pain after only 10 minutes. But I kept walking and added hills to strengthen my glutes, and eventually I could walk at 15 percent incline for an hour and a half. I was walking better and could feel myself getting stronger—and I loved it.

Photo credit: Christine Yi
Photo credit: Christine Yi

That brought on a new passion for fitness for me. Though I hadn’t worked out much before losing my leg, I used to be very athletic; in high school, I was a First Team All-League field hockey player. I’m a very competitive human being, and I hadn’t been able to flex that muscle since losing my leg. Doing so again made me so happy.

Over time, though, exercising became excruciating because the grafted skin around my limb broke down. So I finally decided to have the surgery to fix it in August. Afterward, I stayed in the hospital for 17 days and had to keep my leg suspended in the air all the time.

But throughout my recovery, I exercised every day with arm and abs workouts. The quarantine this year made me realize how important fitness is to my life; my workouts are my sanity. I was taking live Zoom classes—with instructors like Kara Liotta and Kate Hickl of KKsweat and Alison Cohen—in my hospital gown. It was the best way for me to pass the time because I was so excited to move and to move forward.

I fully think being able to stay fit and having a positive outlook go hand in hand. I’ve always been a positive person. But being stronger and being able to do these workouts, it boosts my optimism. I