Friday, October 16, 2015

Book Review: The Swing by Tracy Reifkind

You all are pushing me ok! And it is a good thing.  If you are following me on Instagram (if not, naughty, naughty) you will see the subject of Kettlebells came up numerous times this past week and I had been sharing some info on a technique I had learned.  I had been wanting to create a post around that info and well... You know how that goes, but like I said you lot are pushing me.


I've been tossing this idea of a book club around in my head for months.  The fist step to making any successful change in your life is having a change of mind.  I know I promised I will write the post How To Change Your Mind, fingers crossed for next week, ok!  One of the sure fire ways of changing your mind is filling it with new information relevant to the direction you would like to head in and books are an excellent resource to do just that.  I hope that you will join me and follow along with the book club.  I promise it won't be all technical, boring stuff.

First Up For Review:

Affiliate Link:  You may click here to purchase from Amazon

As I mentioned earlier, I've been talking a bit on Instagram about Kettlebells and in particular kettlebells exercises as being a great cardio and resistance exercise.  In my conversations I had been referencing a particular technique called The Swing by Tracy Reifkind.  ...And, voila!  Here is the book.

The Swing - Lose The Fat and Get Fit by Tracy Reifkind
This was not a sponsored review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

The introduction to this book is compelling and relatable if you ever have struggled with weight, getting older and concerned that maybe its too late for you.  Tracy refers to discovering the kettlebell as a 'miracle ...luck and finding the pot of gold'. "Not only did training the kettlebell swing help me lose 120 pounds at the age of forty-one after having tried just about every other type of training regimen, it made me stronger, fitter, and leaner, and it has motivated me to live up to my physical potential.

The book is divided into four parts:
  1. Part 1. Mind
  2. Part 2. Body
  3. Part 3 Food
  4. Part 4 You Won The Lottery
The book is very clean and easy to read and Tracy's voice is crisp and direct with a bit of humor.  Below I have lifted a few jewels that I thought were interesting.

  • In I'ts Not A Weight Issue Pg. 15, Tracy makes a point of highlighting a very common mistake amongst those of us desiring to lose weight.  We think the issue is the weight when in reality "what I had was a food - or - eating issue.  It's a cause and effect relationship - my weight was a problem, but what was creating the excess weight was all the food I was eating that my body did not need."  Excellent point.  Often times we think of the weight as an unconnected thing happening to us when in reality it is a symptom, a result or a response to our own actions.
  • The Right Mind-Set Pg. 33, Tracy notes that "starting a diet and exercise program, we fail to see it as a permanent lifestyle change." This is major because even not having been a chronic dieter or a starter / stopper if I had recognized her point sooner I would have never tried three quarters of the diets and programs, but instead have looked for something sustainable for me.
  • Magic of the Swing Pg. 60, The swing takes all the benefits of the kettle bell and lifts it to  a whole other level of greatness.  Simply working out with Kettlebells is not the same as training with the Kettlebell swing.  It would be like saying you've been to Las Vegas Or Atlantic City when all you've done is bought a $1 lottery ticket at the corner store.  In both cases, you might be playing the odds, but you have not had the experience.  You have not seen the lights and the outrageousness, the spectacle of it all.  The swing is the experience. 
    • I love this statement.  It is a clear and attention grabbing way of denoting the differences between a Kettlebell workout and a swing workout.  I love Kettlebells from the first time I was introduced to them in bootcamp.  After doing a number of her workouts I would have to say that what she described is befitting of her swing technique.
  • Easy on the Joints Pg. 60, Your knees, ankles, and hips absorb the pressure of your weight when you do activities like walking, running, or jumping.  If you're significantly overweight, the pressure from these kinds of activities can be especially taxing.  Does that mean you won't ever be able to get a great cardio workout? Nope, Just grab a Kettlebell which allows you to get an awesome cardiovascular workout without the wear and tear on your joints. Hooray, for no impact!  
    • Now you know this is excellent news for me and others who have injuries, but still want to get a superior cardio workout.
  • It's Not a Squat (or a Front Raise) Pg. 87, I want to make an important distinction about the main movement for the swing:  It's a hinge, not a squat, and you move the bell with the power of your hips, not by raising it with your arms.
    • This (and the Tabata like timing and rhythm of the swing) is the key component to the swing's workouts.  I was trained traditionally in Kettlebells and it took me a few tries and self reminding not to squat but hinge.  Lucky for you I have included my YouTube playlist so you can get the instructions on how to swing and Tracy's thirteen workouts associated with this publication.  Click here for playlist.
  • Tracy's Food Rule #1 Diets Work Pg. 153, Why is it said that diets don't work? ... A diet stops working when the diet stops, and most dieters choose the wrong diet, and therefore stop dieting ...and end up heavier than they were before they started dieting.
    • So true. We have all seen it happen if it hasn't happened to us.  Diets work if you implement the right one which is sustainable for you.
  • Falling in Love with Real Foods Pg. 195, Creating the habits and skills that allow you to become fast and efficient in food preparation is only part of your eating habit makeover.  Reacquainting your taste buds with real foods - the foods we naturally crave, but have lost touch with - is an essential part of the process as well.
    • This is the area I need the most work.  Quick and efficient food prep and planning. Luckily I enjoy health and natural foods but I could definitely use some dialing back of my taste buds.
This book The Swing hits upon some pertinent new information as well as some time tested weight loss and health standards.  What I really appreciated about this book was that it was written from a person who had been where I had been and could earnestly render advice from an experienced perspective.  

So in a few months when my back is better (injured from a none related matter)  I will be back at The Swing, getting my cardio and resistance training in without the bruises, if you know what I mean.

Have you used Kettlebells?
Do you think Tracy's technique "The Swing" is something you will try?
Please enter the giveaway below!

Oh! And I like a good time, so you may find me at any of these parties

I hope you enjoyed my first review in our new MW Book Club! 
To celebrate we are giving away a copy of  The Swing 


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  1. I would love to read this and yes I DO use kettle bells!

  2. sounds like a great book! I got into kettlebells when I started CrossFit and love them! Thanks for linking up!

  3. I need to dust off my kettle bells! This sounds like an awesome read! What a great idea to have a book club! Love it!

  4. Never tried a kettle bell before. I'm interested.

  5. How did I miss this? Sounds like a great book! I think kettlebells are a great way to work out.

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  7. Mary aka GatorButterflyOctober 22, 2015 at 8:59 PM

    Makes me want to give kettlebells another chance. Had a not so great experience the first time I used them.

    1. Hey Mary! Thanks for visiting the blog. Yeah, even though I love kettlebells they can be tough on the body. I absolutely love this concept and when I finish rehabbing my back I hope to pick back up with his program. !