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Book Review & Giveaway: THE SWING!

by Courtney on May 2, 2012

Isn’t it funny, how just last week I was introduced more properly into kettlebell training and within the same week, I had the opportunity to review a book all about kettlebells?

I was recently contacted by TLC Book Tours, asking if I’d be interested in reviewing a book from one of their tours called THE SWING!, by Tracy Reifkind. Seeing as how the book was fitness-related, and involved a topic that I really would like to learn more about, I quickly took them up on the offer.

The author, Tracy Reifkind, lost 120 pounds at age 41 and credits it all to kettlebell swing. She has kept the weight off for the past six years, became a certified Russian kettlebell instructor, and is now devoted her life to helping others with her Revolutionary Kettlebell Program.

In addition to her book, Tracy also has a Facebook page, so feel free to check that out; she often links to some of her posts from her own blog, which cover a variety of topics, from what I’ve seen.

About the Book

THE SWING! is divided into four parts:

  • Mind –> Tracy uses this first part of the book to explain how a positive, “can-do” attitude will help in achieving the best possible results
  • Body –> This section’s main focus is LPT: “Learn, Practice Teach. Tracy goes into great detail here on the advantages of kettlebells, the proper technique for performing the kettlebell swing, numerous variations of the swing, as well as a number of workouts that can be completed.
  • Food –> This section includes a food plan with a focus on learning how to feed yourself with proper nutrients and whole foods. In addition to some basic nutrition information, Tracy also shares extra diet advice, as well as some of her favorite recipes.
  • You Won the Lottery –> This is the shortest section of the book and is more of an inspirational piece than anything else. Tracy uses this part of the book to encourage readers to believe in themselves, break down barriers, and take control of their own lives.

My Thoughts/Opinions

Overall, I enjoyed most aspects of the book. I wasn’t as interested in the “Mind” section of the book, because it seemed to be geared more towards those who are lacking the willpower and motivation to begin leading a healthy lifestyle. One thing that I did not agree with, however, in this section was her claim that “exercise machines at the gym will not help you lose weight.”

I found this small section a bit odd, as she claims that gym machines don’t allow you to burn enough calories(??). She also mentioned that gyms are geared more towards people who are trying to maintain a healthy weight, not for those who are overweight. This has never been the case in my experiences, so I’m not quite sure where that information came from.

source

The “Food” section was also one that I considered myself to be pretty well-versed in, since in mainly covered the basics of calories, meal composition, and a breakdown of proteins/fats/carbohydrates. For someone in need of some basic knowledge on those subjects, however, the section was very well-organized.

The “Body” section, however, was the one that I was most interested in and the one that I read most in-depth. Tracy included a number of photographs to illustrate the correct and incorrect ways to implement the kettlebell swing, which would be useful for all readers, ranging from novice to advanced.

source

It was very obvious that Tracy is very committed to, and feels very strongly about the use of kettlebells as a great workout for your body. The breakdown of its advantages are definitely appealing…

  • It’s two workouts in one – at once aerobic and anaerobic, the swing is simultaneously cardio and strength training.
  • It feels natural – the specific movement and rhythm of the swing is a primal motion not evoked in any other exercise.
  • It’s not a dumbbell – while some use kettlebells as they would dumbbells, the swing cannot be done with a dumbbell, giving it a unique advantage over every other form of weight resistance exercise.
  • Boredom isn’t possible—the workouts are concentrated, the routines are varied.

For someone who may be interested in learning more about kettlebells, or for anyone in need of a little “healthy lifestyle jumpstart,” this book does a really good job of doing both. I definitely feel as though I gained more knowledge of kettlebells and have actually bookmarked a couple of the workouts to try sometime in the future.

Giveaway

TLC Book Tours has actually offered to giveaway one extra copy of the book to a STSL reader, so if you’re interested, simply leave a comment on this post saying why you’d like to win a copy for yourself.

I’ll choose a random winner tomorrow, May 3rd.

*****Congratulations to the winner of the giveaway…comment #70!

Congrats, Roni! Please email me at sweettoothcourtney[@]gmail[.]com so we can ship you your new book!

tlc book tours

Thanks so much to TLC Book Tours for allowing me to review this book and offer a giveaway to my readers!

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{ 98 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stacey N. May 2, 2012 at 2:05 pm

I would love to win so that I can change up my usual running routine!

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2 Ellen @ Undercover Runner Eats May 2, 2012 at 2:05 pm

I’ve just recently gotten into kettlebells in the past few months. I would love this book to learn more about it!
Ellen @ Undercover Runner Eats recently posted..WIAW: Finals Edition

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3 Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy May 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Maybe she meant weight machines, not cardio machines? I don’t know…
Emily @ Perfection Isn’t Happy recently posted..The Day I Met Bethenny Frankel

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4 SaraRM May 2, 2012 at 2:07 pm

I think kettlebells are a great tool but am only familar with the basics. Ive been wating to learn more in depth techinques!

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5 Linda May 2, 2012 at 2:09 pm

My oldest introduced me to kettlebells and she swears by them. I think they are an amazing work out.

I would only be interested in the food portion, so please don’t include me in the give away. I just wanted to say I agreed with you on the gym and over weight people theory.

I strongly disagree with her viewpoint. You are very familiar with my journey and her opinion couldn’t have been further from the truth. I am not the only one either, as you will see at the Challenge party.

Thanks for the give away though!

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6 olivia May 2, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Thank you Courtney for sharing about this book. I would love to be the lucky winner and pick of your drawing. Looking to change up my exercise routine and maybe kettle bells is what I need.
Thanks again!!! Olivia

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7 Patricia C May 2, 2012 at 2:11 pm

I’d love to win a copy! I’ve heard great things about kettlebells, but i’ve never tried them!

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8 April May 2, 2012 at 2:11 pm

I’d love a copy because I just bought a kettlebell and am kind of clueless how to use it.

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9 Catherine May 2, 2012 at 2:14 pm

I have been interested in kettlebell workouts for a while but haven’t had a chance to try it out. I would love to win this book to get a jumpstart on using kettlebells and more information about it.

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10 Jen May 2, 2012 at 2:17 pm

I’d love to win the book! I’ve always wanted to try kettleball exercises but never have. This would be great motivation, I think!

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11 Cassie D. May 2, 2012 at 2:20 pm

I would love to win this book! My husband has been doing kettlebell workouts for a couple months now and loves it, but I’m a little intimidated by anything more than the kettlebell swing. Maybe this book would help!

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12 Elizabeth @ Chocolate Drops and Pearls May 2, 2012 at 2:24 pm

I’ve done a couple of kettlebell moves in a Core Conversion class at my gym and I would love to learn more about it!
Elizabeth @ Chocolate Drops and Pearls recently posted..Over the Hill

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13 Carol T. May 2, 2012 at 2:30 pm

I would love to win this book. I have a kettleball, but not sure the proper way to use it. Thank you

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14 Dana May 2, 2012 at 2:30 pm

I’ve never tried kettle bells because my gym doesn’t have any! I’d like to invest in some so this book would be a great start

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15 Liz May 2, 2012 at 2:31 pm

I would love to win a copy of this book because I use kettlebells at my gym sometimes, but want to learn more about form, technique, and exercises I could do.
Liz recently posted..WODs and a Gymnastics Session

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16 Stephanie May 2, 2012 at 2:36 pm

I would love to win a copy of this book! I’ve only used kettlebells a few times and have loved it when I did! I’d love to discover new exercises to do with them!

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17 Susan May 2, 2012 at 2:37 pm

I’d like to try them, especially since she has lost the weight and kept it off/

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18 Jessica May 2, 2012 at 2:38 pm

I’d love the book because I want to start using kettlebells but don’t really know how!

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19 Natasha May 2, 2012 at 2:39 pm

I would love to learn more about kettlebells by being able to get my hands on this book and learn what exercises are the best to do while using them.

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20 Steph May 2, 2012 at 2:39 pm

I was given an intro to kettle bells a few years ago, but I only know a handful of moves. I would love to incorporate more kettlebell moves into my gym routines

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21 Carly May 2, 2012 at 2:40 pm

I’ve never done a kettlebell workout but have been intrigued with them for awhile now. I’d love to learn more about them and implement them into my fitness routine.

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22 Jessamy @ The Rambling Asian May 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm

I would love a book so I could try another workout activity. The kettle bell has always seemed like a fun workout activity!
Jessamy @ The Rambling Asian recently posted..Finally did it!

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23 Anu May 2, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Sounds like an interesting read!

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24 Elizabeth May 2, 2012 at 2:56 pm

i love kettlebells….but i only know about 3 moves ha! this book would be great to help me expand my repertoire :)

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25 Jen Correa @ Mom's Gotta Run May 2, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Looks like an interesting read.
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26 Michelle@Peachy Palate May 2, 2012 at 2:57 pm

I would love a copy, never use kettlebells all that much, just occasionally in classes but would love to know more and incorporate some workouts to switch it up a bit.
Michelle@Peachy Palate recently posted..Never so much egg

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27 Jillian @ Sprinkle Massacre May 2, 2012 at 3:01 pm

I’ve been wanting to try kettlebells. My gym has them but it’s always so crowded and the trainers always use them so I always brush it off. I guess reading up (this book!) on proper form and some basic movements would be a good start and I could just incorporate them into my regular routine!
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28 Brittani May 2, 2012 at 3:05 pm

I love using kettle bells in workouts! What a great book!

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29 Kristina May 2, 2012 at 3:07 pm

I’d love to win because I have a kettlebell and haven’t really used it because I’m not 100% sure how to. I’d love to put it to good use!
Kristina recently posted..10k Training Update

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30 Alexa May 2, 2012 at 3:08 pm

I would love to win a copy!

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31 Kristen @ notsodomesticated May 2, 2012 at 3:08 pm

I’m always interested in reading a new fitness book! Thank you for the opportunity! :)
Kristen @ notsodomesticated recently posted..Every fiber in my being hurts.

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32 amy marantino May 2, 2012 at 3:11 pm

i would like to win this book.. it looks like it would be helpful in planning my routine.

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33 Lindsay @ LindsayInNYC May 2, 2012 at 3:19 pm

This seems like a great book for at home workout ideas! Little equipment is needed with is an added plus :)

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34 Kimberly May 2, 2012 at 3:20 pm

I would love to win a copy of this book. 120lbs at age 41…must be an amazing story!

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35 Laine May 2, 2012 at 3:21 pm

I have hit a weightloss plateau and was just thinking this morning about how to switch up my workout routine. I think the kettleball workouts would be a great way to jump start the ole metabolism again!

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36 Alysha @Shesontherun May 2, 2012 at 3:22 pm

I’ve tried kettlebells a few times and I always feel like I’m randomly swinging those things around!
Alysha @Shesontherun recently posted..Milwaukee Walking Tour

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37 Amanda May 2, 2012 at 3:27 pm

I’ve been thinking about taking a kettlebell class at my gym but it costs extra in addition to my already pricey monthly membership. I feel like this book will help me make up my mind!

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38 Jordan K May 2, 2012 at 3:30 pm

I love usuing kettlebells, but I only know a few moves. This book would be a great way to increase my kettlebell knowledge!

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39 Angela @ Health Happiness & Harmony May 2, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Thanks for a great review Courtney! Your comments on the gym machines I completely agree with. I also think it’s important to mention that often people think the numbers on the machines (such as calories) are always accurate, which is not always the case.

I would love to win the book, because I am studying through NASM, and hopefully when I become a personal trainer, I can use it as a resource. :)
Angela @ Health Happiness & Harmony recently posted..Broccoli Breakfast Quiche

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40 Serena May 2, 2012 at 3:36 pm

I’ve been wanting to use kettlebells for a while now, but never know how to go about doing it! This book would be a great way to learn.

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41 Coco May 2, 2012 at 3:42 pm

A book like this would be a good reference!
Coco recently posted..A Little Goes a Long Way

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42 Sue Ford May 2, 2012 at 3:43 pm

I’m interested in the book because I’m on a mission to get myself in shape for my mid-June vacation! I’ve finally crossed over a plateau I haven’t been able to cross since delivering my daughter six years ago, and am fueled to keep going!

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43 Nicole May 2, 2012 at 3:44 pm

I have been using kettlebells in a group fitness class for the last few months. I have have noticed more strength in my arms. And my heart is always pumping when doing the swing. I would like to learn more ways to use them.

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44 Brittany May 2, 2012 at 3:51 pm

My PT recently introduced me to Kettleballs and I’ve become obsessed with how amazing of a workout they can be – this book would be a great resource for taking what she’s taught me to the next level!

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45 Christine May 2, 2012 at 3:54 pm

That sounds great! I would love to win this and learn some new exercises! :)

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46 Emily H May 2, 2012 at 3:54 pm

I’ve just recently started using kettlebells in my work-sponsored group fitness classes. I am enjoying the exercises and would like the book to learn more about how to incorporate the kettlebell into my at-home workouts.

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47 Marty May 2, 2012 at 4:01 pm

I received a kettlebell for Christmas and love it! This book would definitely come in handy.
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48 Christie May 2, 2012 at 4:07 pm

I am looking for a great way to kick off my summer routine. What better way then a new workout routine and a great read:)

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49 Sylvia @ Frolic Through Life May 2, 2012 at 4:17 pm

I’ve been wanting to try kettlebells for a long time, but don’t really know how to properly use them. I’d love to use this as a resource to learn some great kettlebell moves.
Sylvia @ Frolic Through Life recently posted..WeeWoo WIAW

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50 Danica @ It's Progression May 2, 2012 at 4:25 pm

I’ve never used kettlebells actually. I like to switch up my workouts all the time, and I’d love to learn how to incorporate kettlebells.
Danica @ It’s Progression recently posted..fresh fruit and a delicious hummus! WIAW #23

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51 Laura May 2, 2012 at 4:42 pm

I haven’t dont a kettle bell workout yet but I’ve been intrigued. I’d love to read this book so I can learn more about it and then change up my workout routine!

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52 Tami May 2, 2012 at 4:47 pm

I would love to have some help on the exercise side of things! This would be perfect! :)

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53 Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction May 2, 2012 at 4:51 pm

I’ve actually never used Ketltebells before! What a great giveaway! I love to read and I think I would enjoy this book! :) Thanks !
Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction recently posted..Chicken & Pine Nut Stuffed Peppers

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54 Angela May 2, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Interesting! I’ve actually never used kettlebells before so I’d be interested in seeing how Tracy recommends using them. Great giveaway!
Angela recently posted..Lunch Interruptus

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55 Jerica May 2, 2012 at 5:36 pm

I took one kettlebell class and LOVED it. I am in the process of moving and have to leave my old gyms behind so would love to have a way to incorporate kettlebells into my workout routine at home!

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56 Kierston May 2, 2012 at 5:45 pm

This is a really great review! Thanks for sharing it!
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57 Kristen May 2, 2012 at 5:52 pm

I’ve been wanting to try kettlebells for a while now, but am a little intimidated by them! I would love to learn a few moves and tips from this book!

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58 Alyssa @ Fit and Fun in Third May 2, 2012 at 5:55 pm

I’d love to win this book… I’m looking for ways to switch up my workout routine and this looks perfect! :)
Alyssa @ Fit and Fun in Third recently posted..W.I.A.W: iPhone Edition

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59 Katie May 2, 2012 at 5:57 pm

I would love to win one because I am a teacher with not much time to get to the gym, and I am always interested in trying new routines to break up my work out videos!

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60 Maggie May 2, 2012 at 5:59 pm

this would be an awesome mix to add in to my current weight lifting regime

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61 Farrah May 2, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Hmm, I lost a lot of weight using the cardio and weight machines at the gym. Interesting read I’m sure!
Farrah recently posted..Wiaw-good eats

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62 Heather May 2, 2012 at 6:35 pm

I would LOVE to win a copy of this book! I have heard wonderful things about kettlebells and I would really enjoy learning more and trying it out!

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63 alex May 2, 2012 at 7:32 pm

i need to switch up my routine because nothing has been happening! maybe this would be the right fix.

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64 Kassidy May 2, 2012 at 7:48 pm

I would love to win a copy because I’ve been looking for ways to gain muscle and this seems like a fun way to do it! It would be a good challenge.

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65 Maggie @ Running on Fro-Yo May 2, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Sounds like a neat book- I’d love to try kettlebell exercises!
Maggie @ Running on Fro-Yo recently posted..Lots of Foodie Adventures

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66 Jennie May 2, 2012 at 7:56 pm

I’ve always wanted to try working out with kettle balls. This book seems like the perfect way to try them out! Thanks for hosting such a great giveaway, STSL!

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67 Ashley May 2, 2012 at 7:59 pm

I just purchased a Kettlebell and am really interested in learning more. I have been doing the exercises that came with the Bell, but anything more is great!

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68 Chelsea @ Chelsea's Health May 2, 2012 at 7:59 pm

I would love to win this book! My mom mentioned on the weekend she would like to try a kettlebell workout so this would be a great mother’s day gift for her!
Chelsea @ Chelsea’s Health recently posted..Baked panko crusted calamari

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69 Misty May 2, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Hi Courtney, I would love to win this book. I just started the kettleball werx workout this week and man am I feeling it!!

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70 Roni Yager May 2, 2012 at 8:08 pm

I recently lost my school gym membership because I graduated from college! I’m normally a gym rat but have decided to take a summer and discover more body weight, resistance band, med ball and kettlebell workouts! So this book is calling my name! :)
Roni Yager recently posted..Ending a Chapter

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71 Courtney May 2, 2012 at 8:13 pm

I’ve always been kind of intimated by kettle bells, so this would be great to have as a reason to start using them!

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72 Erin May 2, 2012 at 8:18 pm

I’m a kettlebell novice but would love to learn more!!!

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73 Amanda May 2, 2012 at 8:23 pm

I would like a copy because I have been wanting to change up my workout routine! This would be PERFECT!

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74 Leah May 2, 2012 at 8:26 pm

I’d really like to win this book because I bought a kettlebell a while ago but I have no idea what to do with it!!

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75 Kim May 2, 2012 at 8:49 pm

I would love one! I’m always looking for exercises to do at home.

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76 Kim Farrell May 2, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Being a personal trainer I am always looking for new ideas and exercises! Would love to have a chance at the book!

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77 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More May 2, 2012 at 9:36 pm

I’d love the chance to win this book! I’m always looking for new exercises and new motivation for my workouts – this could be just the thing!
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78 Meg @ My Chocolate Covered Life May 2, 2012 at 9:45 pm

I would love to be better versed with kettlebells – I only know one move and as good as it is, it probably isn’t doing all that much for my body on its own!

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79 Cassie May 2, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Would love to learn more about this!

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80 Dhyann May 2, 2012 at 10:04 pm

This is actually a great start for all of us.. Actually, as we grow old, we should make sure our priority is our health.. Thanks for the tips…
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81 Mandee May 2, 2012 at 10:11 pm

I Want to learn the swing!
Mandee recently posted..Dark Chocolate Raspberry Kiss Cakes

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82 Catlin Worley May 2, 2012 at 10:24 pm

i would love to win this book bc i know it would help me add variety to my workout :) i need it lol :)
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83 Kattreena May 2, 2012 at 10:42 pm

I would love to win a copy! I’m always interested in trying new things that promote a healthy lifestyle! :) thanks for this giveaway!

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84 kylee May 2, 2012 at 10:42 pm

I have been wanting to try out kettleballs for awhile now but I didn’t know how to use them properly! This book would be so perfect!

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85 Julie F May 2, 2012 at 10:49 pm

I’ve never used a kettleball before but would love to learn about it so I don’t break anything when I do give it a shot! =)

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86 Katy @ Couch to 5Katy May 2, 2012 at 11:29 pm

I have never used a kettleball and my gym does not have one. I am thinking this book will convince me to invest in them!
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87 Kelly May 3, 2012 at 12:29 am

I’m always looking for new workouts and have been wanting to try kettleballs.

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88 Karleen May 3, 2012 at 1:38 am

I would love to win this book to give me more workouts for my routine and learn proper technique:)

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89 Lisa May 3, 2012 at 8:45 am

I would love to win…I am trying to create a healthier lifestyle for my family and myself!

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90 Becca B May 3, 2012 at 8:51 am

i need to add more muscle!

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91 Kelly May 3, 2012 at 9:35 am

I would LOVE to win bc I am trying to start a new routine that includes strength training and would love to incorporate kettlebells!!

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92 Natasha Hudnall May 3, 2012 at 9:42 am

I would love to win this because I just started my weight loss journey in February – diet and exercise, at a gym. I have lost 12 pounds, but would like to add something to my routine as it is getting a tad stale. I cant afford a trainer – so I read what I can and add new exercises in, but I have yet to try kettle bells

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93 Jen May 3, 2012 at 9:56 am

I’d like to switch up my usual routine!

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94 Linda May 3, 2012 at 10:51 am

Congrats to Roni!

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95 Diana May 3, 2012 at 11:38 am

I’d love to change up the routine I do and incorporate Kettlebells.

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96 Tasha T. May 3, 2012 at 2:06 pm

I think kettlebells would be a good way to get a good workout in. I use handweights all the time, so this would help me out and teach me good technique!

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97 Sanaz "Leah" Ebrahimi May 3, 2012 at 10:36 pm

I wanna win! :-D Please and thank you! Haha, I wish it were that simple!! Oh well, I will be super happy for whoever wins it! Great review!

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98 Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours May 4, 2012 at 3:18 pm

I’m glad you found some workouts to add to your routine! Thanks for being on the tour.

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