Pumping [Cast] Iron With Le Creuset

When our editors found out that Fab would be debuting Le Creuset’s iconic enameled cookware in Saturday’s Bon Appétit shop, it thoroughly derailed an otherwise productive meeting. Waxing rhapsodic over sauciers and mini cocottes, the excitement was almost tangible. Then one very petite lady spoke up: “They’re pretty heavy, though. I have trouble lifting them…don’t you?” Obviously, we couldn’t have one of our own unable to share the joy of cooking with this beloved brand, so we designed an exclusive strength-training workout using some of Le Creuset’s most popular pieces. Presenting: the heavy metal routine!

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Disclaimer: we are not certified personal trainers. Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise or weight-loss program. Fab is not responsible for any injuries or damaged cookware.

Instructions: Warm up with light cardio for five minutes. Don’t forget to stretch! Complete three sets per exercise, resting for 30 seconds between sets. Perform routine two to three times a week.  Beginners: use empty cookware. To increase difficulty, fill pots with cans of soup or beans.

Equipment: Le Creuset 5.5qt French Oven, 10.25” skillet, Whistling Kettle (shown in cherry).

French Oven Squat/Push Press. This combo move works your lower body, upper body, and core. Perfect for building strength to lift the oven on and off the stove, or bending to take it out of a cabinet.

1. Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulders. Hold the French Oven in both hands at chest level, elbows bent.

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2. Bend your knees, squatting back as if sitting in a chair. Focus your weight in your heels; be careful not to let your knees come past your toes.

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3. Return to standing position, powering the motion with your glutes. Extend your arms straight overhead. Lower the French Oven to complete the motion, then go directly into the next squat.

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Complete 15 reps.

Skillet Row. This exercise targets your upper and middle back, as well as the rear deltoids—muscle groups that will help you manipulate a pan around a stovetop.

1. With the skillet in your left hand, step your right foot forward into a lunge, shin perpendicular to the floor. Hinge forward from the hip with a straight back, keeping the neck long.

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2. Without moving your torso, pull the skillet straight up by bending your elbow, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Pause, then slowly lower the skillet back to the starting position.

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Finish all reps on one side, then change sides to complete one set.

Complete 10 reps per side.

Skillet Tricep Extension. The triceps muscle is responsible for straightening the arm, which is essential to many techniques.

1. With the skillet in your left hand, step your right foot forward into a lunge, shin perpendicular to the floor. Hinge forward from the hip with a straight back, keeping the neck long. Bend your left elbow.

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2. Without moving your torso, straighten your arm to full extension. Do not hyperextend your elbow. Pause, then slowly bend your arm to return to the starting position.

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Finish all reps on one side, then change sides to complete one set.

Complete 12 reps per side.

Pancake Flipper. This exercises strengthens the forearms, which will play a key role in sautéing.

1. Stand with feet shoulder width apart, skillet face up in right hand.

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2. Slowly and with control, rotate wrist until skill is perpendicular to floor. Pause, then return to starting position.

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3. Option for advanced technique: rotate skillet 180o, until face down. Pause, then return to starting position.

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Finish all reps on one side, then change sides to complete one set.

Complete 8 reps per side.

Kettle Upright Row. Traditionally performed with a kettlebell, this compound exercises targets the deltoids, trapezius, and the biceps, as well as the lower body.

1. Start with feet slightly wider than hip width, grasping kettle in right hand with an overhand grip. Extend left arm parallel to floor for balance.

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2. Squat down, weight in your heels; be careful not to let your knees come past your toes.

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3. Explode to a standing position, powering the motion with your glutes and rising to the toes. As you come up, bend the right elbow out to the side, drawing the kettle up the center of your body in a straight line. Return to starting position.

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Finish all reps on one side, then change sides to complete one set.

Complete 12 reps per side.

By now, you’ve probably worked up a pretty good appetite, so clean up yourself and your pans and whip up a healthy meal! We love a simple, satisfying omelet, but with Le Creuset’s versatile collection, the possibilities are endless.

Check out the Le Creuset sale on Fab!

-Ali Butterfass