Strong Member Spotlight: Kristina S.

When Kristina came to MoveStrong Kettlebells, she was timid about using the weights and a lot of the movements were new and challenging to her. She was very patient with her body, and with me! and she was willing get outside her comfort zone to learn, think and feel the movements.

She began to really enjoy the complex movements like the swing, snatch and Turkish Getup. She also enjoys barbell deadlifts and how powerful she feels doing them. 

I would say that Kristina is one of our most improved members. She is now moving with more grace and ease, using heavier weight than ever before, and most importantly, she is becoming more mobile and flexible every week. 

She believes in herself, enjoys her classmates and has a great attitude about training.

Her work schedule doesn't always allow her to come to class as much as she'd like, but she is very good about coming to Sat. Mobility class and doing some kettlebell work at home.

She has adopted a strength lifestyle and I am very proud of her progress, her willingness to take a rest day when her body needs it, and I am excited for her to continue to grow as a hardstyle kettlebell athlete and a confident young woman.

In Kristina's words ...

Why did you start kettlebell training?

“I needed more muscle!” That was one of the thoughts which came to mind. I was in need of becoming a stronger person. In the past, I have used different strength training methods, but with mixed results. I had not heard of kettlebells until recently. It looked interesting and was intrigued with swinging weights rather than just lifting weights.

What do you like most about kettlebell training?

I feel like I have accomplished something important for myself. I get excited about the progress I’ve made since I started. I love how it’s made me a stronger person both inside and out.

What is the biggest surprise about training with MoveStrong and with Kettlebells?

I love how the training is dynamic and ever changing to suit each of our needs. For instance, the last several months, Lori has incorporated stretching time at the ending of the workout into a five minute flow. My flexibility has improved. You can come to consecutive classes in the manner in which they are structured and focus on different muscle groups or focus more on grip strength or flexibility, etc.

What are your two favorite kettlebell or bodyweight movements and why?

Snatches and pendulum swings! Snatching is a complex movement. I remember when I first tried it. Now, I’ve grown into it. It’s a movement you must absolutely focus on. You must have all the muscles work together. I dare say it’s poetic! For pendulum swings, they feel relaxing to me on one level. At the same time, they tax my legs and other adjoining muscles in a good way.

What advice do you have for someone who is interested in getting started with kettlebells?

Make sure you find an instructor who teaches you the basic foundational movements safely. Once you have that, you can build upon it and grow. It took me a while to get adjusted to the movement of the kettlebell swing. Give your body time. Don’t give up. I’d say the first week is the most challenging. Every movement you do builds into something stronger. It’s amazing to think the body reshapes and rebuilds with more strength each time you apply yourself. So I will continue to do just that.

Strong Member Spotlight: Patty Rinella

Patty joined MoveStrong Kettlebells after she retired from the City of Dublin. I had met her in some classes I was teaching at the City and I always enjoyed her willingness to try new things. Patty has an infectious laugh which makes her a blast to have in class.

Patty also enjoys yoga and walks regularly so when she came to MoveStrong KBs, she was already a very good mover and she learned the kettlebell movements quickly. 

I will never forget the first time she walked into class and saw the barbells all lined up for deadlifts. She turned around like she was going to leave! But of course she didn't -- and now she loves deadlift day and has a PR of 185#.

Patty likes to lift heavy. The heavier the better with deadlifts, sled pushes and carries. She also excels at squats and swings. The cardiovascular work we do with swings, snatches and cleans is challenging for all of us, but Patty never backs away from a challenge. 

When Patty first started, she attended noon classes, and after I moved out of Old Dublin, I didn't have the foot traffic to support noon classes any more, so Patty adjusted her schedule (and her life!) to attend the 7:30 a.m. class --- for which I am very grateful.

Kettlebell Training in Patty's words ...

What surprised you the most about strength training?  

The variety of workouts and training programs; it's never boring, always challenging and rewarding. The amount of cardio involvement has been a real wake up call for me, and "form" really does matter. I walk out at the end of every class and think to myself, "I can't believe I do this and I love it."

What is the Impact of kettlebell training in your everyday life?  

I feel great, I'm strong and high energy. I am also more aware of what I eat. I honestly believe I'm more toned than I have ever been. As you know, for me the health benefits are a perk, my main reason for starting this journey was to keep my arms strong.

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What are your favorite kettlebell lifts?

I like the push press, it makes me feel powerful, I think it's probably because I can use a heavier bell. I also like goblet squats and after an extremely long learning curve, I really like getups. I feel like I'm using every muscle in my body when we do these moves.

Advice to someone considering kettlebell training ...

Choose a trainer wisely; you must like and trust that person. Make a deal with yourself to commit for at least 3 months and show up.  This is what worked for me along with some Biofreeze! 

The moves are not complicated, kettlebell training make me happy, keeps me moving (which keeps me healthy) so I can do what I want to in life. Since I retired, I don't do complicated. Right now I can do this, and I have fun with it, so I do.

Strong Member Spotlight: Joanne Spoth

When Joanne joined MoveStrong Kettlebells a little over a year ago, she had also just started a new job as President and CEO of The Breathing Association. I was so impressed that she was willing to commit to a regular exercise program with her busy life, but she wanted to be her best in her new job, and for family, friends, and to do all the things she enjoys in life. She truly believes that fitness = health.

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Joanne has progressed in the all areas of movement quality, mobility, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance and strength. She doesn't bat an eye when we do Tabata-style workouts and she is expert at listening to her body. 

Her pressing technique is beautiful, as is her swing, and she moves mindfully through all the kettlebell movements, especially the Turkish Getup.

Joanne is an incredibly positive person, fun to have in class, and she is a committed athlete who loves new challenges. She inspires me and helps me be a better coach with her feedback and support.

It has been fun to watch her progress and to hear stories about how what we do in the gym has helped her enjoy the people, animals and activities in her life.

Here is Joanne's fitness journey in her own words:

Why did you start training at MSK?

Training with Lori and MSK was an easy decision.  I wanted to work with someone who was knowledgeable, willing to work with me vs. having a ‘cookie cutter’ approach and was willing to challenge me – safely.  From the onboarding process to the variation of exercises and skills learned in each session; every time I leave class I know I made the right decision.  Since my work is ‘office & schedule based’ I was also looking for a program that complemented my busy schedule. MSK provides that and more.

What improvements have you seen in your body and in your life?

Am I stronger, yes; do I have greater endurance, yes and am I resting and enjoying life more, yes.  Zip lining in Costa Rica last Thanksgiving was a blast; something I likely wouldn’t have tried had I not been working with Lori. I have always been ‘in tune’ with my body; more so since my (former) days as an ‘equine sports therapist’, but for sure I am seeing that my overall well-being has been affected.  Another big improvement for me has been the balancing of my lower body muscle groups in that I came in very quad dominant but I am much stronger and more flexible in my hip flexors, hamstrings etc.

What is the biggest surprise you've seen with strength training?

For me it is the applicability of the breathing, abdominal engagement, hip hinge and TGU; I use the techniques and steps from these movements throughout my daily activities.  They are seemingly basic movements but their capacity for better, safer and stronger movement is transformative whether it is working in the yard, moving packages, cleaning in the barn or throwing a bale of hay.

What are your favorite KB movements / lifts?

Of all of the movements, two-hand swings, Sumo style deadlifts and presses are my favorites.  While the single-arm and double-bell movements are not my favorites; I know that I am getting better with them over time and as my conditioning improves.

What advice do you have for people about strength training with kettlebells?

Kettlebells are for most everyone; no matter your age, condition or strength IF you have a qualified and dedicated instructor who is willing to help you with your goals.  I have worked out with other strength ‘trainers’ in the past and didn’t believe I would ever try again given the experience.  I am so very glad that I found Lori and MSK; it makes a difference when you are coaching with someone whose overall goal is your wellbeing and improvement.  Lastly, if you do choose to start working out; once you have the right instructor and program - stick with it.  Rome wasn’t built in a day (as they say) and the only thing that is constant is change. That means you are building on what you learned, adding strength, and dealing with ‘life happens’ moments every day. 

Having the opportunity to work with a great coach; learn with others and enjoy getting stronger at MSK is one of the best decisions I have ever made. ~Joanne

Strong Member Spotlight: Scott Wemer

Scott's strength journey has been a lot of fun because it seems like every time he walks into the gym he improves his technique or lifts more weight. He has great mental focus and enjoys new challenges while being consistent and moderate in his training.

He excels at the standard barbell deadlift and he is climbing toward 400#.

His kettlebell pressing is very strong along with the swing and the snatch.

He had not done much bodyweight training previously, so his squat, pull-up and pushup have also advanced tremendously.

I think Scott was surprised by how much he would enjoy learning to use kettlebells and barbells; it is hard to believe this is a new skill-set for him as he moves so naturally making it look easy.

It has been fun to watch how his kettlebell training helps him excel in cycling and running with much less training time. 

Here is Scott's strength journey in his own words ...

What led you to start with kettlebells?

I had noticed a lot of my running friends had started strength training and their times had been improving. I decided that strength training was something I needed to add to my training and I saw an article about kettlebells. It struck me as a perfect way to strengthen my entire body and not just certain muscles. Then a few months later I saw this little sign that said “Move Strong Kettlebells” and I gave it a try.

What has surprised you the most about your strength journey over the last year?

I surprise myself all the time in class. I can do so many more pushups then when I started. I had never done a deadlift before, and now I can pick up 170% of my body weight. 

I just like the overall strength I have developed. I improve my PRs just about every time we go for them. I used to shy away from the challenging movements, because I didn’t want to embarrass myself. Now I like to give them a shot and surprise myself almost every time. I call that everyday strength! 

What are your favorite movements and lifts?

Before I started at MoveStrong, I had tried the Snatch and Turkish get up at home. I never quite got it, and I thought I was going to hurt myself. After learning the technique from Lori, I would say those are my favorite kettlebell movements. I like the mix of technique and strength you need. 

I think my favorite lift would definitely be the deadlift! I had never done that before I started at MoveStrong. I always look forward to “DEADLIFT DAY!”  

How has strength training helped you in other sports and in daily life?

I ran a quarter marathon a couple of months ago. I hadn’t run much leading up to it, but I was able to run the whole six and a half miles without running to prepare. It was not as fast as I had in the past, but I was able to run it all.

Then the next weekend I did a 100 mile bike ride, I hadn’t ridden 100 miles total in the 8 months leading up to it, but I completed it just fine, and my friends were quite surprised about how well I was able to keep up. Fast forward to now, my cycle training has caught up to my conditioning and I can ride up front with my friends who have many more miles riding. 

In daily life, well, I have received compliments about my appearance in the last few months.

What would you tell someone who is hesitant to start strength training?

I would tell them that whether you are 26 or 66 you will benefit from some strength training. You don’t need to be training for a marathon, or century ride to strength train. It doesn’t mean becoming a body builder. It helps your posture, gives you the cardiovascular endurance  and generally makes you look and feel better. I have a friend at work who started strength training earlier this year. She is diabetic and was taking 80 units of insulin a day. After training for a while she is down to 14 units. Incredible! I believe that when I am 70 I can still be out there enjoying life and not just watching it. 

Strong Member Spotlight: Maddie Revis

When Maddie joined the gym late last year, she was very motivated to get strong and she had just started on her weight loss journey. She learned to use kettlebells quickly and made a commitment to training with consistency and moderation. She loves being physically active and I admire how she has incorporated exercise into her social life with events like the Warrior Dash, Urban Obstacle, charity fitness events, softball and light runs in the park with friends.

Most of our members know Maddie because her work hours vary, so she is able to attend at different class times. She can occasionally attend two classes a day, but she is really good about listening to her body and resting or changing up her fitness activity when needed.

Maddie is a great team player who encourages and applauds others in class. She is already developing a coaches' eye. She is humble and a lot fun to coach. She is serious about her kettlebell training, but she has fun too -- the perfect combination to make fitness sustainable over a lifetime.

With her solid kettlebell technique, and consistent training, she has become very strong. Her body has been transforming since she started because of her commitment to staying active and maintaining life balance with work, rest, training and play.

I think, like many people, Maddie was surprised at the cardiovascular benefits of kettlebells ... and how you get hooked on how good it feels when you move well and move strong.

The Turkish Getup did not come easy for Maddie, but she is now using a 48# KB and moving with ease. That is what I am most proud of at this moment. That and how well she moves with kettlebell snatches ... because not everyone does -- they are challenging -- but she makes it look easy!

Maddie will continue to get stronger and leaner ... I see no limits to what she can do in the gym and I look forward to helping her reach her goal of the RKC-I in 2016. ~Lori

Maddie's fitness journey in her own words:

What do you like most about strength training with kettlebells?

Training with kettlebells keeps me interested. I feel challenged every time I pick up a kettlebell. I started training with kettlebells just a little over six months ago, and I am still intrigued with the shape, size and variety of weight there is to use. Training with kettlebells is not a job or a task, I look forward to it. Waking up at 5:45 a.m. to work out is no longer a chore. I get this excitement the night before because I know I will be indulging in a new challenge as soon I step foot in the gym. It doesn’t compare to any other workout – I get both strength and cardio conditioning. It is never choreographed or routine. What I like most is the immediate response from my body when I train with kettlebells—the after-workout soreness in various muscle groups and the endorphins kicking in.

What are your favorite movements and lifts?

The Snatch is my favorite kettlebell movement. I am fascinated with how beautiful it is and how much control it requires. The Snatch came to me relatively easily, and that may be why I like it so much. Just recently I found my passion for the Turkish Get Up. The TGU required a lot of practice for me.  From the get-go, my form lacked and I didn’t really understand the purpose of getups. I thought it was hard enough work to get up off the floor with just my body weight. After a lot, a lot, of practice, I finally nailed the form, and I am now challenging myself with heavier weight. Like the Snatch, the TGU is also a very beautiful, intriguing movement. As much as I despise squatting, it is also on my list of favorite movements, primarily because it uses legs, which in my opinion is the strongest part of my body. I love that it takes discipline to squat, and that with kettlebells, we mix it up with racked double bells or goblet squats. We also use barbells and I am proud to say that I can Zercher squat 123 lbs.

What are some results you have seen since you started strength training?

The major results I have seen with strength training include weight loss and development of muscle mass. It took 6 months for me to lose 52 lbs. in a healthy manner, with some adjustments to my diet, mainly eating smaller portions and more protein. While training with kettlebells, I have gained muscle mass in every area of my body, which has triggered a quicker metabolism. I am fascinated with how my body has changed, in fact every time I look in the mirror I am proud of it. You can ask anyone that I know—I am the happiest and most confident I have ever been. I feel great and I am pain free. On days that I go without strength training, I can feel my body craving it. Every movement I have learned with kettlebells is applicable to my daily life. I work in retail, where it is required to lift heavy objects and stand on my feet all day. I can say that both come easier to me since training with kettlebells.

Was there anything that surprised you in this process?

I think what surprised me most about training with kettlebells is how quickly I have seen results. When I started, I was focused on losing weight. I was committed to exercising every day of the week, sometimes twice a day, incorporating spinning and softball, and any other periodic outdoor activities. I have hit a plateau with my weight loss, but I can feel my body changing every day—both mentally and physically. I have slowed down a lot with the amount of extra cardio I am doing. I recently ran the Urban Obstacle 5k, and I didn’t even train for it. I was able to complete it with no problem, and I know it was due to the strength and cardio conditioning from training with kettlebells. I totally underestimated the passion that I have developed for kettlebells, and the confidence I have gained in my everyday life. It is liberating to know that not all progress made is physical.

What are your goals over the next year?

Over the next year, I will still be focusing on gaining muscle mass and losing fat. I will spend my time training to participate in the RKC certification in April, 2016. My short term goal is to barbell deadlift more than my body weight and to eventually master the strict pushup and pullup. 

Strong Member Spotlight: Ann Morrell

Ann Morrell is an outstanding kettlebell athlete for many reasons, but here are two: Consistency and Moderation. As a kettlebell coach, this is all I ask of every athlete.

From the beginning, Ann has been consistent in coming to class four days a week and she listens to her body to continue to progress and avoid injury -- pushing herself when needed and pulling back when her body tires -- or taking an extra rest day.

She came to MoveStrong Kettlebells with a background in kettlebells, so we worked on refining her technique and improving her mobility.

Ann is a busy professional who sees this way of training as integral to her life and she understands that moving well is a requisite for strength -- especially when her work days include sitting at a desk.

She is joy to coach and she inspires me, our coaches and our gym members with her kettlebell skills and conditioning.

Ann has been very patiently progressing to the point where she can work hard, with very little recovery time, and be energized for the rest of her day. ~Lori

Here is Ann's story in her own words ...

What do you like most about training at MoveStrong Kettlebells?

The availability of classes to fit my schedule is so great. And Lori has so much equipment. I like the kettlebell focus with the ability to mix in bodyweight work. The variety of training never gets boring.

Lori has deep focus on technique which facilitates regressions/progressions to things I didn't think I could do. She doesn't put limits on what her students can do. It sneaks up on you and you find yourself doing something you thought was out of your reach.

What improvements have you seen since training at MSK?

I feel stronger and I  am stronger because my kettlebell weights  have increased -- and I don't think I've maxed out yet. I can do vertical jumps which I was always afraid of doing and I can even hand-foot crawl which I've always dreaded.

How does what you do in the gym apply to daily life?

I've always worked out and I am not a very happy person when there are disruptions to my workout schedule. The MSK class schedule allows me to come often and stay happy. 

Is there a moment that stands out for you with a personal best or skill development?

I am thrilled that I can do vertical jumps!

Why should someone consider training with kettlebells at MSK?

It's really a body-transforming sport. You just need to add consistency to see results. ~Ann

Time to Re-think My Goals

A guest post by Al Crock.

I have been lifting weights, primarily barbell exercises, since I was 14 years old.  The initial motivation was to gain weight on a very skinny body in an effort a play some sport – any sport.

You may find this hard to believe, but after almost 40 years,  I have not appeared in a Muscle Magazine or stood on stage to show off my physique?!  What makes you/me think that will ever happen?  Why would I want to  buy an entire new wardrobe?  Time to re-think my goals.

Yet, I still lift weights beyond what a normal, smart person would attempt, whether it is the Bench Press, Trap Bar, or heavy Rows. 

Gotta do more than yesterday. Gotta do more than that guy over there. The more I lift, the bigger I will get and closer to that ‘middle linebacker’ body every male desires. 

Just read any health magazines. It's gotta be true. After four surgeries and 31 years of marriage, I think it is time to think not how much weight I can lift, but how long I can lift any challenging weights?  This thought process has only taken the last 10 years so it is obviously well-thought out.  Time to re-think my goals.

After being exposed to kettlebells (KBs) for the first time a few years ago, it still amazes me that I can achieve more strength, more flexibility and more muscle definition without being in some form of constant pain.  No wraps or gloves.  No wide belts or shoes. Just a little bit of talc powder. 

I think the reason it took so long to actually admit this revelation is because it was my wife’s constant drumming of KB benefits and instruction. “She can’t know what she’s talking about.  I have been lifting weights for 40 years?!"  The fact that she is now RKC I & II certified means very little to me. I knew her when she didn’t know the difference between a dumbbell and a kettlebell. Time to re-think my goals.

Yet, when I do sneak away and to do barbell lifts, or  front/back squat or any of the other “heavy lifts”,  I am amazed at the increase in strength, not to mention my overall better form .... and I haven’t done anything stupid in months! How is that possible? 

I never saw Arnold swing a KB 500 times. I never heard of the NFL Combines including a  KB Snatch Ladder. I was sure it was a matter of time before I fell back into my old ways. And believe me I tried. Time to re-think my goals.

Then I turned 50 years old.

I started paying attention to what my wife/trainer was actually saying. I started eating less crap and more quality food and fewer second helpings. She finally convinced me that you have to ‘listen’ to your body', not abuse your body.

I can still push myself to failure and sweat with the best of them, but I don’t have to hurt. And I watch her clients lose weight, achieve goals that people their age shouldn't be able to achieve -- and I no longer eat Ibuprofen like sweet tarts.

can swing a KB 500 times. I can perform 100 Snatches in less than 5 minutes and I can jump rope 200 reps without smacking my toes. That was just last week.  How many 53-year-old guys walking around can say that right now?

Al swings the 150# KB for several sets of 10!

Al swings the 150# KB for several sets of 10!

More practical ... I can jump up into the back of a pickup truck. I can hang multiple deer tree stands 20 feet off the ground in one day. I can give a 9-year-old kid a shoulder ride for a mile up a dirt road. How many 53-year-old guys walking around can say that right now?

I will never compete in the Crossfit games. I will never be invited to a NFL Combine. Nor, will anyone ask me to take my shirt off in public. I don’t care. There, I said it. Happy?

Because when I am able to move with power in everyday life, pain-free, and still fit into jeans that I wore five years ago, I think that I have achieved something that most of my buddies would like to say they could, but they can’t. Not today.  Time for them to re-think their goals.

I can thank kettlebells and a relentless wife.

Strong Member Spotlight: Patrick Baum

Patrick came to MoveStrong Kettlebells last Spring seeking to increase strength and overall conditioning for the sport of Rowing. Patrick is a member of the Greater Columbus Rowing Association and is a sculler -- so he is used to moving fast.

There are really a lot of similarities between using kettlebells and rowing as I found out when I began talking to Patrick and also when I read a book about the sport that Patrick loaned to me. 

So Patrick began using kettlebells and barbells with us and I would say that the kettlebell swing presented a bit of a challenge for Patrick at first, as it does for many of us. But when he got it, he became pretty excited about the explosive power and strength benefits from it.

Patrick also began to look at how he was eating in an effort to increase his performance. There was a period of months where he was cycling, rowing and swinging kettlebells so it became especially important to fuel properly.

He began eating more whole and natural foods,, and to date, Patrick has lost 66 pounds.

The weight loss was not necessarily his goal ... he wanted to feel better and move better. As I tell people, do the work in the gym, and in the kitchen, and the rest will fall in place with consistency and patience.

Patrick has been swinging the 124 lb. kettlebell for sets of 10 as a recent strength challenge. He had a deadlift personal best of 285 lbs. He has been consistently training 3-4 times a week and his movement quality with squats and lunges has steadily improved.

He recently achieved his first strict pull-up (from a deadhang) and that was very exciting for him and for the entire class.; we revel in each others accomplishments!

I look forward to seeing how Patrick feels when he gets back on the water very soon. I expect he will move as quite a different athlete with nearly a year of strength and movement training behind him.

One of things I enjoy most about coaching Patrick is his openness to cues and corrections. He welcomes them. I also enjoy watching him occasionally smile or chuckle in the middle of the movement. He will feel either something move really well, or not so well. Either way, he will work it out in his body and in his head until he gets it right. He has learned how to be mindful when using kettlebells.

Here are some thoughts about this journey from Patrick in his own words ...

2014 included my third season of masters rowing. I went to sculling camp in Vermont, and was in six seat of an eight boat when sweep rowing. I felt fairly good about my progress, but could not achieve the level of performance I really wanted.

My technique was improving under excellent coaching at the Greater Columbus Rowing Association (GCRA), but I did not have the physical ability to get to the next level. So I made a commitment to become a better rower through improved fitness. But how?

My winter training plan came down to a choice between two philosophies: practice on the rowing machine (erg) primarily, or focus on weight-bearing exercise and body movement for overall conditioning.

I had been “erging” for many months with little improvement. Intuition and logic pointed toward increasing my fitness level; erging occasionally to stay sharp in the off-season; and then improving rowing technique on the water in the spring.

I decided to do more kettlebell workouts because of their ballistic yet rhythmic movement combined with the loading of the weight. On the strength of Lori’s coaching ability, I committed to between 3 and 5 workouts per week at MoveStrong Kettlebells over the winter months.

Now, the ice won’t melt here in Columbus, Ohio for a few weeks yet, and water temperature won’t be safe for rowing until April. So how kettlebell conditioning over the winter will affect my rowing has yet to be seen. But there are hints foretelling of success.

There’s the weight loss; the new awareness of and control over body movement; the endurance of kettlebell workouts (which I find similar to rowing in terms of effort over time); the drastically improved erg times.

In brief, I can’t wait to hit the water in 2015!

One other encouraging note: I am 54 years old and have never been as fit as I am today.

Yes, I row and bicycle – great. Yet I attribute my new sense of health, confidence, and well-being to practicing kettlebells under a great coach and mentor.

If you’re getting older, are feeling out of shape, and your doctor clears you for heavy exercise, kettlebells will deliver for you – if you train with a great coach like Lori Crock. Believe me – you do NOT want to try swinging a 124 lb. kettlebell without a certified trainer (no matter your age)! Plus, it’s really fun. So go for it, if you can.

Strong Member Spotlight: Jayme Mattimore

Jayme Mattimore joined MoveStrong Kettlebells about 7 months ago. She has achieved some great results and she shares her fitness journey and results below. As a coach, I am impressed with her consistency, patience with conditioning and her laser-focus on achieving excellent technique.

Jayme enjoys all the movements / lifts we do in the gym, but her favorite is the Turkish Getup. She can safely lift the 18kg on both sides and recently had a PR with the 20kg bell on her right side. My goal for her is 24kg on both sides in 2015.

Jayme's journey in her own words ...

1. What led you to kettlebells?

As a former gymnast, I’ve always been strong and in shape. Gymnastics was a huge part of my life, and my physical strength and fitness primarily came from my involvement in the sport. Without this continued involvement, my body just didn’t twist and turn like it used to. So as most of us do, I joined a local gym and went through the motions of working out each week.  I consistently went to the gym but found that I was not achieving the same results that came naturally with gymnastics. Finding the motivation to workout everyday became a bit of a struggle. Then in May of 2014 I met an individual that shared his experience with kettlebells.  I was inspired by his experience with kettlebells and how they transformed his life.  His story led me to join MoveStrong Kettlebells. 

2. What do you like most about using kettlebells at MSK?

No matter what your fitness level, every member at MSK comes together to workout utilizing kettlebells.  Classes are always challenging and individual attention is given to all members for instructions, corrections and fine-tuning. At MSK there is always a positive, energetic and supportive atmosphere that empowers everyone to perform to their capacity without any judgment. The camaraderie that everyone shares in watching one another excel is invaluable.  

3. What results have you seen?

I couldn’t be happier with the results I’ve seen thus far. During my first six months with MSK I lost 9 lbs and 12 inches off my body. But most importantly, I’ve gained more strength, energy, confidence and new respect for my body and what it is capable of doing. I feel fantastic!

4. What goals do you have for 2015?

Make eating healthy easier. I enjoy eating healthy and nutritious meals, but I don’t always have time to prepare meals from scratch. My goal is to make sure that I set time aside once a week to prepare simple and delicious meals/snacks that I can grab throughout the week.

Continued Education. Since the start of my kettlebell journey I have been interested in the certification opportunities that are available. My goal is to complete the HKC Certification this year and start training for the RKC Certification and the 100 snatch timed test!

Physical Fitness goals. I want to successfully tackle a pistol squat, strict military pull up and swing the beloved beast!

5. Any surprises about this way of training?

I was surprised at how diverse training is with Kettlebells. There are so many variations of moves that you never get bored. I was also surprised at how much cardiovascular strength is incorporated in the training as well. I’ve had some of my best cardiovascular workouts at MSK.

Final thoughts: I’m amazed every day how this training has affected me. Kettlebells have given me a purpose to my training. The kettlebell commands your attention. Training with it takes practice, it is a skill that has to be learned and refined over time. Just when you think you’ve mastered one move, you are introduced to an advanced variation of the move you thought you just conquered. These countless variations continue to motivate me physically and mentally. You must focus on the task at hand. Being in that moment allows my mind to let go of all other distractions. Kettlebells are my daily dose of meditation!

How Do You Measure Success with Kettlebells?

When people first meet with me we talk about their goals and they often ask how they will know if they are making progress or if this program is successful for them.

If you are being properly coached, it will be very apparent that you are making progress.

In general, our gym members want to stronger, move better, lose weight, have more energy and be able to excel in their sports such as running, rowing and cycling.

Since success is different for each person, there is no one standard answer for ‘how do you measure success with kettlebells.’ But for us, continual progress equals success. 

The progress is consistent, sometimes subtle, but very exciting to me as a coach. Here are some examples:

With member Shelly Reardon who has achieved success with kettlebells.

With member Shelly Reardon who has achieved success with kettlebells.

  • After a couple of on-ramp sessions, one of our new members said she was already feeling better and more in-tune to her body.
     
  • One of our members who has been training since April, just this week. kicked into high gear. The mobility, the patience with former sports injuries, and learning the technique all fell into place and she was a star in class ... moving well, feeling good, increasing reps (and with beautiful technique) and with no pain.
     
  • Another member, who is a former gymnast, increases her weights almost every class as she has beautiful technique and proprioception (awareness of limbs in space) and she is eating clean, so the sky is the limit.
     
  • There is a member who works very hard every session. She is quietly and patiently getting stronger and leaner. She is a very busy mom and professional who has made a 100% commitment to this and she is becoming very strong, very fast.
     
  • A member who has not been active for a long time smiles while she swings as she now understands how the swing works -- and learning this hasn’t come easy to her. One of her co-workers recently asked her if she was wearing a new blouse. No, she said, I just look better in my clothes now because I have some muscle.
     
  • A member is increasing her weights and improving her technique each session because she addressed her knee pain. She is really focused on what muscles to engage and when to relax. As a result, the weight she lifts is going up nearly every class. She said this is the best thing she has done for herself in 20 years.
     
  • A specialized sport athlete beat her entire basketball team in the number of chin-ups and squats she could do in the pre-season testing. She attributes this to our climbing and pull-up obsession at MoveStrong Kettlebells :) 
     
  • Two members came to us with sports injuries and are now injury-free and continually increasing in their strength and cardio endurance. One will be participating in the HKC.
     
  • Two men who like to lift heavy and get their heart rate up have been great about patiently implementing my cues to hone technique first. As a result, they see consistent strength improvements as well. They now enjoy the technique work that we do as they see how it translates into more strength.
     
  • A member said his running feels easier and he cut 30 seconds off his mile after he started training with us.
     
  • A member recently told me that training at MSK is one of the 'great joys of her life.'

Every member is achieving success in different ways thanks to their hard work and their desire to make this a life-changing experience, not just some workouts. 

Success should never stop -- there are always to new goals to set as current goals are reached.

As a coach, the RKC has given me the training and tools I need to help people become stronger and better athletes than they ever thought they could be. 

There is no ceiling on their success. There is no age limit. Constant improvement is achievable with the right balance of work, rest and smart programming. The kettlebell makes this possible for all fitness levels.

That is the beauty of this -- success is attainable for anyone who wants to work hard and is patient with the exciting and ever-changing process of getting stronger and moving more efficiently.