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Why Kettlebells?

The Russian Kettlebell has been called “the extreme handheld gym” and is a cast iron weight that looks like a cannonball with a handle. And while it’s beginnings were in Russian Military training, the kettlebell movements have been honed and adapted and are now used by:

Householders: that’s all of us regular folks who have real jobs, but still want to be as strong and healthy as we can be for as long as we can.

Don’t have hours to spend in the gym? Kettlebell training provides total body strength, conditioning, and mobility, all in one quick and efficient training session. Kettlebell training is perfect for the “householder” who is busy and has to use their time well.

Athletes: from triathletes to volleyball players to powerlifters to MMA fighters – kettlebells have provided all of these different athletes with amazing results.

Want more strength for your long runs or rides? Kettlebells can help you with that.
Want to jump higher? Kettlebell training can provide the eccentric load necessary to improve your jumping ability without performing tons of plyometrics and risking the extra strain on your joints.

An excerpt from the StrongFirst Certification manual states:

Kettlebells melt fat without the dishonor of dieting or aerobics. American Council on Exercise (ACE) commissioned a study by Porcari & Schnettler (2010). The researchers concluded that in a kettlebell snatch workout, the subjects “were burning at least 20.2 calories per minute, which is off the charts. That’s equivalent to running a 6-minute mile pace. The only other thing I could find that burns that many calories is cross-country skiing up hill at a fast pace… We knew it would be extremely intense. It’s a quick workout, and you do get a big bang for your buck in a very short amount of time.”

We train with kettlebells here, simply because they work.

How I got hooked… I had been a Division 1 Track & Field athlete and I loved lifting weights & running. But in 2005, I developed lymphedema (swelling of my left leg due to lymph nodes being removed during a cancer resection surgery when I was 16) and I wasn’t able to continue running as much as I would have liked without further damaging my leg. I was a trainer and kept active but I had a hard time finding an activity that gave me that same feeling that running did. I tried hiking, cycling, boxing, spinning, cycling, pilates, yoga… By 2008, I had settled into a good routine at the gym: 15-20-min treadmill or step-mill warmup, 60-min of strength training, 15-20-min on the treadmill to cool down, 5-10 min of stretching. That was almost 2 hours in the gym when I did my strength training. I was single, no kids, and basically lived at the gym, and I was getting tired of spending that much time training. I didn’t know how people with kids, jobs with commutes, and lives outside the gym could be expected to get the amount of training they needed to stay fit and healthy.

In late 2008, I attended a workshop at a facility about 20-min away from San Clemente. It was a one-day course, I got Continuing Education Credits for my NSCA certification (my real reason for attending), and it was taught by some guy named Pavel Tsatsouline. Before that day, I didn’t know who Pavel was and I definitely didn’t know this one day would change the course of my training and my career moving forward. I (obviously) fell in love with the kettlebell and everything I could do with this one small piece of equipment (small in size, not weight! Ask my poor UPS guy at the time!). I trained for and got certified in Russian Kettlebell training and during that time, my training time was cut to 20- to 50-min, max (including warmup, cooldown, and stretch), I lost weight, got leaner, felt better, got stronger, and everyone I introduced kettlebells to had the same results. The proof, as they say, was in the pudding! I was hooked, opened Pacific Strength in 2009 and haven’t looked back. Business ownership is a roller-coaster, but when I look at all the people we’ve helped get stronger, jump higher, get leaner, be more active, feel stronger at 50 than they did at 40… there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing.

These days, we teach the StrongFirst method of training which focuses on Strength as the master quality. We know lots of ways to help you be strong. We don’t dance, we don’t entertain, the music is background noise, and our goal is to help you be the strongest version of you – simple as that. We use kettlebells, barbells, your own bodyweight, TRX, medicine balls, tires, pullup bars, dumbbells, resistance bands, boxes… the tool doesn’t matter much, it’s how you use your body and the amount of intention you put into your training that matters.

A couple articles I like on kettlebell training & how it’s different…

A Little Article on Struggling:
It’s OK to Struggle

A Student’s Journey From Intimidated to Confident:
From Intimidated to Confident and Capable: The Power of Practicing Strength

Benefits of Strength Training:
There’s Nothing Wrong With Being Strong

From Beginner to Enthusiast to Instructor:
Two Swing Cues to Unlock your Power, Posture, and Athleticism