“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”   So spoke Mahatma Gandhi.


Earlier this month I attended the first Agatsu Kettlebell Convention and Level II Certification Course held in Toronto. Shawn Mozen, the man who is Agatsu and undoubtedly the face of kettlebell in Canada, put together an incredible event. It was held at a great new Crossfit facility in Toronto West owned by Dhani Oks. What a great honour to be amongst the 24 who showed up that Friday morning.

Though my shoulder injuries prevented me from fully participating, I was able return home with new knowledge, advanced skills ideas and most valuably, big inspiration.

kettlebell-giantsDay One was the Level II Certification Training. Shawn packed an incredible amount of information and activity into this 10 hour day. Demonstration and practice of advanced mobility/range of motion and body weight exercises were interspersed with standards testing. Shawn’s programs are run with integrity and he has some exacting standards for participants. Pistol squats, pull ups, hanging knee to elbows and pushups on gymnastics rings were just some of the skills which had to be performed to standard.

Though Toronto started out rainy on this particular day, the sun broke through in the afternoon and Shawn was oh-so-pleased to take us to Earl Bales Ski Hill for a grueling circuit. It included 10 laps up a ski hill and 5 tabatas. Most of the folks finished the job, though a few of us did not. It was a measure in will, and conditioned, healthy bodies.  For Shawn, it was a practical demonstration of the meaning of his company name.  Agatsu translates loosely into “victory over self”.  It is what separates the adequate from outstanding.  It is very similar to the power of intention I talk about.  That’s pretty cool.

Day Two was spent with Steve Cotter. Another superman equally as astounding as Shawn. Highly personable, incredibly fit and a great teacher, Steve engages in Girevoy Sport,  throwing around large kettlebells for unimaginable lengths of time.  Steve took us through a thorough warm-up of dynamic mobility exercise, footwork drills and plyometrics.  He then taught the group sport handling of kettlebells.  The 7 hours passed quickly.

If you are unfamiliar with kettlebell training, it is time you gave it a go.  Kettlebell Group Training will help kick all your fitness goals into high gear!  Functional, compound exercises work multiple muscle groups simultaneously, developing strength and muscular endurance and efficient caloric expenditure.  The workouts provide integration of breathing, movement and alignment with your ability to control balance and weight.  Cussing is optional.

You’ll be able to participate in the island’s best kettlebell training at the whole way fitness studio.  The studio schedule will be posted later this week, so check back.  Or send me an email and I’ll be happy to give you additional information.