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hardstyle kettlebell swing

hardstyle kettlebell swing

as it goes with any aspect of the fitness industry — personal trainers, group fitness instructors, older adult specialists, pilates instructors, and the like — there are plenty of fit folks in prince edward island who love to exercise and who quickly figure out that offering classes, leading facebook challenge groups, or instructing others is an easy way for them to get their own workout and make some money.

qualifications, other than their own personal journey to better health, seem not so important.

when they have no specific hands-on education, what they pick up from a youtube video or a dvd release can be detrimental to your health.

this post is, as the title indicates, about kettlebell training. i have heard quite a number of stories — more than the fingers on both hands — about unqualified instructors providing poor instruction. i have been asked to take over a kettlebell class from an unqualified (and therefore uninsured) personal trainer and i have had at least a half dozen studio participants tell me about correcting the technique of other ‘instructors’ in other fitness businesses.

i am sure other kettlebell coaches have heard similar stories.

and, just recently, i was told by someone who has a connection to fitness/recreational education on the island that some people don’t think anyone on the island is duly certified (and i hope this is not based on the perception that our certifying bodies are questionable, as they most certainly are not).

these two sides of the same coin disturb me. to that end, i am compiling a list of who, in our island kettlebell world, has what certification and where you can contact them if you are interested in solid, safe, knowledgeable instruction.

  1. Kelly Arsenault. certified as a Kettlebell Trainer 1 through KBell Training Academy. subs as an occasional instructor at the whole way health & fitness studio in Charlottetown.
  2. J-Mac Beauchesne. certified as a Kettlebell Trainer 1 through KBell Training Academy. competes in GS (kettlebell sport). instructs at The Fit Stop in The Credit Union Place in Summerside and subs at Isand Impact Mixed Martial Arts.
  3. Zelda Bernard. certified as a Kettlebell Trainer 1 through KBell Training Academy. not currently teaching/coaching. lives in Eastern PEI.
  4. wendy chappell. a Certified Personal Trainer, originally kettlebell certified through Agatsu as a Kettlebell Instructor Level 1 in 2007 and more recently with KBell Training Academy as a Kettlebell Trainer 1 and a KBell Jam Instructor and as an Instructor of Kettlebell Sport through Orange Kettlebell Club. a Master Trainer Candidate for KBell Training Academy; has attended Agatsu Kettlebell Instructor Level 2 (received a day of instruction from Steve Cotter) and StrongFirst Girya 1 courses. participated in in-person professional development with KBell Training Academy at the national CanFitPro conference and on-line in High Intensity Kettlebell Fitness with KBNY and Kettlebell Rehab: Hardstyle Methods in Corrective Exercise with IDEA Health & Fitness Association. to date, has instructed more than 3000 kettlebell classes, workshops and courses. coaches classes and works with personal training clients at the whole way health & fitness studio in Charlottetown.
  5. April Gregory. a Certified Personal Trainer certified as a Kettlebell Trainer 1 through KBell Training Academy and working toward a cert as a KBell Jam Instructor with same; Instructor of Kettlebell Sport with Orange Kettlebell Club. find current offerings at April Gregory: Kettlebell Training mainly in Souris and Up East areas of the island.
  6. Alan Howatt. certified as a Kettlebell Instructor Level 1 with Agatsu and an Instructor of Kettlebell Sport with Orange Kettlebell Club. teaches at Abegweit Kettlebells Sport Club in Mount Stewart.
  7. Lola MacLeod. certified as a Kettlebell Instructor Level 1 with Agatsu. teaches at Atlantic Fitness East in Montague.
  8. Stefanie MacQuarrie. a Certified Group Fitness Instructor, certified originally as a Kettlebell Instructor Level 1 with Agatsu and more recently as a Kettlebell Trainer 1 with KBell Training Academy and working toward a cert as a KBell Jam Instructor with same. classes are offered through “Alota Tabatas” Kettlebell Class in Crapaud and  subs at the whole way health & fitness studio in Charlottetown.
  9. Lindsay Moore. certified as a Kettlebell Trainer 1 with KBell Training Academy. subs at “Alota Tabatas” Kettlebell Class in Crapaud.
  10. Courtney Steele. a Certified Personal Trainer, certified as a Kettlebell Trainer 1 with KBell Training Academy. teaches and trains at Full Throttle Fitness in Morell.
  11. Danny Walker. certified as a Kettlebell Instructor Level 1 with Agatsu. teaches at Atlantic Fitness East in Montague.
  12. Susan Walsh. an Instructor of Kettlebell Sport with Orange Kettlebell Club since Sept. 2014. currently training under John Wild Buckly, owner of OKC. certified Kettlebell Instructor Level 1 through Agatsu and re-certified in Feb. 2014. teaching classes in kettlebell fitness since 2009 and practicing with kettlebells since 2008. owner of Studio K in Georgetown, PE.

kettlebell training is a very effective way of achieving goals. it is, however, very technique specific and as such requires specialized education of the provider.

let’s stay safe as we toss around the iron!

beginning

* to certified instructors: i compiled this list after alerting all on the list to my intention of writing this post. if i have made a mistake or omission, if you would like to be removed from the list, or if you would like to be added to the list, please get in touch.

*to training clients and class participants: this may or may not be an exhaustive list of certified kettlebell instructors on prince edward island. you can always ask your instructor about her/his qualifications and, if they are certified, send them along to be edited into this post.

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wsu0u1TDtmXqpEuzt2Hroo8kLs6PGX3S8lSWyLz-acEit is just short of 9 years — May 2006 — since i purchased my first set of kettlebells: three fat-handled glossy-painted cold cannon balls with handles. an 8kg, a 12kg, and a 16kg.

and so it began.

from books put out by Dragon Door, i began teaching myself kettlebell movements and began incorporating a bit of kettlebell training with personal training clients.

AKC training clean&snatch circuit 2

Agatsu Certification 2007

in late 2007 i attended my first certification course and learned so much! it was a heady weekend full of sweat, bruises, and total mind engagement. with this, my initial fascination converted into a passion, both to use and to share this unique and effective way of training.

after that first cert, i continued using the kettlebell as part of my personal training repertoire, but i also developed a group fx format with kettlebells which i eventually had opportunity to roll out.

today, january 28th 2015, is the 7th anniversary of the first group kettlebell class i offered.

since then, i have taught kettlebell skills in a group format and led group classes 2975 times.

and because kettlebell training has so many nuances and iterations, i have also since completed 6 additional kettlebell certification programs and attended/audited quite a few other kettlebell trainings, such as workshops and certifications courses.

kettlebell-pics-034the opportunities for learning are endless. there are at least 4 or 5 additional kettlebell certs i’d love to take. if the time is right, some of them will happen. i am happy to leave that to the future.

the kettlebell universe is an interesting and quickly expanding place, filled with all manner of passion, talent, commitment, skillful execution, amazing coaching, and creativity. it engages and pushes limits and evolves. this is what i most love about kettlebell training.

little did i imagine what would come of my fascination with kettlebells when i came upon them in a 2005 magazine spread. (you can read more on that here)

daily i am grateful for how kettlebell training has contributed to my life and that of my family and communities.

thank you to those from whom i have directly learned: Shawn Mozen of Agatsu, Ajamu Bernard and Drew Miller and Stephanie Yankovich of KBell Training Academy, Steve Cotter of Full KOntact Kettlebells, Sharon Shiner SFGII, Jason Dolby and John Buckley of Orange Kettlebell Club. and to the many, many who share top notch on-line resources which have contributed to my knowledge.

and so it continues.

swing a kettlebell

this painting of me is the amazing work of Renee Laprise of www.onelovelywitch.com

this painting of me is the amazing work of Renee Laprise of http://www.onelovelywitch.com

i have, of late, been giving quite some thought to the variety and breadth of kettlebell training that is around these days and what it is i offer to my clients and class participants.

i have taken a number of kettlebell certficiations, workshops, and courses and follow the work of a number of folks forging creative and awesome ways to train with kettlebells.  from the straight up hardstyle brought to north america by Pavel Tsatsouline to the girya sport style of Valery Fedorenko, from the mma blend of Joey Alvarado, to the group kettlebell programming of Ajamu Bernard, a myriad fitness kettlebell variations are available.

there are strong differences in training philosophies which give rise to all manner of stylistic variations and nuances across this kettlebell universe.

in my classes, i offer a variety of styles and sometimes a meshing of styles, in order to achieve certain class outcomes.  in my personal training, i coach hard style, or close to, or sport style depending on the goals of the client.

earlier this week in a class i taught, there was an interchange about the ‘proper’ performance of a movement.  it was a great example of stylistic differences and it related to the execution of the kettlebell windmill.

here, Shawn Mozen of Agatsu, coaches straight legs (his students coach locked out knees)

 

and here, Pavel Tsatsouline of StrongFirst, coaches a soft forward knee

the training philosophies of these two men are quite different (check out their websites to learn more). and, in the world of strength, conditioning and fitness, the same movement may be executed differently to address different goals.

a part of my job as a fitness service provider is to work fast and furious to stay at the edge of industry knowledge and practice;  to wisely and judiciously distill, synthesize and package that information; and, to deliver safe and effective services.

this week has been an awesome learning week!

i am indebted to the many brilliant minds with whom i have had the honour and privilege to study and work in the last dozen years. i am excited about the many courses and workshops i will be attending in the upcoming months. i am grateful for the challenges to my skills and knowledge offered by colleagues and the questions posed by clients and class participants.

move and be still, wendy

 

i am so very pleased and privileged to have had Amber Petersen come into my life. this woman is strong and capable, definitely an individualist but at the same time an amazing and supportive part of a team. by day, Amber pays her bills by reproducing oversized things. enough said. but, i’d guess her daytime persona simply provides the means to her passions – woodsmoke and cold beer, atv’s and cabin living, snow mobiles and chainsaws, self reliance and sheep in need of shearing. she is fiercely active, perhaps a tad hard on herself, and smart as a whip. amber started kbell jam with the very first session i launched in january 2013 and she is still around, tossing big ol’  kettlebells, and spreading work-hard love and the essence of effort. i love her.

amber shears

Amber shearing sheep. A highly skilled and dwindling art which requires strength and stamina.

I have been aware of the need to work out since a fairly early age. I’ve never been greatly overweight but always a little chubby, so I have always been aware of the need to stay active. In recent years I was doing a lot of at-home workouts (P90X and the like). However, in December of 2012, I found myself in a slump and I was struggling to get motivated, so I decided to try a new class. That class was called Kbell Jam.

I was completely new to Kettlebells and to the whole way health & fitness and Wendy. I took one kettlebell skills clinic to get acquainted with a kettlebell and decided to sign up for 8 weeks to see how it went.

I’m a pretty outgoing person, not exactly the shy type. But all the same, I was a bit nervous starting out. I was grateful to be able to “blend in” in the class at first. I was able to pick a spot and a kettlebell and stay in my little area to complete the guided workout. Wendy was awesome, she’s encouraging and she’s knowledgeable especially about kettlebells and movement techniques. Right away I clued in to the combination of cardio and strength that kettlebells provide. As someone who enjoys strength workouts but could really use more cardio, I much appreciated that! More bang for your buck!

I think it was at week 5 or 6 that I had decided I needed to extend my 8 weeks to the full 12 weeks. You see, in week 5 the format changes, we were separated into small groups. And the change also . It forces you to use the heavier ‘bells for certain exercises; it challenged my body in a new way. I also was able to get to know some of the other people in class thanks to the small groups. Fun, friendly competitions were born as we egg each other on (even to this day) to push ourselves to a healthy limit. Every class is something different and although I have read about muscle confusion and why it is important, I more just appreciate this out of a LACK OF BOREDOM … you just never know what to expect.

After the 12 weeks were done I immediately signed up for another 12, and now I can’t seem to stop! Although it is sometimes offered at different times, I love the 6 am session: get it done and out of the way, ready to start the day type workout. I love the girls in class. I enjoy watching the others grow as they move through the 12 weeks, starting with small ‘bells and progressing to using some of the heaviest ones!

amber push up

push ups with meticulous form

This year I signed up for 2 concurrent Kbell Jam sessions, putting me at 4 days per week. I have lost 7lbs in the 12 weeks. And one full size. This may not seem like much, but as someone who loses and gains quite quickly, and also was not dieting at ALL during that time, I think it says a lot. In fact, I credit Kbell Jam alone for this weight loss.

new to the game but still playing hard

new to the game but still playing hard

I find the functionality of kettelbell workouts to be amazing. I’m pretty physically active and find that training with kettlebells has made my day-to-day activities much easier.

Last week I finished off another 12 weeks of Kbell Jam and now am trying a NEW Kettlebell class. I’m quite excited about it, and more than addicted to kettlebells!

index
beginning the week of January 13th, 2014 KBELL JAM offers up TWO Camp options!

KBELL JAM CAMP ONE – IRON & SWEAT
* two classes per week at 6am on wednesdays and fridays
* the appropriate choice if you`ve never before touched a kettlebell
* a great workout even for experienced kettlebellers
* motivating group setting
* private facebook support community
* before and afters (photos, measurements, weight) if desired
* $115. + hst ($131.10) for 8 weeks or $170. + hst ($193.80) for 12 weeks
* begins wednesday january 15th. the 8 week session ends friday march 7th. the 12 week session ends friday april 4th.

OR

KBELL JAM CAMP TWO – FIRE IN THE SKY
* two classes per week at 6am on tuesdays and thursdays
* open to participants to have kettlebell experience and/or have attended KBELL JAM CAMP ONE
* motivating group setting
* workouts designed specifically for progression
* private facebook support community
* before & afters (photos, measurements, weight) if desired
* $115. + hst ($131.10) for 8 weeks or $170. + hst ($193.80) for 12 weeks
* begins tuesday january 14th. the 8 week session ends thursday march 6th. the 12 week session ends thursday april 3rd.

kbell-jam logo without numberTWO CLASSES EACH WEEK: 6AM WEDNESDAYS & FRIDAYS (camp one) OR TUESDAYS & THURSDAYS (camp two)

kbell jam is about fun and friendship, encouragement and support.

as a special promotion for KBELL JAM CAMPERS,  add any other once weekly studio class at a cost of only $5. + hst/class

these programs will be kept small in order to maximize service to participants. spaces are, therefore, limited. if there is insufficient enrollment, one of the sessions will be canceled.

gift certificates are available.

kbell jam is the brain child of Ajamu Bernard of Kbell Training Academy.  trained in classic kettlebell lifting, and spreading the fundamentals of kettlebell training for many years, Ajamu also observed that kettlebell coaches were bringing this amazing tool into group fx settings. what was lacking, though, was an overall structure and format to group training with kettlebells and he set out to change that.

531501_10151421950929757_59860985_nand so he did.

kbell jam is the world’s #1 kettlebell group training program.

it is a brilliance which combines movements from Ajamu’s KBell Trainer course and applies them to teaching kettlebell lifting techniques in a group setting. class participants are taken through three formations in classes over a 12 week progression program, developing endurance, strength, and power.

249105_10151575045204757_845340164_nin the fall of 2012, Ajamu coaxed me into attending his first canadian kbell jam instructor certification course. he had already launched the program in Puerto Rico. so, in november of last year, i joined an amazing group of kettlebell coaches in Toronto, and immediately grew to appreciate and love the kbell jam program.

i was so excited to bring kbell jam to pei!

kbell jam launched on january 15, 2013 with both a morning and evening session and, eventually it was run simultaneously in two locations. it was incredibly fun and rewarding to teach the kbell jam format.  i was privileged and honoured to watch participants grow in skill and strength, starting tentatively with 8kg kettlebells and confidently using 36kg + before the session weeks had passed.

i taught 40 weeks worth of kbell jam in 2013.

i am truly excited about the 2014 kbell jam sessions.

i hope to see you there.

 

kbell jam banner

this dance with kettlebells began with an interview and photo spread of Andrea DuCane in Oxygen Magazine in 2005. it has whirled me through a half dozen training workshops and certifications. it has dervished me into opening a training studio.

and still, it cartwheels and sashays me in all sorts of fascinating and interesting and exciting directions.

like kbell jam.

cool.

one of this country’s finer providers of  kettlebell certification is the kbell training academy, run under the thoughtful and skilled tutelage of ajamu bernard. i took ajamu’s kbell trainer specialist cert a while back and have had some contact with him sporadically over the last few years.

about 2.5 months ago i decided to check out his kbell jam group trainer specialist certification. admittedly, it did not, on the surface, really seem like my kind of thing. i mean, he mentioned using music in a group kettlebell class. in my mind there isn’t much of a place, let alone need, for music when you’ve got a kettlebell in your hand.

besides, for no good reason, i have an aversion to shortening ‘kettlebell’ to ‘kbell’. did he have to call this whatever-it-was-program kbell jam? i never find myself saying dbell (dumbbell) or bbell (barbell) or cbell (clubbell). really? kbell? there is only one additional syllable to stumble over if you were to say kettlebell. really.

of course, i couldn’t allow such an insignificant issue to influence me. with a bit of mental tap dancing, i shoved myself past the kbell induced glottal balking. i wanted to remain open and i was intrigued.

off to toronto i jetted.

it was a weekend without regrets.

kbell_jam_ad_flatkbell jam, the world’s #1 group kettlebell training program, is about to launch in pei!

so, what the heck is kbell jam?

  • it is a 12 week pre-formatted program
  • 4 weeks focus on edurance
  • 4 weeks focus on strength
  • 4 weeks focus on power
  • regression and progression sequences make it suitable for most fitness levels
  • music may be used (i’m still debating this!)
  • it is a group, a community, of like-minded folks getting together to dance their lives in healthy directions
  • and, in the studio, it is an exciting 8 or 12 week event; a shared experience where personal awarenesses may shift and shake and shimmy

and, from the kbell jam website:

kbell jam is a functional fitness program based on the principles used to develop young athletes. participants will develop the skill to successfully perform kettlebell lifting techniques in a fun group environment. in kbell jam, performance and body transformation go hand-in-hand. as you master the skill of using your entire body to move a kbell weight, you will see tremendous improvements in your core strength. as you develop the stamina to complete a kbell jam workout, body fat will melt away.

the result is a sleekier, sexier you with more energy and more strength.

i am really excited to be launching kbell jam in two and a half weeks. i got so psyched by the potential of this group kettlebell format that i rolled out a broadly-based health & wellness challenge as part of the launch.

you can find program details on the facebook event page: kbell jam transformation – 8 or 12 week challenge programs for 2013

the 6:00am spaces are filled. but there are still a few spots open in the 6:00pm group.

this may be the place where your wellness needs and goals find partnership with healthful habits, fitness and fun to trip the light fantastic.

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