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today i subbed a class. i coached a kettlebell class – well, a kettlebell circuit – at atlantic fitness east. this is the gym where i first began coaching/instructing kettlebell training.

it just so happens that today is only 8 days short of the nine year mark of group kettlebell love in pei. though i used kettlebells to train private clients (amazing Tracy, now a competitive power lifter, and Mandy, now a 3rd dan black belt TKD and international ref) prior to beginning the group classes, it took a bit to develop a group/class format and get it underway. there were no resources on line to help with group kettlebell training and nothing in my first certification course to suggest a path.

it was exciting to create a format and it has been quite satisfying to see the number of instructors who have subsequently adopted and/or adapted my methods.

i am a bit of a math/statistics/records geek. today’s class was the 19th class i’ve led this week (not exclusively kettlebell classes) but the 3660th kettlebell group that i’ve coached.

that is an unfathomable amount of iron moved and movements coached over the years.

when i came home after today’s class and reflected, i realized that two of the women in this morning’s class were also in that first class 9 years ago.  anne and dianne. steady and beautiful, strong and resilient. friends. friends forged through the iron.

i honor you for every time
this year you:

got back up
vibrated higher
shined your light
and loved and elevated
beyond

—the call of duty.
~ lalah delia

xo

 

 

i picked up the kettlebells and got today’s program done.

i am in the second week of a StrongBody Challenge. it is far more volume than i generally work, with a 5 day on 2 day off layout. double kettlebell complexes 3x per week.

i didn’t want to do the workout today. i could list all sorts of excuses, but you already know them all. they’ve taunted you too.

so i set two goals before i started:

  • get it done
  • stay safe while doing it

when i finished, my first thought was: that was not your best effort wendy.

but that wasn’t true.

there’s nothing wrong with enjoying looking at the surface of the ocean itself, except that when you finally see what goes on underwater,you realize that you’ve been missing the whole point of the ocean.    ~ dave barry

i worked, for many years, with stressed and distressed people. poverty. addictions. housing. abuse. marginalization. education. mental health issues. the stresses almost innumerable and so many unfamiliar to me.

in the early years of this work, so much of what i came upon, the context of people’s lives, was far beyond my ken. i am grateful that some wonderfully supportive mentors helped me keep my mind and heart open.

one of the earliest conclusions i came to was that people invariably do the best they can with what they have at that moment. no one puts out less than their best effort. at least i have never witnessed anything less than a person’s best. even when, from most perspectives, the outcome doesn’t look so good.

today i put in my best effort. as i always do. best efforts have a context.

best efforts can look different each day. don’t miss the whole point of them.

kettlebell-pics-034eight years ago today group kettlebell training launched in prince edward island. well, in atlantic canada.

this morning my day started at 6am with a private client’s hardstyle kettlebell training.

in between, there have been more than 3300 group kettlebell classes and workshops in my life and a juicy heart-thumping growth in the number of kettlebell coaches and kettlebell practitioners in eastern canada.

when i reflect on how much good and strong and laughter and friendship and sweat kettlebell has brought into my life, which is pretty much daily, i am grateful.

grateful for everyone who has coached me. in person and on line. your gifts have been treasured, repeatedly distilled,  and respectfully honoured.

grateful for everyone who has endured my coaching and truly graced my life by touching iron with me. your gifts have been selfless and are held near and dear.

grateful for kettlebell, who is a steadfast and humbling comrade. your gifts are enduring and finely nuanced and warmly worn.

cheers to you all for you are the kettlebell universe.

only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible in us be found.           ~ pema chödrön

kettlebell wow

 

il_570xN.748272349_lbeaRISE & GRIND: morning kettlebell club offers up a 45 minute
hardstyle kettlebell workout, combining body weight movements with single and double kettlebell movements. each week one class will be classic group format and the other will be circuit style. this is not better than your morning cup of joe, but it is darn close!

kettlebell training provides cardiovascular conditioning, strength training, power training, endurance, flexibility, balance and core conditioning all in one intense workout. if you’re looking for metabolic conditioning with endless variety, this is where you’ll find it!

experienced, novice and inexperienced kettlebell athletes are welcome to join the club but inexperienced kettlebellers will require one separate preparatory session with me. ♥

this is a 12 week session beginning thursday september 3rd and ending thursday november 26th. there will be no class on thursday november 12th.

while working out with the morning club, participants may attend any other studio class for a drop in fee of $5.70

12 weeks – $195 + hst ($223.30)

get on it now.

Louka Kurcerwell first off, you might be wondering just who is this Louka Kurcer?

i first met Louka on facebook, a place where communities grow and evolve. most anyone who has some mention of kettlebell in their profile, or are somehow affiliated with kettlebell training, will accept a friend request from a compadre kettlebell enthusiast.  Louka was training and growing his business and so we connected in the virtual world.

then, much to my surprise one day, as i am puttering in the kitchen, i hear him being introduced in a DNTO episode on CBC radio! that rather put his cool factor up in my books.

and, to continue with the coincidences, when i arrived at the site of the february 2015 StrongFirst SFG1 course – at United Therapies Strive in Winnipeg –  the first person i was to meet, as we doffed our footwear, was none other than Louka.  Louka was there as a course assistant.

this is how the kettlebell universe continues to expand.

so ….

Louka Kurcer is above all else StrongFirst. his training is based on the belief that strength fixes almost everything. he trains and teaches with a minimalist, yet highly effective, approach and is considered an expert in the practice of hardstyle kettlebell, flexibility, and bodyweight strength training within the StrongFirst community.
Louka’s attitude can be compared to that of an old-time strongman and a martial artist. he challenges his students to “practice” rather than “workout”.

he is about the underlying principles, not just the tools:

“an exercise or movement has greater value if it is done with quality and purpose. that is how I build real, long lasting strength.”

he believes strength training should be a lifestyle and advocates being able to train anytime and anywhere.

“A kettlebell can replace an entire gym…and if you don’t have one available, you can still get very strong using just your body.”

that is his one-mind-any-weapon mentality.
Louka currently teaches workshops in and around Montreal and is based out of Hardstyle Kettlebell Mtl. when he is not swinging a kettlebell or putting heavy weights overhead, he pursues his other passion of art in the form of painting and drawing (which was a part of his DNTO story).

check out some of his kettlebeasts:

kettlebeastsdoesn’t that almost make you swoon?

Louka is offering two days of workshops – and they are happening just weeks from now!

HARDSTYLE KETTLEBELL – TECHNICAL AND PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

the whole way KB poster1if you haven’t yet worked with kettlebells, you might still be wondering why you would want to.

  • skills developed by kettlebell training increase body awareness which translates to better safer movement
  • kettlebell training develops functional strength. that which once felt heavy will feel like a toy
  • kettlebell training delivers bang-for-your-buck fitness. you can achieve extreme conditioning with all-purpose strength
  • kettlebells are compact and can be taken almost anywhere; they can replace an entire gym
  • kettlebell training can help heal & overcome injuries while simultaneously increasing flexibility, agility & strength
  • kettlebell training benefits both sides of the performance coin: maximal acceleration in the quick lifts and maximal tension in slow lifts
  • kettlebell training teaches the correct way to perform the exercises! you will stand out because rarely does a trainee use them properly, including many (uncertified) trainers

what, exactly, is HARDSTYLE KETTLEBELL?

the term refers to a style of hand-to-hand combat practiced in Russian Special Operations in the 1970s. in the 1980s, Hardstyle Kettlebell training was developed to support this combative practice.

hardstyle strength was exemplified by powerlifting and Okinawan karate. the common denominator in any hardstyle method is compression:

  • compress the muscles, because muscles produce force by tensing. maximize the tension
  • compress the joints, because a loose joint absorbs the force meant to go elsewhere; it “leaks” power and is easily injured
  • compress the breath, because a slack waist dissipates force like Jell-O. high intra-abdominal pressure increases strength
  • cCompress the ground, to maximize stability and to take advantage of the reactive forces
  • compress the focus. direct the force precisely to minimize losses

hardstyle strength training is the practice of the totality of compression skills.

this workshop will provide an in-depth practice of the 6 fundamental kettlebell exercises and their variations:

  • the Hardstyle KB swing
  • the KB Front Squat
  • the Turkish-Get Up and the Arm-bar
  • the KB Clean
  • the KB Military Press
  • the KB Snatch and the High Pull

plus, you will get:

  • technique/ form fine tuning, intensive practice
  • detailed progressions for every level of strength
  • coaching cues and exercise correctives
  • mobility drills to boost health and performance
  • safety procedures
  • program design

BODY WEIGHT POWER LIFTS – BEGINNER TO ADVANCED PROGRESSIONS

body weight progressions

body weight progressions

what are the Body Weight Power Lifts?


simply put, body weight power lifts are state-of-the-art drills that can be practiced practically anywhere which will increase your overall strength. the benefit is they have a large carryover to many real life applications. you will get back so much more than you put in!

this day long workshop will allow you to learn principles and techniques that will instantly make you stronger, such as total-body tension, power breathing and, NEVER training to failure. learn the Artificial Controlling Environment that will help your students and yourself become stronger fast.

you will learn that the KEY to all bodyweight drills is the hollow body position and you will receive detailed instruction in how to achieve and maintain this position.

all the exercise movements will be deconstructed and then progressively reconstructed for a systematic learning process, including:

  • the one-arm pushup series: hardstyle plank, pushup, one-arm pushup
  • tactical pull-up series: hollow rock, chin/pull-up, hanging-leg raise, front lever
  • pistol squat series: close squat, airborne lunge, pistol squat
  • handstand pushup series: headstand, handstand, piked/handstand pushup, headstand leg raise

this workshop will also cover how to design your own program incorporating the body weight power lifts.

10943905_764179290326875_2477870649081294857_n

HARDSTYLE KETTLEBELL:  saturday july 18th, 9am – 4pm

BODY WEIGHT POWER LIFTS: sunday july 19th, 9am – 4pm

either workshop:

$200. by JUNE 30TH
$250. after JUNE 30TH

combine HARDSTYLE KETTLEBELL with BODY WEIGHT POWER LIFTS for
$350. by JUNE 30TH
$450. after JUNE 30TH

contact Wendy Chappell 902-894-8943
thewholeway@wendychappell.com
for information

payments via email transfer to
thewholeway@wendychappell.com
or through paypal
info@wendychappell.com

this is an opportunity you do not want to miss!

swing

a kettlebell skills clinic allows you to learn the basic movement patterns of kettlebell training. once you execute the movements properly, you’ve given yourself the gift of an amazing new training method.

kettlebell training provides cardiovascular conditioning, strength training, power training, endurance, flexibility, balance and core conditioning all in one intense workout. if you’re looking for metabolic conditioning with endless variety, this is where you’ll find it!

the next kettlebell skills clinic is scheduled for:

WEDNESDAY APRIL 29TH

5PM

at the whole way health & fitness studio

pre-registration is required. please contact wendy for information or to attend: 894-8943 or thewholeway@wendychappell.com

hope to see you there!

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.

from extremekettlebell.com

hardstyle kettlebell from extremekettlebell.com

this information is primarily for my clients and class participants. unless a private client is specifically interested in sport/competition style, the classes i teach are primarily hardstyle, or hardstyle derivative. as sport style becomes more and more popular in north america, a very awesome state of affairs, more questions pop up about what is ‘right’ or ‘better’. far from being broad in scope or extensive, i hope this is of some help.  ~ wendy

the kettlebell universe, like our own wondrous and vast system of planets and stars and other spacely things , is expanding.

this is, in my mind, a very good thing.

it means that people — leaders in the field of passion, knowledge and creativity — are refining traditional or classic kettlebell training while others are adapting kettlebell training to nontraditional applications.

sport style kettlebell from extremekettlebell.com

sport style kettlebell from extremekettlebell.com

athletes, martial artists, exercise physiologists, strongmen, recreational exercisers, tactical forces, professional dancers…wow, there is a huge variety of backgrounds using kettlebells in creative ways to achieve specific ends.

to achieve specific ends.

how you use a tool depends on what you want to achieve with it. what are your goals and will this methodology help move you toward them?

so at a very cursory level, the two most fundamental kettlebell styles:

hardstyle kettlebell makes use of maximum muscular tension, alternating with brief periods of relaxation, in order to maximize force, making you stronger in the movement and developing strength over time. this form of training is metabolically inefficient, which means it is metabolically demanding; it taxes the body’s fuel – calories – in execution. control and mobility issues are pivotal to strength gains in this style. it is a system designed to gain maximum effect in minimum time. want to get strong? want to stoke the metabolism? want to minimize your workout time in order to do other stuff? hardstyle.

sport kettlebell, also known as girevoy sport, is a fluid style of training which maximizes efficiency, looking to conserve energy and build power/strength endurance. the more fluid the form, the less metabolically demanding the work, allowing for high repetition of a submaximal weight. as a competitive sport, a movement is performed for 10 minutes without setting the weight down and, if working unilaterally, with only one hand switch in the 10 minutes. want to develop power/strength endurance? want to minimize effort and metabolic expenditure in order to maximize pacing? want to compete in sport kettlebell? sport kettlebell style.

it is also the case that certain kettlebell movements lend themselves better to one or two of the three fitness components — strength, power, endurance — better than others, though there is overlap. especially when you consider pacing of repetition, rest intervals, and total volume of work. hardstyle has a great variation in movement patterns than sport style.

so, hardstyle training allows for maximum tension/force production in both grinding and ballistic movements while grinds would be the antithesis of sport style movements, where the snatch, jerk, and long cycle (clean and jerk) are the competition movements. hardstyle provides for conditioning and strength, sport style nuances the movements.

to give you a visual on the hard vs fluid style, here is a great video of Pat Flynn demonstrating the differences with a kettlebell snatch.

so, what are your goals? why do you lift? the answer will help you in determining which of these styles, or kettlebell lifting methodologies, is right for you.

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

do not get them wet, do not feed them after midnight, do not expose them to bright light

in the studio this morning.

8:15am.

10 intrepids: christine, jane, udo, mary lou, tracey, kelly, sherri, zoey, paula, lorna.

arranged in an arc. strong & resilient in this rainbowlike formation.

an array of kettlebells, varying in weights, at their feet.

kettlebells made wet, fed after midnight, exposed to bright light, aching to move.

a group — people and kettlebells — always ready to stand up to a workout.

that was no bravado in the depth of their eyes, that was the real deal.

saturday gremlins (do this at home)

warm up: jump rope and kettlebell joint mobility.

tabata 1

  • dbl kettlebell deadlift alternating with mountain climbers

tabata 2

  • dbl kettlebell swings alternating with jump squats

tabata 3

  • dbl kettlebell bent over seesaw rows alternating with strides

tabata 4

  • dbl kettlebell rack squats alternating with rumble runs w/ drops

tabata 5

  • dbl kettlebell seesaw push presses alternating with push off side lunges

tabata 6

  • dbl kettlebell alternating pick up lunges alternating with burpees

tabata 7

  • one kettlebell in rack, one kettlebell in overhead lockout walking figure 8’s alternating with front plank

tabata 8

  • dbl kettlebell chest press alternating with hollow body hold

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