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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
shined your light
and loved and elevated
—the call of duty.
~ lalah delia
eight 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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Zelda Bernard. certified as a Kettlebell Trainer 1 through KBell Training Academy. not currently teaching/coaching. lives in Eastern PEI.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Lola MacLeod. certified as a Kettlebell Instructor Level 1 with Agatsu. teaches at Atlantic Fitness East in Montague.
- 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.
- Lindsay Moore. certified as a Kettlebell Trainer 1 with KBell Training Academy. subs at “Alota Tabatas” Kettlebell Class in Crapaud.
- 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.
- Danny Walker. certified as a Kettlebell Instructor Level 1 with Agatsu. teaches at Atlantic Fitness East in Montague.
- 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!
* 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.
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.
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.
the 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.
This 7 and a half hours of practice for $48 + hst.
Numbers are limited.
Sundays. 8:00am – 9:15am
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 902.894.8943 for information and/or to register
Clubbell Yoga is a fusion of strength training & yoga, created by Summer Huntington and Scott Sonnon, to improve quality of movement. The practice will help to improve shoulder stability, core strength, single leg balances and vinyasa yoga transitions. Every class focuses on refining alignment and motor patterns, increasing awareness of core and shoulders. You will be empowered to move better.
This fusion of two ancient traditions – clubbell and yoga – will help you strengthen and tone your arms, legs and core in every exercise or pose.
Clubbell Yoga Class Format:
Joint Mobility Vinyasa warm up specific to the Clubbell Yoga Flow for the class
Mini conditioning circuit
Clubbell Yoga Flow
Deep Stretch/Fascia Release/Decompression poses
Class is broken down into three phases and will be a wonderful addition to your Sunday morning, your week, your life:
To learn more, listen to Summer talk about this practice:
i found out yesterday that next week will be my last week of work (classes) at Atlantic Fitness East. at the beginning of December, i handed in my notice for March 1st, knowing the owner would take care of replacing me long before that date.
and so it is.
i am so grateful for so much from this time in my life. when i moved to the island, arriving labour day weekend of 2003, i thought i would be traveling to charlottetown to look for work …. ummm, after we were settled in the house and the girls were settled into school and udo was settled into work and life dissolved into some sort of crazy busy routine. but lo and behold, there was a full gym just down the road from our home. and it became an important part of our lives, in so many ways.
i started as a member at this gym down the road, getting in some long juicy workouts and slowly becoming a regular around the place. i moved from member, to floor trainer and eventually combined that with private personal training, staffing the desk and teaching classes. i have traveled a lot of miles on the floors of that space and learned the names, goals, and vulnerabilities of countless folks. every person gave me something important.
Carol Wilbert, the day manager for Atlantic Fitness East when i arrived here, was persuasive in talking me into my first position — a part time gig as a floor trainer. there were no certified personal trainers on site and the facility was sorely in need of a floor trainer to work with members. i am very grateful to all the kindnesses Carol extended to me during the years that our time there overlapped. she had a good grasp of what needed to be in place to provide a well-rounded service to members; she had a solid and consistent personal workout schedule, and she was a consistent smile and upfront personality to work with.
Donna Harris, who i now count as a friend, was the first to hand over the health and fitness of her body to me and to engage with me in personal private training. she was excited and trusting and motivated. it was so fun to train her and she opened the doors for others to make such a commitment to their own health and workouts. i am grateful for the dedication Donna shows to herself and the unwavering support she gave me as a trainer and gives me as a friend.
Mandy Li, through Donna’s urging, became my second private client. Mandy used me to create big, meaningful and lasting changes in her life. Mandy is such a generous person and by training with me gave me so much. she is light-hearted and earnest and i am grateful for her generous spirit and ongoing friendship.
and then there was the avalanche of personal training clients and post-rehab pool clients through Workers’ Compensation and Motor Vehicle Insurance. there were sometimes months on end when my daily shift was chock full of folks taking on new knowledge of how to live healthier, workout in safer and more effective ways, and to place trust and love into sometimes horribly broken body parts and psyches. people of all ages, with a diversity of health needs and fitness goals; they were all people put into my life to teach me. thank you to each and every one of you, i hope you have some lessons learned and remembered from these times too.
in addition to personal training, i began doing some administrative and desk shifts when Carol went on a maternity leave. towards the end of her leave, ownership of the gym changed hands and desk staff positions began rolling over like kitties for belly rubs. along the way, i shared in a steady desk staffing position with Susan English, Jen MacLean Mulally, Donna Harris, and Art Griffin. these were folks who made it easy to come onto shift behind them, having done their jobs well and thoroughly. they all taught me much about sincerity and integrity in a challenging workplace. they were all so loved by members, and for good reason.
pool staff (who frequently morphed into other responsibilities) with whom i shared time there: Adam Ross, Simone VanIderstine, Shanahan Gardiner, Alysia Angus Lunt, James Sullivan, Brett Hancock, Michelle Sullivan, Rebeccah Hume, David White, and so many others for whom i have lost last names. swim instructors and life guards who were young, enthusiastic and hungry to apply what they had learned and so refreshing to observe.
at some point along the way, i added a group class schedule to my other duties at Atlantic Fitness East. there has been a variety of classes and a huge smileful of class participants: power & grace, mostly abs, yoga break, kettlebell, seniors, jazzercise, yoga, kickboxing, mash up …. i have loved the energy of the groups and have thrived on creating class formats and programs which are safe, fun, challenging and balanced. i am so very thankful for everyone who has allowed me to practice on them. a few of the class participants have gone on to become instructors themselves: Susan, Danny, Zelda and Lola have all obtained recognized certifications in Kettlebell Coaching and Kim Beck, a floor client from way back, has become a personal trainer; i was humbled by her description of my role in her journey and to assist her in meeting the standards of her practical testing.
the current gym owner, Meaghan Lister, has often allowed me to direct my work at Atlantic Fitness East, to bring new ideas into the facility based on my ongoing professional development and to just leave me with responsibility – autonomy – in my work. i have gained much in my relationship with her.
and, i should note that it is no small thing that two of my daughters had their first official work in this facility, both serving as customer service reps on the desk. it has served them well in life to have this experience.
while there is much i have gained at Atlantic Fitness East, there are so many i will miss. for the past 5 years i have only taught classes and i have wild and passionate attachments to the fine people in these classes. to the kettlebellers –some of you who picked up your first kettlebell on january 28th, 2008, under my cohersion — so many of you over the years who have loved or loved to hate the iron, oh my gosh how do i say thank you? you have been strong and funny, graceful and oafish, determined, sweating and smiling, screaming …. and you’ve introduced me to a number of new invectives. you have given me more than i have ever had to offer you and you hold a special place in my heart. thank you, thank you. and, to the (mostly) women in the Seniors Fitness Class: thank you for your wisdom and kindnesses, your story telling and distracted socializing, for putting up with my memory challenges and listening to my life stories. thank you for understanding, deeply, how important your physical health is to your fulfilled living and for being (mostly) consistent in your exercise commitment. you are a very difficult group to leave. truly.
you all know who you are.
and so it is.
next week. and then a different week after that one.
this nexus allows me to attend more fully to my work at the whole way health & fitness studio. i will be rounding out the services there, offering more yoga, including Clubbell Yoga, and finding a way to incorporate Primal 12 programming into the schedule. i am really excited about this.
and, montague, you are really not rid of me. today i picked up a key for the space in which Lainey`s Taekwondo is practiced and grows. starting next week, january 11th, i will run a 6 week Introductory Clubbell Yoga Series in this great space. there is still time to get in on it!
2015, my heart is open, get into me. bring joys and sorrows and the path i do not yet know.
and so it will be.
a KETTLEBELL SKILLS CLINIC teaches you 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!
if you’re looking for small group classes with loads of coaching and personalized feedback, this is where you’ll find it!
if you’re looking for a casual and supportive group of participants, this is where you’ll find it!
new year. new training method. new energy.
swing a kettlebell. it might just change your life.
don’t miss a beat after ringing in 2015!
6pm monday, january 5th
9:30am saturday january 10th
call me at 894.8943 or email me at email@example.com to register.
i overslept this morning. my intention was to take a 5 or 5:30am run. my body needed more sleep than running. mmmmm
when i got up at 6:45, i passed on the run, did some happy chores with the extra time and headed off to the gym to teach classes.
i came home from work a bit earlier than expected.
for someone who likes the quiet runs of the early mornings, the world is an entirely different run in the heat of the late morning sun.
as the breeze fell, waves of heat washed past me. it wasn’t long before my body began to develop a humid microclimate of its own.
the birds were subdued, brief soft calls from high branches. do they nap in the heat?
the asphalt offered a cool, but friendly, shoulder in the short stretches of dappled shade where overhead leaves sang rainstick songs. this in contrast to the warmth the road is holding in places exposed to our accumulating days of hot bright sunshine. a natural inspiration for in-floor heating?
winking brown eyed susans overshadowed by the graceful noddings of queen anne’s lace, impossibly statuesque on spindly stalks. white clouds of yarrow snuggled into the yellow buzzy busy-ness of st. john’s wort. shy fleabane peeking out from under the protective umbrella leaves of hostas. the march of goatweed and tendrilling crown vetch, delightful butter & eggs, abundant clover, laughing lilies. daisies and buttercups and dandelions, oh my.
a wsw wind, the compassionate sister of the churlish outbound breeze, nudged me home as my lower lids gathered and released, with each blink, the salty sting of sweat. my mind free and my bare feet singing a rhythmic song of solitude.
i am thankful for the new perspectives of the run. everyday is another opportunity to soften and open. blooming goodness.
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