How Kettlebells Changed My Life

Ava Flores
• Tuesday, 17 November, 2020
• 9 min read

I have a confession to make: I have completely fallen in love with kettle bell training! It all started about five years ago while my husband, James, was fitness training at a local corporate gym.

deadlift single kettlebells changed brooks lauren warming 106lbs leg courtesy
(Source: kbellqueen.blogspot.com)


I continued to support James by accompanying him at kettle bell events and trainings, but the turning point came when I went with him to an IFF certification course, where I was fortunate enough to be allowed to participate in and learn from Steve Cotter. As we drove home, I told James I had decided I wanted to become a certified kettle bell instructor.

James, of course, was extremely supportive, coaching and encouraging me until I felt ready to take the next step. I prepared for the course, following course material instructions provided by Nico Either, and on January 12, 2013, I became a certified kettle bell instructor.

I must admit, next to the birth of my two sons and my wedding day, this has to be one of the most significant accomplishments in my life. As a way of background, let me explain that I never considered myself the “athletic type,” let alone dreaming of becoming someone that would actually train other people.

In fact, as a child, I suffered from several ailments, including rheumatic fever and pleurisy. Little did I know that as an adult, and in fact, in my middle age, my perspective on fitness would change so drastically.

I also find it quite amusing when I hear some respond by: oh yes, I’ve seen those “kettle balls” or worse “cow bells!” When you discover a treasure, you can either be selfish and hide it, or share it with as many people as possible and get an unlimited supply of rewards in return (I have chosen to do the latter).

kettlebell kettlebells reasons infographic change should learn use ways clients pdf
(Source: www.issaonline.com)

My passion has become reaching out and motivating middle-aged women like myself, who have extremely busy lives, to make time for fitness. At first, most people are skeptical (like I was), but once I explain that due to their unique shape, kettle bells provide a time-saving, powerful, and effective strength, conditioning, balance, and flexibility workout, they are willing to give it a try.

My work situation improved, and my addiction to kettle bell training intensified. When I first learned the basic Kettle bell Two-Hand Swing, I was intrigued by how many muscle groups were involved in that simple, yet powerful movement.

Focus on the “mind-muscle connection.” Don’t just go through the motions; make sure you are consciously engaging the intended muscle groups as you perform each exercise. Synchronizing breaths with kettle bell movements is something that takes practice, but well worth the effort.

Have protein (preferably in liquid form) after your training for muscle recovery and growth. Before heading out to my “regular job” at the Homeland Security Section of the Anaheim Fire Department, I now train one-on-one early in the mornings, and also hold two group kettle bell classes per week.

Training others is extremely satisfying, especially seeing fellow middle-aged women discover that their bodies can do things they didn’t think they could. The positive energy I get every time I train, whether myself or others, is indescribable, and I see no reason to stop.

kettlebells changed strength gym fitness training
(Source: jannastevens.com)

I am encouraged beyond belief and completely convinced that kettle bells are what I need to continue doing. James eventually left the corporate gym world and founded Outbalance Fitness, which has proven to be the best decision (next to marrying me) he’s ever made.

Outbalance Fitness is all about using unconventional training methods; first and foremost kettle bells, but also sandbags, clubs, Tax suspension gear, and such. There might even be a kettle bell in your house, and now you’re glancing at it with hopes that some life -changing energy will radiate in your direction.

More specifically, kettle bell and barbell training, along with great coaches and a supportive gym family, have changedmylife. In high school, I didn’t care about strength training because I never really had the opportunity or guidance to explore that realm.

Instead, I focused my energy on running with the track team and playing soccer. In college, I was fortunate to have access to the awesome campus rec center at UAB and took advantage of its equipment often but never consistently.

I stopped and started many fitness routines after college, during grad school, and then in the “real world”. There’s minimal equipment required, and I figured my days on the track team naturally translated into keeping up a running routine in adulthood.

kettlebell pick change edu issa
(Source: www.issaonline.com)

I tried P90X and did the Insanity program from Beach body a couple of times, but after I finished, it didn’t take long to go back to the same old habit of being sedentary. Also, working out at home may be great for some, but I found it very hard to stay disciplined when my only accountability was a DVD.

In 2015, after getting out of a travel-heavy job, I decided to give kettle bell training at BMG Fitness a try on the recommendation of friends and my then-husband, who had lost his “Marriage 20” and gained a lot of muscle from the programming and guidance of Jody and Jenny. Side note: If you’ve never done kettle bell swings and then try to do them after watching a video, you’re most likely doing them wrong.

Guided classes led by supportive, knowledgeable coaches and camaraderie with my fellow gym members were game-changers for me. The daily workouts are always a little different, so the variety keeps things exciting.

Some things I had to remind myself when I was a gym newbie and still keep in mind today: There’s always room for improvement, even if you’ve been doing movements like cleans and Turkish get-ups for years.

I had zero upper-body strength when I started at my gym, and last year I was able to do a one-arm overhead press with a 53lb kettle bell. If I hadn’t found my gym, I would probably still be struggling to stay consistent with exercise, and I would definitely not be as strong.

cool kettlebells fitness
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

I asked as I picked up a big, heavy black ball with a handle on it. My college and gym rat friend Joel replied, “A kettle bell.

In 2005, I was working as a personal trainer at a gym located in Oceanside, California (I'll refrain from disclosing the name as I didn't leave on the best of terms) when they received a flyer promoting a Russian kettle bell workshop for trainers only. Instantly it brought me back to holding that heavy black ball that I was so curious about.

The flyer hung up on the bulletin board in the back for days and I must have walked by and read it 15 times. They wanted to send a trainer from their gym to the workshop in La Jolla to then come back and share what they had learned.

Franz ran the workshop and did an incredible job at teaching this “new” method to a bunch of conventional trainers. A few months later, I flew to Minnesota for the Russian Kettle bell Challenge Certification (ROC) since I wanted to learn directly from Pavel, the man himself.

That weekend I was surrounded by the most cutting edge, independent thinking group. The Senior instructors, which are now equivalent to Masters, were Mike Mahler, Brett Jones, Steve Maxwell, Andrea Du Cane, and Jeff Mar tone.

section after fitness pooch
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

I will never forget how scared shitless I was throughout the weekend, but being a part of something so different and finding myself surrounded by some of the most amazing people from all over the world was an incredible experience. Since that incredible certification, I have gone on to have a successful fitness career incorporating kettle bells and its philosophies.

In 2005, kettle bell instructors were scarce and thus I was able to use my blog, videos, and DVDs to spread the word and inspire others. It still baffles me that I have received thousands of testimonials from people of all walks of life thanking me for changing their lives.

Let's not forget that since then I have married, been pregnant twice, recovered from two C-sections, and am now raising two beautiful little girls. As we come into 2013, I wanted to sincerely thank all the people who were responsible for introducing me to kettle bells, brilliant training methods, and who helped mold me as the coach who I am today.

Special thanks to Pavel for introducing his kettle bell methods along with groundbreaking material. Pavel is one of the most gifted teachers who exude a teaching style that stands alone.

Thank you to John Du Cane, responsible for making kettle bell education so accessible and being behind the scenes of some of the most memorable events of my life. Huge thanks to Mike Mahler, Brett Jones, Jeff Mar tone, Ross Enemies, Franz Sideman, and John Brookfield for leading the way from the beginning of my career.

(Source: www.pinterest.com)

Thank you to my colleagues who I have also learned a great deal from Max Shank, Mark Cheng, Katie Drawers, Della Whether, Elise Ba done, really too many to name, and ALL my ROC and Strongest friends (family) that have grown close with me over the years. Single Leg Dead lift warming up with 106lbs (photo courtesy of F3Nutrition) Thank you for your interest in our cutting edge fitness programs and information.

If you're feeding the same way, start by reading this article I wrote many years ago that still applies today! Despite the popular sayings, “Strong is the new Skinny” or “Strong is the New Sexy,” there is still a large portion of the female population that will shy away from lifting solely due to their fear of bulking up or building too much muscle.

Little did I realize that this one piece of equipment would open the door to a whole new world and change my life forever. By itself, a kettle bell is a simple piece of athletic equipment: a cast iron ball with a handle.

When used properly in your regimen, a kettle bell and the philosophy of training that goes with it will greatly transform your life by increasing your strength, power, flexibility, and conditioning while whittling away fat. I’ve trained thousands of people over the last 12 years using the kettle bell methods, and the results have been outstanding.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin found that kettle bell training increases core strength by 70%, even people of all ages. Kettle bell workouts have proven to be able to provide the same cardiovascular benefits as you’d gain by running a 6-minute mile but without the impact.

snatch kettlebell crossfit changed gs
(Source: www.cavemantraining.com)

The ballistic, non-impactful movement of a kettle bell swing or snatch has been shown to increase VO2 max and improve aerobic capacity. A study done at Idaho State University, and published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning, found that collegiate athletes who used kettle bell training for four weeks gained an average six percent more in VO2 max than the control group did.

But contrary to what people often think about kettle bell swings before they try them, these exercises have been shown to reduce pain in the back, shoulders, and neck. A study done in Denmark by the National Research Center for the Working Environment found that kettle bell training reduces pain in the neck, shoulders and lower back.

She promised me that once I learned the correct form, I would only be strengthening my back and core which will help me in the long run. I took a private class with Lauren a few months before becoming pregnant with my second child and began using her volume 1 kettle bell DVD.

I kept telling Lauren I was fearful of using heavier weights because I didn’t want to “bulk up” and I was still very cautious in regard to my “weak back.” After using kettle bells diligently 3-5 times a week for a year now, I can see that my body is much leaner, and I finally have defined muscles (which I have never had before) but absolutely no “bulkiness.” My back is so much stronger than it used to be, as is my core. Busy moms, dads, and full-time workers don’t always have time to spend one or two hours in a gym.

In the past 13 years, I’ve been able to show people how they can make changes to their bodies in just 12 to 15 minutes a day. Kettle bells allow you to combine your conditioning and strength in one session, which is a more efficient way to burn fat.

lisa kettlebell change bailey ketosummit recipes
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

Increasing testosterone and growth hormone levels has been shown to help with fat loss. Kettle bell exercise is a sure fire way to get testosterone levels up and running again which induced fat loss and increased muscle mass according to a study done by The Endocrine Society.

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1 www.stack.com - https://www.stack.com/a/proper-kettlebell-swing-form-a-step-by-step-guide
2 www.onnit.com - https://www.onnit.com/academy/5-key-points-to-performing-the-kettlebell-swing-with-proper-form/
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