So back in April I wrote a post about wanting to kick it up a notch (exercise-wise) because I was feeling better. I wrote:
“My plan is to continue kickboxing three times a week and add strength training and light cardio on two to three other days, with one or two days “off.” I don’t want to commit to something that I know I can’t, or won’t want to, sustain. That has been a problem for me in the past, and not just as it concerns exercise and activity, but in other areas of my life too. And there was always the inevitable disappointment and feelings of failure when I ended up either not being able, or not wanting, to continue.”
And then I wrote about the fact that it appeared Lyme disease wasn’t quite done with me, but that I wasn’t going to let it stop me. I did another month-long round of homeopathic Lyme remedy and continued to do what I could.
I kickboxed three times a week and thought about strength training but didn’t do it.
Then I discovered kettlebells. My massage therapist told me that her son had become a certified personal trainer and that he uses kettlebells exclusively to help people with their fitness, strength, and weight loss/gain goals. A friend also mentioned that she had been using them and found that they were quite easy on the body, impact-wise. I was intrigued. I made an appointment with the trainer and decided to commit to training three times a week.
In the six weeks that I have been training I’ve made what I consider to be amazing progress in terms of strength and ability. I also notice nice changes in the shape of my body and the way my clothes fit me. And, most importantly, I notice that my joint and tendon pain has improved. I am not in as much pain as I was.
In an effort to help my trainer promote his business, I wrote the following press release for him and thought I’d share it here for informational purposes.
ACSM Certified Personal Trainer Ian McClenny is bringing a little bit of Russia to Southeastern Connecticut. His new company, Physical Culture LLC, specializes in using kettlebells to help clients achieve their strength training, cardiovascular, and weight (loss or gain) goals.
What are kettlebells? Shaped like a cannonball with a handle, kettlebells are cast iron weights that have been used for hundreds of years by Red Army athletes and soldiers for total body conditioning. Pavel Tsatsouline, a former Russian special-forces trainer now based in St. Paul, MN, is credited with bringing kettlebell training to this country.
McClenny, who himself uses kettlebells exclusively to train, plans to achieve Russian Kettlebell Challenge (RKC) certification through Dragon Door, a company Tsatsouline formed in 1998.
McClenny’s simple, honest, and down-to-earth approach to fitness is appealing to men and women of all ages and his coaching style is non-threatening. “If you want a tough, boot-camp-style workout, I’ll give it to you, but kettlebell training is not about hurting yourself or working out to failure,” McClenny explains. “It’s about overall functional strength, balance, and grace. And unlike other forms of exercise, injuries are not an accepted part of kettlebell training.”
He adds that people who train with kettlebells often find that performing well at other sports comes more easily.
McClenny says that kettlebell training strengthens every muscle in the body, but unlike traditional strength training, does not isolate muscle groups. Multiple muscle groups are worked together. He adds that the dynamic kettlebell movements help to keep the heart rate up, which translates to excellent fat loss. “I’d say it’s one of the most efficient forms of cardio because it naturally incorporates high-intensity intervals.”
And other benefit McClenny cites is that training with kettlebells is not only easy on joints and tendons (“It’s not a high impact workout,” he says), it also helps strengthen joints and tendons. “With traditional strength training, joints, tendons, and muscles go through one range of motion. With most kettlebell techniques, there is also a rotational movement so muscles, joints and tendons are brought through several degrees of motion.”
As someone who trains with kettlebells every day, McClenny proudly says, “I am what I do.” And he’s excited and ready to help his clients achieve their fitness and strength goals.
You can find Ian on Facebook: Physical Culture
Additional information on the benefits of kettlebell training can be found here:
“Kettlebells: Twice The Results in Half the Time?” (an American Council on Exercise study)
“Metabolic Demand Of A Kettlebell Workout Routine” (a St. Cloud University Study)
“Extra-Strength Exercise” (June 2010 More magazine):
“Top 10 Benefits of Kettlebell Training (and 40 Extra Reasons)” (by Michael George, Riverside Kettlebells)