If you don’t think you can get an effective workout in just 20 minutes, you prob- ably haven’t tried kettlebell training.
Kettlebells – which are basically cast-iron weights with handles – start at nine pounds and go up to 106 pounds but they are different from other weights, such as dumbbells, in that they have a cannonball-like shape. While a dumbbell’s center of gravity lies in your hand, the kettlebell’s shape forces its center of gravity to lie outside of your hand, making it most beneficial for the ballistic and swinging type movements that make up kettlebell training.
Will Fish, a Russian Kettlebell Challenge (RKC) certified instructor at Jamestown Fitness, says that what sets kettlebell training apart from other workout methods is that it allows you “to combine your strength and cardiovascular exercise into a single workout. You can move from exercises that build strength to those that work conditioning without stopping or having to go from one machine to another, which makes your workouts more efficient.”
Quick, results-driven workouts are great for those with jam-packed schedules and multiple commitments who know they need to make time to tend to their own wellbeing – which describes a majority of the population. Indeed, Will says that he works with everyone from high school athletes to senior citizens. “I have clients without any athletic background who have done very well with kettlebell training. The basics are pretty easy to learn.” That being said, Will stresses the kettlebell training approach is “simple, but not easy.”
He finds satisfaction as a trainer when a client has that a-ha moment. “It’s very re- warding to help others with their fitness and it feels great when you see them put the pieces of the puzzle together.”
As for his own fitness, Will says he didn’t really focus on it until after high school, when he developed a passion for climbing mountains and “realized that being in shape made my climbing trips much more enjoyable.” Over time he became more and more interested in strength training, and bought his first kettlebell in 2003, along with a book by Pavel Tsatsouline, who is largely responsible for popularizing kettlebells in the United States.
Per RKC guidelines, Will has to become recertified every two years, so he is always on the cutting edge of this evolving form of training. And just as he feels it’s important to continue mastering his kettlebell skills as a trainer, Will believes the same principle holds true for his students: “Whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish fitness-wise, stick to the fundamentals and be consistent. If you enjoy what you’re doing and you understand how to do it, you are much more likely to stick with it.”