Is your trainer qualified to teach Kettlebells?

Oh dear…I’ve just spotted yet another trainer advertising Kettlebell training in my area- who is NOT qualified or certified to teach them.

Don’t get me wrong- I love some healthy competition, its good for business. But it is worrying when Personal trainers tout themselves as Kettlebell trainers, leaving you (the client) exposed to malpractice and potentially injuries which are inevitable when Kettlebells are used incorrectly. Furthermore, we the Kettlebell community will be blamed for a list of injuries caused by other’s mistakes.

What can go wrong?
What some trainers don’t realise is that Kettlebell training is very different to conventional gym exercises. Certain muscles must be used to avoid pressure on the wrong areas and joints. Speed and tempo, along with correct breathing are essential components in kettlebell training. When I qualified as a Kettlebell trainer, I pretty much had to throw out what I had learned as a Personal trainer. Isolation is something I focused on in the past, now I’m all about working the whole body- in dynamic and explosive movements. You’ll rarely find me doing bicep curls or teaching them nowadays!

As with any exercise, if you use the wrong muscles, and have bad form when training with kettlebells you WILL get injured. Kettlebells are an art that must be taught to you by someone who is personally proficient in their use and qualified to do so.
What should we look for?
If your Personal trainer is qualified to teach kettlebells- they should state this in their bio or website. There are only a handful of certifications which are acceptable.
These are (in no particular order):

  • IKFF CKT 1: International Kettlebells and Fitness Federation- (see IKFF )
  • ADPF: Angie Dowds & Rob Partridge Professional Fitness- (see ADPF)
  • Optimal- Extreme Kettlebell Instructor- (see Optimal)
  • UKKA- now GBKA
  • RKC- Russian Kettlebell Certification- (see RKC

 Sometimes I’ll hear the arguement: “I don’t need to certify, experience counts for far more than a certificate”. To a certain extent this is true, but how can you guarantee experience and that they’ve been doing things correctly? Bad habits die hard. Furthermore, if your trainer is commited to their self-development and expansion of knowledge why would they not become certified to teach?
The current situation.
I sell kettlebells. I sell to gyms, training facilities, individuals and even personal trainers. Whenever I sell kettlebells to trainers I ask them if they are qualified to teach…sadly most say NO. What they do is watch a few videos on youtube and teach themselves (wrongly) how to train with them. With these guys I’ll ask them to show me a simple kettlebell swing. What follows is usually a terrible display of mis-understanding of what kettlebells are and how to use them….too much backward lean at the top, kettlebell too high at the top of the arc, back bent over and no hip extention- its like a car crash.
I’ll then recommend they do a few sessions with me, or even better: do a Kettlebell certification, to which most reply: “its too expensive” or “I don’t have time”!
Disaster waiting to happen.
These trainers are jumping on the band wagon- and you’ll pay the price if you train with them or attend their classes.
The take home message.
If you’re attending a class or bootcamp which involves kettlebells, or being trained by a trainer who uses kettlebells as part of their service, ask them if they are qualified by one of the above organisations. Furthermore, ask to see their certificate proving their qualification. It still shocks me how no one asks to see my well earned certificates! Its crazy! Its like allowing a non-Corgi registered engineer to service your boiler….you just wouldn’t do it!
If the trainer is operating outside of a gym or training facility, they will need adequate Civil liability insurance which covers their legal liability to you (the client) for death, injury or illness to others and loss of, or damage to third party property. This is important and you should ask to see the certificate of cover checking dates on the paper work.
Brighton Kettlebells prides itself on the high standard of all the instructors taking their classes, all of which are not only qualified and certified, but insured for peace of mind. Furthermore, we constantly evolve, investing money to take on new certifications, keeping up with the latest trends and learning new training forms.

Ask yourself this question: Is your Trainer qualified to teach?

    Posted in Personal Training | / Leave a comment

    Mark Stroud and Silvia Elia are set to compete!

    Both have their eyes set on the traditional ‘Biathlon’ Sport Competition this Sunday 21st March 2010.
    This competition will be held at the OLF Training Centre in London.

    Here’s whats involved:
    Traditional Biathlon
    Male competitors
    Male competitors will compete in the Double Jerk and the Snatch (one hand change), with a maximum of 10 minutes for each lift and a minimum of 30minutes between lifts. Bells will range from 12kg through to 32kg

    Female Competitors
    Female competitors will compete in the One Arm Jerk and the Snatch (both with one hand change), with a maximum of 10minutes for each lift and a minimum of 30 minutes between lifts. Bells will range from 8kg through to 24kg.

    The competition is open to all lifters from beginners through to international competitors. Flights or heats will be in weighted categories e.g. Womens 12kg Jerk, Mens 24kg Jerk.

     Both Mark and Silvia have been training hard leading up to the competition. You can read Mark’s training blog here: BRIGHTON GIREVIK. 
    Having attained a WKC III ranking, Mark will push himself even further by competing with 2 X 20kg Kettlebells.
    Silvia, recently attended the Trojans Kettlebell Sports camp with Gregor Sobocan, and will be competing with the 12kgs.
    We wish them super-luck and proud to have them representing Brighton Kettlebells!
    Kill it guys!!

    Posted in News | / Leave a comment

    Important notice about classes in the coming weeks…

    I will be away from this Saturday visiting family in South America, so I’ve arranged cover for my classes at ZT during the next three weeks.
    During this time we will be:
    • Moving the Tuesday class to ZT Fitness at 8pm
    • Cancelling the Wednesday class till Wed 10th March.
    All other classes are on as normal.
    Please find below the class schedule for the coming months, along with the instructor’s numbers should you need to contact them.
    Mark and Simon will be collecting money at these classes, so if you need to renew or top up your memberships you can do this via them.
    You can also pay in advance online using the following link:
    If you have any questions please get in touch with Mark or Simon.
    Mark Stroud
    Tel: 07795-610938
    Simon Millstone
    Tel: 07905- 313192
    Have fun, train hard and see you when I get back!



    February 2010

    Mon 15/2
    Tue 16/2
    Thurs 18/2
    (ace instructor!)
    Sat 20/2
    Mon 22/2
    Tue 23/2
    Thurs 25/2
    Sat 27/2
    March 2010
    Mon 1/3
    Tue 2/3
    Thurs 4/3
    Sat 6/3
    Mon 8/3
    All classes back to normal.
    Tues (9/3) and Wed (10/3)-7.30pm@ Cheetahs
    Posted in Classes, News | / Leave a comment

    New Year- New You is a success!

    28 days ago fifteen people of all walks of life embarked on a journey of self-recognition and test of will power to make some serious changes in their lifestyles and health.
    Now in its second year, The New Year- New You programme had everyone, including myself follow a strict diet in which you eliminate all toxins including:
    • Dairy (live yoghurt and Raw dairy allowed)
    • Caffeine (evil!)
    • Wheat
    • Sugar
    • Alcohol
    • All preservatives and chemicals.
    This is coupled with a three days a week training regime to further augment the results. These sessions where based around Kettlebells, bodyweight exercises and other funky toys thrown in for good measure!

    After a few days feeling pretty crappy due to the toxins being expelled, you start to feel and look great. At the end of the programme people where hugging me delighted with the results!

    Sam Nash who attended the programme despite reservations as to wether she would be able to complete it said the following today:

    “Hi Christian – just a note to say I’m thrilled with the results I have achieved so far by joining the kettle bell community! The 4 week course we did has seen incredible results so far (1 stone, 8.5 cm off my waist and 5% body fat) Whoop whoop!!!!! I’m a convert and shall carry on in my quest with the help of KB. Thanks again :-)”

    Another trainee was able to stop taking medication she had been on for years- awesome!

    Messages like this make my job worthwhile and getting up in the mornings so easy! Thank you to all those who attended and completed the programme- I’m so proud of you. 

    Keep up the great work.

    Those of you that missed the programme, I’ll be doing the Beach Body 2 Bootcamp in May, which will be outdoors…get in touch for details! 

    Posted in Bootcamps | / Leave a comment

    Why margarine could be killing you!

    Thank you to my friend Cris Leahy for senfing me the following post:

    Pass The Butter .. Please.    

           This is interesting . .. .

    Margarine  was originally manufactured to fatten  turkeys.  When it killed the turkeys, the people who had put  all the money into the research wanted a payback so they put their  heads together to figure out what to do with this product to get  their money back. 

    It was a white substance with no food appeal  so they added the yellow colouring and sold it to people to use in place of butter.  How do you like it?   They have come out  with some clever new flavourings..    

    DO  YOU KNOW.. The difference between margarine and butter?  

    Read on to the end…gets very interesting!    

    Both  have the same amount of calories…

    Butter  is slightly higher in saturated fats at 8  grams; compared   to 5 grams for margarine.

    Eating margarine can increase  heart disease in women by 53% over   eating the same amount of butter, according to a recent  Harvard  Medical Study.

    Eating butter increases the absorption of many other nutrients in  other foods.

    Butter  has many nutritional benefits where margarine has a few and  
    only  because  they are added!

    Butter  tastes much better than margarine and it can enhance the flavours of  other foods.

    Butter  has been around for centuries where margarine has been around for less than 100 years .

    And now, for Margarine..

    Very High in Trans fatty acids.

    Triples risk of coronary
    heart disease .
    Increases  total cholesterol
    and LDL (this is the bad cholesterol) and  lowers HDL cholesterol, (the good cholesterol)

    Increases  the risk of cancers up to five times..

    Lowers  quality of breast milk.

    Decreases immune response.

    Decreases  insulin response.

    And  here’s the most disturbing fact…… HERE  IS  THE  PART  THAT  IS  VERY INTERESTING!

    Margarine  is but ONE  MOLECULE  away  from being PLASTIC… and shares 27 ingredients with paint

    These facts alone were enough to have me avoiding margarine for life  and anything else that is hydrogenated (this means hydrogen is  added,  changing the molecular structure of the  substance).  

    You  can try this yourself:

    Purchase  a tub of margarine and leave it open in your garage or shaded  area.  Within a couple of days you will notice a couple of things:

    *  no flies, not even those pesky fruit flies will go near it  (that should tell you something)

    *  it does not rot or smell differently because it has no nutritional value ; nothing will grow on it. Even those teeny weeny microorganisms will not a find a home to grow.  Why?   Because it is nearly plastic .  Would you melt your Tupperw are and  spread that  on your toast?  

    Share  This With Your Friends…..(If you want to butter them up’)! Send them this link:

    Posted in Diet | 1 Comment