Kettlebell Lifting, a Labor of Love

Kettlebell lifting, coaching, training, even preparing the bells with chalk, are all a labor of love. I learned to lift kettlebells from someone who loves the kettlebell more than anyone, AKC head coach, Valery Fedorenko, and he's got the world records to prove it.

Now Valery's not so much infatuated with the steel ball with the handle, even though the AKC Pro Grade™ Kettlebells are awesome to look at. The bell's appearance, a product of industrious Russians forever improving their product, is not as important as the theory and philosophy that backs up true kettlebell lifting. And Valery passes that passion on to all serious his students.

Before meeting Valery and being exposed to high rep timed sets, emphasizing painstakingly specific technique, I'd bull my way through low rep, awkward sets and get mediocre results. Valery said to not worry about pressing heavy weight a few times, "That means nothing, when you can jerk light weight, say 16kg (35 pounds) a hundred times, a much heavier weight won't feel nearly as heavy." His bare bones explanation was on the money. 32kg become very light-feeling for anything less than ten or 15 reps.

The repercussions of this single acknowledgment alone was enough to inspire me to continue putting much trust in Valery, and gradually move past many of traditional ideas on how to strength train, but then again, now I was strength-endurance training, in the true sense of the word, NOT strength training. There is a big difference.

Sets last minutes not seconds. Rep totals are not either eight, ten, or 15, but rather eight, ten or 15 PER MINUTE FOR TEN MINUTES!

Strength that endures for eight, ten, and even 20 minutes, with a calm and stoic demeanor, always in control. That takes discipline, mental fortitude, character. All attributes kettlebell lifting delivers, and a firefighter needs.

Now I routinely bring clients, both firefighters and civilians, to levels I'd never imagined for myself or any student. The increase in ability over a few short months inspires most of my novices to keep at it, to continue pushing. Firefighters and office managers alike soar to new heights, both physically and mentally. It's never easy, but earning the right to call yourself a kettlebell lifter reaps tremendous rewards.

As a wise kettlebell lifter once said, "Everything else just gets easier..."

Do yourself a favor, contact Mike and get started today. E-mail Mike at: