Do You Want to Bring Real Kettlebells to Your Gym?


My name is Mike Stefano. I’ve been a fitness instructor and trainer for over 20 years. About 8 years ago, I authored The Firefighter’s Workout Book (HarperCollins 2000). Today I'm also a coach and advisor with the American Kettlebell Club.

If you’re a part of the fitness industry, you’ve heard something about kettlebells. Kettlebells appeared on the American fitness scene about a decade ago. In Eastern Europe kettlebells have existed for over 100 years, and as a competitive sport and conditioning tool, for over five decades.

So what’s the problem?

When the concept of kettlebell lifting first made it to the US, it wasn’t really kettlebells as it existed, as the most highly trained kettlebell athletes knew it. A system for lifting the bells was invented, manufactured on the spot, without much depth, and a license to borrow proofs from other disciplines (power lifting, body building, and traditional kettlebell lifting), but without bothering to actually teach anybody how to lift kettlebells.

It’s not a matter of different styles, as it is two distinct modalities in question. Real kettlebell lifting is a true fitness and conditioning tool that starts with a professional grade kettlebell, manufactured to strict standards, literally one size fits all.

The ingenious size of this pro grade bell and shape of the handle remains constant regardless of weight. Proper technique combined with the right equipment allows the kettlebell lifter to stay in the set, sometimes working as long as six, eight, or even ten and twenty minutes – WITHOUT PUTTING THE BELL DOWN.

That's the key, the "major point" as my teacher Valery Fedorenko, AKC Head Coach, would say. No relief, the set continues, and as it does remarkable things start to happen. As a fitness trainer, firefighter conditioning specialist, I know something about making people fit and capable, and how to build true work capacity – safely! If you’re just creating injuries, the system is of no value to me.

The physical test to enter the FDNY lasts ten minutes, and is nonstop. The candidate goes form one station to the next, weighted down with 50 or 75 pounds, without a break. When Americans lift weights (or improperly lift kettlebells) they put the bell down after a few reps. A set might last 30 seconds or a minute. Conditioning, building genuine work capacity, ends right there. I’m not addressing strength in one rep max here, but at the risk of causing an uproar, yes, one rep max goes up when you do a lot of high rep kettlebell sets.

The American Kettlebell Club has already trained over 400 coaches in the last year and a half, virtually a small army of qualified people who can teach true kettlebell lifting and real technique. Technique that keeps the lifter from having to put the bell down, from slamming the door on conditioning, from stiffening joints, from not making progress. The same methodology saves the new kettlebell lifter from one problem after the next, and it’s what makes this a true sport and fitness system that any healthy individual can participate in.

And it’s not just conditioning! The side effect or fringe benefit of improved overall health, fat loss and muscle tone are ever present– not bad. The American Kettlebell Club, and head coach Valery Fedorenko, have just rolled out the World Kettlebell Club’s licensed fitness system that’s geared toward the majority of Americans who want just that - fitness.

I've worked along side of Valery, presenting and coaching at numerous certifications. As an experienced Coach and Instructor, I can come into your facility and institute the WKC’s licensed fitness program.

Kettlebells are just exploding on the scene now. All previous mis-information is not the optimal way or best way to approach physical conditioning with kettlebells. What real kettlebell training, AKC-brand kettlebell training, can do, and how it can affect the individual goes way beyond physical fitness. My mission is to introduce our program to New York in just the right manner, and in just the right environment. If you are in or near the New York City Metro or Long Island area, I’d like to come in and discuss how to possibly bring real kettlebell classes to your facility.

Please contact me at: michael.stefano@gmail.com