Tale of Two Sisters

WKC Fitness Program and the Brides-To-Be
When I first decided to write an article about Megan and Leslie, I knew that the human interest aspect would be huge. These two young women are sisters, both getting married this year (2009), both brides and brides maids. At the time of the writing of this article, the girls have been training with kettlebells for about six months.

To organize my information, I had the beautiful brides-to-be fill out a simple questionnaire. They both expressed themselves so eloquently and succinctly that I decided to let their words speak for themselves. Below is a recap of both my questions and their answers.

Megan

1. Age and Wedding Date: I'm 33 years old, and getting married on August 29th, 2009.

2. Training Background: Most recently (until approximately spring 2008), I trained with a personal trainer at a personal training franchise. The training there focused on using machines (i.e., leg press, hamstring curl, assisted pull ups, bicep curl, abdominal crunch, etc) with weight plates. I found that some of the trainers focused on increasing the amount of weight a client could lift, without necessarily giving sufficient consideration to the client's goals or risk for injury. In the past, I have also tried martial arts style workouts (including cardio kickboxing), pilates, spinning, etc.

3. My Initial Goals: I was motivated by vanity when I first started kettlebells. I was hoping to lose weight and increase my muscle tone in order to look my best for my sister's wedding and for my own wedding.

4.What I've Learned: One of the most surprising (and welcome) things I've learned is that crunches are not necessary to tighten the abdominal muscles! Kettlebells are probably one of the most efficient, total body workouts I've ever tried. I've also been suprised by my own progress. When I was first told that the lightest kettlebell was 18 pounds, I was a bit concerned about whether I'd be able to handle the workouts. Imagine my surprise when the 18 pound kettlebell was suddenly too light! Finally, I've discovered that weight training and cardio are not necessarily mutually exclusive. A good kettlebell session leaves me just as winded as an intense workout on the elliptical.

5. Results: Although I haven't lost much weight since starting kettlebells (about 5 pounds), I have lost inches. My clothes are fitting much more loosely and things that I haven't been able to wear for years are finally starting to fit again. I've also noticed that my posture has improved, my cardiovascular stamina has improved, and my chronic lower back pain (from working a desk job) is improving.

6. What I Like About Kettlebells as Compared to Other Training: In a word, results. I feel much stronger and more fit than I have in years. About six years ago, I had open abdominal surgery. While I recovered, I had no choice but to give up my workout regimen. That, combined with the side effects of certain medications I was taking, caused me to gain weight (and inches), which I have since struggled to lose. With kettlebells, I am almost back to my pre-surgery size.

Equally as important, with kettlebells, I constantly feel motivated to meet and exceed my own personal bests. Each workout is an opportunity to challenge myself to improve my form, increase my reps and push myself a little bit more than I thought possible. As a result, I've had less of a problem with plateaus than with other exercise regimens I've tried.

7. Comments From Others: My friends and family are amazed at the physical changes they've seen since I started kettlebells -- from being able to change the bottle on the water cooler at work to how clothes fit. They've also noticed that I carry myself with more confidence and that I have more energy.

8. My Future Goals: Of course, I wouldn't mind losing a few more pounds and inches! Also, I'd like to continue to improve my strength and flexibility, as well as my overall well being. The more I improve with my kettlebell workouts, the more I am motivated to push myself with my cardio workouts, which, of course, leads to more positive results.

9. Mike as a Coach: I couldn't ask for a better coach. Even on "off" days, Mike motivates each of us to put in our best possible workout on that day. Unlike with other trainers, I've never felt like I'm being compared to another student (like my sister) who may be stronger or more adept at the exercises. Mike creates a non-judgmental and encouraging environment. It's also obvious that Mike is very passionate about kettlebells and truly believes in the program. His enthusiasm for kettlebells is contagious. That said, he is wonderful about tailoring the program as needed to suit each person's needs, i.e., breaking through a plateau or learning a new technique.

10. Last Word: Obviously I'm sold on the kettlebell training method . . . I even recruited my father and sister to try it!


Leslie

1. Age and Wedding Date:
I'm 29 years old, and getting married on February 21, 2009.

2. My Training Background: In grammar school and high school I was a soccer player. Part of my daily soccer training was reaction training. I've also done some weight training and cardio kick boxing.

3. My Initial Goals: The wedding dress I was planning to wear was smaller than I, and I was determined to fit into the dress and be comfortable on my wedding day.

4.What I've Learned: That getting the results I desired was more about developing muscle tone than dieting alone.

5. Results: Since starting kettlebell fitness training, I've lost 4 inches off my hips and 2 inches off my waist. I haven't lost a ton of weight but the changes came about because of increased muscle tone. I am a golf professional, and have the side benefit of gaining more distance on my swing, and have much more endurance.

6. What I Like About Kettlebells as Compared to Other Training: Results are faster with kettlebell training than anything else I've tried. I also like that I can do an efficient workout without taking up the whole day.

7. Comments From Others: Most people are very impressed with the changes they see. They seem to think I've lost a lot of weight.

8. My Future Goals: I would like to get down to my dress size from high school and college. After seeing these initial results from kettlebells in less than six months, I believe this is a reasonable goal and not just wishful thinking.

9. Mike as a Coach: I think Mike is a great coach. He is encouraging, supportive, and keeps me motivated. He doesn't push me beyond my capabilities, but knows my limits and makes me work to that level.

10. Last Word: I originally started this program to fit into my wedding dress. I know any bride would benefit greatly from this type of training because it's a progressive program that you can stick with over time, and you definitely get big results. Even though my short term goals led me to the program, I will stick with kettlebell fitness training for a long time.

While these results may not be experienced by every kettlebell lifter, they are typical of anyone who's serious about his or her training. For more information on how you can get in on this fabulous way to transform your body and your life, please visit my website, or contact me via email at: michael.stefano@gmail.com