We often think of kettlebells as a great tool for accessory work, but, did you know that you can get a full body workout with this instrument? Slowly gaining popularity in the country, kettlebells have been around for a long time in Russia, where it is known to have originated. Made as counterweight, it was a way to display strength in the past, before they were globally recognized as a great implement for exercise.
The kettlebell sport, also known as Girevoy Sport, is an endurance-weightlifting exercise, but unlike Olympic or powerlifting, sub-maximal weight is used in repetition.
One may excel in this type of training not only by demonstrating to lift the heaviest kettlebell, but, also through technique, flexibility, breathing patterns, stability, and focus.
It has been established that the kettlebell exercise can improve your muscular asset and core with its long-cycle and explosive movements. The high-intensity variant can increase cardiovascular strength, as well. With a single and economical tool, you can get overall fitness as it activates multiple muscle groups.
In our search for the right kettlebell training, we met with Tim Ayson, a dedicated kettlebell trainer, who curates programs for your personal fitness goals. He is also the man behind Kettelbelista, a gym that embraces the kettlebell community.
Tim began his career as a personal coach during off work hours before he finally gave his full time and personal savings to his gym. He shares with us how he fell in love with the sport and how we could maximize our body’s potential through this longstanding and easy-to-store tool.
Heron: What made you decide to get into kettlebell sport?
Tim: After watching kettlebell training videos for almost a year, I decided to get a Kettlebell certificate course in Singapore. There, I saw a renowned coach lift a bell in person, he performed a perfect 32kg Pentathlon in front of us. This is an assorted lifts of cleans, clean and press, jerk, half snatch, and push presses – non-stop. He perfectly executed 528 reps without really being winded. I can’t help but think how insane his work capacity is! He then told us that it was owed to his Traditional Kettlebell Sport background. This made me decide to really get into the sport.
Heron: Is that something you enjoy more than weightlifting?
Tim: I am also a fan of barbell sports; both power lifting and weightlifting, even strongman. All of them are great spectator sports. I like to study concepts, protocols, principles, assistance exercises, and main lift variations, so I can keep things fresh. All of these help me be better with the kettlebell. And yes, I enjoy the Kettlebell sport most, at the moment, because I have experienced competing.
Heron: You ended up building a gym for Kettlebell enthusiasts, tell us about this.
Tim: I began as a personal trainer on the side while I was working at a call center. The plan to open up a gym was just always at the back of my mind. I used to do it for the extra income and then I started to like it pretty fast. I liked the idea that I am actually helping a person out by pushing him/her to get better. I didn’t mind that I was only sleeping 4-5 hours a day. Before I knew it, I was booked from 6 am to 11 am, before I start my full office day. I eventually quit my corporate job and did training full time. I was training people at my backyard 7 days a week. That’s when I started noticing that the overall fitness of my clients improved with the kettlebell training -- exclusively. Few months after that, I built Kettlebelista with my personal savings, for the premiere kettlebell community. It was a calculated risk because 7 years ago, there were no Kettlebell gyms in the country.
Heron: What do you enjoy most about being a kettlebell coach? Is it something you would recommend for someone who is trying to increase strength or lose weight?
Tim: I enjoy constructing programs for people. I enjoy training people, especially those who come from sedentary lifestyle until I eventually make them join in a Kettelbell competition.
The kettlebell is a great exercise tool. If you observe proper strength protocols, you will gain strength. If you observe a proper diet and lift kettlebells at the same time, you could potentially be in your best shape. There are over a thousand kettlebell exercises and all of them will be as good as you make them to be.
Heron: Are those in love with kettlebells also prone to injuries?
Tim: During my first few years, I looked at kettlebells as the best available equipment because it has the best set of exercises. All I did back then was jerk, snatch, and long cycles. I was a purist. Then I started getting some random aches and pains. All of these injuries are because of muscular imbalances. Too much overhead work can really mess up your elbows and too much swinging and neglecting lower ab work can contribute to lower back pain despite good form. What I’m trying to say is, you don’t have to be a purist. Learn how to balance things out. If you really want to develop strength, why settle for Kettlebell Rowing when you can row with a heavy barbell and really develop your back? There is a proper time and place to use kettlebells for your improvement. Do not ignore barbells, dumbells, bodyweight, rubber bands, and sprinting.
Heron: What are your tips for those who would like to take their kettlebell training to the next level?
Tim: You need to start slow. Learn how to grip the bell properly. Learn how to rack the bell properly. You need to learn how to lock the bell out properly and safely overhead. Drill them with light kettlebell work. Know why you are doing certain exercises and study what they are for. Have a program and if you do need help, get a coach. Never forget the basics and most importantly, have fun!
As one of the most versatile pieces of iron that can be used in strength training, cardio, flexibility and athletics training, it is no wonder why there is a wide number of purists and enthusiasts who are in for this conventional type of workout instrument.
If you’d like to begin learning more about the sport, we recommend for you to check out Kettlebellista -- they have online courses, too! They offer fundamental training to make sure that you skip most of the injuries. kettlebellista.com
Make sure to follow Coach Tim!
Address: Unit 4 Emmanuel Commercial Bldj., #22 J Elizalde St., BF Paranaque, Paranaque City