Whats in a typical kettlebell training session?

 Had a busy weekend teaching several one on one personal training sessions back to  back on Saturday and Sunday, and it was great for me to be around people who all  took their own personal training goals very seriously. It also meant I slept very  soundly Sunday night!

Since some of my blog readers may not have had any kettlebell experience before, I  thought I would take the time to explain what a typical class with me consists of.

The first thing I tend to address in my kb  and conditioning classes are the existing  state of health of the client, any pre-existing injuries, general lifestyle and overall  body mobility.Whether the client is a professional athlete or your average 9-5’er, it  is critical with kettlebells that these points are addressed before working out and  designing a course. You have to know the raw materials you are working with, or it  can potentially lead to disappointment in the student when they cant achieve their  goals or get frustrated by existing physical limitations.

Here in Japan, most of my clients don’t stretch enough, partly due to extremely busy lifestyles and long work hours here in Japan. I generally try to give them a simple routine that they can do daily, at times fitting small exercise/stretching sets into the existing day job when breaks occur and there is time to remind oneself about posture and tension. Men and women that end up sitting at a desk 8-10 hours plus a day are going to have tight hips and stiff lower backs, so oiling the system regularly with some easy stretches makes a big difference in their overall physical experience, especially as they get older.

Starting a serious/ steady exercise routine will ultimately expose any injuries and /or medical history that the client brings with them. I can thank Steve Cotter and his IKFF methodology for a comprehensive and holistic approach to client care, since we tailor each class to the student existing abilities, and work from there. Some clients may end up getting a steady diet of stretching and band work as an integral component of their training, and bring in the kettlebell work gradually. Those with pre-existing injuries will definitely be pointed at band work initially and then body weight exercises to rehabilitate the muscle and encourage once again the body’s true natural function, and gradually start on the path to rehabilitation. Once a level of stability is achieved, weight is added gradually with the kb’s ( I like to call this phase yoga with weights) until we get to the client’s working weight. By that point, the client has been given all the basic and necessary tools to sustain and maintain themselves on their training journey.

All students this week were really serious about their own personal goals and could define quite clearly what they wanted to achieve and the amount of time they were willing to commit regularly to getting there.

Once the arm up and confirmation that the body is ready to go is done, then its time to hit the bells, where we do a lot of work and transition between exercises without putting the bell down. This saves us time for one, and helps keep the conditioning aspect of working with kb to the fore.

I will video a student performing exercises to give them a before and after sense of their lesson, and mix the intensity of the workout with regular stretching throughout to relieve any muscles that are tense of tired. This makes the training session much more enjoyable for the client, who generally push themselves harder than they expected initially.

The end of the class usually involves a revue of work done, and suggestions for home workouts and things to watch out for as they progress.

The general recommended frequency of kettlebell routines normally starts at two or three times a week, and develops from there. Rest is important, as well as diet and what other exercise/activity the person does to support their training goals. Depending on the level of the student, we can go fairly quickly into competitive type lifts, or focus on single arm kettlebell work and conditioning and mobility. Its really up to the client.

I must say that from each student, as I teach I learn a little bit about myself at the same time. Instilling a sense of confidence in a person that they can achieve their own goals is vital, and that some kind of moral support and encouragement is there from me when they need it.

The relationship between trainer and student is symbiotic; often the student gets as much out of it as I put into it.

Enough said 😉

Sunday fun

IMG_2892 Well we certainly earned our keep today- the weather turned around and went from threats of thunderstorms to a beautiful hot Tokyo Summer day. Two first timers joined us and in all we had a great time.

The feed afterwards certainly didn’t hurt either!

We will have another meet again probably in about three weeks to enjoy the Summer while it lasts, and get some of our other friends along.

Cheers!

Japan Kettlebell Club opens & personal training now available.

Dear All,

I am pleased to announce that I am now available for private or group training sessions. (This includes traveling to other regions in Japan if necessary!)

My main objective right now is to spread awareness of kettlebell sport for health & fitness throughout Japan, ensuring correct technique and quality instruction on mobility, body weight and kettlebell training.
As an IKFF CKT 1& 2  Kettlebell Teacher and Fitness & Movement Dynamics instructor under Steve Cotter I offer the highest level of coaching and tuition.
The newly formed Japan Kettlebell Club strives to offer a community for the sport here in Japan , where all levels and groups are welcome. From the beginner to the seasoned athlete, JKC has something to offer. I aim to connect all kettlebell practitioners across Japan into a community that can support and encourage each other to their highest level. There is strength in numbers!
The JKC recently held it’s first group kettlebell session in a beautiful park in Naka-Meguro, Tokyo. These meets will be held twice a month, and sometimes in Yoyogi Park,  but for those fanatics who need more, let me know!
I aim to supply Kettlebells for newcomers at the session, but regular participants are encouraged to bring their own- and maybe an interested new friend! The more the merrier-my knowledge belongs to everyone.
We have a fantastic supplier of top quality kettlebells operating out of Osaka who can provide those interested with pro-series kettlebells- anywhere in Japan- in 24 hours. Gotta love the Japanese Delivery services!

Sessions are open to all! So lets see you soon!

Mark Atkinson

IKFF CKT FMD 1 & 2 Teacher

To book a training session or make an enquiry, please contact me at japankettlebellclub@gmail.com

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IKFF Seminar with Steve Cotter, June 28th, 2009

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Inspiring.
One day and many laughs and smiles later, I am about to jump on a plane for kettlebell teacher certification in Malaysia. Once I catch my breath, I will give you all a more detailed feedback report.

But I can say this- I met a group of men and women that over the course of the day went way beyond what they thought was possible for themselves, and all found a new part of themselves which they can use from this day onwards.

Inner strength. Resilience. Encouragement. Sharing one’s journey with others. Persistence. Courage. Forbearance. Men and women alike pushing themselves to reach higher, go further.

The smiles in these pictures say it all. I have already asked the attendees to write down their own thoughts and experiences for me, and once I get a minute of free time -hah!- I will get them here.

As for Steve, what can I say? Steve is …Steve. Enough said!

Well, I better go pack my bags- enjoy the pictures!