Back in 2008 I considered myself an experienced trainer. I had close to a decade of experience with a college degree in the field and was teaching future personal trainers at a local college. Then one day I stumbled upon the a cannon ball with a handle known as the kettlebell. I looked at it, laughed and said “oh here we go again, another fitness fad and gimmick.” I literally rolled my eyes and walked off. My friend said, let me show you how to swing it. After a few swings I found something that that woke my body up in a way I hadn’t experienced. Shortly after I started researching kettlebells online. Back then there wasn’t a ton of info around on them. I came across Pavel Tstatsouline, a Russian Trainer that developed a system to use the kettlebells for fitness, strength, and power development. He is literally responsible for nearly everyone in the US using kettlebells. (Unfortunately lots of people have totally bastardized the kettlebell use, but that is a blog for another time). Pavel had a very expensive certification to learn how to use them and it was extremely challenging to pass the certification. It took months of training to get fit enough to pass and it also took mastering form and technique. You didn’t just spend money to get a certification you had to earn it. It was like earning a high belt in a martial arts system.
After training for 5 months I traveled to San Jose, Ca for the Kettlebell Certification (Now StrongFirst) with Pavel Tsatsouline. I have to say my life changed after that weekend. It was physically grueling and it not only tested the limits of my body, it also tested my mind because I was learning things about movement, strength, and power that I had never heard before. I had almost 10 years of experience as a trainer at the time, but I felt like I was starting all over again on my journey as a trainer and a coach. I realized I had to become a student all over again.
The kettlebell is a great tool, but more than just learning about kettlebells over the past 12 years, Pavel has influenced my philosophy on strength training, influenced me to compete in Powerlifting, and has been a driving force in my development of what Tucson Strength is all about. I was honored in 2013 when I was asked to be on his staff at StrongFirst, as Team Leader and to teach kettlebells and barbells to other trainers around the country. Tucson Strength is also StrongFirst Accredited Gym. Here is a great podcast with Pavel on Joe Rogan. If you are bored easily, it may not be the a great podcast, but if you are interested in understanding strength training philosophy and want to geek-out, this is a great listen.