Tuesday, September 15, 2015

And now that I have joined the 5-0 club (almost a week in😝)I invite you to follow me on FB Betsy Collie, and FB page Rapid Results Fitness or my blog here , The Kettle Belle Blog http://kettlebelle.blogspot.com/, as I will begin sharing tips, questions and answers about smart training for longevity and life turning 50. And what's next after 50?! A glimpse into my own training including Pictures, videos, to help ALL, no matter what the age, male or female, and life lessons i've learned along the way!
Age is a number and quality of your body and its ability to move is changeable, reversible. I invite you to follow me on this journey. Please feel free to comment here, on rapid results fitness FB page or my blog http://kettlebelle.blogspot.com/ with any questions you may have. Stay tuned!So true :) #health #fitness#age #dedication #earclean #strength #earclean

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Check out the latest Course, Workshop and Recertification dates I 'll be offering....

SFG Level I Re-Certification - March 21, 2015 DURHAM, NC

Saturday, March 21, 2015 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Click here to register https://www.regonline.com/Register/Checkin.aspx?eventID=1590186

Rapid Results Fitness
4125 Durham Chapel Hill Blvd #10
Durham, North Carolina 27707
United States

Master SFG Karen Smith 619-838-7777
Senior SFG Betsy Collie

This ​one ​day ​course ​is ​for ​those ​who ​are ​up ​for ​Recertifying ​their ​SFG ​Level ​I.

Please ​come ​prepared ​to ​test ​the ​following:
-Flex ​arm ​hang/ ​Pull ​ups
-Technique ​Test ​(Double ​Bells ​except ​the ​TGU ​and ​Snatch)
 ​ ​Dbl ​Swing ​x ​10
 ​ ​Dbl ​Clean ​x ​5
 ​ ​Dbl ​Press ​x ​5
 ​ ​Dbl ​Front ​Squat ​x ​5
 ​ ​TGU ​x ​1/1
 ​ ​Snatch ​x ​5/5
-Snatch ​Test ​(100 ​Reps ​in ​5 ​min ​with ​weight ​class ​bell)

You ​​put ​​in ​​the ​​time ​​and ​​effort ​​to ​​earn ​​your ​​SFG ​​Level ​​I ​​Instructor ​​status; ​​don’t ​​let ​​it ​​slip ​​away!
Under ​​the ​​watchful ​​eye ​​of ​​an ​​SFG ​​Master ​​Instructor, ​​you’ll ​​learn ​​the ​​most ​​recent ​​updates ​​to ​​the ​​six ​​techniques ​​taught ​​at ​​the ​​three-day ​​SFG ​​Level ​​I. ​​You’ll ​​re-take ​​your ​​snatch ​​and ​​strength ​​tests ​​and ​​after ​​a ​​full ​​day ​​of ​​instruction, ​​re-discover ​​the ​​power ​​of ​​the ​​kettlebell ​​by ​​re-taking ​​the ​​technique ​​test ​​on ​​the ​​swing, ​​the ​​squat, ​​the ​​clean, ​​the ​​press, ​​the ​​snatch ​​and ​​the ​​get ​​up.
Successful ​​completion ​​of ​​this ​​dense ​​one-day ​​event ​​extends ​​your ​​SFG ​​Level ​​I ​​Certification ​​for ​​two ​​years ​​and ​​gives ​​you ​​our ​​latest ​​progressions ​​and ​​correctives.
Who ​​qualifies ​​for ​​the ​​SFG ​​Level ​​I ​​Recertification? ​​In ​​order ​​to ​​qualify ​​to ​​attend ​​this ​​one-day ​​event:
 ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​You ​​must ​​currently ​​hold ​​a ​​valid, ​​unexpired ​​SFG ​​Level ​​I ​​Certificate
 ​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​Select ​​a ​​one-day ​​recertification ​​from ​​the ​​list ​​of ​​events ​
 ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​Provide ​​the ​​expiration ​​of ​​your ​​current ​​certificate ​​during ​​registration
 ​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​Upload ​​a ​​photo ​​of ​​your ​​most ​​recent ​​Instructor ​​Certificate ​

Attendance ​​at ​​the ​​recertification ​​includes ​​a ​​manual ​​reflecting ​​current ​​SFG ​​Level ​​I ​​standards ​​and ​​for ​​those ​​who ​​qualify, ​​a ​​new ​​SFG ​​Level ​​I ​​Instructor ​​Certificate.
Be ​​ready. ​

Be ​​up ​​to ​​date. ​

Be ​​StrongFirst.

SFB Bodyweight Course - Mar 22, 2015 DURHAM, NC

Sunday, March 22, 2015 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM (Eastern Time)

Rapid Results Fitness
4125 Durham Chapel Hill Blvd Suite 10
Durham, North Carolina 27707
United States
919) 403-8651

Master SFG Karen Smith 619-838-7777
Host: Senior SFG Betsy Collie
Email :info@rapidrsultsfitness.net

Theodore Roosevelt got it right:
“Do what you can with what you have where you are.”

StrongFirst Bodyweight Courses teach how to get a powerlifting-quality workout anywhere, anytime, using one’s bodyweight as resistance. More importantly, they distill the principles of StrongFirst and reverse-engineer the body language of the strong. These principles have a great range of applications towards lifting various implements and generating force in athletic skills.

The curriculum was developed by Pavel Tsatsouline. The Courses are taught by select members of the StrongFirst instructor cadre.


  • State-of-the-art abdominal exercises.
  • Beginner to advanced progressions for the “bodyweight powerlifts”: the one-arm pushup, the pistol, and the tactical pull-up.
  • The principles of an effective bodyweight strength program design, refined and condensed from the Russian methodology.
  • Most importantly, take a big step towards body mastery by reverse-engineering the body language of elite gymnasts.

“About 3 weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a StrongFirst Bodyweight Course. I learned a huge amount, and it’s taken me a little while to process and evaluate everything.

You can never have enough tension. I thought I had a pretty good understanding of tension after reading most of Pavel’s work. Turns out I didn’t. A couple cues and exercises and I am all of a sudden stronger than when I entered the gym.

The progressions are exhaustive (and a little exhausting!). We spent three hours on the minutiae of the push up. Every minute was time well spent, no rocks were left unturned.

Instructional booklets are fantastic. They contain details on progressions, tips for flexibility and really good programming tips. I refer back to it at least once a week.

Really good people come to these events. People from all walks of life brought together in their desire to learn. Fantastic energy, and great attitudes.

Jack Reape is quoted saying “learning how to make a bodyweight exercise harder will teach a lifter how to make a barbell lift easier” and he is spot on.

Long story short, I cannot recommend it enough. And, I hope to become certified in the fall to be a SFB.”

—Andy McLaughlin


SFG Kettlebell User Course
Saturday April 11, 2015 9am-4pm Durham, NC

SFG Kettlebell User Course
Saturday May 30, 2015 9am-5pm Chicago, IL
The most fundamental and thoroughly in-depth kettlebell instruction available within a single day.
Developed by the founder of the modern kettlebell movement, Pavel Tsatsouline, the SFG Course is THE 8-hour kettlebell workshop — perfected.

Is the SFG Course the best option for you?

You want to learn how to use kettlebells…correctly and safely.
You also want to be certain that you will receive the best instruction possible, and avoid wasting any (more) of your time or money. If you are like many others who attend the SFG Course, then perhaps:
  • your nearest SFG Instructor‘s class schedule does not fit into your own work/life schedule.
  • you want to dig deeper into the skills, but cannot afford a series of one-on-one sessions right now.
  • or you just want to take a single day to learn everything you can, in order to cancel your gym membership and get busy on your own.
You have probably been browsing through dozens of how-to articles and YouTube videos, confused by the conflicting images and examples, and unable to distinguish what’s really correct from what isn’t. Here is a hint: Most of what you will see out there is suboptimal. And a lot of it is flat-out dangerous.
The guessing game is over — you have found the preeminent authority here at StrongFirst. When you register for an SFG Course, you can be certain that you will receive the highest-quality instruction available. Do not veer off-course; stick with us, and you will never again wonder if you are on the right track.


This part is pretty cool.
First, some orientation. StrongFirst’s kettlebell curriculum and training methodology has been developed and refined by Founder and Chairman, Pavel Tsatsouline, for well over a decade. We currently offer three types of Courses: Kettlebell (SFG), Barbell (SFL), and Bodyweight (SFB). Each of these Courses is appropriate for practitioners of virtually any skill level. No previous kettlebell experience is required to attend the SFG Course.
StrongFirst certifies instructors in each of these three modalities, as well. Our flagship program, the SFG Certification, has the highest standards in the industry, and is the most sought-after kettlebell instructor credential. The standards are so high, that on average one-third of all SFG candidates (most of whom are already personal trainers) fail to meet the requirements, after months or even years of serious preparation.
SFG Instructors are the strongest, most qualified and experienced kettlebell instructors in the world.
The SFG Instructors that have been invited to teach our SFG Course were carefully evaluated and selected by Pavel. This group represents just 3% of the over 2,000 SFG Instructors, worldwide.




Kettlebell instruction is our legacy, and it is our ongoing obsession.
As the most established, experienced, and meticulous kettlebell instruction organization in history, StrongFirst has identified the most important elements for you to learn in a single day, and the most efficient ways of teaching them.
Only the most necessary skills are covered in order to ensure that, by the end of the day, you will understand the techniques and concepts, and you will be able to safely practice them on your own.
In addition to the specific kettlebell skills listed below — and no less important — you will learn many MOVEMENT FUNDAMENTALS:
  • Kettlebell training safety
  • “Strength stretching” to take the brakes off your strength, spare your joints, and always be ready to go
  • State-of-the-art breathing techniques for strength, endurance, back safety, and stress reduction
  • Tension skills for instant strength gains
  • A proven way to train your abs 300% more intensely than with traditional exercises
  • Shoulder mechanics used by professionals for maximal strength and resilience
DEADLIFT — the most “functional” exercise
SQUAT — the essential and easy-to-learn goblet squat
SWING — the “fat-burning athlete builder”
TURKISH GET-UP, OR TGU — a lesson in moving strong
MILITARY PRESS — a classic test of strength and one of the very best upper body builders
You are even provided a TRAINING PLAN to follow — for general strength and conditioning, muscle building, and fat loss.


Yes, this Course is also for you.
Even if you have already been messing around with them for several years, you will be surprised to see just how much there is to learn about training with kettlebells, and the level of detail that is required to do it well. It is a lot different than you thought — and it is awesome.
Also, the Course provides .8 CEUs toward your NASM credential.

SFG Level I Re-Certification - May15, 2015 Corpus Christi, Texas

Friday, May 15, 2015 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM (Mountain Time)


Hardstyle KBJJ
5702 S. Staple Suite d
Corpus Christi, Texas 75070
United States

Led by: Master SFG Karen Smith
Hosted by: Hector Gutierrez Jr. SFG II
Strength Retreat with...
Master SFG Karen Smith, Senior SFG Delaine Ross, Senior SFG Betsy Collie, Chairman of StrongFirst Pavel Tsatsouline

Early Bird Registration by March 15 $349
Corpus Christi, TX
May 16 and 17, 2015 


Saturday, February 28, 2015

In my experience of training students and clients in preparation for not only mastering the 5 minute snatch test but actually understanding and perfecting their snatch technique in general I use a varied style of training that reinforces some of the major components in snatch technique. There are many ways to reach this goal of understanding and performing snatches well and of course mastering the 5 minute snatch test.

You see, many people do not understand that the snatch recruits the same powerful hip drive as the swings, the cleans, the high pulls. Many kettlebell enthusiasts actually treat it as a metcon movement rather than a strength movement. Many look at the snatch movement and think more about the use of the arm or upper body strength and do not utilize the lower body and hip drive as they should. When their bodies are linked together through proper positioning and muscle contraction correctly this movement becomes seamless. When the individual disconnects from the hip drive, disconnects the arm from the body on the hike pass, fails to pack the shoulder and straighten the rest at the top then they begin to move their body as a collection of parts instead of a solid contracted unit! This disconnect forces the individual to have to muscle up the bell by depending on upper body strength alone which in turn leaves them failing the snatch test and/or worse leading them to injury perhaps.

From that standpoint, I begin to drive home the importance of rooting through the floor with the feet. This is solid foundation from all kettlebell movements. After technique is in place for 2 Hand swings I take my students to very heavy two hand swings. This insures three main things: 1( A powerhip drive 2)Arm connection to the body in the hike passthink glueing the tricep to theinside of your legs or side of torso) 3) Stronger abs in the stand tall lock out position, knee caps pulled up etc. )

From there I progress to one arm swings. Working their way up to HEAVY 1 arm swings. And insuring that all swings are at chest height to begin with (chest height and finding the “float” of the bell is created by strong ab contraction and an explosive hip drive in a stand tall position. Once that is mastered I have them take that same heavy bell. Usually one up from the bell size they are trying to snatch test with and then perform  1 arm swings at eye level. The use of heavier I arm swings at eye level reinforces loading and driving with the hips, bracing of the abs and strengthening the whole base, so to speak.

Another drill I find extremely useful is to perform I arm swings with snatches like this:

Perform 3 one arm swings on the 4th hike pass snatch overhead. Perform left then right 5x then rest as needed perform 5 sets.

This kind of combination reinforces the fact that the hip hinge should look and feel the same regardless of whether the person is swinging or snatching.

I also use power cleans(Mark Reifkind introduced this some time ago, thanks Rif!) (single bell work)  from the floor. This kind of drill reinforces the proper load of the hips. It’s an excellent tool, by the way for improving hip loading in general and can be used with swings, high pulls, snatches.

In actual time spent training the snatch itself, I am very fond of doing ladder style snatch sessions.

This style of building volume with snatching not only allows for safety of the movement for the body, managing fatigue but also allows for safe hands with out trashing them. Because truth is, if the technique is off and you set out to do a high number of snatches you WILL end up with discomfort , torn hands or worse. That alone will compromise your form the more you try to train with trashed hands (or worse a trashed back or shoulder). So building volume slowly is the way to go. For example, your ladder might look like this to start:

L/R 7/7,6/6,5/5,4/4,3/3,2/2,1/1,. Rest as needed at the commas. When this can be done comfortably with little rest take it to ladders beginning with 10. I may actually use this as a finisher with my clients at the end of their normal training. I rarely have them snatch over and over again each session in preparation for the snatch test. Look at it like this, if you are going to run a marathon, you don’t TRAIN for it by RUNNING the MARATHON each time you train. Make sense?

So over the course of a few months I may only have them actually perform the 5 minute snatch test 2-3 times. That’s it!

In terms of completing the snatch test I have them perform it in ladder form like this 10/10,9/9,8/8,7/7,6/6,5/5,5/5. This is easy on the hands and easy neurologically. Because you are going down in number if FEELS more easily doable. I do have them get a base line of how long it takes for them to do this but after practicing these other movements and building adequate hip driven strength, and stronger lats and abs there usually is never a time factor to worry about.

Good luck and let me know if you need further advice.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

It has happened to us all.

We are active and then we get injured.

Because we are injured, we can't exercise or do the active things we enjoy. This leads to weight gain and slowing down of our injury recovery. I have said before to many of my clients who are out due to injury that this is the time to curb your intake to offset the sedentary healing process.

Below is an article from Shane McDavid from the Appetite Control Blueprint. That gives more advice on how to Prevent Gain after injury

I bet you may have been in this situation before.

You're lying on the couch with your feet up watching your favorite television show.

Asleep on Couch.bmpThe good news is you're finally catching up on some much needed rest.

The bad news is that the reason you're on the couch and not training is because of a tweaked hamstring.....

......or maybe an injured shoulder

......or a strained lower back

I think you get the point.

Not only are you not working out as much, but I bet your diet is not as strict as it once was.

This is an important time frame in your training cycle that you can't overlook. Gaining body fat right after an injury will only make your recovery time longer. You also have to make sure to get enough micronutrients to help facilitate the recovery process. The downside is that recovering from your injury will lower your metabolic rate.

This means you'll need to stay away from eating too many calories while still providing enough nutrition to help improve the recovery. Unfortunately, that bag of potato chips and cookies on the counter becomes even more tempting to eat.

The only way to not gain body fat when recovering from an injury is to control your appetite. Thankfully, our body has a natural way of controlling our appetite to make sure we get adequate vitamins and minerals, while not getting too many calories. "Boosting" your metabolism doesn't work in this case.

Think about all of the times you've tried to "boost" your metabolism and lost a little weight, but saw all of the weight come back.

See, the food industry has actually made food that makes you hungry even when you're not. Ever find yourself craving something "salty" or "sweet" after you just finished a meal?

3 Ways to Prevent Fat Gain After an Injury

#1 - Lower Carbohydrates

When you're training hard, having a decent amount of carbohydrates improves recovery, allows you to train harder, and refills glycogen levels giving you better leverage for your workouts.

When you're recovering from an injury, lowering carbs will improve insulin sensitivity and keep body fat in check. Your main carb sources should come from non-starchy vegetables. If you're eating carbs in all of your meals, remove carbs from just one meal and then reassess. The more severe the injury limits your ability to be active, the less carbs you'll need.

#2 - Awaken Your Inner Carnivore

You HAVE to eat enough protein. Aim for 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. We do this for a few reasons:

  • Improves Recovery
  • Suppresses Your Appetite
  • Helps you retain more muscle
  • It gives you another reason to eat more steak....(probably the best reason in my opinion)

#3 - Get Rid of the Junk Food! No to Junk foodI know, this tip isn't what you want to hear. Everyone tells me they'll just buy the processed food and leave it for their family.......(we all know what really happens)

But what if you are married and have children?

You obviously can't deprive them of their favorite snacks. Here's the key: I bet your kids or your spouse have favorite snacks that you don't care for. THOSE are the treats that you keep around the house.

Remember, take this time to really focus on limiting body fat gain. In fact, we've had a lot of our clients actually get leaner during this phase. Their recovery time was shorter and they got back to their normal workouts MUCH SOONER.

About Shane:

Shane McDavid is former obesity researcher with an expertise in appetite control. After realizing how most diet programs were failing miserably, he set out to learn why the typical fat loss "tip" of boosting your metabolism was not working. He finally discovered the key to overcoming food cravings and how you can overcome a slow metabolism by implementing a strategic step-by-step plan.

If you're looking to get leaner and stop falling for all of these "metabolism boosting" gimmicks, then check out the Appetite Control Blueprint for the step-by-step process to stop struggling with losing body fat.

Shane McDavid



Friday, July 18, 2014

SFG Kettlebell User Course - Chicago, IL August 24

SFG Kettlebell User Course
Betsy Collie Senior SFG Instructor
Sunday, August 24, 2014
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM (Central Time)
Registration $299 

For more information go to www.StrongFirst.com or see registration page at https://www.regonline.com/register/dialogs/sendemail.aspx?EventId=1577125

Lona Fitness
314 W. Superior St. Chicago, Illinois 60610
United States
Phone: 919-403-8651

The one-day SFG Kettlebell Course is more than entry-level user instruction for the AK-47 of exercise equipment—the kettlebell. It is education in moving strong.
No previous kettlebell experience is required. No matter what your goals are, we strongly urge you to take this Course. On one end of the spectrum, subtleties taught in this course have been instrumental in helping Donnie Thompson make a breakthrough in strength while making back problems a thing of the past—and eventually breaking the 3,000 pound world superheavyweight powerlifting total record. On the other end is Tracy Reifkind, who lost over 100 pounds in less than a year.

  • Kettlebell training safety procedures.
  • Essential joint mobility exercises.
  • Sophisticated breathing techniques for strength, back safety, endurance, and reducing the stress level.
  • “Hip-centric” (McGill) movement, a must for strength and back health.
  • Strength Stretching™ principles and key exercises which enable greater expression of strength while dramatically reduc- ing the back, hip, and knee stress.
  • “Lat-centric” shoulder mechanics which protect the shoulder while significantly increasing strength.
  • The most “functional” exercise—the deadlift.
  • A powerful drill for strengthening the feet and the ankles and injury proofing the hamstrings—the one-leg deadlift.
  • The single most beneficial exercise anyone can do—the swing.
  • The get-up—your strongman mentor.
  • The most foolproof squat—the goblet squat.
  • A foundation for barbell skills (this course is a prerequisite for our barbell course).
  • What GPP really is and how to program it. Misunderstanding of general physical preparation, prevalent in the West, even among coaches, prevents one from reaching his or her athletic potential and predisposes him or her to injuries.
  • The principles of effective program design refined and condensed from the Russian methodology.
  • A number of foolproof program design tools and sample programs for a variety of training goals


Dear StrongFirst,
I just wanted to send you a big thank you, and 2 thumbs up on your kettlebell course. My wife and I attended the SFG Kettlebell course in Fayetteville N.C., taught by SFG Senior Instructor Betsy Collie. The Course was hosted by SFG instructor Jill Mahurin at Silverback Fitness.

I am a 51 year old field operations paramedic for New Hanover Regional EMS in Wilmington, N.C. Myself and 100 coworkers will respond to over 60.000 calls in 2014. I have been surfing for over 40 years with an extensive competitive history. I stand paddleboard race for cross training, and have earned 2 black belts. My wife Melissa is a massage therapist and surfer, and very gifted at both her trade and passion. I have been training with  kettlebells for 6 years. Probably like most, I bought the ETK book and video, went to my courage corner and began to practice. Kettlebells have kept me strong, resilient, and kept my hips powerful. I believe all good athletes move from the hips.

Wow, what an eye opening day. Betsy and the StrongFirst course content were fantastic. Betsy brought such passion and energy to her instruction. She really wanted you to get a deeper understanding of  the StrongFirst principles. This day was true goldmine of knowledge, as Betsy was able to instruct and prepare you to get strong before the movements. Her cueing and masterful correctives brought so much more tension and strength to my game.

The course content was much more evolved than the HKC certification I obtained in 2011.Everyone who attended had a basic grasp of the movements being taught, as Betsy was able to teach the subtle details that get the most out of each rep. Two of the biggest pearls of wisdom I walked away with were “zip it up and finish the lift”, which really brought each rep full circle. Tension when needed, relaxation when needed. She was excellent in having to get our pelvis tucked, kneecaps up, shoulders packed with lats in control, and breath control.

Once again, Betsy’s attention to detail is finer that frog hair. She’ll see it, she’ll correct it, and she has the depth and knowledge to explain it. There is also so much more than the 5 movements listed , with the yang plank, dead swing , and “the plan” hid- den in the mix.

Thank you Pavel and your team for making this information and course available. you have greatly improved the quality of my life, and me as an athlete. I guess I’m going to have to put my sites on a SFG certification in the future. And in conclusion, all I can say is, take this course, train with Betsy , and get Strong!
Andrew Herzog, NREMT-P Carolina Beach, N.C., USA

I couldn’t agree more Andy! My husband and I also attended Betsy’s StongFirst Kettlebell Course at Jill’s facility. I emphatically echo what Andy said. This was my second experience being taught by Betsy as I followed the recommendations of this forum when I started S&S last January and sought a StrongFirst instructor to get my form checked. Her passion and depth of knowl- edge for the kettlebell far exceeded my expectations on both occasions. There were so many nuggets of information to take away and Andy mentioned several. One thing I will add in that regard (really there are so many that will present themselves as I train and re-read my notes!) is how important it is to practice technique and own the movements; especially before moving up in KB size. If you read this forum regularly you won’t have to wait too long to hear someone ask “should I move up a KB size” or “am I ready yet” or “wow! When I jumped up to the 32 it took me much longer to progress”. Strength is a skill and part of that skill is learning to be humble in the face of iron. Betsy reminded us that learning the foundations and principles of these movements will help us achieve our goals safely and efficiently.

“Thank You” to StrongFirst, Betsy, and the class attendees who have enriched my experience.
Amy Wolff

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Passing on the Knowledge....

By now most of you in our program know where we get most of our training from. But if you don't let me explain. We combine solid training information from FMS (Functional Movement Screening, www.FMS.com,), Z Health (joint mobility www.zhealth.com), elementary movements that reset the body (from Original Strength, www.originalstrength.com)  and of course our exceptional training from StrongFirst (www.StrongFirst.com).

I wanted to pass along a review from Gray Cook one of the most intelligent men I know! Gray Cook is a practicing physical therapist, a orthopedic certified specialist, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and an RKC kettlebell instructor. He is the founder of Functional Movement Systems, a company that promotes the concept of movement pattern screening and assessment. His work and ideas are at the forefront of fitness, conditioning, injury prevention and rehabilitation.

For those that may not know much about Pavel, here is a short bio on him.

Pavel Tsatsouline, Chairman of StrongFirst, Inc. (born August 23, 1969 in Minsk, USSR (now part of Belarus)) is a fitness instructor from the former Soviet Union. He holds a degree in Sports Science from the Physical Culture Institute in Minsk.[1] He is involved with the evolving field of martial arts fitness and is a major proponent of the traditional Russian fitness tool, the kettlebell, as an exercise and strengthening tool. In 1998, Tsatsouline introduced the kettlebell to the United States, and is credited with popularizing the kettlebell in the West.[2] Dr. Randall J. Strossen, founder and president of IronMind Enterprises, Inc., stated, "In our eyes, Pavel Tsatsouline will always reign as the modern king of kettlebells since it was he who popularized them to the point where you could almost found a country filled with his converts...".[3]

In the 1980s, Tsatsouline was a physical-training instructor for Spetnaz, the elite Soviet special-forces units.[4] Tsatsouline is now a subject matter expert to the US Marine Corps, the US Secret Service, and the US Navy SEALs.[5]

In 2001, Tsatsouline was voted a "Hot Trainer" by Rolling Stone, pictured with a kettlebell in hand.[6] He has published articles in Milo magazine[7] and Performance Press, as well as being the author of several books on stretching and strength training (see Bibliography).

Tsatsouline's publisher is Dragon Door, owned by John Du Cane. Dragon Door is a website and publishing company generally focused on martial arts and related sports, but also catering to general health, fitness, weight loss, and stress management. Pavel started the Russian Kettlebell Challenge ("RKC"), an advanced kettlebell training certification, with Dragon Door in 2001.

In 2012, Pavel left the RKC and formed a new company, StrongFirst. StrongFirst is dedicated to the pursuit, development, and acquisition of strength - a skill that, as stated on the homepage of StrongFirst, "has been compared to a glass that can be filled with other qualities; the larger the glass, the more endurance, sport skill, fat loss, etc. it can hold." [8] StrongFirst offers several comprehensive user courses and certifications for the use of kettlebells, barbells, and bodyweight exercises, which are currently being offered in the United States, Europe, Korea, Australia, Canada, and South America.

Oh and Pavel is also my boss in StrongFirst. As you may or may not know I hold a leadership position in StrongFirst. These positions are appointed by Pavel himself. So it is a responsibility I consider a real honor and the expectations are high.  I was appointed Team Leader by Pavel back in 2009. This allowed me to teach at certifications around the world as needed or required. But just recently Pavel appointed me to Senior StrongFirst Instructor. There are only 15 in the world and 5 of them are women. I am excited about being in this position and  take my role very seriously. For more information about what we do at StrongFirst, please read here: www.strongfirst.com .


Why am I sharing all of this with you? Because it is what sets our program apart from any other gym or fitness facility in our area. Our expertise is backed by smart training and learning correctly how to use the body not just with kettlebells, but with body weight exercise and barbells too.

So I encourage you to read up on the sites mentioned above and learn more if you wish about some of the  foundations we have built our program on.

I hope you have found this helpful.

I encourage you to keep coming to class regularly and also if you haven't read Pavel's book, I encourage you to get your copy from me in the studio. It is only $17.95, but the information in it is priceless!!! The info you have heard me say time and time again, but it is worth reading AGAIN!!!!

Building strong bodies!

See you in class!