Superstar fitness trainer, Keli Roberts, the 2003 IDEA International Instructor of the Year, has developed a fresh new group exercise program using kettlebells. In partnership with KettleBell concepts Roberts will be rolling out "Total Body KB Blast to a multitude of group fitness instructors at the upcoming IDEA World Fitness Convention in San Diego this coming July. A kettlebell resembles a cannonball with a handle on it and has been used in Russia to train elite athletes and military for over 300 years and is now exploding on the U.S. scene. A popular staple with personal trainers, it is now poised to be the hot new group exercise. Gym owner Randy DeAngelo has been doing kettlebell group exercise at his studio for the past 3 years and its rapid growth by middle-aged men and women shows no signs of slowing.

 

"I liked it immediately, I could see many fitness benefits...one of the exciting things about kettlebells is that you don't lift them you swing them." That's what Keli Roberts said upon trying kettlebells for the very first time three years ago at an ECA fitness conference. Although relatively new in the U.S., kettlebells have actually been around for over 300 years in Russia to train their elite athletes and military special forces.

 

 

It was at that very same conference, where Roberts first met Dave Ganulin, a devout evangelist for the kettlebell fitness training modality.  Ganulin is the founder and CEO of KettleBell Concepts, a kettlebell distributor and training company based in New York.

 

For years, Ganulin had progressive success in getting health clubs and studios to adopt kettlebells in personal training classes. But this year, after observing pockets of success where gyms were adapting kettlebells to a group fitness application,  he feels that the time is right for a full-scale rollout and dialed-up Roberts to take on the challenge.

 

 

"Keli has the exact ability and cachet that we were seeking to take kettlebells to the next level group fitness classes. We have complete confidence in  Keli  with her vast experience in doing this with several other fitness products. It is going to be an amazing offering", said Ganulin, "We're ecstatic with what we've seen so far".

 

 

What's Old Is What's New 
Given kettlebells long tenure in Russia, and aside from the explosive power and endurance that it gives elite athletes in training, kettlebells are the ideal exercise for busy everyday people. A kettlebell group fitness program is only 30 minutes long  that's all that most people can physically endure.  Its unique movements exercise multiple joints and muscles simultaneously, while giving a high level cardiovascular workout as well. Within  hour, participants know they've just experienced an intense workout.

The kettlebell itself resembles a metal cannonball with a handle attached to it. Originally there were only 3 weights available: 16, 24 and 32 kg., modeled after the Russian pood where one pood equals 16 kg or 35 pounds.  But with the popularity of kettlebells by the masses, and especially women and kids, the sizes now range from 10 lbs. to 88 lbs. typically in 5 pound increments.  This makes it applicable to all population segments: men, women, kids, and athletes.

As to the applicability of kettlebells in a group exercise format, "It's perfect for them because they'll  train cardiovascularly as well as for muscular strength and endurance",  Roberts remarked, "Their muscles will have more shape and definition, because it has a high caloric extension and therefore burns a lot of calories. It's easy to burn calories in a short amount of time, with kettlebells".

Keli  Roberts, the Trainers' Trainer
Roberts is ideally suited to develop the first countrywide group fitness program for kettlebells.  In addition to being an accomplished athlete, she is one of the top fitness trainers and will be attracting hundreds of group fitness instructors from around the globe next July at IDEA World in San Diego.

Originally from Australia, Roberts  has lived in the Los Angeles area since1989.  She's been a trainer to the Hollywood stars, including Cher, Russell Crow, Faye Dunaway and many others.

She gained popular distinction for having choreographed and appeared in the award winning video, "Cher Fitness A New Attitude".  She then went on to choreograph and star in over 40 videos of her own.

Lately, she has been traveling the world teaching other group fitness instructors in various fitness modalities. Kettlebell is her newest baby,  she develops programming for fitness products such as BOSU, Body Bar, Schwinn and others.


KettleBell Concepts' "Total Body KB BlastTM"
The official name of the program is "Total Body KB Blast." At IDEA World, it will be modified slightly from its finished form, because every attendee in the room will be a novice.  Attendees will be given a 10 or 15 lb.  kettlebell and taken through the various swings and movements choreographed to upbeat music designed by Roberts.
I am convinced that the kettlebell craze and Total Body KB Blast will rock San Diego come July", said Ganulin, "It's fresh, it's intense, and in just 30 minutes, people will get a total-body strength and endurance workout, and a cardiovascular workout to boot. It is just what gym owners need to revitalize their group fitness program and get both men and women into that room."
Group Kettlebells In Action
Randy DeAngelo is a personal training veteran and owns the Carolina J.E.T.S., a 3,000-square-foot personal training studio in the small town of Mebane, North Carolina. Yet he has been a leader in transitioning kettlebells from his normal personal training practice just for athletes to group fitness classes for moms, dads and their kids.

As with Keli Roberts, DeAngelo also got his first exposure to kettlebells about three years ago, "As soon as I started swinging that thing, I was sold on it.  It was immediately clear what I could be doing with it, it affected my heart rate, and I was feeling it in just about every muscle in my body," said DeAngelo.

As a coach, he first are used kettlebells to train his wrestling athletes and with incredible results. "A walking testament to kettlebells' effectiveness is a privately coached kid that I had, who wound up being a two-time North Carolina State Champion.  His whole training routine for 2  - 3 years, was nothing but kettlebells. "

As a studio owner, DeAngelo appreciates the sturdiness of  his investment, "You can't break it, there is absolutely no maintenance. We're not paying anybody to fix it like a spinning bike."

DeAngelo was creative in convincing the mothers of his high school athletes to also take up kettlebells, but in a group setting. "We tricked them into thinking it was an aerobics class.  We have 28 to 48 year-olds coming through our door, I always tell them.  'This is not your Jane Fonda Mom's aerobics class',  I put a 128 aerobics music beat behind them, then all of a sudden they say 'O.K.,  we can do this'.  Our 9:00 A.M. post-school drop-off class is now packed with women, and our before-work 6:00 A.M. class is packed with both working men and women. "


Staying Power
The popularity of kettlebells shows no sign of peaking soon. That is because it is catching the crest of the exploding demand for fast effective total-body workouts. Most Americans are not gym rats,  to stay healthy, they are seeking express workouts that can be done in just 30 minutes. If they can get the combination of everyday functional fitness and cardiovascular in a 1/2 hour session,  then the program as sustainability and will be appealing to the large boomer market.

DeAngelo summed it up,  "We are a society that wants efficiency, and kettlebells are by far the most efficient 30-minute workout that you can put together.  Whether you are just an everyday person looking for some strength training, toning, or burning off the fat, the kettlebell is here to stay, I think the group fitness market is going to see kettlebell really kick up."


About KettleBell Concepts
KettleBell Concepts, based in New York City, supplies both kettlebells and kettlebell instructor trainings to health clubs,  personal trainers,  and boot camps all over the world.  Its courses are CEC/U approved by the NASM, NSCA, ACE, AFAA, ISSA and other governing organizations. In July of 2007, KettleBell Concepts will roll out its fresh new group exercise class called "Total Body KB Blast.The company has trained over 500 instructors internationally. It has  instituted kettlebell training at Equinox health clubs, Spectrum health clubs, La Palestra Center for Preventative Medicine, Highland Park Hospital and many others.  For further information call 800.876.6090, email info@kettlebellconcepts.com or visit www.KettleBellConcepts.com.
 

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