Kettlebell Bootcamp

Posted: October 7, 2008 by mrsghp in bootcamp, dave whitley, kettlebell, RKC, russian kettlebell instructor

The wife and I have decided to try something new and join a kettlebell bootcamp.

What is a kettlebell you ask? Well according to

A ‘kettlebell’ or girya (Russ.) is a traditional Russian cast iron weight that looks like a cannonball with a handle. The kettlebell goes way back, it first appeared in a Russian dictionary in 1704 (Cherkikh, 1994). So popular were kettlebells in Tsarist Russia that any strongman or weightlifter was referred to as a girevik, or ‘a kettlebell man’.

I began learning about kettlebells about a year ago and started to investegate them a bit thinking that they would be a fitness craze and not last very long. It got to the point to when Nikki and I moved to Nashville we ended up buying 2 kettlebells from Target, a 16 pound one for me, and an 8 pound one for Nik. The first couple times we used it we could not walk or sit for a few days due to our glutes being so sore. That is a good thing by the way, I was surprised because I thought I had strong glutes, but I was sorely mistaken. We used them now and then but not as much as we should.

So I went to the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) in Boston, MA hosted by Lee Burton and Gray Cook. Come to find out that Gray uses kettlebells for training athletes AS WELL AS using it as a rehabiliation/corrective exercise tool. He showed some pretty cool things and I was very interested to learn more. When I got back to Nashville, I looked up on to see who in the area was a Certified Russian Kettlebell Instructor (RKC). I was very pleased to find out that one of the RKC Senior Instructors (David Whitley, lived here in Nashville and holds a bootcamp three mornings a week. It was also very pleasing to me that he was FMS certified as well. I contacted him about upcoming bootcamps and he invited us out to come to a few morning classes.

The first morning David asked us to come in after class and teach us a few techniques. He spoke with us on how much we knew about kettlebells and we said “a little”. He asked us to show him what we knew and the moves we were comfortable with. We found out a few things: 1) we were using way too light of kettlebells (why you ask? I will tell you more later). 2) our technique was “ok” but we had a lot of practicing to do. We learned how to do a swing properly as well as a “turkish getup”. I tell you, no video or book can compare to having someone right beside you queing you to perform a move better. David was terrific and all the instruction he gave was very informative and he made the instruction session difficult but fun. He invited us back the following week to participate in the actual bootcamp.

The bootcamp the following week was a tough one. We did 10 “deck squats” followed by 10 push ups (see video) as many sets as we could until time was up, then we performed turkish getups 1 rep each side for time, the last thing we did was swings for time followed by a 40 yard run down and back and then repeated for I believe 4 sets. What a workout.

David was great at teaching us the techniques and spotting us if we needed. We signed up for 4 months of bootcamps right then and there.

I plan on once per week updating everyone on how the bootcamp is going. I will try and sneek in some pictures as well as video of Nikki and I here and there if I get a chance. If you are interested in finding a kettlebell instructor, go to

To see some of the techniques performed by David. Check out.

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