What is your name and age?
My Name is Aaron Vyvial and I am 40 years old.
What are you working with/as?
I train with and coach a kettlebell team full time. I am the founder and head coach of TXKB (Texas Kettlebell Academy).
Do you have a motto or any catchwords?
Alright, let’s talk about crying. If a man is seeing a beautiful woman naked for the first time and tears fill his eyes; not very cool. Perhaps he’d cry less if it were a dude. If he’s been shot in the stomach and probably going to die, it’s marginally acceptable to cry but frowned upon. There’s really only one acceptable time for a grown man to cry, and that’s when one of those Ewoks dies in Return of the Jedi. I mean, not that I do or anything. So what if they’re just cute, innocent little teddy bears that live in trees and want to blow stuff up. That doesn’t get to me. *sniff* No, man, I’m a castle of manliness. *sniff* Excuse me, I’m going to curl up in the fetal position for a little while and, uh, think about how much I love girls and steaks. Yeah, all that stuff I just said.
When did you start kettlebell training? Why and how did you start?
I started Kettlebell and Clubbell training in 2004 because it was a good match for my martial art training.
Maybe more interesting, why did you continue doing it?
It’s a good modality and is very adaptable to most needs. The basic lifts don’t need to be modified, but the programming (reps, pace, weight) of the lifts can easily be modified to accomplish most goals.
When did you start being a coach? Why did you do it?
I have been a martial arts instructor since 1997 and have owned martial art schools since 2002, in 2005 I became one of the first certified Renegade Training strength coaches and was one of the early Circular Strength Training instructors. I opened one of the first kettlebell gyms in the USA and one of the first kettlebell sport only gyms in the USA. I transitioned to specifically coaching Kettlebell sport in 2013. I enjoy teaching detailed movement, which is why I also teach a highly detailed martial art, I apply the same process to teaching martial arts as I do to teaching the Kettlebell lifts. I treat the kettlebell athletes like high level martial artists.
What kind of education do you have in coaching?
More than a decade of training people as a strength coach and 2 decades as a martial art instructor.
Some Certifications (Past and Current):
• MKST-L1: Modern Kettlebell Sport Trainer
• OKC State Rep/Coach: Orange Kettlebell Club
• RGSI-L3 Coach: Russian Girevoy Sport Institute
• AKA/IUKL Coach: American Kettlebell Alliance
• IKFF CTC 1&2: International Kettlebell Fitness Federation
• IKLF State Director/Cert instructor: International Kettlebell Lifting Federation
• USAKL/Bolt State Director: United States America Kettlebell Lifting
• Renegade Training: Strength and Conditioning Coach
• CST: Circular Strength Training (2005)
• KBNY HIKF Trainer: High Intensity Kettlebell Fitness
As a coach, what is important to be like in order to get the best results from your athletes?
A coach needs honesty and trust combined with a high level of proficiency in order to get the best results. You need an athlete to not question the training or question whether they can do it or not, they need to go into the training with faith that they will succeed in their program. Without trust and athlete will never reach that level and instead will lift with inhibitions.
What do you think are the most important personal qualities in an athlete?
Consistency and willingness to go through the training.
What is the most challenging thing being a coach?
Dealing with the emotional roller coaster an athlete can go through.
What are your own strengths as a coach?
A high attention to detail but still running a training session in a very relaxed manner that allows an athlete to grow naturally into their own technique. My method of programming is very unique and results in very fast and safe progression of an athlete. Also, I am always a student, I attend every certification and workshop I can in order to learn new methods and broaden my understanding.
What do you feel about single/double bells for women? What do you prefer as a coach?
In training you need both, we start our training sessions with single arm and progress to two arm. If you compete with one arm jerk or one arm long cycle, you should do the double bell lifts in order to gain strength and balance the body. Biathlon is smart because it has the jerk with two bells and a snatch with one bell, it is very complete training. As a coach, I will train an athlete for whatever event they like but OALC is not too interesting for me personally, it’s a warmup before real training starts, but if that is the lift available for a certain organization, then we will hit it hard and do well. I much prefer snatch if one bell is used.
How do you think the future will look like for the sport (GS)? How do you think it will be for you or your athletes?
What you are seeing at Cali Open and at the TX Open is how I see the future going. The sport will keep growing and keep getting better. Also you will see more endurance events with different rules such as Bolt. We always try to stay ahead of the curve so that our athletes always have a jumpstart, but really, we just do whatever we like and have fun. Kettlebell organizations come and go, we don’t really worry about them, we train hard for whichever event we want to do, spend some time with friends and repeat.
Have you entered any competitions? Do you want to share your results?
I am far from a gifted athlete but I compete as much as I can, I have hit Long Cycle CMS numbers with KETAcademy. I usually train Long cycle and Biathlon at the same time and will compete in both events in a comp.
What/which are or were your personal goals in training? (long-term/short-term?)
I just like going through the training really, I guess I should try to hit MS before I get to veteran age.
What/which are your goals for your athletes? (long-term/short-term?)
Obviously the main goal would be to improve their quality of life. If having a high rank, being a champion or having a national or world record does that, then that is my goal. The training is hard, if an athlete can go through my training, they having done something really special that most people around could not do, that is an accomplishment.
Which discipline do you like the most and why is that?
I prefer Biathlon because Snatch is such a sexy lift when done well.
What do you think is the most challenging in training?
Do you have any training tips to share?
Use the incremental bells, spend a lot of time on lighter bells building your pace 10-12 in long cycle and pace 20+ on snatch. Perfect every detail to the highest level through repetition. Do a lot of high volume barbell work, swing clubs and maces and work the bodyweight exercises. Keep your body healthy and balanced. Work with a coach that will spend the time to get to know you and will help you through a correct cycle of GPP, SPP and competition.
Who (or what) inspires you?
I am very inspired by the athletes on my team and the accomplishments they have achieved in a short time. Also my two main coaches that I have had, Sergey Mishin and Sergey Rachinskiy. Mishin’s instruction, his worldview and his life story taught me that you can really be great as long as you want to be. Rachinskiy is my mental toughness inspiration, what he has done in his life is amazing. He is a beast!! My main inspiration is lifting with my son, I enjoy watching him lift and share in his excitement when he figures something out and succeeds in what he is doing. I want to be the person that he believes me to be.
Which exercise is your favourite?
Snatch is my favorite lift, and swinging heavy clubs as well.
Have you got any exercises that you hate doing, or that your athletes hates doing? Which one and why is that?
Swing + snatch, I will never program for people, I think it is not a very useful drill, same for glove snatch. I believe that you just need to snatch to get better at snatch. Snatch faster, or slower with lighter or heavier bells while hitting your GPP and you will be fine.
Is there ever anything that makes you not prioritize training day?
If you are not feeling well or really motivated, you shouldn’t do the program because it usually won’t turn out well. Rest, feel better and come back to the training and complete it later. For me, if I have family things to do, training might be shorter than normal or I skip GPP.
How do you eat? Do you have a special diet or a food-philosophy?
I like tacos and BBQ. Tacos for speed and BBQ for strength.
What is your favourite thing to do when you’re not ”kettlebelling” or coaching?
I spend time with my family, play guitar, travel the country teaching martial arts, and fixing tanks with my shirt off.
Today we are honoured to get to know Aaron, one of the top kettlebellcoaches a little bit more. I hope you are as inspired as I’m by reading about his coach-philosophy, toughts of the kettlebelltraing and his great personallity!
We wish Aaron and his team all the best for Cali Open this weekend and stay tuned to the streaming!