Meet Elin Andersson

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What is your name and age?
Elin Andersson, 33 years old. Soon 34.

What are you working with/as?
I work in a big grocery store in Piteå.

Do you have a motto or any catchwords?
I have one special motto that I always use, both in training and in my life in general. That is “I choose strength”, I even got it tattooed on my arm.

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When did you start kettlebell training? Why and how did you start?
I started kettlebell training in January 2015. They had a free training session at True Grit where you got the chance to try kettlebell training. I forced my husband to come with me and try it out, little did I know that I was going to get stuck. About the same time Fredrik and Maria started a 6 month challenge that I decided to take part in.

In the beginning I only did kettlebell fitness, but after a while I got tempted by Fredrik and Maria to start GS training instead. In April or May 2015 I started doing it full time.

Maybe more interesting, why did you continue doing it?
I love training hard, and always have done. I have tried a lot during my life, such as soccer, floorball, ordinary gym work out and a lot more… but I have never really got stuck with anything. Doing what I do now actually at last feels like I founded my place to be. I feel like being at home. Kettlebell is challenging, tough, hard work and absolutely wonderful.

Have you entered any competitions? Do you want to share your results?
I have. My results are:

  • Cup of Scandinavia 2015, TALC 2x16kg, 64 reps. (That was actually the first time I did 10 minutes with 16kg.)
  • Swedish Nationals 2015 2:nd place (and a silver medal), TALC 2x16kg, 73 reps.

Do you have a coach? Who is it and which are his/her strengths?
Yes I do. Fredrik Berglund, Mr True grit himself, is my coach. He’s got a lot of knowledge about the sport, and a huge interest in it as well. He is straight forward and honest which is exactly what I need. It’s like he can feel the days when I need a bit more coaching, as well as the days when I need to be by myself more. He puts in a lot of effort and engagement in his athletes and spend a lot of his time and energy coaching us.

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As a coach, what do you think is important to be like in order to get the best results from athletes?
Except the fact that you have to be technically good, and be able to make good training sessions that fit the athlete, I think that you also have to be able to push your athlete in a good way for him/her to get results.

What do you think are the most important personal qualities in an athlete?
Will and a strong mind.

What are your own strengths as a lifter?
I am actually pretty strong. And I do have great will, and a great bloody strong mind.

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What do you feel about single/double bells for women? What do you prefer?
Definitely double!! In OALC I feel that the body gets side loaded, which isn’t good. Men are doing double and I have a hard time understanding why women can’t do it too in all the competitions.

How do you think the future will look like for the sport (GS)? How do you think it will be like for you?
I think, and hope, that the sport will continue on growing. I hope that we can get a federation here in Sweden and internationally I hope that TALC will become an acknowledged discipline for women. For me, I hope that I can keep doing this many more years!

What/which are your personal goals in training? (long-term/short-term?)
My goal is to compete in TALC 24kg during next year.

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Which discipline do you like the most and why is that?
Definitely TALC. It’s challenging and hard work.

What do you think is the most challenging in training?
Regarding kettlebell – glove snatch, for sure. That is so tough!

Do you have any training tips to share?
Remember to have fun! Surround yourself with people that push you and gives you energy – training will be so much easier when you have that.

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Who (or what) inspires you?
My coach, Fredrik, is a great inspiration. As well as my training partners in True grit: Maria, Petra, Annika, Carola, Jan, Jonna and Nina. Then, of course, all the super strong women around the world doing TALC with 24kg are my idols.

Which exercise is your favourite? Heavy short intervals in TALC.

Have you got any exercises that you hate doing? Which one and why is that?
Snatch and glove snatch. I had a surgery in my right shoulder about 9 years ago and still haven’t got full mobility in it. That makes the drop in snatch hard to do and it’s even painful doing snatch. That is why I don’t like it.

Is there ever anything that makes you not prioritise training day?
Work or sickness. There isn’t a lot else that can keep me from training.

How do you eat? Do you have a special diet or a food-philosophy?
I try to eat as clean food as possible, a bit paleo – without grains and dairy products.

What is your favourite thing to do when you’re not “kettlebelling”?
I spend time with my husband and our dogs, preferably on a long walk in the forest.

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We would like to thank Elin for doing this. Elin is a super strong woman who inspires us all with her focus and ability to lift whatever comes her way. Adding the fact that she spreads energy to us all pushing and cheering. She sure has a great future infront of her and it is absolutely wonderful to get to follow her way. Make sure you don’t miss it.

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Meet Jessica Gorman

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What is your name and age?

Jessica Gorman, 34 years old.

What are you working with/as?
I’m a fitness instructor and coach at Texas Kettlebell Academy, specializing in mobility, steel clubs, bodyweight and TACFIT training, and kettlebell sport based fitness. I train as a GS athlete, am the business manager of the gym, and also a mother of two boys, and a wife.

Do you have a motto or any catchwords?
I say ‘Yay!’ a lot, way more than necessary. I say it when I really mean it, and often when I don’t. There are plenty of times when when faking a little enthusiasm is enough for me to get through the undesirable tasks, or challenging training sets.

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When did you start kettlebell training? Why and how did you start?
I started training in September of 2013, 5 weeks after my second c-section, and the birth of my second son. My kung fu Sifu, and now Coach, Aaron Vyvial suggested I try it. He thought I would be good at it.

Maybe more interesting, why did you continue doing it?
The format of kettlebell training suits my temperament. I like the focus and dedication required to complete the workouts, the steady progression of each training cycle, and reward of competition. The physicality keeps me coming back: the sweat, the breathlessness, the heavy weight, the emotional intensity, and even the grit of the chalk.

Do you have a coach? What are his/her strengths?
I do have a coach, Aaron Vyvial. He is the greatest! He is exceedingly patient. He is also pretty skilled at making you feel good without blowing smoke up your arse. He is a straight shooter, but his primary focus is always building his athletes up — physically, mentally, and emotionally if needed.

What do you think are important to be like as a coach in order to get the best results from athletes?
I think you have to walk the line I discussed above; being firm with your athletes while always pushing them to improve. There must be complete trust and respect in the partnership. A good coach can teach and train without excessive words or explanations. They will lead you to an outcome, but once you’ve arrived there, it is almost as if you knew the path all along. Everything makes sense all at once, and it seems as if you were destined to be there in the first place. It is pretty much like magic… Or at least that is what a good coach can make you believe.

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When did you start being a coach? Why did you do it?
I have definitely grown into my role as Assistant Coach at TXKB. It was not an abrupt choice to begin coaching athletes; I evolved over time, and have had the luck and privilege of being mentored and taught by some of the best coaches and athletes in kettlebell sport. Many of our in-house athletes started with the intention of training for fitness, rather than competition. As they progress in technique, their understanding of the mechanics deepens. For many people, the inclination to compete is a bi-product of their own athletic evolution. I want to see that process through to completion and guide our people, with my best ability, to their fullest mental and physical potential. To be honest, I have been taught by example. My coach has absolutely redefined my personal awareness of my own potency and strength — that is a gift of immeasurable value, and one that lasts a lifetime.

What kind of education do you have in coaching?
I have credentials in mobility and fitness training, as well as Kettlebell Sport certifications:
CST Level 1, Circular Strength Training, RMAX International
TACFIT Level 1, RMAX International
KetAcademy Instructor Level 1
OKC Instructor Certification, Orange Kettlebell Club
IKLF Level 1 Instructor, International Kettlebell Lifting Federation
USAKL/Bolt City Director, USA Kettlebell Lifting
IKFF Level 1, International Kettlebell & Fitness Federation

I have also had to opportunity to work with the following individuals during Master Level courses & private training sessions:
Denis Vasilev
Sergey Rachinskiy
Sergey Merkulin
Ivan Denisov
Kesenia Dedukhina
Alexander Khvostov
Serhiy Hetmanenko
Svitlana Krechyk

What is the most challenging thing being a coach?
People trust you with their bodies, their energy, time and intention. I want to honor their trust with my best efforts. The most challenging aspect of coaching is the worry that my athletes with be disappointed with the results of their efforts and programming. Both the athlete and the coach are invested in the cycle and the result, but not simply because of ego or the need to win. The pair is emotionally bound in their desire to make the other feel good, and be proud.

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What are your own strengths as a coach?
I am calm and kind as a coach; not always in life, but definitely when I am coaching.

What do you think are the most important personal qualities in an athlete?
Dedication, or at least a willingness to do unpleasant things and go to uncomfortable places.

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What are your own strengths as a lifter?
I am really good at following directions, and I like to please people. I am also very stubborn, for better or worse.

What do you feel about single/double bells for women? What do you prefer?
I like double bells a lot. I like single bells too. I think each discipline has it’s own unique challenges. I think there is a time and place for everything. Some people will gravitate toward the heavier load and symmetry of double bells and others will appreciate the pacing challenges of ranking with a single bell. To each their own, whatever floats your boat, follow your heart, and all those other nice things.

How do you think the future will look like for the sport (GS)? How do you think it will be for you?
I don’t know. I just smile and nod and mind my own business. The dust will settle soon enough.

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Have you entered any competitions? Do you want to share your results?
I love competitions! I have participated in 10+ comp events in about 2.5 years. Some highlights are below:
MS with 20kg OALC, 106 reps, December 2014 (KETAcademy)
CMS with 16kg LC, 75 reps (2bells), February 2016 (KETAcademy)
CMS with 20kg OALC, 8XX reps, March 2014, (AKA/IUKL)

My competition best with 12 kg LC (2bells) is 93 reps, though I have a PR of 99 reps. I have competed in both single and double bell Biathlon with 16kg, as well as 16kg snatch. I’d love to spend some more energy training those lifts in the future.

What/which are or were your personal goals in training?
I make new goals all the time, and often scale them forward or backward. Overall, I just want to lift better and move better… smoother, cleaner, and demonstrate high-level technique/proficiency with more consistency.

Which discipline do you like the most and why is that?
I dream of snatch but feel most at home doing LC.

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What do you think is the most challenging in training?
I think returning to regular life after training is difficult. There is this afterglow, and a bit of separation from the real world — or at least those who don’t train the way we do. As an athlete, or anyone who works really really hard to accomplish something, you make choices and sacrifices that most people don’t understand.

Do you have any training tips to share?
Don’t put the bells down. Ever. Mascara makes me feel tough, kind-of like war paint.

Do you have any funny anecdotes from competition or training that you would like to share?
One day, after a particularly difficult set, I lost my temper and threw my shoe out of the back door. I cried, and Coach laughed, as I hobbled across the parking lot to retrieve it.

Who (or what) inspires you?
There are many amazing athletes, and even more kind and compassionate people in our sport. However, I lift for myself, and keep my focus on my personal practice. It keeps me sane and makes me a better human.

Which exercise is your favourite?
I particularly enjoy volume training days. I am thorough and methodical by nature, so making my way through all the bells is particularly satisfying. I also enjoy deadlifts.

Have you got any exercises that you hate doing? Which one and why is that?
I hate not exercising. I like to work, and I like to sweat, and I like to feel strong.

Is there ever anything that makes you not prioritate trainingday?
I always struggle to find the appropriate balance between family time and training. Training is my job. I do enjoy it very much, but it is a non-negotiable item on my to-do list. The only thing that can sway my commitment to training is family, and their consideration or needs at that moment.

How do you eat? Do you have a special diet or a food-philosophy?
I typically eat whatever I want. Usually, and luckily, I crave lots of vegetables, fruit, complex carbs, and protein and eat healthfully. I do have a fierce sweet tooth, and am extra motivated to eat good ‘real’ food, so I can eat chocolate and dessert without guilt. I have been eating less meat lately, simple because I have been craving it less. A lot of my protein comes from eggs and egg whites.

What is your favourite thing to do when you’re not ”kettlebelling”?
I love to be outside if it is sunny, and I get really excited about going to bed early. I also really appreciate a good podcast.

We would like to thank Jessica for participating and sharing her thoughts with us. She is a great athlete for sure and I am impressed by her strengths and her mindset. We wish her the best of luck in the future.

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Meet Laura Brown

12596179_10154716263929251_1246723656_nWhat is your name and age?
Laura Brown, Age 23

What are you working with/as?
By day I work for a United States Federal Agency, GSA as an architect project manager.
By night I am a CrossFit, Olympic weightlifting, kettlebell sport coach.

When did you start kettlebell training? Why and how did you start?
I began seriously training kettlebells in March of 2014.
I had been training on my own without a coach since May 2014.
I started training kettlebells because of my mother. She has been working with Jeff Martone and teaching his tactical athlete classes in our gym for years. Once she was exposed to kettlebell sport she was hooked.
It was only a matter of time til I was as well.

Maybe more interesting, why did you continue doing it?
I fell in love with the sport after training with Jessica Pumpa and Sergey Rudnev.
They both inspired me in different ways but all I know is it stuck and now I’m hooked!

12894415_10154716239799251_1415302552_oWhen did you start being a coach? Why did you do it?
I’ve been coaching CrossFit and Olympic weightlifting for over five years now.
I began coaching kettlebells because I love what it has done for me and my body and I wanted to share that with others.

What kind of education do you have in coaching?
CrossFit Level 1
CrossFit Kids Certification
Advance CrossFit Kettlebell Certification
IKSFA Level 1 and 2 Coaching Certification
USAW Club Coach Certification.

As a coach, what is important to be like in order to get the best results from your athletes?
Listen to your athletes!
Not everyone is built the same, something that works for one person probably won’t work for another. Be patient and help people adapt the movements to work for them.

12899499_10154716264899251_1481171851_oWhat do you think are the most important personal qualities in an athlete?
I’ve always said “I can’t make you do anything, just because you have natural talent won’t make you a champion, you have to want to do it! You have to want to put in the hours and make sacrifices to be that good.”

Do you have a coach? Who is it and which are his/her strengths?
I currently am coached by Sergey Rudnev.
He is an amazing coach and really zeros in on people’s personal strengths and weaknesses. He takes the time to program each week based on how you are doing this week as an athlete not how he thinks you should be doing. It helps my training to be able to follow programming that recognizes if I am coming back from an illness or travel and doesn’t try to push me too far during recovery. Even though I’ve only been coached by him for a few months I am excited about my progress.

What are your own strengths as a coach?
People tell me I am very patient and try to explain things in the easiest way possible. I don’t like to use fancy terms just plain language that everyone can understand.

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?
I’m excited about the future. So many things are changing all the time. I don’t know what the future will bring but I hope to be a part of it!

12894589_10154716239874251_1969996615_oHave you entered any competitions? Do you want to share your results?
I have been in many competitons over the past two years.
Most recently I competed at IUKL Worlds in Ireland with 16kg snatch and a result of 98reps.
Two weeks after that I competed in 20kg biathlon at AKA’s Holiday Kettlebell Sport Championship in New Jersey. My result was 60 reps snatch and 71 reps one arm jerk.
At the Arnold Classic March 5th I competed in 16kg biathlon. My results were 103 reps snatch and 113 reps one arm jerk.

What/which are or were your personal goals in training? (long-term/short-term?)
My ultimate goal is to compete as a professional athlete which means snatching, jerking and long cycling a 24kg kettlebell. From there I want to train double kettlebells and continue to grow as an athlete.
Until then my goal is to just keep improving little by little.

What/which are your goals for your athletes? (long-term/short-term?)
I want my athletes to keep pushing their limits and stay injury free. I believe you can grow old with this sport and stay in great physical shape.

Which discipline do you like the most and why is that?
Biathlon. I love competing in two events. I am naturally more comfortable at jerks than snatches so for me the jerk is the event I don’t have to stress over as much.

12874185_10154716239959251_1775592280_oWhat do you think is the most challenging in training?
I think balancing all the different sports I compete in is difficult. Finding time to really train Olympic weightlifting and CrossFit along with my Kettlebell Sport training can be really tricky.

Do you have any training tips to share?
Rest days are a good thing! Your body needs the recovery time, not just your muscles but your tendons and ligaments too.

Do you have any funny anecdotes from competition or training that you would like to share?
It’s always interesting training next to my mom. But one time we were actually next to each other during competition. We were both competing in 20kg biathlon. About 3 min in all I remember was hearing her bell slam to the floor! I was like holy crap! I looked over and she was just in shock. It was funny trying to compose myself and get my rhythm back after that.

Who (or what) inspires you?
Hands down my mother inspires me. But the list can go on and on. All the small lifters out there male or female inspire me! It’s amazing to watch women who weigh under 50kg really push that bell around. It’s not an easy feat I assure you!

12895512_10154716263884251_1522484691_nHave you got any exercises that you hate doing, or that your athletes hates doing? Which one and why is that?
Anything involving gloves. Glove snatch, glove snatch and lunge, glove windmills. It’s all terrible and as soon as it shows up in programming I hear groaning from everyone.

Is there ever anything that makes you not prioritize training days?
I try really hard to prioritize my sport training but the bottom line is life gets in the way. I work a full time day job and in reality the training is a hobby not a profession. Even though one day I would love to do it and coaching full time.

How do you eat? Do you have a special diet or a food-philosophy?
My food philosophy is eat real food and eat when you’re hungry. I’m not into any crazy diet I just eat meats, greens and carbs. Everyone is different when people ask me about my diet I tell them that they have to try different things and figure out what works best for their body.

What is your favourite thing to do when you’re not ”kettlebelling” or coaching?
Lets just say I looove eating good food. I love trying different types of ethnic foods with my friends.

 

We would like to thank Laura for wanting to do this. She sure a fantastic athlete who knows what she wants. Make sure to follow her continuing to do what she loves.

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Meet Maria Berglund

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What is your name and age
Maria Berglund, 33 years old

Nation?
Swedish

Team/club?
True Grit Kettlebell

What are you working with/as?
I’m working as an afterschool teacher

Do you have a motto or any catchwords?
Well, I’m kind of a quotenerd, and I have at least a hundred screenshots of wise and not so wish quotes in my phone. One favourite, and The words that runs through my head over and over when I feel like giving up is ”if it doesen’t challenge you, it doesen’t change you.” It’s kind of kliché but it’s true. You won’t get better if you don’t step out of your comfortzone

When did you start kettlebell training? Why and how did you start?
I started training kettlebells in the summer of 2013. That’s actually when I started training at all, and it was my husband Fredrik that got me in to kettlebelling. Our third son was four months old and I was feeling so uncomfortable in my own body, and had a lot of pain everywhere. In the beginning it was all about how I looked. In January 2014 I took a kettlebell coach course for Rickard Garbell, and that’s when I got interested in long cycle. In The beginning I actually hated it with every beat of my heart, and every time Fredrik added it to a work out I threatened to quit training!

Maybe more interesting, why did you continue doing it?
As time went by, and I got more and more in to long cycle, my focus shifted from looks to what results I could accomplish in the sport. It was a huge relieve for me, as I’ve always been a little borderline eating disorder. Now I almost never wheigh myself. My goal is to lift my very best, not to look a certain way, or to see certain numbers On a scale. Now it’s a passion. My body and my soul needs it.

Have you entered any competitions? Do you want to share your results?
I’ve entered three competitions. First one was swedish nationals 2014, OALC and I got a 2:nd place in -58. 84 reps, 16 kg if I remember it right. My second competition was cup of scandinavia in september 2015, about two months after I started training more seriously with double bells. I actually wasn’t going to attend, but someone convinced me to do so at the very last minute. I had never done more than 6 minutes with 2×16 kg before the comp and my goal was to do my 10 minutes On the platform, and so I did. My numbers were really not much to brag about, but it can only get better. ;) (if anyone wonders, I did 42 reps.) Third comp was swedish nationals in october 2015, I did 51 reps and it got me a 2:nd place again.

Do you have a coach?
Yes I do have a coach. My husband Fredrik was my coach until very recently but. I guess he got sick of me never doing what I was told, so he hired Mark Stapleton to get me in shape. But I’m impressed that me and Fredrik managed to actually stay married through this period.

When did you start being a coach? Why did you do it?
I don’t concider my self a coach. I lead our kettlebell fitness classes, and pass out some advice to Fredriks athletes if I notice something they should work on, but that’s something completly different then beeing a coach.

What are your own strenghts as an athlete?
This is hard. I have a tight lockout when I’m focused. That’s good I guess. And a quick fixation. Also when I’m focused. The problem with that is that focus is really not my strong side. ;)

What do you feel about single/double bells for women?
I think it’s a human right to lift doubles! ;) No but seriously, my body feels so much better lifting doubles then single bells. OALC gave me a lot of problems with my hips and back, and a very big difference in strength between my bodyhalves. So I definitly prefer doubles.

How do you think the future will look like for the sport (GS)?
Since I ’m in to TALC my hope for the future is that discipline gets to grow for women. It’s a wonderful discipline and there is no good reason to deprive someone of it because of whats between their legs.

What/which are or were your personal goals in training? (long-term/short-term?)
My goal is to get as good as I possibly can. I’ve never trained before, and I have no idea what my limits are. Maybe that’s good, maybe that’s bad. I never feel fully satisfied with my accomplishments, but I hope I will some day. That’s my goal. To know that I’ve done the absolute best that I can and be happy with that.

Which discipline do you like the most and why is that?
Long Cycle. Double bells of course. I kind of like snatch too, but I’m terribly bad at it. Specially with my left arm.

What do you think is the most challenging in training?
For me, the most challenging thing right now is to relax. And to thrust the process. I stress through sets and wheigts and compare myself to others. I need to realise that this is my journey, and as long as I keep training, I will keep moving forward in some way. Maybe not always in the way I want to, or in the pace I wish, but in some way.

Do you have any training tips to share?
Haha, I don’t know? Relax? And push yourself.. Makes sense? And stand with your legs straight in rackposition. ;)

Who inspires you?
My husband Fredrik Berglund. He drives me crazy a hundred times a day, but he’s dedicated and passionated about this sport and our team. He is honest and brave and he does what needs to be done to learn more about the sport all the time. And of course the rest of our team! Elin, Carola, Petra, Annika, Janne, Nina och Jonna who always give their all in a sport that most people know nothing about. Its nice to surround yourself with people as nerdy as you are.

Which exercise is your favourite?
Oh…long cycle? ;)

Have you got any exercises that you hate doing? Which one and why is that?
I hate rowing. Really. That concept2 is like a fucking torturemachine. But I do it. I really don’t like running either.

Is there ever anything that makes you not prioritise training day?
My three boys are the most important in my life. Other than that. Not much. Trainingday is trainingday. I don’t even think about if I feel like it or not. I just go.

How do you eat? Do you have a special diet or a food-philosophy?
I’ve spent way too many years worrying about what I eat. I try to eat good nutrition foods. Make sure I get enough proteins and stuff, and keep the sweets and the rubbish food on a need-to-eat-basis. But I have no no-no:s.

What is your favourite thing to do when you’re not ”kettlebelling”?
Spending time with my kids. They are my everything.

Maria is a big inspiration to all of us in True Grit. She is strong, passionate for kettlebell and focused in always get better and stronger!

We thank her so much for sharing here thoughts och philosophy in kettlebell.

 

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Meet Gintaras Zilinskas

12476371_969424056480464_1758297076_nWhat is your name and age?
Gintaras Zilinskas, almost 39 years young :)

What are you working with/as?
I own a CrossFit gym ”CrossFit Thirst”, situated at 35 km from Paris, where I work as a coach.

Do you have a motto or any catchwords?
My motto: ”Live your life or life will live it for you”.

When did you start kettlebell training? Why and how did you start?
It all started around 2007 (even if I was familiar with the kettlebells from my youngest age). I practiced the mixed martial arts for a long time, and was working as physical preparation coach even longer. The kettlebells was a logical, and at the same moment, intuitive choice: the benefits of using them for the contact sports was obvious for me.

Maybe more interesting, why did you continue doing it?
The interest for the kettlebells transformed itself into love, and at one moment, I think around 2009, I discovered the GS. At that moment the internet: one Russian forum and some videos on YouTube were the only way for me to learn the technique and methodology of this sports discipline. My snatching was quite good, but jerk technique sucked, so I didn’t really train it :)
All changed when in 2013 I invited Ivan Denisov for a seminar – at last I started to understand the things! At that period I totally stopped my mma training. And that was the year when I started competing in the IUKL competitions.

Have you entered any competitions? Do you want to share your results?
I participated in one European Cup, one World Cup, two European Championships and three World Championships since then.
Now I’m preparing for the Poland in May.
My results are far from being impressive: in my last three participations I totalled 165,5 points in biathlon.
Under IUKL and Russian classification (the only two I accept as a standard) it gives me the MS level in the under 95kg class.

12498751_969424326480437_853710342_nDo you have a coach? Who is it and which are his/her strengths?
After the EC in Zagreb Anton Anasenko kindly proposed to be my coach, which of course I accepted.
There’s no need to talk about his qualities as an athlete, coach, leader or simply as a man: Anton is The Man and a friend.
7 or 8 months later we stopped the coaching because of me being incapable to follow the program as prescribed. I spend my life in the CrossFit gym, which forces me to do a lot of stuff.
So, I program my training by myself. Concerning the technique, I had a chance to receive a lot of advices from some of the best gireviks in the world, but my mentor, without him officially being one, is without any doubt Ivan Denisov: his vision of the movement technique is the one that my brain can assimilate the best :)

When did you start being a coach? Why did you do it?
My first GS coaching experience started in 2013, live and online. As for this day, I accept to work only in person – online coaching is too hasardous.

What kind of education do you have in coaching?
In France, in order to work as a coach, you must obtain either the Sports Ministry or Education Ministry diploma, plus the professional license.
I obtained my diplomas and license as a wrestling, grappling, boxing, kickboxing and S&C coach. As for the Kettlebell Sport, I’m a ”level 3 international GS coach” under IUKL, I’m also an international IUKL judge.

What is the most challenging thing being a coach?
The most challenging is to feel your student and be able to adapt.

12595947_969424463147090_1866038516_nWhat are your own strenghts as a coach?
It’s not my role to talk about my strengths.

What do you think are the most important personal qualities in an athlet?
The exact vision, determination and love for pain are the qualities that build the Winners.

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?
The GS future: well, probably we’ll see something similar to the situation with the running: there will be a big number of ”joggers”, lifting long and light, and also, there will be a professional group, lifting how it is supposed to be in competitions… Don’t really know about my future or that of people I train.

What/which are or were your personal goals in training? (long-term/short-term?)
My only goal in GS is (as for a lot of other athletes) the international class level under the Russian standards.

Which discipline do you like the most and why is that?
Snatch ! It’s a like a dance for me :D

What do you think is the most challenging in training?
I really struggle in the rack position, because of my anatomy – simple static rack holds are my cauchemar :)

Do you have any training tips to share?
Well, I’m quite active on the Facebook and YouTube, where I share a lot of tips – here it’s quite difficult to chose one.

Do you have any anecdotes from competition or training that you would like to share?
Probably the most important technical advice I received, came neither from a coach, nor from an athlete, but from a judge (who is also the president of the Lithuanian KLF): Mr Rolandas Kubilius.

Who (or what) inspires you?
Kettlebells inspire me!!!

Is there ever anything that makes you not prioritise training day?
I skip training from time to time for different reasons – don’t see anything wrong about it.

How do you eat? Do you have a special diet or a food-philosophy?
Yes, I do have my thoughts about how the diet should look like, but the way I ate the last year (because of some personal issues) give me no right to speak.

What is your favourite thing to do when you’re not ”kettlebelling” or coaching?
Spending time with my kids, reading and playing chess.

 

We would like to thank Gintaras for sharing this with us. He sure has a lot of great things to say and are an impressive athlete aswell as coach. We wish him the best of luck in the future!

 

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Icebath 2016

Every spring Fredrik arranges an icebath and barbaque-night and this year it was held today.

First they (I say they, because I woluld never ever dream of jumping in icecold water) jumped in the cold water and then they steped in the sauna and hot tub for a while before they got in the cold water again. I lost count of how many times they got in the cold water because I had to go inside to get warm! Finally they had enough so we could eat!

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//Annika

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Meet Chris Doenlen

10403893_1565115893702618_2957440648257884852_oWhat is your name and age?
Chris Doenlen, 28

What are you working with/as?
Nutritionist / Coach / Financial Controller for a small publishing company

Do you have a motto or any catchwords?
”All Day” and ”Not Dead – Can’t Quit”

When did you start kettlebell training? Why and how did you start?
I started training with kettlebells as cross-training for cycling when I moved to Washington, DC and couldn’t ride in the winter. My good friend, Ed Coughlin, pointed me in the direction of the International Kettlebell & Fitness Federation (IKFF) and Orange Kettlebell Club (OKC) and I read and watched everything I could find about kettlebell training. Of course this led me to finding Kettlebell Sport videos on YouTube and I instantly fell in love with the concept – a perfect marriage of endurance training and weight lifting.

I remember doing my first 10 minute Biathlon sets in my small apartment – barefoot, beltless, and completely clueless, but still managed 77 jerks and 200 snatches with some cast-iron 16kg kettlebells.

Maybe more interesting, why did you continue doing it?
During a CKT in Hoboken, New Jersey, Ken Blackburn encouraged me to compete for the first time in November 2011. I had so much fun planning my training cycle! After only three months of training, I did 88 jerks and 136 snatches with 24kg, which was CMS ranking at the time.

I was never an athlete growing up, and so the quick success gave me a huge boost of confidence and momentum to continue training and setting bigger goals.

When did you start being a coach? Why did you do it?
My good friend, Nancy, asked me to teach her how to use kettlebells and we started training in my apartment. Of course we gravitated towards the sport lifts and I eventually talked her into competing. I found out how much I loved teaching and how gratifying it can be to push others to help meet their goals. I only coach a handful of athletes right now, but it allows me to give them the attention they deserve.

What kind of education do you have in coaching?
None – everything I’ve learned has been through research and working with coaches myself.

As a coach, what is important to be like in order to get the best results from your athletes?
I don’t think it’s necessary to have very high results as an athlete, but it is important to understand the challenges of training and competing – both physically and emotionally. Great athletes don’t necessarily make great coaches – and vice versa. Patience, attention to detail, and excellent communication skills are all paramount to successful coaching.

12356905_880327358752282_3506080742304871256_o (1)What do you think are the most important personal qualities in an athlet?
Grit and obsessive attention to detail!

What is the most challenging thing being a coach?
Managing technical aspects of lifting via online coaching is very difficult and this is mostly due to the inability to provide real-time feedback to the athlete.

What are your own strenghts as a coach?
I really enjoy planning the training cycle ever since I started competing. It works really well with my personality as I am very detail oriented. It’s like solving a puzzle or making a map – finding new ways to build progressions based off the athlete’s individual needs, managing all of the different variables, etc.

I also try to instill the same ”never surrender” mentality that I’ve developed over the years. I try to lead by example.

What do you feel about single/double bells for women? What do you prefer as a coach?
I definitely prefer double bell events for women in traditional Kettlebell Sport events. Personally, I don’t have much interest in coaching for single-bell events.

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?
I remember when I started lifting, my only resources were a few general fitness training manuals and YouTube – there weren’t really many coaches in my area and there were really only a few big competitions each year. Now, there are so many great sport-specific training resources, excellent coaches, and opportunities to compete year-round in the US.
That means that new lifters will progress faster and faster. The benchmarks keep rising and athletes will continue to set new records and exceed what we think is possible.

Also, something we’ve been seeing more and more lately is strong athletes competing in jerk, snatch, and long cycle. This is reflected in WAKSC’s and OKC’s formatting of the 2017 world championships next year, where each lift has it’s own day and the absolute champion will be determined by their results over all three disciplines. I think the days of the specialist are ending and lifters will be required to be well-rounded in all events.

IMG_0620Have you entered any competitions? Do you want to share your results?
These are my personal bests, a mix of in-training and competition:

Jerk: 32kg – 76 / 24kg – 142

Snatch: 32kg – 138 / 24kg – 235

Biathlon: 32kg – 144 pts / 24kg – 243

Long Cycle: 32kg – 49 / 24kg – 90

These are all in the 78kg weight division

What/which are or were your personal goals in training? (long-term/short-term?)
My current goals are to be able to do 100 jerks with 32kg; 150 snatch with 32kg; and 60 reps in long cycle. Also 100 reps in 24kg long cycle.

What/which are your goals for your athletes? (long-term/short-term?)
Longevity is my priority with my athletes. I want them to lift as long as they want, and for their careers not to be cut short by injury or mental/emotional burn out. I think this is done by carefully managing external life stressors (work, relationships, family, etc) and being dynamic with the training plan. You have to know when to push and know when to dial things back.

12309697_1691042144443325_7360203099987126257_oWhich discipline do you like the most and why is that?
I tend to drift in and out of all three – after another year of hard biathlon training, I’m about to switch over to long cycle for a little bit. The grass is always greener….
But I imagine I’ll be training all three lifts in preparation for next year’s WAKSC world championships.

What do you think is the most challenging in training?
Just the daily grind of an athlete’s life. Work doesn’t stop at the gym – you still have to be mindful about recovery and make sure you’re eating enough of the right things, getting enough sleep, working on any weaknesses or imbalances, managing external stress. This all can be much more difficult if there isn’t an upcoming competition on the schedule.

Do you have any training tips to share?
Never put the bells down before your time is up. No matter what. It’s a bad habit that will carry over to competition.

Who (or what) inspires you?
Of course I’m inspired by all of the great lifters – legends and rising stars alike – and there are way too many to name, so I won’t. But true inspiration has to come from within.
For me, lifting is a form of self-expression and self-actualization.

Which exercise is your favourite?
Outside of kettlebell lifting, I love training with barbells – squats and deadlifts are my favorite. But I also really enjoy running, cycling, and surfing.

Photo Credit - NAZOHave you got any exercises that you hate doing, or that your athletes hates doing? Which one and why is that?
I’m kind of a masochist and so I don’t really hate any exercises. I don’t give any training to my athletes that I haven’t experienced myself. And if they hate something, they haven’t really told me yet. But they do let me know how hard leg training is!

Is there ever anything that makes you not prioritate trainingday?
No – training is almost always the part of the day I look forward to the most. I feel more at home at the gym than I do at home.

How do you eat? Do you have a special diet or a food-philosophy?
There are no good or bad foods – only food. I don’t restrict anything, but instead try to look at food in terms of it’s nutritional and caloric value. Most who know me are well aware of my sweet tooth and fondness for peanut butter. And those who really know me see that the overwhelming majority of my meals are comprised of nutrient dense whole foods.
But sometimes ice cream.

What is your favourite thing to do when you’re not ”kettlebelling” or coaching?
I really love being outdoors, whether it’s hiking, spending time at the beach, or both. I recently moved to California and I absolutely love it: mountains, coast, desert, forest – this state has it all.
When I’m stuck inside, I watch a lot of movies and stand-up, read, and write.

We would like to thank Chris for taking part of this and sharing his thoughts with us. He is a great athlete and we wish him the best of luck in the future!

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Meet Kimberly C Fox

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Photo: William Fox

What is your name and age?
Kimberly Fox 31yo

What are you working with/as?
I am a Flight Medic in the Army full time and then my husband and I own a gym. Fox Fitness, it primarily focuses on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu but we also teach fitness classes, personal training, and kettlebell.

Do you have a motto or any catchwords?
I have two catch phrases or mottos though I guess they kind of mean similar things. “Don’t run from the pain” and “Embrace the grind”

When did you start kettlebell training? Why and how did you start?
I started training Kettlebell about 4 years ago. My husband introduced me to KB while he was going through his Exercise Phys. Grad program. But we only did hard style swinging. Man that seems so long ago. His buddy Matt Sanders was doing the competitive thing and offered to teach me some stuff. My husband and I were pretty inexperienced when it came to KB other than the general HS swing. Matt had been taught by Ken Blackburn (IKFF). After my first session with Matt I was hooked. Plus I loved the idea of getting back into a competitive sport. It all happened by chance really…

Why did you continue doing it?
I’ve always been involved in competitive sports so kettlebell was a really good fit. Plus the community was very welcoming when I started so that really sealed the deal.

When did you start being a coach? Why did you do it?
I started coach about 1.5 years after I started training. It seemed like a normal progression since we own a gym. Plus I really wanted to spread kettlebell in the Midwest. It is very slow growing here. Our gym is really one of the only gyms that does GS. It’s pretty cool to think that even with as small as our program is that we have both an MSIC and CMS (My student Jennifer P.) Jennifer was one of my first students and really my only student that has competed. She hit CMS 20kg OALC at her very first competition and she was 3mo pregnant. I was so proud of her. She worked so hard for that completion. Stuff like that is really what keeps me coaching. Many of my other students will be competing for their first time this summer. I will be a bundle of nerves for that.

What Kind of education do you have in coaching?
I have a MS.Ed in Exercise Physiology, IKFF LVL 1 cert, and MKST (Modern Kettlebell Sport Trainer) II certification.

As a coach, what is important to be like in order to get the best results from your athletes? That is such a great question with no definite answer. The truth is each athlete is different and not every training method will work for every athlete. When they are first starting I like for them to train in all lifts and have a well-rounded GPP program. But truly consistency and time under the bell are the biggest determinants for success. I think just like with any weight lifting program people that aren’t seeing good results really are not spending enough time under the bell. 20-30 minutes is standard for my students. Training sessions are 1-1.5 hours.

What do you think are the most important personal qualities in an athlete?
Motivation and the hunger to be the best. Not everyone will reach the elite level and that’s okay but you can’t train someone to want to win. You can’t teach competitive spirit. They have to already have that drive. Without that there is no way for them to ever become elite.

What is the most challenging thing being a coach?
Your athletes become part of your family and having to watch them fail is very hard. It is all part of the process of course failure is good for progression just like success but it hits you as a coach, especially when you can see what they are capable of even if they can’t.

What are your own strengths as a coach?
I’m pretty pushy I think when I am coaching though we always have a lot of fun in training. But I don’t let them slack and I don’t feel bad if they whine. My bedside manner is a bit on the rough side. Ha ha I feel like maybe you should ask my students this question.

What do you think about single or double bells for women? So here is the thing single bell events have been around for a little bit so I doubt they will go away. People have grown fond of them. They have been competing in OALC and OAJ so I completely understand the worry that it will go away. Its tough to think that something you have been working so hard for will just stop. But for me I don’t see single bell events are the way of the future. When I have a new student come in I generally teach them OAJ and OALC first and then teach them doubles. Funny thing is they always choose to do doubles. I think doubles is easier and more comfortable since it isn’t unilateral. But there are many that would probably disagree with me. But that is the great thing about opinions we can all have them. I don’t know that there is necessarily one right answer for this. I kind of have a feeling, at submaxim weights 24kg and below, we will see a lot more women doing similar reps to that of the men. You see this in marathon type situations where endurance is the primary energy system. I group GS into that category. Women seem to have a much better tolerance to endurance activities and you see them very close to men’s times. It will be interesting to see over the next year what numbers are hit on average by women…..

Have you entered any competitions? Do you want to share your results?
Over the past year and half I have competed 5 times in 24kg LC. Well actually that’s the only Double bell weight I have ever competed in. This last month I set the women’s absolute World Record 24kg Long Cycle 61 reps.

What/which are or where your personal goals in training? (long/short term)
My long term goal is to hit 75 reps 24kg LC. My short term goal is to hit 65 reps this summer.

What are your goals for your athletes?
Goals are a very personal thing my only goal for them is to set and achieve their own goals and sometimes I may enhance the goals they have set for themselves.

Which discipline do you like the most and why is that?
I love Long Cycle. Mostly because I feel it is all power. For me snatch is beautiful and soft. I am not a soft person or nearly as patient to love snatch. So LC is definitely my favorite because it is down and dirty.

What do you think is the most challenging in training?
Running I hate running. It is pretty much the worst invention ever.

Do you have any training tips to share?
Keep the balance make sure you get enough personal time so you don’t burn yourself out. Also take as many seminars and learn from as many people as you can. There is always more than one way to do something if you take a small thing from each person you learn from I think you will develop more rounded as an athlete.

Do you have any funny anecdotes from competition or training that you would like to share? When I was headed to competition and my coach and I were discussing the pace I was going to do he told me to hold 7rp and I told him I didn’t think I could make it the whole 5 min at that pace. He said “till you die” and that has been a little joke ever since. Go until you die, never quit.

Who inspires you?
Hmmmm well my son inspires me watching him develop and grow inspires me to be a better person and to keep pushing forward.

Which exercise is your favorite?
Judging by my legs I would have to say squats and deadlifts

Have you got any exercises that you hate doing or that your athletes hate doing? Which on and why.
I hate KB farmer’s walks. Especially when I have to do if for like 5-7min my students hate them as well. I think I hate it the most because it talks so long to complete.

Is there anything that makes you not prioritize your training? Normally I always train. I rarely miss it. If I miss it is because of my job.

How do you eat? Do you have a special diet?
Everything in moderation is my diet. I don’t count calories or anything. I try and make sure 30-40% of my diet is protein 40% carb and 20%fat. I eat at 5am/ 10am/

12pm/ 4pm/ 9pm about 2200-2500 calories per day depending on my training.

What is your favorite thing to do when you are not kettlebelling or coaching?
Well I would like to say something really cool but I am in the military full time, own a business, train kettlebell, and have a toddler. There are no more hours in the day available. We are so busy, generally my favorite thing to do is to spend time with my husband have some wine and just relax. When we are in an area that we can hike we enjoy hiking.

We thank Kimberly for sharing and we are looking forward to follow her haunting for those goals. She is such a strong and talanted woman and so dedicated to kettlebell and training so I think we will see that soon. We wish you all the luck Kimberly!

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This is a Good world!

snatch1snatch2In these days terror, hate and violence seems more common and frightening. In november I attended a Madonna concert in Stockholm, the day after the shooting in Paris. That day it hit me how close this has come, it affected me in my secure little Sweden. And theese days the media more and more seems to write about bad things that happens and that affect us all in a bad way and we loose our faith in the world and in other human beeings. We need to come togheter and show ourselfs and our fellowman that we do good and that we do live in a good world! And that we want learn and read about more than just horrors.

And today we had the opportunity to do something good for a person who really needs it. True Grit attended the snatchevent wich was started (great initiative by Scott MacLaughlin!) to help Natalia Rudneva who need an vital and expensive operation. And we got a good snatchTechnique session :)

30 min snatch – weight of your choice – multi switch

I hope Natalia feels the love of the whole kettlebell community today and that she will get well soon! A donation is on its way from True Grit to Natalia. We hope it will help a bit!

We can decide that this world IS Good and eachone of us has the power to be a apart of making it even better!

And if you want to listen to Madonnas speech about the about the terrorist attacks in Paris you can do it here . Many words of wisdom, wishes for a better world and a devout silence when 40 000 people held a moment of silence for the victims.

We stand united!

//Annika and all of the True Grit members

 

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Meet Fredrik Berglund

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What is your name and age?
My name is Fredrik Berglund and I am 37 years old.

What are you working with/as?
I just switched work from construction to working with unaccompanied refugee children. Besides that I am a gym instructor and GS coach. Me and my wife drive True Grit Kettlebell.

Do you have a motto or any catchwords?
I have lot’s of mottos that really speaks to me. It kind of depends on my current mood.
One is ”You don’t believe me? Just watch!”, or ”Always go too far, there is where you find the truth”. And some days just ”Harden the fuck up!” , another favourite is ”Train until your idols become your rivals”.

When did you start kettlebell training? Why and how did you start?
Well, I am a former full contact karate fighter and instructor in ”Tsu shin gen”, MMA-fighter, cage fighter, submission wrestler… I trained and competed in about 17 years. I started getting interested in Kettlebell when I read a magazine of fighters training with kb’s so I got a couple of 16kg and a couple of 24kg, and tried to do as the still pictures in the magazine showed.
You know there was no internet back then  so you can imagine how it looked, hahaha. But with fading interest and building my family the training and kettlebells got stuffed away in the garage somewhere.

After a couple of years with no training, smoking and other bad habits, my body looking like a high jumper without the leg muscles and pain in the joints, I made a decision to start training again. So I sat down and started to make a training schedule, a standard one with barbells.. but with children and a house the time for being in the gym is limited.

Then I came to think of the kb’s in the garage, searched on You Tube for a couple of workouts, and gathered a couple of friends that I made writing and signing a contract to train with me for 6 months, 3 times a week. 

And we sure did have lot’s of fun ”without alcohol”!! We made test’s and progression plans so that we could see the progression as time went by.

Maybe more interesting then, why did you continue doing it?
As the group got bigger and the garage gym got too small, we moved into the city to my old dojo. At that time I got in contact with Allan Fallro, mastercoach IKFF Norway, and decided to take Ckt 1 in Oslo, and I made it.  So, after that I got more interested in kettlebell sport.

Time went by and one day I saw that Rickard Garbell held an instructor course in Kalix, I couldn’t attend both days so my wife attended that course and I went there the last day. Rickard is a great instructor and GS coach so I asked him if he would like to coach me online, which he accepted  Then I was totally hooked on GS!

What kind of education do you have in coacing?
IKFF ckt 1
Martial arts instructor

When did you start being a coach? Why did you do it?
Well, I guess I’ve always been a coach… I’ve always had the drive to teach people to do movements or just to show them that they can do anything they like.. I started being a GS coach in 2014 I think, I’m very bad at remembering years 

Do you have a coach? What are his/her strengths?
My first coach was Rickard Garbell who introduced me to girevoysport,
The first time we met he told me that I will be lifting 32kg in a couple of years. I remember thinking he was crazy since I had not even completed a 10min set with 2x16kg. But with his expertise I went from 64reps on 16kg to my first Swedish Championship 2x24kg 75reps in 6 months. The next year I lifted 32kg in Cup of Scandinavia 44reps so he was right. He is an amazing coach/man, a real pioneer in Swedish GS.
My current coach is Sergey Rudnev. He sure is the Yoda of girevoysport!
He has very good eye for details, and amazing knowledge of lifting,and his programming is top of the line.

What do you think are important to be like as a coach in order to get the best results from athletes?
I think as a coach you need to know your athletes, how they are mentally, how you can push them.. Some athletes get motivated from ”failed” sets and some get very depressed, so it’s very important to know how they work, and to be honest with them. Not just ”high fives” and praise everything they do. If they are unfocused, lett hem know that.

What do you think are the most important personal qualities in an athlet?
First thing: I think you have to be obsessed with the thing you do. You have to live it.
When I was young and trained martial arts we didn’t have internet so we ordered copied VHS tapes of different MMA competitions. Then we watched the moves in slow motion, laid infront of the tv and practiced on eachother until we understood the moves so well we could do them in our sleep.

Second thing: You have to be ready to do the hard work. There is no shortcut to learn a thing, no matter what it is. Sometimes you just have to shut the fuck up and grind! ;)

Third thing: Trust the coach, follow the plan!

Fourth thing: I want my athletes to have the will and patience to learn the technique in every single lift they do.

And last, surrond yourself with better athletes, train and be with them.

This is an anecdote from my martial arts years… When I started I went by myself to a cellar in the outskirts of my city. I was late and there were 2 entrances, I chose the wrong one of course, knocked and went right in. I stumbled on a punching bag and fell flat on my stomach on the mat.. Everybody stared at me.. not a very good start!! 

But, I continued the training with the other beginners and I also went to the free sparring sessions held at Sundays with the ”blackbelts”. These people were tough guys and real sadists ;)
I got my ass kicked so much but I did my best and always stood up, even if my legs didn’t work. I kept coming back every Sunday.

I didn’t see any progress for a whole year but when we had our first sparring with the other beginners at graduation I just dominated them, and that is what I mean about having to do the grind.
You might not see the progress for a long time but you always stand up and do your best.

What is the most challenging thing being a coach?
Sometimes it’s just explaining exercises and giving criticism without hurting anyones feelings. I’m not great with words. 

What are your own strenghts as a coach?
That I’m honest and my burning interest in my athletes. I really want them to succeed. You know, I’m a though hard man ;) but thinking of the progress my athletes do sometimes brings tears to my eyes… but then I hurry my soft ass to take a cold shower!

What are your own strenghts as a lifter?
I am pretty flexible and my mobility is good
So after a couple of years training my rack and lockout are good, and I have good understanding of the movements and try to be efficient in my lifting, not to waste energy.
Strength is ok and endurance is coming along
I guess a strength is to also want to get better all the time. I think i lift ok, but far from good, I’m still just a beginner.

What do you feel about single/double bells for women? What do you prefer?
I teach mainly two bells for women, of course we have oalc in training too, but I train them for two bells. They can compete in oalc if they like, but our focus is two bells.

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?
There is a lot happening right now in the world of GS and with the superstars of GS. I think something very good will come out of this.
In Sweden we have to create a union so that we can get some structure here, but that is in progress too.

For my athletes the future is great, we have lots of strong talented athletes that will make their goals come true.

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Have you entered any competitions? Do you want to share your results?
• Swedish Championship 2014, long cykle, 2nd place 2x24kg, 75 reps, -85kg.
• Cup of Scandinavia 2015, long cykle, 2nd place 2x32kg, 44 reps, +85kg.
• Swedish Championship 2015, long cykle, 3rd place 2x32kg, 35 reps,-85kg.

What/which are your personal goals in training (long-term/short-term)?
I will make Master of Sport, long cykle, in 2016.
Then just train hard and get more reps all the time.

What/which are your goals for your athletes? (long-term/short-term?)
My goals for my athletes is to make their goals come true, and that is different for every athlete. I like that my athletes lift technical and that they behave and honour the great sport.

Which discipline do you like the most and why is that?
I like long cykle ”clean and jerk”, it has so many technical aspects to it and is so great for the body and mind.

What do you think is the most challenging in training?
Well, sometimes the mind is elsewhere. If you’ve had a bad day at work it can be hard to focus.

Do you have any training tips to share?
On training days: start from the morning with good food that has good energy. I hear some people say that it’s great to just get the training done.. I don’t reason like that, on training days my whole day is a build up for the training in the evening.

You can’t expect results if you don’t have a good plan, respect the training. If I have a heavy ass 32kg session in the evening I can’t skip meals and be all stressed out when I get to the gym.
If I plan like shit, I get shit..and I don’t like shit 

Do you have any funny anecdotes from competition or training that you would like to share?
Well the first thing that comes to mind is when we had outside training in my backyard and my good friend put the bell down and was going to have some water. My friend took a step away but got stuck with his big toe in the handle of the bell, stumbled and crashed through a bush, strained his foot and landed on dogshit.. hahaha, I’m an evil man, but he’s ok now 

Who (or what) inspires you?
I have lots of inspiration.
Lifters like Iyevgeniy Goncharov, Sergey Merkulin, Sergey Rudnev, Denis Vasilev, Olivier Vadour, Rickard Garbell, Paul White, Joe Stark, Mattia, Per Helge Fjortoft…and many more.
I like technical lifters with good positions and good lockouts. And I really like garagelifters who doesn’t have much but makes the most of everything.

Which exercise is your favourite?
I like the jerk, just like the movements of it and training it is fun.
I also like squats with barbells. And I implemented a lot of abs exercises right now, I kind of like that too. It strenghtens my midsection which is good for GS.

Have you got any exercises that you hate doing or that your athletes hates doing? Which one and why is that?
I hate everything like running, rowing etc… I’m a really lazy guy, but nowadays it’s easier. I don’t really feel like killing myself every time it’s on my program. ;)

My athletes hates glove snatch  So now that’s all they do ;)

Is there ever anything that makes you not prioritise training day?
No not really. My life is all built up for the trainingdays. But if I’m sick or somebody died I have to skip training. There is always something you can do, you can train mobility, or just practice some technical detail. Doesn’t have to be all about sweating your guts out.

How do you eat? Do you have a special diet or a food-philosophy?
I eat ordinary food. And I’m a skinny guy so I have to eat a lot of food, or else I loose a lot of weight.
On trainingdays I eat:
- Breakfast: Often 1 packet of bacon, 2 eggs and a gainer (1250kcal), plus coffee.
- Snack: Macrill and sandwiches, plus coffee.
- Lunch: Rice and chicken, maybe coffee.
- Snack: Banana and apple, plus coffee.
- Dinner: Potatoes and fish/meat, plus coffee.
- After training: Gainer (1250kcal), another dinner and what’s left in the refrigerator. ;)

I eat lot’s of pickled cucumbers and olives, it’s good for the veines on the cock as we say in Sweden 

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What is your favourite thing to do when you’re not ”kettlebelling”?
I’m watching other gireviks lift on Youtube, haha I’m a sad man I know…  No, but I like to be with my family at the cottage in summers, swimming, fishing and making fires, cooking coffee.
Drinking coffee is a hobby of mine too, I drink much of it but I love it 
And I like English/Irish ciders too, but try not to drink too much of those, also I like to build our company True Grit Kettlebell.

Fredrik is the head of True grit, litterally. He is a great athlete with amazing technique and a wonderful coach who basically live and breath kettlebell. The patience he’s got with all of us trying to get everything together, well let’s be honest – he could aswell give up sometimes but still doesn’t. I hope you all got to know him a bit better reading this and got as inspired as we all are every training session. And yes…we do hate glove-training ;)

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