As America’s collective waistline grows, so does our interest in ways of helping shrink that waistline. One of the more recent additions to the collection of exercise regimes available for physical fitness seekers is the kettlebell: a device resembling a cannonball with a handle. Developed as a physical training aid by the Russian Army, kettlebells started finding their way into the US during the 1960s. While traditional weight training is aimed at working and strengthening individual muscles, the swinging movements of kettlebell exercises work several groups of muscles at the same time. Advocates claim kettlebell programs are perfect for improving athletic performance. Tampa Bay residents who are interested in pursuing better health and fitness through kettlebell training have plenty of options.
1914 Oak Grove Blvd.
Lutz, FL 33559
www.getagriptotalfitness.comMany of us find that it’s easier to stay with a fitness routine when we have the support of a group. Get A Grip Total Fitness offers kettlebell training as part of the overall experience. Founder Carrie Kukuda cautions that kettlebell training is not a do-it-yourself undertaking. “It’s a great program but there is a danger of injury if it’s not done properly,” she comments. One of Kukuda’s specialties is boot camp training that is designed to build group support and keep everyone interested with a never-ending variety of routines. While based in Lutz, Kukuda offers training opportunities in Brandon and South Tampa as well.
1505 W. Cypress St.
Tampa, FL 33606
www.faizalenu.blogspot.comIf you’d rather go one-on-one with your training, Faizal Enu of South Tampa offers personal training tailored to each individual’s needs. Faizal has qualified for the Russian Kettlebell Challenge and is an ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer. In addition to his personal training, Faizal offers a long-distance fitness consulting and training program designed for people who live too far away for regular in-person training. Three nights a week, Faizal holds group classes at Xtreme Athletics and twice a week he has classes in conjunction with the University of South Florida’s Kettlebell Club.
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13243 93rd St.
North Largo, FL 33771
www.crossfitpinellas.comIf kettlebells alone don’t fit your idea of a training regimen, many CrossFit training centers (or “boxes”) have incorporated them into their training routines. For instance, CrossFit Pinellas in Largo lists kettlebell drills in both its warmups and workouts of the day. CrossFit boxes may seem intimidating to people who are just beginning to realize they need to adopt a new and healthier lifestyle, but every box makes it clear that no one is expected to make an immediate transformation from couch potato to workout warrior in one full swoop. Thus, the so-called “entry ramp” helps gradually build strength and stamina with the goal of getting into the hardcore workouts that make CrossFit famous.
2475-A McMullen Booth Road
Clearwater, FL 33759
www.fitnessclearwater.comWhile physical fitness is a worthy goal in itself, better overall fitness means better performance at other activities such as martial arts. Tampa Combat, which despite its name is located in Clearwater, incorporates kettlebell work into its MMA-style training. Given the versatility demanded of MMA fighters with punching, kicking and grappling being a part of virtually every match, kettlebell training seems to be a natural fit. Kettlebell’s emphasis on functional strength and ability to train muscle groups to work together is a great training regime for such a demanding sport.
801 E. Bearss Ave.
Tampa, FL 33613
www.crossfitsparta.comFor some people, mellow and friendly just isn’t the way to get motivated. For those craving a more demanding fitness training experience, there’s CrossFit Sparta in north Tampa. Billing itself as the “Home of the Fitness Insane,” Sparta is hardcore from its blood red and deep black paint scheme to its motto “Fear Nothing, Dominate Everything!” It only makes sense that kettlebells are used here. Whether you seek fitness as a goal in itself or as part of a training program to enhance your martial arts training, Sparta’s owner and primary instructor Master Chief Diaz can set you up with a program to fit your needs. If you need motivation, Chief Diaz provides plenty of tricks and tactics for helping push through the days when you feel like you can’t do it.
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