Category Archives: Interviews

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The Man Behind Norway’s Top Female Kettlebell Lifters

If you’ve been around the Kettlebell Sport world in the past couple years, you may have noticed that the Norwegian female lifters are making impressive strides in the sport, especially in double kettlebell events. You may have read this article about the 3 record-breaking female Master of Sports Norway has produced, and noticed that all of them named the same man as their coach: Mauricio Kjeldner. Personally, I love learning how other coaches coach, and I was curious to ask Mauricio some questions – clearly he is a talented coach who has produced some amazing athletes! Check out the interview below for his responses.

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The Coach Behind America’s Best Teen Kettlebell Athletes

Sara Nelson was the first person I met in the kettlebell world and one of my biggest role models in the sport. She conducted my interview for an intern position at Ice Chamber Athletic Performance Training, where I was introduced to Sport and worked for three years. As one of the Ice Chamber Kettlebell Girls, Sara was one of the first female lifters to travel the world as a kettlebell athlete. Nowadays, she coaches a majority of the Ice Chamber team – including teen phenom kettlebell athletes Rylee Reeves (first American junior to podium at the IUKL World Championships) and Miranda Robbeloth (youngest American female Master of Sport). Read the interview below to learn about Sara’s coaching and lifting philosophy.


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Interview with MSIC and Master Coach Gregor Sobocan

When I think of people who have tons of knowledge about Kettlebell Sport and its training methodologies, Gregor Sobocan jumps to mind. Not only has he written a book about the training methods for Kettlebell Sport, but he has tried and tested numerous protocols of training on himself. Some of his workouts seem so masochistic, I’m not sure I would ever want to train with him (oh, who am I kidding, I’m totally masochistic too!). Despite all the crazy training, Gregor has achieved great results in competition, earning him the title of Master of Sport International Class. What I find more intriguing than his personal success in the sport, however, is that he has coached multiple athletes to Master of Sport and MSIC level as well. Learn more about Gregor in the interview below!  Continue reading

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Scotland’s Record-Breaking Kettlebell Extraordinaire

Abigail Johnston has had a whirlwind career in Kettlebell Sport. In the short five years that she’s been lifting kettlebells, she’s trained herself to be on par with Russian athletes who have been lifting since they were tweens, broken more records than I can keep track of, and established herself as a force to reckon with in every single Sport lift (single AND double). Not only is she one of the top lifters in the world, but she is one of the only high-level female coaches whose students have achieved excellent results in competition. I was lucky enough to stay with Abi at her home in Glasgow after the IUKL World Championships in 2015, and get a peek into her life. She impressed me with her dedication to her craft, her modesty, and her kindness and care for her students. Read the following interview to learn more about this lifting extraordinaire!


 

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The Librarian of Girevoy Sport

Aaron Vyvial might be the most knowledgeable person about everything kettle in the United States, or maybe even the world. If you want to know anything at all about kettlebells ranging from history to technique to what the latest kettlebell Facebook thread is about, he’s your man. If there was a library containing books about Girevoy Sport, Aaron would be the librarian to field your questions to. Not only is he in the know and he knows it, but he’s got the experience to back it up. Aaron is one of the only people in the world to have spent as much time learning from the Kettlebell Sport greats as he has – Rachinskiy, Mishin, Denisov, Dedyukhina, Vasilev, the list goes on. He is also the owner of one of the only Kettlebell Sport only gyms in the world (Texas Kettlebell Academy), which hosts a team of impressive athletes. Let’s learn a little more about the “librarian of GS”, who also happens to be America’s only Ketacademy Master Coach*. Continue reading

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Steve Cotter on kettlebell history, Kettlebell Sport’s future, and returning to the platform

Steve Cotter is the founder of the International Kettlebell and Fitness Federation (IKFF) and one of the most well-known kettlebell experts in the fitness world. Countless people who currently compete in the Kettlebell Sport learned technique from Steve, who travels worldwide to teach kettlebell workshops. When I had lunch with Steve and his wife Samantha a few weeks ago, I got to know a lot about Steve’s background and the history of Kettlebell Sport in the U.S. (which you all know is something I love to post about) – as well as that Steve will be competing again in the near future! 


When did you first get interested in health and fitness?

In its origin as a young boy in upstate NY, playing a lot outdoors by myself, climbing trees, hiking by the local streams, exploring in the woods. More formally, when I moved to California in 1982, when I was 12 years old. Then I started serious study of Chinese internal martial arts.

How did you originally start working with kettlebells? Continue reading

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Famous actress becomes Kettlebell Sport enthusiast

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How do I spell your name correctly?
Helén Vikstvedt.

What do you do for a living?
I’m an actress. I perform at the national theater in Oslo for the time being, and I’m in a Norwegian film that is playing now. I do improv and teach improv as well.

What is your work schedule like?
I rehearse and perform 4-6 times per week, often with two shows on the weekend. I do other work in the daytime, such as recording commercials for the radio or filming for a TV series. Occasionally I work with a touring country and tour Norway. If I do films like I did last year, I travel to Hungary and Germany to shoot. Now I mostly work in Oslo because I have a young daughter.  Continue reading

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Overcoming amputation to become a World Champion in Kettlebell Sport: Christian Einarsen

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Christian Einarsen competing in 24kg Biathlon at the IUKL Kettlebell Sport World Championships in Dublin, Ireland in 2015.

Where do you live and what do you do for work?
I live in a small town called Søgne just outside Kristiansand in the southern part of Norway. I work offshore for Maersk drilling.

What is your athletic background?
My previous athletic background is as close to nonexistent as it gets. Except for playing soccer in elementary school, sports never interested me.

What happened to your right hand and how did that accident change your life?
In January 2009, I did a routine test of our emergency generator onboard which is cooled by a radiator and a fan (just like your car is). During the test run my hand came in contact with the radiator fan which was 2 meter in diameter and made of steel. I was evacuated to Stavanger and finally to Oslo where the surgeons decided they could not reattach any of my fingers. Continue reading

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Lorraine Patten looks back on early years of Kettlebell Sport

Hi everyone! This interview with Lorraine Patten is the fourth in a series of posts about U.S. Kettlebell Sport history. While many of us are only a few years or just a few weeks/months into lifting kettlebells, there is a small group of American lifters that were competing back in the early 2000’s who were the real trailblazers of the sport. 

These posts are meant to educate and inform about the roots of Girevoy Sport in America. 

Shoutout to John Wild Buckley for sparking the idea!


  1. What is your athletic background?
    Life long athletic endeavors.  Team and individual sports.  Mostly endurance. I spent 10 years doing martial arts – I got tired of being the class rag doll, which led me to strength training.  Every trainer I met was only interested in body building, so I searched the internet for a trainer who would do purely strength training and I found Pavel Tsatsouline. I ordered his Power to the People book and deadlifted my ass off.  I really came to trust him as a wonderful trainer.

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Master of Sport after 11 failed attempts: Marty Farrell

Hi everyone! This interview with Marty Farrell, the first American male Master of Sport,  is the third in a series of posts about U.S. Kettlebell Sport history. While many of us are only a few years or just a few weeks/months into lifting kettlebells, there is a small group of American lifters that were competing back in the early 2000’s who were the real trailblazers of the sport. 

These posts are meant to educate and inform about the roots of Girevoy Sport in America. 

Shoutout to John Wild Buckley for sparking the idea!


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