Today on the podcast:

Bill Esch, aka The Kettlebell Warrior, started with a background in Olympic weightlifting and discovered kettlebell sport in his late ’20s. After five years of dedicated training, he became the first American male to achieve the rank of Master of Sport International Class in kettlebell sport.

Bill has earned his title as the Kettlebell Warrior: He trained with Russian National Team coaches and competed in Kettlebell Sport for more than a decade.

In his 28 years of owning and working in gyms, Bill has had the privilege of coaching a wide range of people and abilities. For Bill, fitness is an art, and he uses his creativity to keep workouts fresh and clients inspired. Bill helps people defend their health and find the power within to change their lives!

Just to give some context of the experience of today’s guest, here are some of Bill’s credentials:

  • Master of Sport International Class in Kettlebell Long Cycle
  • IKFF Master Trainer, Level 2
  • American Record holder, Kettlebell Sport Long Cycle, 85kg weight class
  • American Record holder, Kettlebell Sport Long Cycle, 78kg weight class
  • C.H.E.K Golf Biomechanist & Nutritional Lifestyle Coach
  • NASM Performance Enhancement Specialist
  • USAW Sports Performance Specialist
  • Certified Metabolic Typing Advisor
  • I.K.F.S.A. Level 1 Coach
  • Schwinn Indoor Cycling Instructor
  • Balanced Body Pilates Certified
  • Division 1 College Football Player

Episode Outline

  • 04:22 How Bill got introduced to the world of fitness and, later, kettlebells
  • 09:15 Kettlebell sport vs kettlebell training
  • 14:45 Putting together a workout to train for kettlebell sport
  • 21:26 Crossfit and its impact on kettlebell exposure
  • 24:00 The COVID-induced kettlebell shortage
  • 25:51 Biggest general misconceptions around kettlebell training
  • 29:38 How to use kettlebells to get shredded
  • 32:49 Bill’s nutrition philosophy
  • 37:25 Why we shouldn’t underestimate sleep for optimal recovery
  • 39:24 Supplements that Bill uses to stay shredded and recover faster
  • 40:55 The Kettlebell Warrior Savage Shred Program
  • 45:03 What Bill has changed his mind about in recent years
  • 47:31 As a world record holder and fitness professional what is Bill’s advice to his 18-year-old self?

Key Points

  • Kettlebell events were first developed as a Russian military sport, and part of that classification means you’re training your ability to stay calm under a huge amount of duress. Kettlebells train power, rhythm, endurance, and, more than anything, breath. It teaches you “how to calm the F down when you are in absolute, utter agony.” This means dialing it in, focusing on your breathing, and letting everything else go.
  • The pandemic has really proven how effective a tool kettlebells are for keeping your fitness up while taking up a minimal amount of space. They have been so in-demand in 2020 that there was a bit of a kettlebell shortage for a period! Owning just one kettlebell at home can get you to general physical preparedness in a short amount of time. You can get an entire workout in, hitting every body part from different angles, with this single piece of equipment.
  • As a message to young people who are looking to get into the fitness industry, Bill’s advice is to “be patient. You’ve got to take your licks.” You’ll never be an expert a few years in, or even several years in. “Just hang in there,” he continues. Stay humble, listen more than you speak, and keep pushing ahead. Fitness is a lifelong journey for regular people—what more for industry professionals?

Powerful Quotes by Bill

  • Kettlebell events began as a Russian military sport. And the reason it’s a military sport is because it takes this ability to really stay calm under a huge amount of duress and increase the amount of work you can produce while under that duress.
  • There’s been a recent rise in popularity for kettlebells due to COVID. The kettlebell is this great tool where, if you only have one, you can get a lot of work done and you can create a lot of general physical preparedness with it in a very small amount of space and, truly, a small amount of time.
  • Once you understand kettlebell sport and you realize what an incredible conditioning and strength tool the kettlebell is, and once you learn to manipulate that tool and learn how to relax and position yourself, it opens an entire world of movement—of fluid, rhythmic movement.
  • If you’re in the fitness industry, be patient. You’ve got to take your licks. Just hang in there. This is an industry where, if you can hang, if you are open, and if you just keep pushing ahead, you will be successful.

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