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By Adrienne Harvey, SrPCC, RKC-II, CK-FMS
: I am working on so many things, but am always trying to get stronger. Even though I tend to be a little bit above average strength, I know if I stop trying to get stronger that will quickly fall down because everyone else is also trying to get stronger.
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Much of my love for bodyweight exercise comes from wrestling. Even though we hit the weights pretty hard when training for wrestling, we also did push-ups all the time. Our coach had a rule that we had to give him 15 push-ups any time someone swore during practice! Bridging is also a huge thing with wrestling, so I’ve always loved to bridge.
I was about 27-28, and luckily I had not put on any weight. I think my genes helped me, but I still knew I was quite unfit. One day I started playing squash again—my dad used to coach me in squash when I was a kid. He wasn’t a professional player but he played at a fairly high level.
As a kid I did competitive gymnastics from age six to nineteen, then took a break from it for most of my twenties. It wasn't until I bought my house and built a gym in the garage that I started doing bodyweight training again. It was mostly because I didn’t have much in the garage—I built a pull-up bar, had some mats, a set of p-bars and some rings.
Along with knowledge, I feel that a coach needs to be able to do all or at least some of what they are teaching. A good coach also builds a connection with their students and clients, and understands how to interact with them on a physical and emotional level. I want my clients and my students to come in and then feel stronger and confident when they leave—and I want them to come back the next day.
In some ways it was a straight shot. My bachelor's degree is in exercise science, and my master’s degree is in human movement. I started personal training almost from graduation. It was inline with what I studied, and my lifestyle as a gymrat and former athlete.
The kettlebell is a really good tool for my athletes, especially since I work with a lot of baseball players now. We don’t do any Olympic lifts with the baseball players, so kettlebell swings and one-arm kettlebell swings give me another way to incorporate speed and power—while reducing the risk of wrist and shoulder injuries.
At 18, I went to Brunel University in West London as a footballer. But basically, I wasn’t doing well on the team, and wasn’t shown a lot of love from the coach. So, I wanted to find a sport where I could take the performance into my own hands. I enjoyed athletics through my school years, but had always been involved in team sports. Since the University had a good track program, as soon as football wasn't working out, I started with track. We had a really good group and coach—I fell in love with
I used to train at Rob Miller’s gym. Last fall he called to tell me about a kettlebell competition, and to see if I would be interested in joining. He said it was coming up soon, but he could add me to a team. I wanted to try something different, so I said yes.
Eventually, I learned to step back even further within the basics. Now I really appreciate teaching the first steps to my beginner clients, because those were the same first steps that worked for me, too.