Do you ever have conversations with people where you are so insync that you want to interrupt them mid-sentence and scream, “OMG! AMEN! YES, YES, YES!”
This pretty much sums up my conversation with the Queen City Kettlebell(QCK) team last Saturday after I attended a community introduction class with my friend Becca. QCK’s team of five trainers welcomed a group of 15-20 newcomers to the intro class. During which, they focused on breaking down QCK’s core movements and explaining their methodology. After the trainers introduced themselves, we started the session with some foam rolling. Right off the bat, I was impressed with this warmup, and thought: man, these people really know what they are doing.
After foam rolling, the team prepared us for the kettlebell workout by breaking down each movement we would be doing one step at a time. Kettlebell workouts have become all the rage in recent years(check out a list of benefits here) and can yield great results, but it’s so important to understand and know proper form before throwing around weights. During the intro class (offered every month) the QCK team focused on clear, intentional movement, and explained the WHY behind each action. Every trainer took a turn instructing, so we not only got a feel for the exercises but also each trainer. Once we got into the workout, there was no messing around. They had the whole class doing full kettlebell swings, squats, planks, and stability exercises all while focusing on maintaining the integrity of the movements. They also continuously stressed core and glute activation for strength improvement and to decrease risk of injury.
After the final stretch, Becca and I sat down with DJ, owner and trainer, and Michelle, general manager and trainer, to learn about the history of the gym, and the “why” behind what they do. First off, they may have it in their name, but there is SO MUCH MORE to Queen City Kettlebell than kettlebells. It is a full-service, private and semi-private (small group) training facility with a core focus on “Improving the Human Condition”. You can check out a list of full offerings here. They recognize that every person comes into QCK with different strengths and challenges, and their goal is to understand your current fitness level, how you move, and areas that need improvement before throwing you into a group fitness setting. That’s right--before they even let you touch the kettlebell, they first want to get an understanding of your movement and condition so that they know how to best instruct and train you. So, each person that walks through the door has to first take an intro class or two (or sometimes 3 or 4) before they can be cleared to take a group class. This is to ensure that you have the proper form, and are activating the right muscles to prevent injury and get the most out of your workout.
Their instructors come from all over, and specialize in various fields.
Meet DJ Wittekind: DJ is a retired fireman who decided to open up Queen City Kettlebell back in 2010 and make fitness his full time focus. He has experience training a range of individuals, from those who have never worked out before to powerlifters and fitness competitors.
Meet Michelle Mason: Michelle came from the boutique fitness world. She was drawn to QKC as it allowed her to truly focus on teaching clients proper form, and to get more involved in her clients’ goals. She also is certified in pre and post-natal training, which is her true passion. As a mother, she knows the effects that pregnancy can have on a woman’s body, and how exercise can support recovery. Here’s a short intro to the importance of pre/post natal training in case you are unfamiliar:
Prenatal: As the uterus grows, a woman’s center of gravity shifts and the pelvic floor takes on stress from the weight of the baby. Additionally, as a response to certain hormones, a woman’s joints begin to loosen. Michelle helps prenatal women maintain their posture, cardio health, and strength of key muscles to help support a healthy pregnancy and ultimately aid in the time it takes to bounce back post baby.
Postnatal: The postnatal body has also endured significant changes, and it’s just as important to take these changes into consideration as a woman starts to exercise again. Postnatally, certain catered strength, flexibility, and cardio exercises can support women’s mental and physical health while also supporting healing.
Holistically, at Queen City Kettlebell, the team of trainers is laser focused on quality of movement, teaching fundamentals, and building on those fundamentals. You can read up on the rest of the trainers, Sam, Chris, and Mike here.
QCK may be a good fit for you if you are someone who is willing to work hard, is disciplined, consistent, committed, and likes an individual or small group setting. It could be your first time ever lifting a weight or attending a fitness studio, or you can be advanced. You’ll most likely enjoy QCK if you have a true desire to better yourself, and the patience to learn proper form before grabbing the heavy set of weights.
You can try an intro class for free, like I did, to see if it’s a good fit for you. QCK hosts a free community class the first Saturday of each month that is open to the public. If that doesn’t work with your calendar, you can also schedule a one-on-one intro session with a trainer here. Look for the community classes on our events calendar to try out Queen City Kettlebell.