Thursday, December 13, 2012

Class Review: KettleX Class w/ Lorna Kleidman

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Lorna Kleidman's  PR rep reached out to me, asking if I'd like to try a kettlebell class with Lorna. I'd used kettlebells a bit in a few classes I'd taken, so I was interested to learn more and take a class dedicated to kettlebells.

When I read more about Lorna, I realized I'd be taking a class with a three-time world champion and world record holder in kettlebell sport. Exciting! And... nerve-wracking!

Lorna, holding a kettleball
When I arrived at the Upper East Side Fitness Cell Collective, I felt even more intimidated. There ended up being only four people in the class, and they were clearly regulars who knew the method and Lorna well (she greeted them all by name). However, this turned out to be fantastic! Lorna was able to give everyone attention, sensing when someone might start giving a bit less effort and encouraging them by name. Since she didn't focus on anyone too much, besides helping me learn proper form, it never felt like she was calling out other students. She was also just a friendly teacher, so I never felt like I was left out of the "kettlebell clique." In some classes, where everyone appeared to be BFFs with the teacher, I have felt like a bit of an outsider. So I always appreciate a teacher who makes new students feel welcome.

Lorna's form corrections were very helpful. I find that I don't always "get" what an instructor is saying to do. (I can't lie, I may also have gotten distracted by Lorna's incredible abs and guns. If that's what kettlebell can do, I guess I need to use them more!) She would rephrase her suggestion, giving me something to visualize. For example, in a squat, telling me to visualize a rod from my pelvis to my sternum, so that I only could hinge from my knees and hips. This really worked and helped me figure out the kettleball swing we were working on. I've found that just because someone is an expert at something, does not mean they are going to be a good teacher. Thankfully, that wasn't the case with Lorna!

The class was a mix of different circuits, which I always like because it keeps things moving and you can't get too bored by any one exercise. After warming up, we worked with light (15 lb) and heavier (25 lb) kettlebells, doing a variety of exercises. Then we did a ladder, which worked like this: 30 seconds of kettlebell swings then 30 seconds of push ups, with a different interval each time, going up to 1 minute of kettlebell swings (VERY tough) then back down to 30 seconds again. We concluded with some tough abs work using the kettlebells before stretching as a cool down.

Lorna was not a shrinking daisy, either. She was encouraging, but she would push you if she sensed you flagging. In that minute-long kettlebell swing interval, at one point I put down the kettlebell. Lorna immediately noticed and pushed me, yelling "c'mon, Jen!" Ahh ok, ok. I picked it up and kept going. Thanks for not letting me slack, because it turned out I could keep going. I'm not sure I've ever sweat that much in a pure strength workout.

Lorna and me -- her "jeans" were actually fun leggings meant to look like distressed denim! 
Besides KettleX, Lorna teaches a Kettle Step class that combines step movement with light kettlebells. In addition to teaching classes at the Fitness Cell Collective, Lorna also teaches a kettleball class at the 50th St and Broadway Equinox. If you're an Equinox member, you can check out her class and learn a lot about kettlebells!

$50 is unfortunately a bit steep for me as a student, but once I start working next fall and my workplace is closer to the location, I would definitely take the class again. And if I join Equinox next year, I'll make sure to drop by Lorna's class!

Length - 1 hour
Cost - $50 at Fitness Cell Collective, free at Equinox if member
Location - Fitness Cell Collective - Upper East Side (328 E. 61st St., 4th Floor, between First & Second Ave), Equinox - 50th and Broadway
Skill Level - I think a beginner to exercise could just use very light weights and be able to follow along fine.

1 comment:

  1. One of my co-workers is a kettle-bell junkie. She's doing some big weights too. Heck, I've tried picking up a kettle-bell and I'm like "whoa." Definitely a great way to build strength!