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Dragon Door Interviews Anthony Moro, RKC Instructor

Dragon Door: How did you first get involved with fitness?

Anthony Moro: I’ve been an athlete my whole life. My parents kind of pushed me in that direction—as a kid I played nearly every sport! In high school I played football and ran track. And I’ve been in the Marines since high school graduation at age 18. When I finally came into the Reserves, I went to college for a semester before I was deployed again. So during my freshman year I played football and went to Afghanistan. After I came back, I started back with football and running track right into my senior year this year.

Dragon Door: How did you discover kettlebells?

Anthony Moro: I first saw them eight years ago during Recon Training in the Marine Corps. They introduced me to kettlebells even though I learned to swing them a different way. Then about two years ago, while I was working at my current gym, I saw some of the other trainers using them. They started teaching me more techniques. I started practicing and studying for a year before attending the RKC this past April.
Anthony Moro in Afghanistan with Local Kids 2011
Dragon Door: How were you using kettlebells in Recon Training?

Anthony Moro: We were swinging them CrossFit style, but also used them as just a heavy weight to carry around. We all brought them to Afghanistan with us. Then, when I finally signed up for the RKC, I had been training for a while, but was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis about four to six weeks before the certification workshop. I was almost useless at that time, so it took the whole three months to pass my snatch test and earn the certification.

Dragon Door: How did you decide that you wanted to do the RKC?

Anthony Moro: It has a lot of prestige and seemed like the right way to go. Pavel set a good example while he was with the program, but after he left I kept meeting awesome people who really kept me interested in the RKC.
Anthony Moro Presses a Kettlebell Overhead at the RKC Workshop
Dragon Door: How did you prepare during the previous year?

Anthony Moro: I started off by basically doing my own thing, researching online, and watching YouTube videos. Then I found the Rite of Passage workout from Enter the Kettlebell. I stuck to the Rite of Passage religiously along with the football workouts from our coach. I have to tailor the football workouts, but am able to keep doing what the team does in my own way.

Dragon Door: Have kettlebells helped you cope with MS?

Anthony Moro: Yes, they're helping a lot, especially with my training on the football team. I had been slacking off of Olympic weight lifting because I was having a hard time with my grip strength. Obviously, I would still need to grip a kettlebell, but since they are lighter, I was still able to safely train with them and maintain my hip strength.

Also, using kettlebells for mobility exercises helps a lot. Sometimes I wake up and will be super stiff—sometimes it feels like some muscles don’t want to be stretched at all. Windmills have seemed to help a lot, specifically.
Anthony Moro In Hospital Doing Handstand Push Ups
Dragon Door: What are your favorite kettlebell exercises?

Anthony Moro: Swings and overhead presses—the overhead press is kind of a "guy workout" for me. It lets me get strong and show off a little bit. But, the kettlebell swing really builds a true athlete.

Dragon Door: Who do you usually train at the gym?

Anthony Moro: I work at a tennis club in the fitness department, so I train a lot of businessmen. I also work with my football team at Concordia University with pointers and cues. And, about a month ago I started training the Milwaukee Bucks dance team—and just starting them out with kettlebells.

Dragon Door: Are you also using kettlebells with your personal training clients?

Anthony Moro: Yes, and for example I have two clients, both men in their mid-40s that started with about zero athletic ability. The had never played sports or really worked out, and in about four months they both completed a Tough Mudder race. Obviously there aren't any kettlebells in the obstacle course race, but they were the main tool that I used to build their conditioning and get my clients used to facing a little bit of adversity.

We did a lot of circuit type training. I got a little creative with the kettlebells at first because I didn’t feel comfortable having them swing yet—this was also before my RKC Certification Workshop. They started out by picking up the kettlebells, performing deadlifts, and running. After I was able to teach them to develop a good swing, it just took off from there. They loved it as well. It was amazing to see them change from not being able to do one pull up to being able to complete a Tough Mudder just four months later.

Dragon Door: What’s your next goal? Obviously college graduation is soon, but what else is on the horizon in the immediate future?

Anthony Moro: I want to keep on studying, learning, and continue to try to be the best coach that I can. I also want to help other people meet their goals. The next big thing I'm really looking forward to is preparing for and going to the PCC Workshop. Being diagnosed with MS made me realize that I might not be a strong man my whole life, so I need to learn how to conquer carrying around my own body.

Dragon Door: What's your major at school?

Anthony Moro: Exercise physiology with a coaching minor. My brother and I are actually in the process of trying to open our own gym. More of a sports specific training facility For football and track. We want to bring the turf and track inside so we can train year round, since we're in the Midwest. My brother is a year and a half younger, so we've always been on the same sports teams. He's actually coaching me now and is one of the coaches here at my college. When I went to Afghanistan with the Marines, he stayed here. I'm like the old man on the team right now, and my little brother is my coach!

Anthony Moro Coaching Jr High Combine 2012

Dragon Door: How are things going with you and your football team?

Anthony Moro: We just finished football camp last Sunday and have a scrimmage this week. The following week we're right into the season which will be my main focus now.

Dragon Door: How do you stay balanced? You’re a student, you’re in the reserves, you’re on the football team, and you’re a personal trainer, how do you do it all?

Anthony Moro: I have Google Calendar and an awesome girlfriend who reminds me about a lot of things. That is my golden secret!

Dragon Door: How are you training during this football season?

Anthony Moro: I'm trying to maintain during the season and stay injury free. In general I'm going to play it a little smarter this year and not go for the gold every training session. I'll be holding back just a little bit. Also, I won't be going for any personal records until the football season is over.

Anthony Moro on the Football Field 2012

After the season, I want to try to compete in the CrossFit games again. Last year around the time I was diagnosed with MS, I was unofficially disqualified because the symptoms stopped me from completing the workouts on time.

Dragon Door: How would you describe your current workouts?

Anthony Moro: I don’t really have a typical workout. Because of my Recon background, I do something different everyday. But, I always get in some high intensity cardio and some powerlifting. Sometimes my buddies will be lifting at a different time, and if they call me I'll go even if I'm tired!

Anthony Moro Get Up with Girlfriend

Dragon Door: Do you have a special approach to nutrition?

Anthony Moro: I'm big into vegetable juicing. It helps with the MS symptoms and helps to keep inflammation down after workouts. I usually like to make a big disgusting-looking green drink with kale, spinach, ginger, fresh turmeric, apples and oranges. I started making fresh juices because of some of the research I did after the MS diagnosis.

My girlfriend and I have been Paleo for a while, then we read about anti-inflammatory foods and how to eat more of them. I've had a big turnaround from eating Paleo, juicing a lot and taking the right medicines. In about eight or nine weeks, I went from having a lot of difficulty walking with my right leg, being unable to work out, and having so much trouble that I couldn’t even write my name with my right hand to where I am now—playing college football again. I did it mostly by staying active and eating healthy foods.

AnthonyMoroAtTheRKCWorkshopAnthony Moro is currently teaching an outdoor bootcamp, speed and agility clinics, a group TRX class, and private kettlebell lessons at Elite Sports Clubs in Mequon, Wisconsin. His email address is and he can also be reached at 815-861-7873.