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Dragon Door Interviews David Leddick, RKC Instructor and Dragon Door Dealer

 David Leddick Performs a Kettlebell Snatch

Dragon Door: How did you get involved with the fitness industry?

David Leddick: I got involved kind of late. I was fairly athletic when I was younger but as I progressed through life I got away from it. I was doing the blue collar thing as a professional mover before starting my own moving business. Then one day in my 30s, I looked in the mirror and realized I had gotten really fat and out of shape. I was also partying too much. So, I decided to make a lifestyle change. I quit partying, cleaned up my diet and started getting into the bodybuilding style of training which was what seemed to be available at the time. I went hard with the training for about 8 months and lost 40lbs. More importantly, I learned some new habits and got back into working out.

Soon I started checking out other types of training . I started practicing jiu jitsu for a while and got back into surfing. At the gym where I was practicing jiu jitsu, they had a kettlebell class. I peeked into the class one day because I didn't have any idea what a kettlebell was, but thought it looked cool. At home I Googled kettlebells, liked what I saw and went to the kettlebell class the very next day. At the time, Rhonda Fuller was the RKC II teaching the class, and I fell in love with kettlebells instantly. It became my passion and my "go to" activity. I just really enjoyed how it made me feel, and how my body felt during the kettlebell training. Soon I was meeting other people who owned gyms in the area like Franz Snideman who I trained with for a while. Then I trained at Ambition Athletics under Max Shank for about a year. He helped me prepare for my RKC Certification workshop in 2011.

Dragon Door: What attracted you to the RKC Certification?

David Leddick: Basically, I really enjoyed being involved with kettlebells. I enjoyed the training as well as the changes that were happening within my body. I felt like overall I was becoming a better athlete—I just found so many benefits with kettlebell training. After I started meeting more RKC kettlebell instructors I realized it was something I wanted to do.

At the time of the RKC workshop, I wasn't even planning to open a gym. I owned a moving company and had been running it for a while. But, I wanted to challenge myself with the RKC, and after talking to people who'd done the RKC Certification Workshop it just seemed like something that I wanted to do and be a part of. At the time it was really about the challenge and seeing if I could accomplish it. Afterwards I realized that being a kettlebell instructor was something I wanted to turn into a career.
David Leddick and Group Kettlebell Class on the Beach

Dragon Door: How did you decide you decide to become a gym owner?

David Leddick: After the RKC, I was substitute teaching at Ambition Athletics and another local kettlebell gym in San Diego. Plus I have always been an entrepreneur. So I teamed up with Rhonda and we started teaching outdoor kettlebell classes a couple times a week in a park in San Diego. About 8 months after starting our classes in the park, we found a little studio in Pacific Beach and turned it into Pacific Coast Kettlebells.

Dragon Door: Do you still have your moving company?

David Leddick: No, I don't. I sold it because I'm going for it with the gym! It was too distracting to try and run both businesses, and to be honest at that point I was just over the moving business. I had been in the moving industry since I was 18 years old and didn't want to do it any more.

Dragon Door: What's your favorite kettlebell exercise?

David Leddick: Right now I'm working on the Kettlebell Muscle program centered around the clean and press. I have to say that my favorite kettlebell exercise used to be swing, but now I am digging the double kettlebell clean and press.

Dragon Door: What's your advice for someone who wants to make a lifestyle change like the one you made?

David Leddick: They really need to decide to make the change. For a long time I just kept putting it off—you must decide to take action and do it. There are so many people willing to help guide you through your transformation journey. I don't get caught up in all the different styles of training or tell people that they should do one thing or another. Overall, people need to find what they like or love to do, and once they find it, I think they'll progress with it and continue to actually do it.

I think so many people are out of shape because they are so busy with life that they just keep putting it off. Making a lifestyle change requires commitment. Once I committed, it took about six months. I quit drinking, I tuned in my diet to the point where I wasn't ever cheating. I almost went overboard with it, but doing so helped me develop good habits. Once it became my lifestyle, it wasn't hard anymore. Now I look forward to eating this way. Now, if I am really busy or caught up with life and don't have time to train or whatnot, it becomes almost depressing. I need this lifestyle for my piece of mind.

Dragon Door: What are your favorite kettlebell exercises to teach?

David Leddick: The progression of deadlift and the swing. I start everyone on the deadlift along with learning the hip hinge. Its funny but at first—especially with some of my female clients—the deadlift is almost an intimidating exercise for them. But I tell them, and it's especially true for moms, that we're always picking things up—children, groceries etc—and here's how to do it correctly. From there we progress to the swing, and usually once the light bulb goes on in a client's head about the swing, they just love it.

Dragon Door: Your gym is still fairly new, but do you have a success story to share?

David Leddick: Our gym has been open about 14 months now, and I have many clients who come to mind. One of my first clients—who started training with me even before we had the studio—I met because of dog rescue. I have 3 dogs, 2 of which are rescued pit bulls, and this client is the founder of a local pit bull rescue organization. She also offered classes for people who've adopted pit bulls. I met her through one of these classes and we became friends. When I started training others, I noticed she had begun her own transformation with running. I told her about kettlebells and she came to one of my classes. After the first day she was hooked. She was also one of the first people to come to one of my classes. Since then she's lost 30-40 pounds, is double pressing two 16kg kettlebells and deadlifting two 40 kg kettlebells. She's become really strong and has totally embraced the training. It's the coolest thing because I really respect what she does with the pit bull rescue—which is also something I'm passionate about. But to see her in a kettlebell training environment, and help her change her life has been satisfying for me as a trainer and as a friend .

Dragon Door: On Facebook you even had an invitation for a pit bull rescue fundraising workout?

David Leddick: Yes, we've done a few of them, and it's something we want to do on a monthly basis. Our gym is only one block away from the beach in San Diego—it doesn't get any more beautiful than that! About 3 weeks ago, we held a pit bull rescue charity kettlebell bootcamp class right on the beach. Even though it's new and we only had about fifteen people show up, we raised $300 for one of the dog rescues. Obviously, we want to keep building these special classes.
David Leddick With Dog At Gym

Dragon Door: What drove your decision to become a Dragon Door distributor?

David Leddick: Partially my entrepreneurial impulse, but also because they are my favorite kettlebells. I knew there was an opening for a San Diego distributor, and with my gym location I decided to tie it all together. It was an easy decision for me!

Dragon Door: Earlier when we were talking about your transformation, you mentioned some dietary changes. What did you do?

David Leddick: At first, I met with a nutritionist who's background was with bodybuilding. She put me on a 5-6 meals a day plan—the basic low fat, high protein and carbs bodybuilder diet—and it worked! As I evolved, learned, and researched more I moved towards what I'm doing now which is intermittent fasting and pretty much low carb. But I am a rice fanatic, so after I train my nighttime meal is the one where I add white rice which I usually enjoy with steak. I'm also a Beyond Organic Mission Marketer and love their organic grassfed beef. I follow my diet plan fairly strictly 7 days a week. At first I was almost scared of intermittent fasting because in the past I was one of those guys who seem to need breakfast every day. Now I'll wake up, drink plenty of water and have a cup of coffee with some heavy cream, and that will usually keep me going until noon or one.

Dragon Door: What's next for you and your training?

David Leddick: Since I was late starting with fitness, I've realized that's so much to learn. And that's what I'm doing. I'm reading everything I can, and going to different seminars. I've progressed a lot just in the past year and a half, and have become more comfortable with my ability to train and lead people. I'm a work in progress but I really enjoy it and I love being able to help people change for the better. I made the change myself, so I know it can be done. It's really satisfying to be able to share that with other people.

As for goals, I also want to do the RKC Level II next. I assisted at Max Shank's RKC in Encinitas last spring and would love to participate with more RKC workshops. It was great to be assist, but I learned so much at his workshop that it blew my mind! I want to keep growing and progressing—not only as a trainer but as a person. Eventually I'd like to get through the Beast Challenge, but that's one of my very long term goals.


David Leddick Kettlebell SnatchDavid Leddick owns Pacific Coast Kettlebells and can be contacted at His Beyond Organic page is located at: