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King of the Redwoods Defeats the BEAST

January 17, 2011 05:17 PM

Something strange is happening among the tall trees of the Redwood Forest. Where normally bird watchers and tree huggers swarm, there is an activity of a different kind taking place: kettlebell lifting.


Acting as a bit of a pied piper, Russell Jodrey has led his pack of dedicated lifters, 30 per class, three times a day, to muscular fortitude. Why do they follow him? Perhaps because he is one of the few who has Tamed the BEAST!


Why the pack follows this Leader


Only 13 people have conquered the feat of not only pressing The BEAST, but also performing a strict pistol and weighted tactical pullup with The BEAST in tow. Keep in mind, The BEAST is not your average kettlebell, but a 106-pound monster that challenges only the most worthy of opponents to take it on.


Welcome to the GUNS show—height doesn't matter when you got Jodrey arms

Standing at merely 5'5", 29-year-old Jodrey can do both a pistol and thrust at 165 pounds, not to mention his 120-pound arm thrust—and these are just two boasts of many that this lifter can make.

However, it is actually his arms' strength that affords him the biggest amount of acclaim. Besides battling The BEAST and teaching kettlebells, this strong-armed athlete is the Amateur National Champion in Arm Wrestling.


The Undefeated Arm: "My fingers can beat your whole football team"


Asking him how he got started brings up a funny story. "I had arm wrestled all my buddies and was undefeated. My brother and I were at a party and I took on a whole group of the 400-pound offensive and defensive line of the local college football team. [When I defeated all of them,' that's when he decided to take me to nationals. My first tournament was in 2005. I am still undefeated."


Now this was before the days of Jodrey's kettlebell training, but once he began implementing them, his results only sky rocketed. "A lot of guys try to bend my fingers back. The kettlebells teach strength and endurance and peel right off the fingers, building finger strength," he said. "Now, I can rip a deck of cards in half."


If it's good enough for an Olympic Team, why not follow the "mad Russian" to Man Maker success?


When he went with his brother to Greece, where the Olympic team was training, he noticed that they also implemented kettlebells into their workout. So if an Olympic team was using them, why shouldn't he? But the real question was: where to start…


He started using kettlebells personally just after that first championship. "My brother had found a book called Enter the Kettlebell! by Pavel Tsatsouline and we wondered "who is this mad Russian?' but then, I bought my first 35-pound kettlebell from Dragon Door and started working the ladder."


Now, Jodrey is at the top of his game and in dramatic shape—the envy of fellow competitors around the world, and just as admired by his students. "Nobody can match me in bottom up pressing—35 kg. with 50 kg. on top or vice versa," he added. "I can do Man Makers with a 88-, 90- and 106-pound kettlebell." Impressive? I'd say so.


Even more impressive: A ripped 58 year old woman, now 200 lbs lighter


"Everyone wants to know about kettlebells," he said, regarding the classes he teaches. "It has been so amazing. One woman training (note: 95 percent of his class is made up of women) lost 200 pounds. Her stomach muscles are ripped. She is 58 years old. I would put her [strength-wise' against any man in the nation."


This type of strength is achievable for anyone willing to make the effort and work the system. "People respond very well to kettlebells. You just have to take baby steps," he said.


Success at last! Sharing the pain, the fun, and the amazing results of the kettlebell


Jodrey started teaching initially in 2006, and these types of results is what got Jodrey into teaching in the first place and what keeps him motivated on a daily basis. He figures out the right system for the right individual, customizing a program that fits their needs. "They get that lower back/ hip correction that is so lost. This is where men fail. Men don't ordinarily do a hip circle unless you tell them to. We include running as well into the program. But, we mostly do kettlebells."


Jodrey pushes his students to succeed, past their boundaries and limits, but at an attainable pace. Make no mistake though, he also likes to infuse fun into the workouts: "We make them laugh and share the pain," he said.


The next generation of Men and Women


Jodrey hopes to instill in his children (aged 3, 6 and 10— two girls and a boy) that competition is a lot of fun, but sportsmanship is really what it is all about. "I like to bring kids to the [arm-wrestling' tournaments. It really is the classiest sport. It is important to me that the kids see that whether we win or lose, we shake hands at the end of it. We act like men and women."


This BEAST Tamer understands, as any true leader and great athlete does, that good sportsmanship and proper training will lead you to the true path of success.


If you want to stand side by side with the King of the Redwoods (and his undefeatable arms) and if you dare to join the ranks of the few, elite, BEAST Tamers, then comrade, we look forward to seeing you at the next RKC!


Russell Jodrey trains out of Southern Humboldt Fitness, 1911 Barnett Ct Ste 1-3, Redway, CA 95560. For more information about his classes, contact him at 707-923-2443.