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Taking Kettlebells to Hollywood… to Major Athletes… And to the Average Woman

January 18, 2011 09:48 AM

Missy Beaver, Kettlebell Fitness Training Instructor discusses success with Russian Kettlebell Strength Training Routines with Hollywood Actors and Major Athletes

Dragon Door: Let's start by talking about your fitness background.

Missy Beaver: Well, I grew up in a town of five thousand: Rensselaer, Indiana. So ever since I was able to walk, I was climbing around in trees, gravel pits, swimming in creeks, and doing anything else I found entertaining. There's not much except cornfields around the town I'm from, so I always was with all the boys. I never had any girl friends. I was the biggest tomboy. I always played football. I played baseball too. I was the only girl on the boys' baseball team; I was the starting shortstop. I started playing basketball and golf at about five or six years old. I competed in the state competition in golf. I played basketball in college for four years: two years at Santa Monica College, two years at Cal State LA. I had a scholarship to play.

I always felt like I had something to prove, because boys say, "Oh, no, no, you can't do it." So, you have to beat them by double for them to actually recognize that you can do the same things they can. Even as an adult, I found that boys don't change, and they can't stand being outdone by a girl. You always have to double it, in order to get any recognition.

About six months ago, I started training to be an amateur boxer. I don't know where that's going to take me, because on my first fight I fought the National Champion, and that didn't go so well for me. [Laughter'

D.D.: What a way to start!

M.B.: Yeah! And right now I'm getting into martial arts a little bit. Nothing serious, nothing to compete—it's just for fun. And, I skateboard, boogey-board. I like to free rock-climb with no ropes. I just go find something that looks really frightening and do it. I'm kind of a daredevil. I like to jump off cliffs and do anything that gets the adrenaline going. So that's why the kettlebells are perfect for me. They are extreme and they're wonderful. I can't tell you how much they've changed my life. I'm so much stronger, mentally and physically. Everything in my life is better since I started working with them.

D.D.: How did you get into them?

M.B.: I started a year ago, but it was very much off and on for the first six months. I was living half in Indiana and half in California, so the training was sporadic. I've been training with them very seriously for the last six months. Myself, I do kettlebells three times a week. As a personal trainer, I work my clients with them seven days a week.

D.D.: How did you find out about kettlebells?

M.B.: I was walking on Ocean Avenue and there was a guy that was training with them. I walked by to pick one up and he said, "Oh, no, sweetheart, that's heavy." I picked it up with one hand, and he was like, "Oh, okay." It was the 53-pound kettlebell, so he was surprised that I picked it up.

His name was Randy Part and he was like, "Let me show you a few exercises." He took the 26 out, showed me 10 minutes of exercises and right off the bat I loved it. The next day when I woke up I could feel the effects of the brief workout. My muscles were sore, not torn up but I could feel virtually every muscle in my body firing like never before.

So Randy started to train me, and he said it was nice to work with a girl who learned so fast. I learned the "Flip-and-Catch" on the second try. The first time I dropped it and the second time I caught it and that was it.

And he said, "You know, it took me six months to learn that!" And the Pistol, the same thing: I just did it. I'd like to thank Randy again, for everything.

D.D.: So, you've already started introducing kettlebells to your clients. What has the impact been?

M.B.: Oh, it's unbelievable! Clients I've had for a year or more are having more dramatic results in 3 weeks with the kettlebells than in 3 to 6 months the old-fashioned way. Treadmills, machines, even free weights only work your surface muscles--kettlebells condition the core. That's why the results are so astonishing. My mom dropped a pant size in two weeks.

She was thrilled. She had been doing Curves and a program that I gave her on the treadmill and with free weights. I said to her, "Don't even do Curves. Just don't do anything just for two weeks, Mom. Just give it a chance and see what happens." And, she did and she was thrilled, and it's been the same with any of my other clients.

I train Miss California 1992. I have her crawling around, and doing the Turkish Get-Up, she's on the ground, and by the end her hair is standing out on all ends. I always laugh and I say, "Paige, I can tell how hard you worked out by your hair, every time."

She loves them, as do all my clients. They are all very impressed.

D.D.: So, what kind of clients do you have?

M.B.: You name it. I train a professional golfer. I train 70-year-old men. I train 19-year-old girls.

The whole gamut, young and old, super-athletic, not athletic, skinny. I have a 200-pound woman who lost five pounds in the first week, and it didn't stop there.

D.D.: You started her with kettlebells?

M.B.: I did, but initially I just had her do the motion of the swing without the weight. Gradually she worked up to the 18-pound kettlebell. In two weeks she went from getting winded instantly to doing ten different exercises, like the Snatch-Pull, the Swing, Clean-and-Jerk…10 different exercises with a brisk walk in between. That's the other thing: the results are overnight.

D.D.: In terms of strength gains or fat loss?

M.B.: Strength gains and fat loss. You feel stronger the next day and you immediately become more cut. Another thing I found with the kettlebells is that if you work on them on Monday, you are more sore on Wednesday, which means your body is working really hard on Tuesday, when you're not.

D.D.: Interesting!

M.B.: That's one of my pitches to my clients: "Your body is working when you are not."

D.D.: I bet they like that! [Laughter'

M.B.: Yeah. [Laughter' Sold!

D.D.: So, how's the certification been for you, considering you've done kettlebells for quite awhile and you've trained others with them?

M.B.: It's been great! It's a serious boot camp; it's nothing to take lightly. The senior instructors put so much into it. It was a privilege to work with people of this caliber. It's not like any other certification. You can't even compare it to other certifications that only involve memorization and things you'll never use. All of the things I learned this weekend, I'll be able to incorporate into my training.

They created a whole tool bag for me. I've been doing kettlebells for a year, and reading the articles and watching the videos. But nothing compares to this. The trainers—these guys are just unbelievable: their athleticism, flexibility, strength and mobility.

D.D.: As someone who trains women and as a woman yourself, what do you think kettlebells have to offer that would be specific to the female set?

M.B.: Women like to work mainly on their legs, glutes and stomach—not their arms. So now with the kettlebells we can work the entire body at once, which makes them happier and more at peace with what they are doing. You don't realize how argumentative a woman can get when you are trying to get her to build up her arms. I say, "You have a whole body, you have to be able to use it." And they say, "No! It's my butt!"

Now what I say when I start with a new client is: "Give me two weeks, if you don't get results, and you don't like what's happening, I'll take your suggestions. Until then, listen to what I say and I promise you are going to get results."

D.D.: What will you do after the certification?

M.B.: I'm going to take it step-by-step. My intention is to start offering classes the first Sunday in December at a gymnastics gym in L.A. Once the classes take off I'll open my own gym on the West side. I'm also planning on doing videos and demonstrations. A few of my clients are actors who are using the kettlebells to get more cut for upcoming movie roles. I also train the most famous fit model who, according to People Magazine, has the "best butt in the business." I'd like to start training more pro athletes because I know the kind of results they'll get with the kettlebells.

D.D.: What kind of videos do you plan on making?

M.B.: I'm going to make beginner videos geared toward overweight women. And since I box, play basketball and golf, I'd like to make videos geared specifically toward those sports.

D.D.: Which exercises do you see as valuable to golfers?

M.B.: All of them, because you are training your core. Core training is essential in golf because it's all about energy transfer. Steve Maxwell's exercise where you swing a kettlebell from side to side suspended from a towel is perfect for increasing flexibility and strength for the golf swing.

Visit Missy Beaver's website at

For kettlebell classes in Santa Monica, CA or for more information, contact Missy Beaver at: