It’s not often you get to spend some time with someone who is about to represent the U.S. in a World Championship event… in fact, I never have! But lucky me! I received a personal invite to meet B.J. Bliffert at the North Texas Kettlebell Club and learn about this niche sports club here in our Frisco Community.
So just what is a kettlebell? A kettlebell is a cast iron ball similar to a cannonball, with a handle attached to the top of it. The weight of a kettlebell is not distributed evenly, thus creating the need to counter balance and stabilize during your workout, in turn building core strength.
Located in West Frisco, the NTKB was born in 2008 out of Full Throttle Athletics, a personal training & fitness facility. Following a brief visit to North Texas a few years back, husband and wife team B.J. and Kori Bliffert, originally from Wisconsin, decided Frisco was an ideal place to grow a business and family.
Struggling with weight all their lives, they fulfilled a dream to build a business dedicated to helping people achieve a better quality lifestyle through both fitness and healthy nutrition programs.
Experienced with the kettlebell as a tool of fitness since 2001, B.J. and Kori realized it made sense to eventually separate this type of workout from their personal training. Their Kettlebell Sports programs are not only for fitness results, but also trains and supports those who want to take it a step further and actually compete in this fast-growing sport.
B. J. has been training in the sport since 2008 and competed in his first competition in 2011. Nationwide, he competes four times a year and will travel to Dublin, Ireland, next month to compete along 45 other U.S. team members in the U.S. World Kettlebell Championships, November 25th – 29th. Developing fast, the sport is now also currently being considered for the Olympics.
“I will be competing against people who are accomplished champions (they actually do this for a living) and novice athletes.”
Using authentic Russian kettlebells, the Club now has 15 members from all walks of life, and half of them are women. They train 3 to 4 times per week.
Jessica Nelson is one of those ladies. She described how her growing love of this sport has enhanced her life…
“I wanted to lose weight but then realized I could tone well with this training, as it provides a well rounded level of fitness, balancing cardio and strength.”
With 17+ years of experience in the fitness industry, B.J. is also Co-Author of the International Bestselling book “Total Body Breakthroughs” and has been featured in USA Today as one of the World Fitness Elite Trainers of the Year.
The kettlebell community is tight-knit, but growing all the time, and provides an outlet for both a competitive & fun spirit. Later this year, the NTKB will host the 3rd Annual North Texas Open Kettlebell Championships on December 5th in their Frisco facility. It’s a family event welcoming visitors in the “lifting community” from neighboring cities like Houston, Austin, and from out of state.
While I was visiting the club, I managed to witness one of the ladies, Jennifer Brady, complete a 10-minute set with a 30-pound weight. Team spirit was very evident as I watched Jennifer’s fellow club members and friends shout and support her to the end as she completed 152 reps.
NTKB would love to welcome more members at any level. B.J. says,
“We would encourage anyone who maybe has a little competitive streak and is in search of a better lifestyle balance. Anyone who is considering making a change both from a fitness and nutrition standpoint should explore the opportunity and consider this route.”
If you think this is the type of sport that sparks some interest, why not try their beginner’s workshop – “An Intro to Kettlebell Sport.” It starts on November 7th giving people an opportunity to experience the facility and weights. You’ll receive four weeks of programming and can even enter a 5-minute event at their Open on Dec 5th.
Best of luck to B. J. and the U.S. team at next month’s World Championships. Do Frisco proud and bring home some medals!