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Kettlebell Workshop at Ironcult

It’s my pleasure to announce that Arnav Sarkar will conduct a kettle bell weekend workshop at my facility. It will be an extensive workshop—14 hours in two days. It will cover a variety of topics for the novice. I hereby invite my gym clients to participate and learn the nitty-gritty of kettle bells. My gym clients can also avail a special discount to attend the workshop.

On a similar note, you might be wondering and asking me the question—who is Arnav Sarkar? I am presenting a question and answer format which I conducted with Arnav. The interview might provide a brief background about him; thereby assist you in understanding his credentials.

The interview:

Q. Can you provide a brief history of yourself and your training background? How it all started? Who was the source of your inspiration?

A. First of all I would like to thank you Vishwanthar for having me on your blog and giving me a chance to connect with your readers.

Regarding my background, unfortunately, I was not very athletic as a child. I was too conscious of being fat and was scared of being ridiculed if I failed while playing any sport. It was not as if I was a complete couch potato, but certainly not as athletic as I could have been if I had more confidence and direction from a good coach.

I started lifting weights around the age of 15, and fell in love with it immediately. I had no coach, no direction, no proper plan, but just simply showed up and tried to go heavy. Over the years, I started educating myself more and more about how to train optimally, and started getting stronger and fitter by applying that knowledge. While I was working on my own strength and conditioning I also started helping my friends to get fitter. In the process I happened to help a friend to prepare for a bodybuilding competition. Eventually I realized that I need to make coaching my career as I truly loved helping others. I got certified as a Gym Instructor from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) in 2007 and have been involved in this industry since then.

Q. How did you get involved in kettlebells?

Initially, I used to weight train using mostly bodybuilding concepts. They were useful and made positive changes. However, I was never keen on competing onstage, and around 2005 I developed a love for martial arts. I started with martial arts training in that year and even went on to become the Bengal state champion in Kung Fu for two successive years. During this time I researched on the best ways to weight train for martial arts and came across the concept of functional training. It was while researching on functional training that I read about kettlebells, and how they were of great benefit to anyone, especially athletes. It was very different from what I was doing, and I could see that it would immensely benefit my strength, conditioning and general health and fitness.
I finally got myself my first kettlebell, a 22 kg bell in 2010 and starting using it by watching Youtube videos. At that time I thought that what I was doing was correct and continued to do so for almost a year. Then, I attended the IKFF Certified Kettlebell Teacher (CKT) level 1 workshop taught by renowned expert Steve Cotter in 2011. During the workshop I was completely humbled, and realized that I knew nothing much about training properly with kettlebells. I had no idea about proper breathing, proper body alignment, or even something as simple on how to properly hold a kettlebell most efficiently (I used to hold it like a dumbbell, ha ha). After that humbling experience, I went about using the proper techniques that I learnt and kept further educating myself by approaching real experts rather than rely solely on Youtube videos.

Q. What are your best achievements so far with kettlebells?

As a lifter my best numbers so far are:

43 jerks with two 32 kgs bells, which is the current Asian record for 32 kg jerks

74 snatches with a 32 kg kettbell

100 one arm presses with a 32 kg kettlebell

25 one arm snatches with a 40 kg kettlebell, and 10 one arm presses with a 40 kg kettlebell.

I am also the current Asian record holder for absolute biathlon score with 32 kgs. You can see videos of most of my best sets mentioned above in the following link-

As a coach, I am proud to have taught my students to lift kettlebells to improve their health, performance and fitness levels. I have also coached multiple students to successfully clear international kettlebell certifications.

I would like to mention that I am also the chief organizer of India’s first ever kettlebell competition- Kolkata Kettlebell Meet, which is an annual kettlebell event and began in 2013.

Q. What is your training philosophy when it comes to training with kettlebells?

A lot of beginners make the mistake of assuming kettlebell training is the same like barbell and dumbbell training. While you can apply the basic lifting techniques of other tools with kbs to some degree, ultimately you will need to learn the finer points of kettlebell lifting if you really wish to benefit from kb training. Technique should come first before intensity, and getting really good with the basic lifts will benefit you much more than practicing too much variety. That would sum up my overall philosophy about kettlebell lifting.

Q. What is the single most important factor you would like to pinpoint to individuals who want to/are pursuing fitness through kettlebell training?

Again, technique before intensity would be the most important thing to keep in mind. I see too many beginners wanting to do things like non stop snatching, or attempting to lift too heavy too early. This just causes unnecessary injuries, lack of progress, frustration, and denying the trainee the real benefits that kb training has to offer. Get a proper kettlebell coach and learn how to lift properly for your own good. If you cannot find a regular coach, then attend some workshop/course conducted by a good coach to learn the proper techniques. You will only thank yourself in the future for having done so.

Q. What specific problems do you see that men and women have with their own training with kettlebells?

When it comes to men, I see them tending to rely more on brute strength rather than relying on smooth technique. While that does give some success initially, in the long run their numbers stall very soon and they fail to make progress. With women, they tend to be initially reluctant to lift heavier bells and prefer to stick to really light bells. Thus they fail to see any results as the weight is too light and the workout lacks intensity.

Q. When it comes to physical training, what should men and women aim for? How should they keep themselves motivated?

The exact specifics would have to depend on the individuals and their particular needs. However, overall they should ensure that their fitness program involves developing a well rounded level of fitness, and that their life and physical activities outside the gym is benefitted by their training.
In terms of motivation, results would be the number one factor. However, do not expect unrealistic results, as it will only cause disappointment. Then, surrounding yourself with like minded and hard working fitness enthusiasts would be a very useful way to stay motivated. And of course, keeping yourself updated on the latest in fitness will also give you further motivation.

Q. Could you tell us about the upcoming KTCC course in Bangalore, and what would those attending the KTCC course learn?

Sure. I will be teaching the Sarkartraining Kettlebell Trainer Certification Course (KTCC), level one in Bangalore at the Iron Cult Gym on July 19-20th. The participants will learn about kettlebell training in detail, and the course will involve both practical and theory lessons for those who attend it. Here are some of the details that the participants will learn at the KTCC weekend course:

• How to use kb’s as your sole training tool

• How to use kb’s as an addition to your current training program

• How to breathe properly to become more efficient at kettlebell training

• How to avoid banging up your forearms when doing cleans and snatches

• How to avoid tearing up your hands when doing snatches

• How to keep grip failure away during high reps to be able to work your cardio system and muscular endurance to a greater degree

• How to rack efficiently to be able to use your structure to support the kettlebell and not just use your shoulders. This will help you to work for much longer

• How to be able to press a heavier kettlebell for higher reps

• How to regulate tension to improve your numbers dramatically

• How to use kb’s in a strength and mass building phase

• How to use kbs in a fat loss phase

• How to use a minimalist kb program for the super busy trainees

Q. Is it necessary for participants to have previous experience in kettlebell training?

Prior experience in kettlebell lifting will be useful, but it is by no means a necessity. We have had people touch a kb for the first time during the KTCC course, and still successfully clear it, and then go on to use it to improve their fitness levels.

Q. Do you study the field?

Yes, in this very dynamic and ever evolving industry it is very important to keep upto date with all the new developments, and that is only possible when one continues to study and learn from the work and writings of others.

Q. Anything else you would like to mention?

Yes, at this point I am very excited at the prospect of coming and working with the trainers and fitness enthusiasts in Bangalore during the KTCC weekend. I look forward to teaching and also learning from the hard working fitness professionals and enthusiasts during the course.

Q. Where can the readers know more about you?

You can read more about me, and read my articles by visiting my site-

You can find the details of the workshop in this brochure:

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