Bristol Kettlebell club  Member profile – Julie Haydon

Julie - 2 x 16kg Kettlebell front squat



When did you get into kettlebell training?

I started kettlebells in November 2011 after buying a bootcamp voucher.  The bootcamp was great; meeting three times a week over four weeks gradually built up our skills and knowledge of the various exercises and was also a good way of getting to know a really great bunch of new people.  After that I was hooked so decided to join the classes and have not looked back since!


What attracted you to kettlebell training? / What other types of fitness have/do you enjoy?

I really didn’t know what to expect when I bought the kettlebell voucher – I didn’t even know what kettlebells were to be honest but had heard good reports about it from others and fancied giving it a try. I’ve tried lots of different forms of exercise in the past and having enjoyed body pump years ago thought I may like the kettlebells. I’ve also really enjoyed circuit type training in the past and in some ways kettlebells is not dissimilar to that.  I also much prefer classes as opposed to say going to the gym as I am not very self motivated; I need someone telling me what to do! I also like the sort of exercise classes where you don’t have to worry about being in time with the music or doing anything to complicated with choreography! Kettlebells is therefore perfect for me; I don’t have to concentrate too hard and I feel like I’ve a really good all over body workout after each class.  Its really nice to be able to do outdoors in the better weather, is very sociable and NEVER boring – Pete always has something different for us to do!


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Some say it’s really tough, is it?

Kettlebell classes are tough but then I always think what’s the point of exercising if you don’t feel like you’ve done something.  I can honestly say that after each class I always feel like I’ve done something worthwhile for the body and soul!  Its great though as it caters for all abilities as you use weights that suit you – so the same class can be a challenge for a beginner whilst also being a challenge for someone much stronger and fitter. It is a really good cardio workout too; so although generally the kettlebell exercises are low impact, the heart rate really increases.


There is a lot of hype surrounding kettlebell training, what kind of results have you seen?

I was amazed after just doing the bootcamp at how much more toned I felt, particularly around my stomach area, arms and rear end!  That’s what now has me hooked; I want to keep toning up!! I feel a lot fitter and healthier in myself too and hate missing a class now – I’m definitely hooked!


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What size kettlebells do you work with?

I am gradually trying to increase the weights I work with to make it harder and hopefully achieve better results.  So for example when we started I was swinging a 10kg weight; I’m now swinging a 16kg.  In the recent fitness tests which involves snatching a kettlebell for ten mins, I went from a 8kg to a 10kg and am now trying to use a 12kg when I can.  You can vary it though; so if you want to take things easier one day for whatever reason you can; or equally you can make it harder.


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What are your future goals within kettlebell training?

In the future I’d like to get fitter, stronger and more toned. I’m not sure I’ll ever aspire to being the ‘strongwoman of the year’ (!) but as long as I feel that I’m pushing myself to make improvements I’ll be happy! 🙂


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Words from Pete

Julie has been training with the club for well over one year, she has made some great improvements in her strength and fitness in this time and really gets stuck in to the sessions. She came into the club along with 5 or 6 other women who all have remained good friends to this day. They enjoy the camaraderie of training together and keep each other motivated, which is a great benefit. Julie picks up on a great point above in that kettlebell training is completely scalable and so suits all fitness and strength levels. At the club we have bells that range from 4.5kg to 32kg, beginners and hardened marine commando’s can workout together and both achieve results. Well done on all your achievements Julie, let me know if there is anything I can do for you.