NEIGHBORHOOD NOTES | Enjoy camaraderie at Southside Kettlebells group fitness classes


Bring your “can-do” attitude to Southside Kettlebells on 42nd Street and enjoy a free class, encourages owner and kettlebell instructor Hiromi Yokoi. “There is no typical class! Every class is different; we hardly have the same routine twice. What’s common is a bunch of satisfied, sweaty people at the end of the class,” said Yokoi. All classes at Southside are group events. “People get to know each other quickly and there is a sense of camaraderie among the clients. There are a lot of interactions among the participants as well as with the instructors. Yet unlike contact sports like marshal arts or highly choreographed exercise like aerobics, there is individuality in the workout,” said Yokoi. “In other words, it doesn’t matter if you missed a few steps, or take a break while others keep going. You simply get back into the group when you are ready.” There are two instructors at most classes to ensure safety and provide enough coaching. Beginners and experts work out together. “By seeing the clients who have been with us (the advanced) is a great motivator for the beginners, and being able to reflect on yourself by looking at the beginners — how far you’ve come — is a great feeling for advanced,” said Yokoi. What is a kettlebell? A kettlebell looks like a cannonball with a handle. Its shape allows both weight and cardio training simultaneously. BENEFITS OF KETTLEBELL TRAINING                                                     • Develops all purpose strength • Amps resilience • Maximizes staying power • Blends strength with flexibility • Hacks the fat off without dieting and aerobics • Forges a fighter’s physique “Kettlebell works on your strength and cardio all at once,” explained Yokoi. “If you lift weight, you would normally do a separate set or time for cardio activities or vise versa.” All the movements in kettlebells are designed to be natural to the human body. For example, there is no arching of the back to lift kettlebells over your head as you might do in traditional weight lifting. “This is a great benefit for people with past injury and/or physical limitations,” observed Yokoi. At Southside Kettlebells, instructors employ the “High Intensity Interval Training” method. “Basically you do a cardio activity as fast as you can do for a very short period of time (like 20 seconds up to a minute or so), rest for 10 seconds or so, and repeat this cycle for four to five minutes,” explained Yokoi. “This promotes the strengthening of the muscles around your heart which leads to stronger heart. By swinging the bells (instead of lifting), the weight of the bell pulls your muscles and joints, elongating your ligaments – this is helpful for people with tendinitis. As matter of fact, many of our clients are referred by their physicians and chiropractors.” Southside Kettlebells has been located at 3107 E. 42nd Street since July 2008. The space matched the unique requirements owners had. “The space had to be wide open and square or rectangle. The floor could not be too polished (fearing bells might damage the polished floor). We didn’t want the floor carpeted. The ceiling had to be high enough for the movements that require bells to be hoisted above head,” explained Yokoi. “This location fits our specification perfectly and the owner is the nicest landlord we have ever met! Also in our early days we knew we wanted to be small, local fitness place. Since this is a very nice residential community, we thought it was a good fit for us.” They’ve been proven right. CLASS RATES • First Class: FREE • Unlimited access to all classes: $100/month • Punch Card for 8 Classes: $100/month • Single class: $15/class Classes are offered 7 days a week. Morning classes are offered Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Kickboxing classes are held on Sunday mornings. Southside offers progressive discounts on the monthly membership; a client gets a discount of $10 when completing 30 classes, another $20 discount after additional 30 classes. Family and student discounts are also available.  Instructors are certified RKCs by Pavel and Russian Kettlebell Federation. “We welcome anybody – we don’t care if you are athletic type, or this is the first attempt to do exercise in a long time,” said Yokoi. “We also don’t care how young or old you are.” Southside Kettlebells 3107 E. 42nd Street Minneapolis, MN 55407 (612) 281-1166

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