By Starrla Cray
DELANO, MN First-timers at Delano’s newest gym, Core Fit ‘n Motion, might be a bit skeptical about using kettlebells, ropes, and bandit loops to work out but once they try it, there’s a good chance they’ll be hooked.
Owner Alan Wissbroecker, who opened the fitness center Sept. 1, first tried these unique exercises three years ago.
“I’m so much stronger now,” he said, adding that instead of “bulking up,” kettlebells help people build stamina, flexibility, endurance, core strength, and agility.
So, what is a kettlebell, anyway?
“A kettlebell is a traditional Russian cast iron weight that looks like a cannonball with a handle,” Wissbroecker explains on his web site.
As a tool that’s used to provide a complete workout for people of all fitness levels, kettlebells are gaining popularity throughout the US.
Wissbroecker first tried kettlebells as a way to increase his workouts.
“I started having people come up to me and ask, ‘can you show me?’” Wissbroecker said. He unofficially began training a few of his friends, and then started offering classes in his home.
“After awhile, I thought I should probably learn how to train formally,” he said. Wissbroecker earned his personal training certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and later went to Rhode Island for kettlebell certification at the Art of Strength training center.
As interest grew, Wissbroecker decided to rent space for a fitness center. Kettlebell training is a “part-time passion” for Wissbroecker, who also works as an insurance safety consultant at RJF Agencies in Plymouth.
Core Fit ‘n Motion is also becoming a family affair.
Wissbroecker’s wife, Renee, is also planning to become certified. Their two oldest sons, ages 14 and 11, participate in the classes.
The Wissbroeckers also have four adopted children and a 15-month-old foster daughter they are planning to adopt.
Renee hopes to teach a class that’s specifically geared toward children, Wissbroecker said. Currently, Core Fit ‘n Motion has participants that range from 11 to 62.
“It’s fun, because we have a really good group,” he said. “They kind of push each other along.”
Many of the people in Wissbroecker’s classes are starting to notice results, he said.
“One woman has lost 35 pounds since she started in May,” he said.
In addition to weight loss and cardiovascular health, the exercises at Core Fit n’ Motion often alleviate back pain, Wissbroecker said.
“A lot of what we do stabilizes the spine,” he said, explaining that back pain is often caused by a weak core.
The exercises are also beneficial for gaining overall strength. Typically, men who come to Wissbroecker’s classes start out with a kettlebell ranging from 26 to 35 pounds. Wissbroecker said he has built up his strength, and now mainly uses a weight range of 53 to 70 pounds, depending on the exercise.
One of the unique exercises at Core Fit ‘n Motion is called the Turkish getup.
“More than half the people who start can’t do the movement, even without weights,” he said. They work up to the exercise by doing other movements that aren’t as challenging.
“Pretty much every exercise we do has some kind of modification,” he said, whether it’s to make it less demanding or more difficult.
In addition to kettlebells, Wissbroecker utilizes ropes and “old-style” barbells and dumbbells in his classes.
An average class consists of a five-minute warm-up, 35-minute workout, and five-minute cool-down. So far, he’s had one or two new people attend each week.
There will be a grand opening sometime in October, he said, but a date hasn’t been set.
To see videos showing kettlebell workouts, Wissbroecker recommended www.artofstrength.com.
“That’s actually where I started to get a lot of my learning from,” he said.
The price of a kettlebell is between $50 to $200, depending on weight.
“I have about $8,000 invested in just kettlebells,” Wissbroecker said. At his gym, he has kettlebells that range from 4 to 44 kilograms.
Core Fit ‘n Motion is located at 214 River St. N in Delano, and the web site is www.corefitnmotion.com. Wissbroecker can be reached by phone at (763) 267-7847.