Crash Course: Crash course: F3 Training & Bodywork offers workouts that integrate kettlebell and body weight exercises in a small group training environment. F3’s program (aka the Path of the Warrior) starts with introductory classes that cover beginner fundamentals and goes through master classes for advanced students.[line] [left]where: 1215 Connecticut Ave NW, 4th Floor | Dupont Circle
bring: water and gloves or tape for your hands if you have them!
perks: small class size
sweat score: 6 out of 10[/left][right]wear: anything you can move in
cost: drop in rate is $25/ $149 monthly unlimited [/right][line]
I am still feeding my ClassPass addiction and booking classes at as many participating studios as I can. F3 Training & Bodywork is one of the studios on ClassPass, and I was interested to see what this kettlebell stuff was all about. I seemed to have vague memories of seeing these things strewn around the gym, and might have even picked one up a time or two. So, it seemed like signing up for a full class focused on kettlebells was one way to satisfy my curiosity – go big or go home.
Meaghan had visited F3’s previous location, so I was excited to give them a try in their new digs. I was even more excited when I discovered they were conveniently located in Dupont, just a few blocks of from my office.
The studio is a little tricky to find, as the most prominent signage is for psychic readings. But, don’t be dismayed, you’re in the right place. Head up the elevator to the 4th floor and you’ll find the studio, which is shared with Jordin’s Paradise. F3 has the front room, which has big windows that overlook Connecticut Avenue. You can keep your eye on Shake Shack throughout the class if you need some extra motivation.
The space is small and no frills, but still clean and cozy. There are cubbies to stash your stuff, and kettlebells of all different sizes and colors line the walls.
As soon as I walked in, it was clear that they had quite the dedicated group of regulars. Glenn and Danny, the two trainers, warmly greeted everyone by name – even sharing baby photos. Many of the participants knew each other, and the spirit of camaraderie was palpable. There was one other newbie in the group (a fellow ClassPasser!) and they divided the class into two small groups based on experience levels. This particular class was their Introductory/Warrior I class, but there were definitely some more advanced students there as well.
Danny, the Head Trainer, led my group and started us off with the pink kettlebells which were 8kg (and also pretty, which helps). He reviewed the basic techniques and form needed to effectively use the bells (is that the lingo?) and soon we were off and swinging.
Danny had us pair off and take turns swinging the kettlebells through our legs and back up to our chests. The motion wasn’t much at first, but as soon as we started racking up the repetitions, that pretty pink kettlebell started to feel much heavier than 8kg.
Throughout the workout, Danny periodically took breaks to correct our form, demonstrate variations, and give us some pointers. I was grateful for our intimate group of four since we were all able to get lots of personal attention – especially the two of us rookies. I certainly needed assistance as I had a really hard time getting the movement down. The swinging motion seemed to go against anything I had ever been told in exercise classes, so it just felt super unnatural. Danny and Glen, and even some of my fellow classmates, were really helpful in offering suggestions and adjustments.
Once we made it to the cooldown, I was hurting – my back and my hands especially. Unfortunately, I had not heeded Meaghan’s advice of bringing athletic tape for my hands – big mistake. The back pain, which was way worse the next day, was no doubt due to my poor form.
Overall, I am really glad I tried it and now know exactly how to use those kettlebells. However, I think I would prefer to incorporate them as a portion of a workout, rather than the central focus. That said, I was certainly sore the next day and many of the regulars told me how they have seen great results from attending classes a couple of times a week.
Have you given kettlebells a try?