Kukka Laakso Interview

Maya: What are some quick tips you would give a female lifter just starting out?

Kukka: Here are some thoughts that would have helped me when I started.

* Find a coach or train with others and concentrate on your technique. Learn the basics first and remember there is only one way to learn and that is by doing it.

* Be patient. Realistic. It takes thousands and thousands reps to find the technique, and yet there is always something to learn. I was not patient in the beginning. I’m so embarrassed now because when I started I actually thought “this is easy.”

* Focus.

* Focus harder.

Well, seriously… it took me a long time to realize that if I really want to see progress in my KB lifting, I have to focus on KB lifting. It’s not fun all the time and it’s definitely not easy. But seeing the progress is very motivating. I could talk all day about snatching, jerking, swinging, chalking the handles, or fixing lockouts or drops or following the bells, etc. I guess I talk so much that the bells are following me (LOL).

Even my daughter knows when it’s time for me to lift (and that I talk too much). She’s been watching my training and even that 5 years old girl seems to know how a good lockout looks like. She lectured me one day when she saw that there was no chalk on one of the bells. “Mom, you haven’t lifted the orange bell. There’s no chalk on it. Stop talking and do your training now.”

…and there is no way I could have said that any better.

Maya: What is Kettlebell Lifting in your opinion?

Catherine: Technically, it is high rep-usually ballistic Kettelbell lifts like the Jerk and Snatch. For me, it is a way to keep my conditioning at a decent level even though I don’t always have a lot of time to train. It has been a safe and effective way for me to maintain my strength, conditioning, flexibility, and mobility. I find that it has made me mentally resilient as well. Pushing myself in training is not near as difficult as it was prior to lifting KBs and I think that is because the protocols teach you how to relax even when you are uncomfortable. It is a good anti-dote to the pressures of a desk job.