Kettlebell Training with Rick

By: Rick Bradley

I grew up chunky, never really in shape. I fell into the trap most American males do- you get married, get old and fat, and then die.

Let me fast forward to the age of 37. At 37, I was divorced, drinking excessively, eating gallons of ice cream, and watching The Sopranos. At my lowest, I plummeted well over 312 pounds. My body mass was 52% (I’m 5 feet 8 inches tall.) My body was breaking down and was getting in the way of my work a lot. I’m a bag handler for a major airline company, I lift for a living. With the weight I put on, I could no longer physically do my job.

The final straw came when I tore my bicep tendon. I was off from work for 11 months! The work conditioning started and I was so happy to just go somewhere after sitting around for almost a year. I started to lose weight and feeling great! I joined a gym and was able to go back to work, when boom I get hurt again. With my second injury, I put on the pounds I once lost. This cycle would be happening for years.

As I got older, my health really started to decline. I became a borderline diabetic, my cholesterol was high, and my blood pressure was getting up there as well. At this point, my doctor suggested the lap band, and I went for it. A very close friend I’ve known since high school, Steve Cotter, he’s well respected in the fitness industry, introduced me to kettlebells. I would bring them to work and train with them in between flights. I was starting to lose weight and feel great again.

Unfortunately, the lap band started really jacking with me and I wasn’t gaining or losing weight anymore. I stayed at 250 pounds and it started affecting me mentally. I thought I was doing something wrong. My doctor assured me several patients have experienced the same dilemma. He recommended the gastric sleeve, and I had that put in. This was my second chance at being healthy- both physically and mentally.

I dove head first starting with my diet. I eat fresh food, nothing out of a box. I meal prep my meals for the week. Don’t get me wrong, when the grandson comes over I enjoy his gold fish crackers. But, I will still eat healthy afterwards. I do not say, “oh well, I cheated, so a gallon of ice cream it is.” I really pay close attention to what I eat and what I am putting inside of my body. It is a struggle. A fun struggle, nonetheless, because I am always learning about my body.

Kettlebell training, and meal planning have changed my appearance, as well as my outlook in life. I hope my story will encourage others to pursue an active lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle is a rewarding and successful path. Remember, results happen over time, not overnight. Work hard, stay consistent and be patient.


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