“For years I have suffered from chronic pain associated with various injuries, a broken neck, herniated disk, and chronic sciatica. Losing weight helped a little but did not solve the problem, chiropractic helped a lot but the effects were largely temporary, and drugs only masked the problem. The solution wasn’t to lose weight, manipulate the bones, or take drugs. The solution was to learn the proper way to exercise so that my bones and muscles could work together to heal and restructure my body in the way that it is unhampered by fear and further injury. The Form is Function programs are designed to take a person from where they are to where they need to be to experience optimum form and fitness without compromising safety and risking further injury. Stop in and visit with Eric, you will be happy you did.” – Pamela Bradford, Systems Analyst, Nevada City CA
“Wow! I am deeply grateful to Eric for his kettle bell instruction and wisdom. He has a thorough understanding of the human body especially bringing healing and recovery to injuries. Most of my injuries came from a car accident when I was 18 years old and for the past 17 years I have been limited in my physical abilities because of them. I have chronic lower back pain from the pelvis break and it got increasingly worse after I had my son. After working with Eric for 2 months, I have an easy 50% improvement in pain and simple yet effective take home exercises to help maintain and improve upon that. Having so many ‘debilitating’ injuries at such a young age left me skeptical of ever finding lasting freedom from them. Eric maintains a positive outlook on healing. He trusts the body’s natural inclination to recover if given the proper guidance. Not only has he given me invaluable coaching on body mechanics, he has taught me how to listen to my own body wisdom and trust the messages it sends me – no pain, no fear. Thanks Eric! You are a gem in our community.” – Molly Fitzpatrick MSOM, Nevada City CA
“I’ve spent my entire adult life trying to find a form of exercise that would make me stronger, fitter and healthier and improve my balance. Other important factors were an attentive, knowledgeable instructor and exercise that challenged me but did not expose me to injury. I’m uncomfortable in a gym atmosphere because gyms can be sweaty and crowded and I’m a woman of a certain age and somewhat shy. After a back injury, my chiropractor suggested I try Eric’s kettle bell training. I had never worked with free weights before. I was intimidated when I walked in the door but I soon observed that Eric’s classes have an immediately welcoming atmosphere of calm competency and camaraderie. There are no TVs, no music, no frantic activity—just people calmly doing their work and helping other people meet their fitness goals. Every movement in the class is thoroughly taught, and Eric is always available to correct your technique and make sure that your form is completely safe. People are friendly and there is a pervasive culture of helping one another. Eric, besides being an excellent and well-trained instructor, is open to suggestions and is approachable. He has a work-around for almost any injury or disability that you think might present an obstacle. There is no pressure to do heavier lifts—that’s a decision you make yourself in consultation with Eric.
Eric’s classes are diverse and you might be working alongside young guys lifting 100s of pounds on barbells, women in their 60s and beyond, strong young women, even the occasional kid. Eric inspires an atmosphere of respect for each individual’s personal goals. Although there are people in the class breaking personal strength records, there is absolutely no feeling of competition. No one is straining or red-faced, and there’s none of the shouting or roaring you see in a stereotypical weight-lifting setting.
Since I started Eric’s classes, I have become demonstrably stronger. For several years I’ve had one leg that is weaker than the other. That problem resolved within less than six months of working with Eric. I don’t know if it’s related, but I just lived through a winter in which I did not have a single cold or respiratory virus, and I usually have several. I believe that working with Form Is Function has improved my immune system. I also feel more confident and happier because I’ve accomplished things I never thought possible. The other activities I enjoy, such as walking and dancing, are easier because every part of my body is stronger.
Eric also teaches strength workshops with a special focus. At a recent workshop, Eric taught an easy, comfortable technique that in two minutes allowed me to touch my toes for the first time in years. It was astonishing.” – Joyce Miller, Contra dancer, KVMR DJ – Nevada City CA
“The number one injury that takes out snowboarders is shoulder injuries, and at the age of 25, my shoulders started to hurt every single time I would hit a big jump. . . . My shoulders would get these sharp, shooting pains. And I’m, like, I can’t believe this. I’m already getting taken out by shoulder injuries and pain by the age of 25 and I can’t believe this is already happening to me. Simple exercises, with very little time, and my shoulders started getting better and better and better and better. And now it’s been so long that I have had no pains in my shoulder that it’s not even an issue any more. It’s not even a thought process. It’s not even a hesitation.” – Evan Strong, professional snowboard racer and Paralympic gold medalist, Nevada City CA. – from KNCO radio interview 2014.
“I just started working out with Eric Kenyon and I’m trying to become a professional snowboarder. One of the problems, as you all know, with snowboarding is our knees. Basically, in 2 1/2 weeks, or so, from doing the training my whole knee pain has kind of disappeared. I’m way stronger from it and I feel better now. I feel like I could take on the whole world.” – Levi Sheldon, competitive snowboard racer, Grass Valley CA
Lombard, landscape painter, KVMR DJ, Nevada City CA
“I was drawn to FIF through word of mouth and friends. My boyfriend and I signed up to take Eric’s workshop on strengthening and protecting knees. I have always heard nothing but excellent reviews of Eric’s training. My experience was no different. He showed us positions, ways of holding kettle bells, and ways to move which were immediately evident of the comfort, and eventually support they would provide through his strength training. His approach was different than any I’ve previously experienced and Eric is precise, knowledgeable and professional in his approach. I left feeling like I had learned a lot and that his teachings and suggestions will further benefit me in any exercise I’m doing. I highly recommend Eric Kenyon and FIF to anyone looking to strengthen, heal, and or train. It was a great experience!!”– Lindsay Weills, Nevada City CA
“How Strength and Conditioning training has improved my Aikido: I started training at Aikido’ka in Grass Valley about 5 months ago. My personal goal was to excel in a martial art that suited what I was looking for. When I started, my teacher suggested I couple the Aikido practice with the strength and conditioning practice brought to the dojo by s&c teacher Eric Kenyon. I did as the teacher recommended, and improved in my practice at a quicker rate than anticipated. I was able to endure a week long Aikido camp, with approximately 5 hours a day of practice, with much energy and enthusiasm. Fellow students asked how I improved so quickly, to which I responded with the recommendation of Form is Function strength and conditioning training. The s&c training has vastly improved my Aikido skills as well as helped in my daily life. I spent much of my life with incorrect posture and back problems due to minor scoliosis. I was always engaged in different physical fitness activities to ensure that I would have less back problems. But I can confidently say that I have never had better posture, stability, and balance until now. For me Aikido and s&c go very well together, and continue to improve my movement. Diligent practice of these classes is one of my main focuses at the moment. I have gained so much more than physical improvement. My mental clarity and focus have also vastly improved. I am truly grateful to have found these classes. I plan on continuing to practice, and I highly recommend this to anyone struggling with any type of body issue of any kind.” – Katie McCammon, Nevada City CA.
These lovely people, Erik and Penney, are the REAL DEAL my friends, incredibly knowledgeable, talented, skilled, fun and empowering. Kettlebells at Form Is Function with these two have been the best strength- related activities I’ve ever encountered. PLUS their special helper will keep you on your functional movement toes with Flounder Power Crawls! It’s hard to find true quality out there in the fitness jungle these days, and here it is just waiting for you. I highly, highly recommend this as an integral part of a healthy lifestyle, experiencing functional movements in strength training will profoundly affect your life and body! – Carrie Hofer, healer & bodyworker, Nevada City CA
Started Kettle bell class with Eric Kenyon SFG at Aikido Ka last week and I can’t put into words how happy I am to have found Eric. He is a wealth of information! I went to learn strength training and what I came home with was a whole new way to move my body (or as Eric would say I relearned the way we all used to move as kids) so as to put an end to the continuous strain I’ve been putting on my back and knees from years of moving unnaturally. I am excited at how quickly this class is enabling me to strengthen and I feel great when I leave. Eric is extremely careful to make sure we don’t do anything to injure ourselves in class which is so important
after years of repetitive incorrect motion. I am extremely impressed with how quickly this class enables one to build strength in such a short amount of time and I am looking forward to making habit this new (or should I say old) way of moving! – Tracey Stirling, Apitherapist, Nevada City CA
Mind blown today! Eric Kenyon SFG is an incredible trainer! all you “athletes” who train with crossfit, p90x, insanity or some other ridiculous gimmick, I’m not gonna say your doing it wrong but you should rethink some shit. If you’re just exercising for the sake of exercising knock your self out with that shit, but if you have goals, real goals, you should do some research in the field of russian kettlebells. You’ll find a good start by checking out www.kettlebellform.com. – Chris Ball, snowboarding instructor, Truckee CA
I 100% agree with this and I’m questioning everything I thought I knew. – Jen Jones, snowboarding instructor, Truckee CA
“Hi Eric..I really want to thank you for the very informative class …I couldn’t believe how many things I can do to naturally focus on my body to engage the core and other ways to help strengthen my back which to me is everything that help make my life function so much better and to have the tools and knowledge to not pull a muscle by lifting or pulling things wrong…Makes a huge impact on my life..Thank you.” – Michelle McGee, recreational bicycle racer, Nevada City CA
Just got finished taking my first class with EK, I cannot articulate how impressed I am with his teaching style. I felt safe, comfortable, and capable of anything learning from this man. I highly recommend everyone come try out a class, regardless of your previous experience. I’ve never done anything like this until today and I’m HOOKED. – Reuben Smith, rock climber & runner, Nevada City CA
It was so awesome. Eric, in just a few classes with you, my strength has grown exponentially. Yesterday I was surprised to find that the weights I usually use at a local gym felt like feathers! – Laura Holland Belk, Nevada City CA
I have recently retired after 37 years working in emergency services, as paramedic on an ambulance and as a firefighter. Both jobs involve frequent lifting and moving of heavy loads, often under circumstances that are awkward to work in and require the loads to be moved quickly. Back injuries are common and can often be severe enough to end a career. I have been training in FIF under Eric’s guidance for about 8 months now, and I wish that I and my colleagues had had the benefit of this system for the last almost 4 decades. The principles of focus, integrated movement, breath control, and proper form have made me stronger and safer in all my lifting movements, from moving bags of cement and fence posts, to pulling weeds, my martial arts training, snowboarding, cycling, kayaking, and even something as simple as tying my shoes. My awareness of my body’s movement and structure, and the knowledge I’ve gained through FIF training, have made me stronger, healthier, and safer in all aspects of my life. Eric is great instructor, knowledgeable, enthusiastic, patient, and supportive. I would recommend this training to anyone, and especially to those in the fire and EMS fields. – Mark Zwagerman
I just had the most rocking personal kettlebell training session with Eric Kenyon Sfg! He is so knowledgable, helping me get clear on goals and also helping me protect my body where I have previous injuries. Being the type that likes to understand everything, I was very happy when he thoroughly explained how each lift worked different parts of my body and how they help with every day movements. He also kept educating me in where I was losing power and how to correct it. I feel so confident that I am doing the moves in a safe and highly effective way! Now I’m gonna practice a little bit every day till I get the moves ingrained in my muscle memory enough to go to the advanced group class.. – Jaya Love, holistic healer, Grass Valley CA.
I started working with Eric and kettlebells in Feb 2014. I am in my early 50’s, with a legacy of over three decades of sedentary work, and a chronic shoulder weakness. I had realized as I turned 50 that I had two roads to take with my body. One lead to rapid decline and weakness, and the other put me back into a positive relationship with my body, feeling strong, aware of my body and aging gracefully.
After three months with Eric, I can report that my entire body feels different. There is a tautness everywhere, and I can FEEL all those forgotten parts of my body. Compared to where I started, I have significant core strength increase, which translates to confidence that my body can deal with the sudden stresses of life, like digging out a tree stump in my back yard, or having fun lifting family members up and swinging them around. I am now looking forward to hitting and surpassing the strength level I had when I was 25.
Eric is taking me through a coaching program that I do three times a week, working on mobility, strength and correct alignment and movement patterns. Along with the exercises comes the Russian style approach to training, which breaks many of the paradigms I was used to around weight training and physical therapy. I am appreciating the whole body exercises, that naturally work foundational movement patterns, core strength, flexibility and even cardio. Eric has a great coaching style – positive, supportive and tailored to my capacity and needs. He articulates beautifully the conceptual basis of the Russian style, and includes lots of practical tips and wisdom to get more strength and results out of each lift. No pain, no fear, no sloppy lifting!
My shoulder is being gradually rehabilitated. When I was working with a physio after a shoulder operation, the physio had me working on isolation exercises for my rotator cuff muscles – it failed. I now understand from Eric that the rotator cuff muscles are designed to stabilize movement and work in a pattern with other muscle groups, not initiate movement in isolation. I have an entire arsenal of active and passive shoulder mobility exercises, kettle bell movement, and body weight exercises. – Michael Skoyles, computer engineer, Grass Valley CA.
“Another kettlebeller, Melissa Payne, said she has been training for three months and can see the results popping up in everyday life.
“There is a lot of attention on form,” Payne said, “and doing things safely with the weights and a big focus on complete engagement of the body, so you’re getting stronger everywhere rather than just lifting for a specific muscle group.”
Kettlebell student Alana Lucia has been attending classes for four months and said the results along with the ability to work out while her daughter is in her presence has been great.
“One of the things I love about this so much is your child gets to see you working out,” Lucia said, “which is important because I think parents skip over that. I think it’s really important to model self-care for your children, and it’s one of those things lots of people don’t think about.” – from the Nevada Union piece by Walter Ford, 29 Sep 2012.
“Don’t let any handicap stop you – Eric can help. I am 67 years old and had a major back injury in 2003. I was initially paralyzed on the right side from my waist down. After an excellent surgeon operated I regained use of my leg but not my right foot. I have worn a brace for 7 years. This injury took many of my favorite activities away and limited my workout style. I tried several things and always had major issues with my back. I read about Eric and kettlebells in a local paper and had him come to my home. From the very first Eric was positive about how kettlebells would help me. He was right. I now can walk without my brace almost all the time. My back no longer consistently hurts. He has improved my diet and my attitude toward my ability to do sports. I love golf but was very stiff and inflexible. Eric has helped me significantly improved my game. Eric inspires me with stories of his students. I now have a goal to match half the dead lift weight of one of his students (yes only half as she is awesome.) Thank you Eric for all you have done to improve my life.”
– Judy Armstrong – Penn Valley CA
“Say Goodbye to That Lower Back Pain! Eric Kenyon knows the business of getting fit for life and living a healthy lifestyle. He recently introduced me to the benefits of Kettlebell training and I haven’t looked back. Over several sessions Eric took me through the Kettlebell routines and coached me with the proper form and function. Eric is a naturally gifted athlete who inspired me to lift my own game and to work my way back to total body fitness. Eric showed me some warm-up routines and stretching exercises even before we got into the Kettlebell training. He diligently demonstrated each Kettlebell exercise and then patiently helped me work on the correct form. Most importantly, Eric inculcated the benefits of Kettlebell training and helped me understand the reasons behind this unique style of weight lifting. Eric is a natural trainer and teacher who will work with you every step of the way to achieve your goals and objectives.
Kettlebell training has gone a long way to alleviate my lower back pain caused by various muscle strains. I’ll let Eric explain the science behind Kettlebell training but this training improves your core body strength. It has helped me gain back some agility and strength that I haven’t experienced for many years. I spent over 24+ years in the U.S. Army where the physical fitness program was predicated almost entirely on running ability. In my time the military never did achieve a total body workout program anywhere near as effective as Kettlebell training. I could have saved a lot of time and effort had I been introduced to Kettlebell training years ago. Kudos to Eric for introducing me to this type of training and for motivating me to make it happen.”
–Lieutenant Colonel Frank Twarog, U.S. Army (Retired) – Greenfield, MA USA
“Best instructor I have ever trained with. I have worked with Eric off and on for a year and a half. He is by far the best instructor I have ever worked with. Most trainers just show you an exercise and count off your reps, NOT Erick. He is so good that he teaches skills, technique, reasons behind the movement, and pointers for advancement ~ all so that I may workout effectively and efficiently on my own (safely & with confidence). I am always highly motivated when and after I am around him. His depth of knowledge is incredible. He continues to ask me my goals, reviews my form, and assists me in improving my abilities each time I work out with him. Broadly, my goals are some form of improved strength, greater flexibility, and increased stamina. These goals have been met and are continuing to be re-challenged. He is an excellent teacher, motivator, and an over-all great guy. I highly recommend training with Eric.”
– Leah Barretta – Grass Valley CA
“trainer opens my eyes. I am 20 years old and am currently studying with ISSA to be a personal trainer i played football and was a comptition cheerleader in highschool. Both of these sports focused on extremes football on strength and cheerleading on flexibility. When I met eric he opened my eyes to the functionality of kettlebell style training the melding of strength and flexibilty! Since I have started training with eric I have aleviated shoulder, neck, and hip problems i aquired from the poor form and heavyweight used during my footall years. Thanks to Eric i have had enormous strength and flexibility gains as well as a overall sense of well being”
– Anthony West – Nevada City CA
“Sixty six and finally fit. Eric is a fabulous instructor. He helped me define my goals and set realistic training routines to achieve them. For the first time in my life, I am finally strong and fit. My thrity year problem with tennis elbow is over! My arthritic knee no longer bothers me. My strength, endurance and lung capacity have improved. These changes are due to Eric’s amazing skill in teaching proper form and motivating me to do more reps with heavier kettlebells. If you are ready to take training seriously, I highly recommend Eric.”
–Darcy Briel – Grass Valley CA
“Eric Shapes Nationally Competitive Judo Athlete. Eric’s complete dedication to his students, attention to detail and thorough understanding of training methods provides the perfect combination for realizing an individual’s strength, fitness and health potential. He has helped me build the strength and stamina I need to compete with the top athletes in the country in the sport of Judo; typically nearly half my age. I have been training regularly with Eric for about one year and this year I finally made the roster of nationally ranked female Judo athletes (currently only 8 in U.S. in my weight bracket). My core strength and body intelligence has increased significantly since I started training with him, among many other things too numerous to list. Whatever issue I bring to Eric, whether it be making weight, increasing speed, increasing flexibility, repairing injuries or building strength, he always provides me with the tools I need to make it happen. Eric always puts in the extra time it takes to make his students successful and is reliable and professional. As owner of Grass Valley Judo Club, I recommend him to all Martial Artists and Judo athletes who train at my gym but I would also recommend him to someone of any level of fitness.”
– Abigail Beck – nationally ranked judo competitor, Grass Valley CA
“I could be a great-grandma! I found it really doesn’t matter your age or (almost any) condition to feel you are in good hands with the instruction and knowledge given by Eric. I personally was looking for a way to strengthen my bones as I’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Meeting Eric at a Pavel (Tsatsouline, Eric & Alison’s principle teacher) event in Sacramento, I was immediately impressed with his straight-forwardness and enthusiasm. Fortunately for me, he was teaching in my area of Grass Valley. Even with a variety of students, young & older, he is able to coach in a way that works for everyone to get benefit. I definitely feel stronger and more balanced, a good thing for a 69 yr old! He takes the time to really listen, gives excellent information and I always leave feeling that I matter…….and he cares about everyone being fit. And he’s funny!”
– Catalina Davis, LMT – Grass Valley CA
“All gain and no pain 🙂 OK, so I was a little sore – but it was never painful. I’m not like some of the serious athletes and jocks that Eric trains – I just wanted to get a little stronger and be a little fitter and a little healthier. While I “get” that strength is paramount to a healthier, functioning body, I just couldn’t tolerate the thought of traditional “strength training”. Was I ever fortunate to run across kettlebells and Eric. From the start he was very easy and enjoyable to work with. He is organized in a way that is motivating. He never admonishes, only encourages. He explains techniques in a way that just “click.” He’s a master at ferreting out your fears and weaknesses, helping to transform them into confidence and strength – and he does it with a smile and a few laughs along the way. Painless!”
– Kirsten – Grass Valley CA
“No Pain No Fear. I am 62 and came to Eric 4 months ago with extreme lower back pain. I have always been extremely active and between equestrian accidents and most recently a skiing accident have accumulated a number of debilitating injuries over the years. Eric’s attention to form and function and patience in teaching the skills and techniques for effective workouts with amazing results has changed the quality of my life. My freedom of movement without fear of injury has allowed me to be more active again and life without chronic pain is a joy that is allowing me to re-evalute the goals I would like to set for myself. I would recommend Eric to anyone.”
– Mikela Ryan – Grass Valley CA
“46 year old firefighter. I have been on the road to improved health for quite some time now. Starting with eating right, detox, and improving my cardiovascular function, I was feeling better than I have in a long time, but felt that I was still lacking the strength that I would like for the extreme demands of my job, especially as I age. Even though I had been studying Pavel’s materials for about 5 years, I still felt that I wasn’t getting it and decided to find help. Eric was the instructor in my area, and I was fortunate to find him.
He not only helped me understand the principles of the Russian training that I had been reading about, but was able to hear and completely understand my goals. I can’t even say that this all boiled down to just a plan or routine – Eric’s training is much more dynamic than that – he will constantly assess your progress even while you are training with him and adjust your plan on the fly to accomplish your goals. (and exceed them)
Also, I can’t say enough about functional movement – training with the movements that you will use to perform, and not wasting time on exercises that will serve no purpose. Everything passes through the core and my body acts like a truss. It is superior to anything that I have ever seen defined as core strength. This will forever change the way that I work out.
The effect of increased strength with the kettlebell and other exercises that Eric has taught me, combined with the application of functional movement, has increased my ability 50% at the least, probably more. My performance has dramatically increased on the fireground both in strength and endurance, and I feel far less susceptible to injury. I can honestly say that I have not felt or performed this well since I was hired 20 years ago.
If you work in public safety and are thinking about training with Eric, just do it. He’s a good guy, very accommodating, and has taken me far beyond what I thought was possible in my abilities. He also has a range of diverse experience that allows him to understand the unique requirements of our type of work and beyond.”
– Todd Whitehead – Grass Valley CA.
“Feel better now. I have had 4 sessions with Eric so far. I am really impressed with feeling better overall. Less back pain, stronger core, better all round balanced feeling. I will do more in the future. Eric is very personable and enjoyable to work with.”
–Brion – Nevada City CA
“Rapid improvement in strength and movement patterns. I teach and perform as an aerial dancer and would have considered myself to be strong and in excellent shape before working with Eric. However, after almost half a year of attending his private sessions and classes, I am discovering a whole new level of focus and attention to detail in strength training and overall muscular movement.
I take a wide variety of athletic classes, including dance (Jazz, Ballet, Hip Hop, Modern, and Tap), Pilates, and Yoga. In the past I have trained to the level of black belt in Kung Fu San Soo and have taken Capoeira and Kickboxing. I have gone to several different body workers and am constantly looking for ways to improve my overall fitness. The point of all that is: I have researched and experimented with a large number of methods for increasing my physical capacity as an athlete, and I can say that Eric’s training has been one of the most effective. I find the focus on “natural movements” extremely useful. I was somewhat sceptical for the first month or so, I found it difficult to believe the glowing reviews Eric was giving his own exercises, especially as I’d never heard of kettlebells before. The more I practice with him however, the more I find that everything from normal daily movements, to dance classes, to climbing and performing on 26 ft fabrics has become more effortless and natural feeling. I’ve also been noticing a larger range of motion and ability to stabilize in stretches. I have also worked with him on injury rehab, again with impressive results.
I find in class that he has lots of experience with giving corrections that will guide the most awkward student into proper form. He is great at challenging people at a level appropriate for their particular body’s capabilities. I highly recommend his class to anyone who is interested in improving their natural movement patterns and fitness level and who would like to experience greater strength and stability throughout their lives and activities.”
– Grace Callaway – Aerial dancer & instructor, Grass Valley CA.
I’ve worked with many coaches and trainers over the years. Eric is one of the best. What is special about Eric is his in-depth knowledge of fitness and his meticulous attention to detail. Attention to form is essential for maximum results and injury avoidance and Eric is a master at teaching this. If you live in Gold Country, workout with Eric. It will be one of the best things you ever do to increase your health and fitness levels.”
– Rob Christie – Grass Valley CA
“Eric has made RKC a part of my life! Mr. Kenyon is an amazing instructor and has also become a good friend. I own a martial arts studio and his training and instruction has become a part of our school. Eric has a deep understanding of the arts and seems to be able to relate to all the different types of sport and show us all how to improve our preformance and personal well being. I am lucky to have found Eric and within two weeks of training I had ordered my first set of kettle bells. We now have almost 1600 pounds at our dojo and I am looking forward, under Eric training and expert guidance to become certified when he says I am ready!”
– Professor John Bright – martial arts instructor, Grass Valley CA
“My name is Jeffrey Dupra and i am thirty one years old. Fitness has always been a priority in my life. From the time i began to play and participate in athletics as a kid to the present day i have always been in shape with the focus and the goal of becoming more- stronger- faster- more resilient etc. I have trained with eric for about a year and a half and have in that time experienced surprising results and transformation. I met Eric in the gym where he patiently and persistently offered not only a compliment but some poignant criticism as well. His style, approach and demeanor all suggested that i listen to what he had to say. At the time i had been working with a trainer several times a week and in addition lifting three to five days in what i would have to call my old pattern of traditional weight room styled lifts- bench- arms- shoulders- squats- etc. I had been running on a short cyclic track of work and injury and was frustrated not only by limited progress, but by the lack of clear fitness goals as well. I agreed to participate in erics system on a trial basis in the context of ‘nothing to lose’, as what i was doing was not spectacular and without focus.
Two things became initially clear; Russian strength training was radically different than anything i had ever done before, both in physical practice and mental approach, and 2) eric was a unique instructor. I had grown accustomed to traineres who validated and supported my effort unconditionally and eric set out right way to strip my mind of preconceptions by being forcefully honest and at times bluntly critical. He pointed out that my training was more focused on superficial goals of image and attitude and was a long way from emphasizing real strength and athletics. I reflected on his criticism and decided to try his method. In the roughly year and a half that have followed i have become a stronger more focused athelte than i have ever been in my life, and at an age where i have seen most of my peers begin a slow and some say inevitable decline with regard to physical prowess and activity. Eric has emerged as a friend and teacher of strength and life. It takes a gifted instructor to change his students minds and eric is such an instructor. his patience, insight and strength are obvious and uplifting.”
– Jeffrey Dupra – Dancer, acrobat & juggler, Nevada City CA
“I am a 66 year old retired teacher with back and shoulder problems. I had a knee replacement two years ago and thought my athletic days were numbered. I discovered Eric through the a local gym and have been working with him individually for about a year now. My previous training was with the traditional type with squats, free weights and machines with 24 hr. fitness. Eric introduced me to the functional training method with kettle bells and my overall strength has improved tremendously. I am a USTA league tennis player and my game has gone to a higher level since I have been with Eric. Eric’s training methods, patience and motivational style have encouraged me to maintain a healthier overall lifestyle. His overall personality is friendly and supporting and he is just a great person to work with.”
– Bob D. – Grass Valley CA
“I have been training with Eric for about 6 months now, on average 2-3 times a week. I was initially hesitant to start, because I was used to the usual weight lifting saga of becoming bigger and heavier, and was not at all excited to gain the weight back that I had been working to lose from my last bout of weight training. Friends convinced me to try it, and I have become a true believer in Russian Kettlebell training.
Doing Kettlebell lifting with Eric has improved my body image as well as my mental and physical health. I greatly enjoy being pushed further and harder than I would normally push myself. I am very athletic, and played numerous sports throughout high school and college and currently still play many. I am thirty-one years old, and at a time when I see a lot of my friends slowing down, and taking longer to recuperate from their various injuries, I am stronger, faster and overall healthier than I may have ever been. My body shape is noticeably different than six months ago, and I feel like it is at its most efficient right now.
Nothing else has changed in my daily workout routine, besides the addition of Eric’s Kettlebell class. I am truly grateful to have found Eric and thankful that I have been able to add such an overall rewarding workout to my life.”
– Alix K. – Pro surfer, semi-pro volleyball player, Nevada City CA.
Eric’s group classes are both functional and fun! He creates a lively, comfortable atmosphere, full of comradery. He encourages students to challenge themselves but has a strict rule of “no fear, no pain”, making it clear that strength training involves dedication, persistence, and hard work, but you need never actually injure your body. If you are struggling with a certain movement, he does not let it get you down. Instead he says, “we’ve struck gold!” and proceeds to tailor some exercises to help you get it right. I have never felt discouraged in his class, only determined and excited to be working on whatever challenges I face.
I went to Eric’s kettlebell lifting class because I wanted to feel less weak and frail physically, and feel that it has not only strengthened my muscles, but also my confidence in my abilities! I leave each class feeling energized and proud of myself and for that I can thank Eric’s amazing leadership. His positive attitude, constructive critiques, and vast knowledge make him an ideal teacher and coach!”
– Cory Po – Grass Valley, CA
“Tactical Strength. Eric is a great instructor; he is patient and will work with you to help you understand specifically how each evolution is performed and tell you if you are doing it wrong then correct it. He will also explain what part of your body each exercise will benefit from and how to increase strength in the areas that you are weak in. He keeps classes interesting by switching up exercises and formatting routines to meet my specific physical job needs. Eric is very knowledgeable in body mechanics and will instruct you on how to perform each exercise safely. I have benefited from Eric’s teachings by improving my mobility, a noticeable decrease in painful body movements, and increase in strength.”
– Justin, wildland firefighter, Heli-tack crew – Grass Valley CA
“I have known Eric Kenyon for over a year now. I have 42 years training in a combat Street Survival martial art called Filipino Kun Tao. I am also the highest ranking and the longest practicing black belt in the U.S.A. in this art. Eric prides himself in each students individual needs when training with him. He pays attention to every detail and every exercise that will help each student get over hurdles due to injuries and weaknesses they may have. He has helped me immensely in my strength conditioning. Because he pays attention to every detail and does it with a smile and genuine pride – No matter what your age, I urge you to train with Eric at your earliest convenience.”
– Guru Mel HeBert – Grass Valley CA
“I come from a background of a lot of running, chi gung, yoga and martial arts. I am of a slim build, so any strength that I can get goes a long way for me. I also was having an issue with a strange pain that kept me up at nights some times in my left arm. The pain was also strange in that it was not localized, it would move around all the time so conventional methods were useless is dealing with it. After working with the MP (military press), TGU (Turkish get-up) and the Egyptian Dance stretch I have learned to manage this pain which has been with me for about 6 years. As long as I am regular in my strength training sessions it is absent.
.Beyond all of this Eric brings humor, humility and a lot of fun to the experience. He will push you past your percieved limits, he will challenge you. You will feel like puking after some of the classes. But the rest of your life will be filled with new found power, grace and awareness. Do yourself a favor, no matter what you do, and go to Eric’s classes.”
– Michael Sturgeon – Nevada City CA
“Strength & flexibility; truths learned from kettlebell training…
Strength that doesn’t reach is impotent. An example is a martial artist that can’t meet his mark.
Often what first looks like inflexibility is actually weakness, but when u look deeper the weakness is caused by the nervous system, due to faulty beliefs or fear. So while someone may think they need 6 months of yoga, the truth is that the problem may actually be resolved in a second.
Both flexibility and strength are required for stability. If ur too flexible or not strong, stability is compromised.
Western society wants to isolate everything – the mind, emotions & body all separate, but in competitive sports it is often stability of the mental & emotional states that matters most in winning.
No pain, no fear. If Eric sees someone has a funky facial expression while lifting, he reminds them to change it and they become immediately stronger.”
– Nolita Matuschka, bodyworker/healer – Nevada City CA.
“I used to believe that I couldn’t squat all the way down to the ground in such a fashion as we often see young children do while they play, flat-footed with bottom nearly on the ground. I would experience pain and discomfort or lose my balance before I got that low. I could do it if I held on to something so I wouldn’t fall down. Yesterday, Eric Kenyon Rkc gave me new instructions and I was able to do it (hands free) on the first try without any pain or discomfort!! Its a new day, its a new life……”
– Amy Zuhlke, health/life coach – Nevada City CA.
“If you are interested in gaining massive amounts of strength and stability in a short period of time, you have found the instructor and the technique you seek.
Eric has dedicated his life to learning the RKC method of strength building and functional movement, and has an uncanny passion for sharing it with his students. In my many years of formal athletics, I have not met another instructor as passionate about his craft, or as enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge to the betterment of his students.
I have trained extensively as a gymnast, dancer, horseback rider, acrobat and aerialist over the last 30 years. I have always had a difficult time building and maintaining strength. After years of dedication to strength training, and not much to show for it, it was phenomenal to meet Eric and see a huge increase in my strength over a short period of time. The results were tangible, and profound.
In addition, the training fits my busy schedule, as classes are generally one hour, and I can do the training on my own, anywhere I go, with body-weight strength training techniques, or my small collection of carefully selected kettlebells, which Eric helped me to purchase.
I have also been able to incorporate the techniques into the forms of dance I now practice, and have found them to be adaptable and helpful to my other training.
If you have considered kettlebell training, or have seen “those kettlebell things” lying around a gym you attend, give Eric’s classes a try, and learn from someone who is professionally trained. You’ll see the difference in your strength and confidence in movement almost immediately. Happy training!”
– Jerusha V “Juice” Horlick, aerial dancer and instructor – Nevada City CA
Some friends of mine recommended I try kettle bells classes with Form is Function to strengthen my back when I injured myself this year. I started having a biweekly alpha-biotic adjustment to pull out my compacted spine. I was told by 2 practitioners it would quicken my recovery to strengthen these muscles so they would hold my spine properly and especially after my adjustments.
The first time I met Eric and his wife Alison at pioneer park they were both so warm, welcoming, and informative. When I saw the kettle bells I said ‘I can’t lift those’. Eric really helped me. He makes real effort to encourage, inspire, and inform people.
In the first 2 weeks of working with Eric I felt my body holding itself up. I think before learning kettle bells I was just dragging myself around. Now about 4 months since I started, doing a couple classes a week, I’m not getting any headaches and I’m down to an adjustment about once a month. Now I can do 30 seconds of swings with a 62 pound kettle bell! The results are so quick and noticeable its extremely motivating. I haven’t had results like these with any other form of exercise.
I’m so thankful to have learned how to strengthen my muscles while holding proper posture. Its so empowering to see how much easier it is to lift a 5 gallon water jug onto the dispenser, carry in wood, help lift and move furniture etc etc. I have more energy, I can go and go all day now without resting. I feel better than I did before the injury! I can say with confidence Form is Function! Thank You Eric!– Tiana Ingram, Grass Valley CA.
“Composer Bends Barbell. I began weight training with Eric Kenyon in 1999. In the next 5 years, I found myself under a barbell with 515 lbs on it. Eric’ s approach has always been the same. Efficient workouts that are absolutely focused on results. I’ve never encountered a person as willing to explore multiple avenues of fitness to achieve a training regimen that is realistic and effective, yet malleable enough to adapt and evolve. Eric is gifted at training. He has the knack for getting complex ideas across to those new to strength training. Coupled with the deep knowledge of complex body movement, flexibility, strength training, and dance his wife Alison has, they are quite the training team to be reckoned with.”
–David E – musician, Oakland CA
“ Ms. Motivator: Alison was born to whip your butt into shape. It all started innocently enough – interest in a leaner/meaner me, disinterest in standard approaches to circuit training & cardio and an interested friend [Alison] who was skilled in the ways of the kettle & the bell. Results: I can feel and see my abs again! Alison’ s attention to form and function have initiated me into the Clan of the Bell. I only have one [bell], but his name is Bernie (or Burn-ie) and he’ s a part of my daily life now. Thank you, Alison, for introducing me to my core again.”
–Jeff Kidd – prospective “Survivor” contestant, Castro Valley CA
“ Eric is one of the most highly respected trainers in Northern California. He has a systematic approach to training that works your core muscles effectively and efficiently. His knowledge of human anatomy, nutrition, and exercise physiology is advanced. I would strongly reccommend Eric as a personal trainer/Kettlebell instructor. He has taught me kettlebell techniques and exercises that will enable me to pass Pavel’ s Kettlebell certification in the fall of 2008! He is one of the best instructors I have worked with in over twelve years of my training experience!”
–Jennie M – Personal trainer, San Francisco CA
“ Alison is fantastic. My only wish is that I had begun training with Alison sooner. I have a great time training with her and I have learned so much. When she explains an exercise, it makes sense and I love that she writes me little routines to practice when we can’ t see each other. I can’ t recommend her highly enough.”
–Audrey Rosales – Circus aerialist, San Francisco CA
“ Eric is a knowledgable instructor. He is patient and thoughtful. He understands body mechanics and physiology of movement. Importantly, he knows how to build real strength without injuring the body. Eric has helped me greatly and I highly recommend him.”
–Sifu Raj Singh – martial arts instructor, Oakland CA
“Thanks! Gonna start my “rotation diet” in a couple of days (I’ m a mixed diet “the easiest to feed but the hardest to train”)…gotta eat up what I shopped for already. Feeling much better too..eating all organic. What a difference!! I absolutely love organic now. I’ m going to cancel my gym membership so I have more $$ to buy organic. Just do kettle bells and swim at the Balboa pool, down the road near City College. You’ ve changed my life!”
–Suzi Q – Clown, San Francisco CA
“ I had been a dancer most of my life (first ballet, then modern, then bellydance and butoh), but never had done any strength training. Eric coaxed me into pushing my boundaries (heavier weights and faster health benefits), without overdoing it. He’ s aware of the importance of recovery and healing – he’ s not about over exercising and ending up exhausted and drained. Besides working slowly with an individual to get them on a healthy path, Eric had some great tricks to get me out of my own way to being stronger than I would have guessed. In a year I was squatting more than my body weight and actually enjoying it. I recommend Eric and Alison as teachers to meet fitness goals and have a good time doing it!”
–Iris A. – Dancer, computer jockey, and mom, Oakland CA
“ Okay I have to say the results I have been getting from kettlebells are so fabulous that the thought of going into the gym and putting forth all that effort and time for pale results is painful!”
–Dara McQuistion – Dance instructor, Oakland CA
“As solid an instructor as can be. I worked with Eric at the Jan. 2009 Camp Pendleton RKC. He is direct and to the point in his instruction and corrections, and unlike myself does not feel the need to deliver a 30 minute dissertation on how to keep your heels down. His views on military physical fitness are right on point, and he is being pro-active as part of the solution.”
–Jordan Vezina – RKC team leader, and US Marine Corps veteran – Palo Alto
Eric’s e-mail: EricKenyonRKC@yahoo.com
Mailing address: 16487 Dog Bar Rd. Grass Valley, CA 95949