Adam Tonkin’s kettlebell sport journey started a year and a half ago.
“I like to play on my Xbox One, and enjoy playing FIFA with my friends but feel my fitness is more important.”
His mother had been doing kettlebell sport before, but she had not trained for a while, and decided it was time to get her fitness back. It was then that she found a gym called Tu Nova, Adam went along one Monday night and never looked back!
Adam weighs 49.7kg/109lbs, he casually does 92 jerks, 159 snatches, and 70 reps long cycle double 16kg. Let me put that in perspective for you. I’m a full grown old fart, and I can only get out 72, this kid is thirteen!
Without further ado, I present to you this months Caveman Athlete, Adam Tonkin and Benooi Fleur Junghans:
I simply decided that I wanted to join my mother, so I went along one Saturday morning, I enjoyed it a lot, and have been going to the gym ever since.
I enjoyed the kettlebell work, doing the fitness side of things and liked my coach, Ste Gordon and all my team mates. I feel lucky to have them, and am now able to consider them as good friends. I have been fortunate to go on many road trips with them to many different kettlebell sport competitions.
I trained for a few months before entering my first competition, this was down at Primal gym in Leeds. I really enjoyed it, I got medals, a certificate, and it spurred me on to enter more competitions, including full ten minute competitions.
I have participated in several Grassroots competitions, often winning gold medals and five ten minute competitions which include the North East Open, English Championships in 2017 and 18, The British Championships, and also travelling to Ireland with my team for the Irish Open, I really did enjoy this and hope to go again this year.
I have also been lucky enough to be able to travel to South Korea with my mother and team mates, to watch them compete at the IUKL World Championships. This was an amazing experience, and one I would never have been able to do if it wasn’t for Kettlebell Sport. I was able to watch and meet some of the best lifters in the world, my coach even got me a training session with a member of the Russian team.
At the end of last year I participated in a training day at my own gym with Anton Anasenko, he is one of my heroes in the sport. It was a fantastic day, and I was able to learn a lot about technique and the history of kettlebell sport.
Recently (Feb 4th 2018) I competed at the English Kettlebell Championships, which was held at a school in Rushden where I was able to gain a place on the English Junior Kettlebell team.
I competed in all three lifts with double 16kg bells and managed to complete all ten minutes for each lift. I am the first child in England to do this, and have to thank my wonderful coach for getting me to this stage.
Away from Kettlebell Sport I have ran many 5ks with my mam, with the last one being end 2017 at a park in Stockton, where I ran it in 24 minutes which is a personal best for me.
I am currently in year 9 at school, and am about to decide the subjects I am to study for the next two years, I participate in sports at school, and like to play both football and rugby.
On the weekends I have a bit of a routine with my mam, and like to spend my time with her. We will train on a Saturday morning, then go for coffee in the afternoon, but Sundays are a bit more relaxed, and we like to go out for walks, to the seaside, or other places where we can walk around.
I like to play on my Xbox One, and enjoy playing FIFA with my friends but feel my fitness is more important. I enjoy spending time with my friends at school and outside of school. They help me keep going and help me get through school work.
I love seeing people getting into exercise, especially younger kids, as I know it will lay such an awesome foundation for health and happiness in life. I love it when people in general surprise the heck out of me. When I told my sixteen year old son about Adam, he got the fire in his eyes, he said “I bet you I can do two sixteens”. I laughed hard and was almost going to put money on it, up till then I had not even completed a long cycle with two sixteens!
How wrong I was, he came home that day with his mother, he had a video as proof that he completed 10 minutes of clean and jerk with two 16s/35lbs, needles to say, I quickly completed the long cycle with two sixteens 16s after that, things turned around, my son inspired me. Because of this amazing feat I decided that Benooi deserved a shared spot with Adam as this months Caveman Athlete.
Benooi on 2 x 12kg
Kettlebell Long Cycle is a BEAST!
For those that don’t know Long Cycle, let me tell you, giving birth is probably easier! I’m kidding of course, I have no idea, but it’s hard to describe the mental game, and physical torture one goes through to complete the full ten minutes, no matter with what weight.
A kettlebell long cycle (TALC) is clean & jerk with two kettlebells, that on its own sounds easy, but there is a little caveat, you can’t put the weights down for the full 10 minutes. This means you need to learn how to rack properly, how to pace yourself, proper breathing, and of course you need to nail the clean and jerk itself. Allow me to describe a long cycle for you:
- This is easy!
- Yeah 30 seconds in
- Going too fast—breathing heavy—I can’t catch my breath
- Why am I doing this again?
- 1 minute in NINE TO GO!?
- I’m going to put these bells down STUFF IT
- Quickly do another rep
- Push the negativity away
- You can do this
- Getting into a rhythm now
- Must be nearly half way now
- Must not look at the clock—too late
- WHAT 7 minutes to go!?
- Just do it!
- Analyse: Why is this starting to hurt?
- Fix: Adjust
- Tunnel vision
- 1 minute to go—where did the time go!?
- Go fast
- Bleep! Drop the bells, fall on the ground, cool down in your puddle of sweat, feel accomplished, stare at the ceiling like the world is not there, now, let’s do it again…
Endurance, cardio, strength, mental toughness, all in one. The perfect recipe to ward of disease and unhappiness.
With all that said, if there’s one thing you take away from this article, let it be this, provide your kids with physical education, lay a true foundation for health and happiness. Well done Adam Tonkin, and Benooi Fleur Junghans (Son Of Caveman).
Want to be inspired by the opposite side of the spectrum? Check out Jerry Gray, 76 years of age and still snatches more than you and I combined! If that’s not enough, check out this awesome fifty plus woman that broke two worlds records, well, that was last month, she probably broke several more by now!
- February 2018: Sandy Doyle
- January 2018: Taco Fleur
- December 2017: Jerry Gray
- November 2017: Jeff Bott
- October 2017: Leo Urquides
- September 2017: Maurizio Tangari
- August 2017: Russel Godwin
- July 2017: Eric Leija
- June 2017: Shawn Powers
- May 2017: Jessica Huttig
- April 2017: Kirsten Tulloch
- March 2017: Henk Bakker
- February 2017: Rik Brown
- January 2017: Kelly Manzone
- View all