Gyms and Why I felt like a yoyo



Over the last 5 years or so I have gained weight. Not enough to be unhealthy, but enough to not feel good about myself or how I look. During this same time frame I always belonged to a gym or some type of health club. I guess, in my mind, I thought that if I exercised “somewhat regularly” I could lose weight and get back in shape. Needless to say, that never really happened. I would lose a few pounds, and then gain a few pounds back. I felt like a yoyo.

By December of 2012 I weighed 233 lbs. One night in December I was out to dinner with my girlfriend and we had the pleasure of meeting a famous former baseball player. I had a chance to take a picture with him. A few days later I got the picture, and frankly, I was disgusted by how I looked. I knew then that I had to do something about it.

Soon enough I found the Groupon deal for Precision Kettlebells. I signed up for a package of classes with Mike. Once I started going to PK I got hooked pretty fast. Everyone at PK, instructors and fellow members, are nothing but friendly and supportive. Initially I was going to 2-3 classes a week. The variety of classes and instruction is what really kept me motivated. Mike, John, Lena, and Michelle all run very challenging kettlebell classes, while at the same time keeping it fun. Every class you go to is different. I have never felt like I was hitting a plateau, like you tend to feel sometimes with weight training or cardio exercise.

During the next few months I increased the amount of classes I was attending to 3-4 per week. I started feeling that my body and level of strength were changing for the better. The only problem I was I didn’t seem to be dropping any weight. I had a discussion with Mike about this and he proposed the 6 Week Slimdown. Mike went over the program with me and gave me a very aggressive goal; lose 20 lbs. in 4 weeks. At first I was not sure I could do it, but guess what, I dropped 21 lbs. in the first 4 weeks!! I am still going strong with the program and so far I have lost 27 lbs. in a little over 6 weeks!! A real high point for me recently was when I had to buy new clothes. I dropped from a 38” waist to a 34” waist and from an XL in shirts to a L.

I continuing to attending classes each week and maintaining the healthy eating program. Hopefully I can drop another 20+ lbs. in the weeks to come. I can’t say enough good things about Mike and the PK Crew for their support and motivation in this endeavor. PK has me on the right road, now I just need to stay on it.

Greg Davis- Exton, Pa

Overdue to Get Back on Track



January 2012 I hit the 280 lb mark...I was overdue to get back on track. A strict doctor recommended a diet plan and I dropped 30 lbs but not only did it take 9 months, I still didn't feel like I looked much different. I certainly didn't feel much better. I needed to figure out a way to get back into working out, but my wife and I had just had a baby, which meant many sleepless nights and plenty of food and drinks that my wife was excited to be able to consume again. I've played football, spent time lifting weights, used to mountain bike regularly but knew there would be no way I'd be motivated enough to do that again. I've played sports, but had no idea what type of fitness I felt like doing. Then I checked my local Groupon deals... Kettlebells? I've heard of it, but never picked one up in my life. Boot camp style workouts? In no way I would like someone yelling at me to get in shape. The price was right, location was close to home, and the class schedule was accommodating. So I gave it a shot.

Off I went to my first class, nervous about a new workout, new people, and a new type of training. Instantly Mike and the Precision Kettlebell memebers welcomed me. They really made me feel at home. I eased myself into the workouts and schedule, taking two months to get through the classes I had purchased. I was slightly discouraged about my weight, in which I gained about 7 pounds, but it didn't even matter. I relized it was muscle. I felt great. I felt my body changing already. Then came January 2013, Mike laid out the challenge. Setting a goal weight and waist size, I immediately took pictures and measurements of myself and decided to bumped up my classes to 3 times per week from two. 

The next four months completely transformed me...I was hooked. PK classes have opened my eyes to what my body is capable of doing. Down 40 pounds, 3.5" of my chest, 5.25" of my stomach, and 5" of my waist basically melted away. I felt amazing, more awake and energetic. The bug even wore off on my wife, and now we spend the week negotiating nights to take turns working out.

I cannot thank Mike and Precision Kettlebells enough for helping me reach this goal and changing my lifestyle. The classes are challenging yet fun. I'm constantly learning new techniques and workouts. Nothing has ever compared to how quickly I've been able to transform fat to muscle and get stronger so quickly. Never knowing what to expect each time I come, I never leave disappointed.

I continue to see results every week, I continue to take pictures and measurements every month.

The best part of Precision Kettlebells, the people involved. Without them, there was no chance that I would have stuck with this. At my current rate, I should reach my goal weight and waist size in just a few more months...unaccomplishable any other way.

Pete Nestor - West Chester, PA

From 308lbs to 225lbs


I went from 308lbs to 225lbs in 8 months all because of Mike! When I first joined his class I was so out of shape I got winded just from bending over to tie my shoes. I must admit, I was a little intimidated while I was driving to my first class, partly because I am so uncoordinated I was afraid of flinging a bell across the room and knocking someone out, but mostly because I felt embarrassed by the way I looked and that everyone was going to think that I don’t belong there. After 5 minutes of being there and meeting a few people all my worries were gone. Everyone who attends Mikes' class is so nice and generous and they are more than willing to help, guide, and give advice. Nobody does any judging no matter what you look like or how you perform. This is more of a community then it is a fitness class and they are always happy to see new comers. At first I was amazed at the coincidence that all these nice people just happen to be at the same class and how lucky I was that I found this place; but then I realized that it was not a coincidence, it was because Mike creates that type of environment. He creates an atmosphere which makes the class feel more like a special club in which you were specifically invited to join and right away you realize everyone there wants to see you succeed like they have a personal gain from it, only they don’t.

Mike somehow creates a fitness regiment for the whole class yet makes it feel like it is tailored made just for you. He somehow knows what size kettelbell each person should use depending on the activities for that day, and he does this without writing anything down. He learns and gets to know each one of his students like they were his first and only one. If Mike sees that you need some extra help or training, he will stand there and give you a personal lesson as class is going on. He makes you feel that he is there to teach only you, yet inconspicuous enough for no one to notice and all while keeping class moving for everyone else. Mike is the most dedicated trainer I have ever come across. All he really truly cares about is you meeting your personal fitness goals and to see you succeed whether your goal is weight loss, toning your muscles, gaining more of an athletic body etc…which by the way, will all happen at the same time while attending his class.

I know all of this because I have been attending Mikes' class since April 2012. I make almost every class, not only because I want to be in better shape, but because Mike makes every class different which keeps it fresh and exciting. You never know what challenge he is going to present to you. This not only keeps your mind from getting bored by the same old routine, which is the number one reason why people quit exercising, but it also keeps your body from getting bored, which is the key to maximum calorie burn and muscle growth.

So far I lost a total of 83lbs and I seriously could not have done that without Mike. Before attending Mikes class I really thought that I would just be heavy the rest of my life. I gave up the hope that I would be able to lose weight and get healthy. My cholesterol was 176, my blood pressure was borderline hypertension, my body fat percentage was in the 40% range, and my doctor told me I was high risk for type 2 diabetes and headed for an early grave. I did try for a little while working out at a gym, did the Wii fit, and even got a puppy thinking that will motivate me to go jogging with her. But none of these were able to keep me interested long enough to see any results; and so instead of trying to improve my health I decided to just treat it with the meds the doctor put me on. I accepted that I was a big guy, especially since that was what everyone called me anyway. I donated all the clothes I grew out of since I lost hope to ever fit in them again, and I came to the realization that I will never be able to ride a roller coaster , fit comfortably on a plane seat, shop for clothes at a regular store, or enjoy anything I used to enjoy before I got too fat to be able to enjoy them.

Then for one last attempt, my wife bought me six weeks to Mikes' class as a birthday present. I have never met Mike before this point but my wife took some of his classes a year prior and she loved it. I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of going because I already gave up and I didn’t want to be disappointed again when I failed once more at losing weight. I thought for sure Mike would take one look at me and think I was a lost cause. But the exact opposite happened. He made me feel comfortable, welcomed, and invited, taking his time to teach me the proper movements. When he saw me struggling he would encourage me, yet let me make my own decision when I needed to rest.

Literally after two weeks, only eight classes, I started to notice a difference in the way my body moved, the energy I started to feel. I noticed I wasn’t getting winded going up the steps, I started taking my dog for longer walks, and I started eating better. The more I went to class, the more I continued to improve my habits at home, the more results I saw, the more the fire in me burned. I was getting more excited each day because I actually saw the results that I gave up hoping for so long ago. That is what keeps me going back week after week. Mike helped me take back control of my life and there is no thank you big enough to show my appreciation for what he has done for me, I consider him a great friend. Thanks Mike!!!!

Just look at these stats!

In Less than 8 Months:
Weight: 308lbs to 225lbs
Cholesterol: 176 to 114
Body fat %: 40 to 24
Blood Pressure: Pre-hypertension to 120/80
Glucose: 78
Pant size: 44 to 36
Shirt Size: tight XXL to L

Jason - Downingtown, PA

Worth the Drive!

I'm so happy I found Michael Barbato on Dragon Door's website of RKC
certified instructors (there are none in my immediate area). I can truly
say Michaels instruction and classes are worth the hour drive! They're
the highlight of my week. Michael is patient, professional and precise.
The atmosphere in class is fun and motivational. Everyone supports each
other's efforts to get stronger and reach their fitness goals.

Dani - Newark, De

Inspirational and Patient Teacher

A family history of bad knees, bad backs and arthritis was catching up to me at age 55, and I was having trouble moving without pain. Going to the gym for years and had done a little to help me feel better, but it was boring and I was not motivated to push myself harder. I was not looking to be a body builder, I just wanted to be able to walk upright in 10 years! I knew about kettlebells and had one in my basement for a year, but the workout looked scary on the DVD that was included and I decided that I needed a trainer to teach me how to do it properly.

I ran across the Precision Kettlebell information booth at the Malvern Festival and I decided to sign up for the 8 week introductory course. It was a little intimidating at my age, I was skeptical that I was up to the challenge, but Mike assured me that I could do it. After the very first class I was hooked. It was the hardest workout I have ever done, but it was fun too! Mike spends time teaching correct technique so we do not injure ourselves and carefully monitors what everyone is doing. Mike has this very positive, calm faith in his students. He constantly encourages everyone to push ourselves farther than we think we can go and does it in such a nice way that you want to do it and actually can do it. His classes are always challenging and fun, and no two classes are the same.
In less than 2 months I have seen many changes in my body, and the constant pain is almost entirely gone. I continue to feel better and stronger each week and I have noticed several unexpected side benefits of kettlebell training, one of which is that my musical ability has improved! I have played the clarinet for 45 years and I recently noticed that my breath control has improved remarkably. I can sustain difficult notes for far longer than I ever have in my life!
I am delighted with Mike Barbato and kettlebells, and I am looking forward to continuing classes with him.

Betsy Bryce - Malvern, Pa

Loving Precision Kettlebells

After being a “gym rat” for a few years and exercising regularly I felt as though I needed something to take me to the next level. I had heard about Kettlebells, but didn’t know much about it and was a bit intimidated. I finally decided to sign up for the classes and was looking forward to training outside and not stuck in the gym scene again.

I am so happy with my decision and love the different physical strength the class has provided. Mike is a motivated and strict instructor, but doesn’t have the attitude that goes along with it. He genuinely wants to help each person learn and become a stronger and healthier person through kettlebells. His patience speaks volumes, as you can join in a class where there have been people training with him for years, and he will give you the personalized attention you need not to get discouraged. Only after 2 months, I feel my body starting to transform. I feel stronger and have much more energy then in the past. Each class I can’t wait to see how Mike is going to challenge me and I challenge myself in return.

 Kate B - Berwyn, Pa