Kettlebells and Dumbbells with Annabells Fitness - Flecks of Lex

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Kettlebells and Dumbbells with Annabells Fitness

Fitness Snob Studio lobby

That face is the face of a woman who got her butt kicked. (Okay, that's obviously a dramatic overreaction, but you get the idea.) I have taken the Luscious Legs and Arm Candy, Kettlebell Chicks, and Kettlebell 101 Swing Series classes taught by the phenomenal Anabell Browne. I have sweated my face off, I have nearly barfed (due to ingesting an insane amount of sparkling water leading up to a HIIT workout), and I have learned the proper way to do Russian swings with the kettlebell. Long story short: I came to class, I saw Ana work her magic, and I got conquered by all matter of fitness equipment.  Let me back up and start from the beginning.

If you've been following along here and on social media, you have seen me take a few different types of classes at Fitness Snob Studio in DC lately. In fact, I love the classes I've taken so much, I actually co-hosted an event there with my friend Vida (Healthy Curves Rock) last month so that we could highlight the studio and introduce our #DMVFitnessFam to some of our favorite classes. (Plus, of course, I worked out with Michelle Obama's trainer at Fitness Snob too!)

DMV Fitness Fam

There are two types of classes I've taken from one instructor that have simultaneously totally kicked my butt and made me want to come back for more: Kettlebell Chicks and Luscious Legs/Arm Candy with Anabells Fitness. The two workouts were pretty different from one another but the end result was the same in that I felt like I got a full day's worth of exercise in under an hour, was sore for a couple of days, and felt stronger and champion-like. (I know that sounds a bit extra, but you know how I do.)

I want to share with you about my experiences with the classes, why I think Ana is the bee's knees, and why I think you should try out one of her classes the next time you're in DC.

Ana Browne teaches a Luscious Legs and Arm Candy class in DC.

Ana knows her stuff. First of all, look how fit she is! She's one strong woman! I love that she prefers working with women, and that she focuses so much attention on proper form. When I took her Kettlebell 101 Swing Series class, she really broke down every little part of each movement, including how to breathe, where you should be looking, and correct body positioning. It's rare for me to find an instructor who does that for any given class. Take note the next time you take a group exercise class. Did they go over body positioning with you? Did they tell you how to breathe? Ana wants to make sure that everyone is being safe in her classes, which also means that you're getting the most effective workout possible!

Kettlebell Chicks class group photo

The first class I ever took with her was her Saturday morning Kettlebell Chicks class. Man, I had not felt so weak in a long time! It started when she told us to select our kettlebell. I was given a 20-pound kettlebell to use, which I side-eyed with a dash of extra hostility. Ana noted that there was an extra 15-pound kettlebell in the front of the room in case anyone needed to size down, and before I had the chance to wimp out, someone grabbed that 15-pound kettlebell, effectively dashing my chance at a safety net. Rude. 

Anyway, I managed to complete my workout with that 20-pound weight, which surprised even me (though, I am admittedly applying the word "complete" a little liberally here). 

The energy in the room was pretty incredible. A group of women, lifting heavy shiznit? It was great! I simultaneously felt weak and strong, embarrassed but empowered. I needed to do this again! But did I? Not exactly. Instead, I got talked into trying the Luscious Legs and Arm Candy on the following Tuesday night. "It's even harder than this," they said. "I thought I was going to die," they said. And to that, I said, "sign me up!" [Insert facepalm here.]

group fitness studio setup

So, they were totally right. Luscious Legs and Arm Candy was harder than the Kettlebell Chicks class, but it was very different. (Granted, I "completed" the Kettlebell Chicks class...) Both classes were really accessible for varying fitness levels, but I would argue that the Luscious Legs class was even more geared towards all fitness levels than Kettlebell Chicks because there were more opportunities for modifications. Luscious Legs isn't exactly a HIIT class, but it does have a lot of HIIT elements. I'd describe it more as a full-body conditioning class, with a stronger emphasis on the core, posterior chain, and arms/shoulders.

This is such a fun class because of all of the energy in the room, plus Ana is doing the workout with you (natch). You are definitely working up a sweat and feeling the burn in dat booty, but it is so worth it! You will be sore, but you'll feel incredible after you get that great sweat in! (To my fellow Office fanatics out there I say "BTB - bring that booty" to Luscious Legs!)

sweaty selfie after workout

I bought a 4-class pass for Luscious Legs (which I definitely recommend), so I got to try it out a couple of times before my 4th pass expired and I couldn't use it (whomp whomp). Side note: I'm just going to blame my sister because we kept trying to go, but couldn't get our schedules to line up. I realize that's a cheap way out, but as you can see, that's the theme of this story.

When I saw that Ana was hosting a Kettlebell series where you can learn proper techniques over a 2-hour period, I was sold! I finally found a class that lined up with my schedule and got to try it out this past Sunday.

kettlebell workout class for women

Talk about an amazing experience! She really broke down the moves, and I fell in love with kettlebells! This class truly was for all fitness levels: Two of the women in the class were certified personal trainers, one woman had never worked with kettlebells before, and another woman was a crybaby the last time she took Ana's class and was longing for a 15-pound kettlebell (let's be honest - she would've preferred a 5-pound kettlebell if they even make them), but we won't name names... 

This two-hour seminar was EV.REE.THING! You learned a lot about the history of kettlebell training, how to use the kettlebells properly, different types of swings, OH! And the most important thing that I learned was that kettlebell swings are great full-body workout moves! I especially appreciated that Ana walked around and really critiqued every single person's form in a way where you wanted to do it right for her, but also for yourself! She really wanted to make sure that everyone was doing the moves safely and correctly. You can tell that she's really passionate about kettlebells, but that it's of the utmost importance to her that you do it right. Bonus: You got a class syllabus, and she gave you time to take notes and ask a lot of questions. 

All smiles after the Kettlebell Swing Series seminar and workout!
I have met a lot of certified personal trainers and group exercise instructors in my time as a fitness blogger, and even before that as student-athlete. Few people I have met are in the same class as Ana as far as passion and drive are concerned. She is incredibly professional and just constantly set on grind mode. If you have a chance to take any of her classes, jump on it! I'm hoping to take another kettlebell seminar with her in the next couple of weeks, and am considering retaking the one I just took just so that I can really get my form down. Girlfriend is amazing!

Have you ever loved an instructor's classes so much that you just had to take everything they offered? Have you ever taken a kettlebell class? If you're in the DC Metro Area, have you considered taking one of Ana's classes? You need to get on it!
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