Lorna Kleidman Commends Ukrainian Photographer Kirill Golovchenko for Revitalization of Soviet-Era Open-Air Fitness History

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Ukrainian Photographer Kirill Golovchenko revitalizes Soviet fitness history in his book Kachalka: Muscle Beach. Lorna Kleidman, kettlebells trainer and creator of popular program KettleX, commends Golovchenko and honors kettlebells’ Soviet history.

On November 14, Lorna Kleidman, creator of popular kettlebells program KettleX reacts to an article published by ABC News which discusses how Ukrainian Photographer Kirill Golovchenko rediscovers the history of Soviet-Era Open-Air Fitness in his book titled Kachalka: Muscle Beach. Kleidman commends Golovchenko’s work and celebrates the history of the kettlebell.

According to ABC News, “Ukrainian photographer Kirill Golovchenko documents how people pump iron at a special place in his home country. [Kachalka: Muscle Beach] explores a Soviet-era open-air fitness area covering ten square kilometers (6.2 square miles) on the island of Tuhev in the heart of Ukraine's capital. There, entry has been free to anyone who wants to stay fit for the last 40 years.”

The article states that the Ukrainian photographer recaptures the history of pumping iron in his book with an impressive backdrop of old weight lifting equipment. ABC News reports that, “The fitness equipment is made from material that comes from a time when there was a surplus of scrap metal. Large vehicle parts serve as both weights and foot beds for rowing benches, and much of the equipment looks like it was salvaged from landfills and defunct factories.”

Golovchenko displays the bodybuilders of Soviet history as lovers of outdoor fitness, “highlighting the constructivist design of the fitness equipment” and recalling “Russian revolutionary art, complete with agitprop typography,” reports ABC News. According to ABC News, “Golovchenko's sweat-filled pictures could be interpreted as an ambitious portrait of Ukraine.”

“The kettlebell as a lifting tool is a product of Soviet fitness history,” comments Lorna Kleidman, creator of popular kettlebell exercises program KettleX. “Remembering the origins of fitness reminds trainers like myself that we had a beginning. Kettlebells have evolved into an elite form of weight training and that is something truly special.”

Kleidman goes on to state, “Soviet-era open-air fitness areas can teach us that fitness training should be shared with the world. Most people are afraid to work out in front of others. Golovchenko’s work reminds us that fitness was shared by the community, regardless of what shape you were in. I say remember the Soviet fitness history and be confident!”

Lorna Kleidman is a Three-Time World Champion and World Record holder in kettlebell sport and the most decorated kettlebell athlete in the country. She developed the innovated methods used in KettleX as a way to bring the benefits of the bells to everyone in an easy to use, comprehensive and fun format. Lorna has been teaching individuals and group classes for the past six years.


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