Ottawa woman wins gold, silver at kettlebell world championship
Lisa Pitel-Killah is the Ontario representative for the Canadian Kettlebell Alliance
An Ottawa woman, who won gold and silver at the 2016 World Championship of Kettlebell Lifting, said she initially got into the sport to get back into shape.
"I ended up starting out at a boot camp in Ottawa," Lisa Pitel-Killah told Alan Neal on CBC Radio's All In A Day on Thursday.
Pitel-Killah was a competitive figure skater throughout her youth and young adult life, but when she quit in her mid-30s, she said the demands of work left little time for exercise. Now 43, she said she "fell in love" with kettlebell because it helped her get fit quickly.
"[Kettlebell is] so versatile and you get in shape so fast," she said. "You can swing it, you can snatch it, you can clean and jerk it, you can push-press it. You can do dead lifts with it, you can squat, you can lunge — you can pretty much do anything."
At the world championships in Kazakhstan at the end of October, Pitel-Killah lifted a 16-kilo kettlebell 183 times in 10 minutes.
"I start off with my weak arm," she said, explaining she aims for 72 reps on her left arm, before moving to her dominant , right arm.
"I can do anywhere from 100 to 125 on my right," she said.
Competitors are allowed to change hands once during the competition, and are judged on the number of reps completed, as well as execution.
"As for the focus of my mind, I try not to think about how much it weighs. I just try and think about my technique," Pitel-Killah said.
Pitel-Killah won a silver medal in the open category, which is open to all ages, and a gold medal in the "veteran" category, where she competed against women in her age range.
"The Russians had a big team. A huge presence. I think there were about 140 people on their team and we had three. So, it was definitely a tough, tough competition."
Pitel-Killah, who is the Ontario representative for the Canadian Kettlebell Alliance, said there's a real push in the United States to make kettlebell an Olympic sport, which she fully supports.
"I'm definitely on board and trying to help as much as I can, and make people aware of it because so many people don't know about the sport."