The following is from a feature article on our very own John Kalil, RKC from the September-October issue of Bethesda Magazine:
Burpees—grueling full-body exercises that go from a squat to a push-up and back to a jump—are a mainstay of John Kalil’s workouts. So are box jumps, bear crawls and strength exercises with kettlebells, weights that resemble a cannonball with a handle. The 73-year-old Gaithersburg grandfather attributes his ability to do all this to a workout regimen he’s followed for the past seven years, a combination that involves CrossFit training and kettlebells. “CrossFit means functional movement, high intensity, constantly varied,” he says. “The kettlebells keep you flexible. They’re hard as hell. …I’m doing the stabilizing, not a bar, therefore I build my core.”
Kalil, who ran a D.C. liquor store for more than four decades, spent a year at home relaxing after he retired in 2006. “I got tired of watching Oprah,” he says. He’d always kept active—skiing, running, biking, weightlifting—and in 2008, his son Chris brought him along to try out kettlebells at CrossFit Koncepts, a boutique gym in Gaithersburg. Kalil was so sore afterward that he didn’t think he’d ever do it again. But Chris urged his dad to go back, and Kalil wanted to prove to himself that he could handle the exercises. “I couldn’t do things like jumping rope and pull-ups, and that bothered me,” Kalil says.
Now, with two instructor certifications from kettlebell company Dragon Door, Kalil teaches eight classes a week and sees 15 clients for personal training. Between teaching and working out, he puts in about 40 hours a week at CrossFit Koncepts, which has 158 kettlebells of varying weights. He’s also changed his diet—he eats salads and quinoa every day and hasn’t had fast food in seven years—and has lost 45 pounds off his 5-foot-6-inch frame. “I feel like I’ve got to stay in shape in order to teach this,” says Kalil, a prostate cancer survivor whose clients are younger than he is. “I’ll say, ‘Look, if I can do it, I know you can.’ ”
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