Meet Kelly Manzone.
Kelly moves absolutely beautifully...she is full of power and grace. Her strength is ridiculous and when you see her move... I swear it's just like whoa... Kelly has been diving deeper into the Kettlebell Sport world and is helping shed light on some unconventional methods of movement and mobility like StickMobility, Mace skills, and also Original Strength. Oh, and she even does some vintage strength goodness which just sounds pretty sweet...right?
Kelly gets creative with her movement and always seems to be mixing it up and keeping an open mind... Kelly truly soaks up a good flow and brings warmth to her area of Connecticut. She is a true people connector and embodies so much of what we want to see grow from the Women's Movement Collaborative. She is always exploring and moving, playing and connecting with others, and being just downright awesome.
We just know you are going to love her! Make sure you take a second to check out her killer Instagram channel (@kellsbells88). Or if you want to connect a little deeper with Kelly, consider reaching out to her at email@example.com.
Q: What do you do?
A: Personal trainer, Kettlebell instructor, barre instructor, GSplanet Vintage Strength coach
Q: What else do you do?
A: I recently started competing in kettlebell sport double long cycle (5 competitions in 7months - about 9 months of training) I also compete in Mace competitions with Vintage Strength... I have a passion for mobility training and bodyweight flows (used to dance and was a yoga instructor for a few years) I'll be a stick mobility certified coach soon...I love unconventional training and traditional strength training methods...this girl loves to move and I keep an open mind... many benefits to incorporating various training methods
Q: How do you define the word 'strength'?
A: Oh my ... that can be a long answer - keeping it sort , I believe true strength comes from within - being resilient , being persistent, being patient ... strength is a state of mind - that can translate into physical "strength" ... our mental strength and our physical strength are intertwined - when balanced - it's equates to optimal health ...there's peeks & valleys, but a "strong" person thrives
Q: How did you discover your passion/work/niche?
A: I've always been a mover & shaker... always an athlete - years of dance and gymnastics in my youth - swim & track , softball team in high school , "traditional" strength training / cardio of the college days.
I found my niche in my early 20's when I was working out at a gym & would often get approached by members thinking I was a trainer... I realized at that time, I was actually one of the only women in the weight room! With this realization, I decided to pursue my passion and become a personal trainer.
15 years in and I would say I really found my niche when I touched my first kettlebell in 2008. From then on, I continued the explore unconventional methods ... though I train "inside" the box, I like move & think myself more outside the box.
Q: How do you incorporate movement into your daily lifestyle?
A: First thing I do in the morning when I wake up is get on my mat (may it even be at 4:30am) and I foam roll, stick mobility, do some yoga or just general movements very similar to Original Strength (OS) resets...
I stand for work and I'm constantly manipulating my body as I instruct and teach ... I have days where I strength train or sport train - days where I'll get on the step mill or rower - I'll pick up my kettlebells, mace and clubs and train. Some days it's a gentle walk or a outdoor park workout.
Oh, and I park far away when shopping! When I get a chance, I walk to school to pick up my son and I always take the stairs when possible. These little things add up nicely. :)
Q: Where would be a good starting point for someone who is looking to add more movements into their life like what you do?
A: The starting point would be evaluating general movement .. mobility, strength, stability, flexibility....
Find what your comfort zone is, along with a general health assessment and goals. Using progressions that are safe, easy to learn & incorporate is key!!
A few simple & basic starting points to build a solid structural foundation whether it be a kettlebell, sandbag, battling rope, etc . Also complimenting that training with systems like iflows and OS resets.
Q: How do you define 'fitness'?
A: My definition of fitness or what it means to fit is not what we see advertised in main stream fitness... being fit isn't about being a size '0', booty #gains or strictly aesthetics ... it's about being capable, moving well, making progress, sustainability, longevity... it's also about the journey (being able to reflect and see how far you've come).
Fitness is a state of mind -- acceptance of others and enjoying the connections that you can forge through actives... fitness doesn't need to occur in a gym - it's everywhere - the possibilities are boundless.
Q: Where do you see the future of the fitness?
A: It's always going to evolve - there will also be new fads (some good/some not so good) ... What I would like to see is more of a collaboration - taking various concepts from a variety of modalities and bringing them together...
I think there will be a return to the fundamentals - I already see that happening --- you can't HITT train and Crossfit for ever... people are going to start focusing more on longevity -- and you can perform at a higher level for a longer duration of time with the right tools.
Q: Does movement increase your self-confidence? If yes, how?
A: Sure is does! When you feel strong and look strong it helps with feeling confident...
I long had issues with anxiety in my late teen and early 20's - movement is my medicine - I've always said exercise is just as emotional as it is physical. I use Movement as a way to process life's day to day trails / tribulations and celebrations.
I also feel much more confident and comfortable as a woman as I've gotten older ... I turn 38 this year and I feel like I'm just getting started - I think we just get better!
Q: What motivates the crap out of you? (quote, music, people, sport, etc)
A: Music and a good training session... I love music , always have - it's a powerful motivator - it gets you in zone... my favorite thing to do is blast some tunes in my home training spot and move!
Q: What advice do you wish you could have given your former self?
A: Oh boy - well, that could be a long one too lol 😂... my upbringing was anything but conventional - I reflect and realize that the struggles of my childhood shaped me into the strong woman I am today and equipped me with tools to survive and thrive.
I would tell my younger self - "stay the course".
I kept at it and I never gave up... there are just some of life's values that you can't put a price on.
Q: Anything else you'd like to share with us or a bunch of women out there?
A: I'd like to bring the natural back --- I'm so grateful that I grew up in era that I did - before social media.
Sadly, women are exposed to so many photos shopped & filtered photos - along with the pressures of surgical enhancements (to each his own) & society's standards that I think it's impacting their health and appreciation for their bodies.
I personally prefer seeing strong , straight forward women over the age of 35 staying strong while rocking it naturally... there's too much focus on aesthetics and not on quality of living...
Honestly , we are living in some crazy and scary times - our focus should be on more important issues than our appearance...right?