EDK KUDOS TEAM
strength in numbers... We're in it together.
Before September 2016, I lived a very monotonous and unfulfilling daily routine. I went home from my 9–5 desk job, ate dinner, sat in front of the television for the next five hours, went to bed...and did it all over again the next day. That all changed when I reconnected with Ericka for training. I watched her business grow at the studio, teaching classes and coaching. I loved my short time training with her previously at a different fitness facility. She was unlike any trainer/coach I've had experience with (not that I had much), but she was honest, motivating, funny and she made me want to give it my everything. Every day I saw her Facebook posts of her training and finally one day I decided there were NO MORE EXCUSES. It was time to take my health seriously and to invest in myself.
I showed up for the first class completely out of shape – no endurance, no energy – but I gave it all I had, even when I wanted to just give up. Each class I continued to give it my all... I train almost daily and it has completely changed my life, never turning into a dreaded chore. My attitude has changed. I'm more conscious of my eating habits. I have way more energy and I'm 30 pounds lighter.
Am I perfect or near the end of my training journey? Absolutely not. I'm still learning and improving with each class and training session I attend. My training has been successful because I'm always practicing, mastering and moving onto the next skill. I take it seriously and I'm dedicated and motivated by my progress. It would give me so much joy for people to find something in their lives that works for them, makes their body and mind feel great, and helps them get out of that rut – like EDK Training has done for me. It’s not easy, you have to invest time, money and be willing to incorporate your training into your everyday life. I'd rather pay an affordable price for training versus a regular gym membership and carve out 4–5 hours of my week to train with Ericka. I know it works by seeing the results and I'm feeling great!
My goal for 2018... I'm ready to take the next step in my training by beginning my journey to certify with StrongFirst. The confidence, the strength, the tenacity I've gained and the exceptional training and support I've received from Ericka makes me feel ready. If I have reached a place where I'm ready to step up my training to certify, then ANYONE can seize the opportunity to just START their training – period.
My words of encouragement to anyone interested in taking that next leap into serious training is not to give up. Quitting is easy, but achieving goals and seeing results is way more satisfying!
Since November of 2017 I've been training 3x a week at EDK and I have to thank Ericka for being such an amazing coach. Before EDK, I'd never been a part of any sort of training program and when I would try to work out by myself, I’d lose interest and give up after a month. Kettlebells are a fun exercise tool (you just can't be bored when you're swinging a KB around like that) and they are extremely efficient because you’re combining strength, cardio, and mobility into one workout.
I discovered kettlebells through Ericka’s Bells & Beers events at local breweries in the Twin Cities. I was hooked after the first session and signed up for weekly classes at the EDK Studio in Uptown not long after. Classes at EDK are accessible and fun. I find myself looking forward to the days that I get to go work out and I am bummed when I miss a class. EDK Small Group Training has been wonderful and I feel I’m getting personal training in a group setting which cannot be beat anywhere else.
Ericka keeps me motivated by challenging me every week with new skills to learn and new goals to accomplish. She breaks down skills in a way that's easy to understand, so I learn how to execute my exercises properly and why it's important to practice good technique to get the best possible workout and avoid injury.
In the past year I've noted so many improvements in my life thanks to changes I've made that revolve around making time to exercise and work on improving myself in general. Not only do I feel stronger, but my mental health has improved as well. After an EDK Training session, I sometimes realize that I've been just smiling by myself for I don't know how long. It's a great way to clear my head and let go of any stresses or burdens I've been hanging onto from the day or past week. I am more confident, I feel motivated to get out and experience new things, and I've met some amazing new friends along the way too.
If anyone is looking to get into strength training, or just working on their overall fitness, I recommend working with kettlebells (and barbells!). If you are in the MPLS/STP area I highly recommend joining me at EDK Training.
very impressed with the quality of ericka's instruction!
She emphasizes safety and proper form, but she is also very adept at individualizing instruction within a small group training setting. She encourages and challenges me within the context of safety, and I’ve improved more quickly and with more confidence than I expected. She clearly and concisely explains and demonstrates both correct and incorrect movements, while describing what you should and shouldn’t feel. Ericka's coaching example inspires me to raise my standard of performance. I am far more body-aware both in and out of class.
Ericka is conscientious and responsive, provides excellent instruction at an affordable price, and elevates my fitness beyond what I could accomplish alone. I will continue training with her for the foreseeable future, and I highly recommend her to anyone interested in improving their fitness and strength training skills.
As a trail endurance runner coming out of the 2017 season, it became apparent that I needed to improve my performance on the down-hills – both speed and agility. After enjoying a few Bells & Beers sessions through the year, I knew that kettlebell training could be the right addition to my endurance training… And so I signed up for the small group training (SGT classes) in November and also, hired Ericka for private coaching 2–3 times a month, continuing my training into 2018.
Every session is one of challenge and growth in a positive way. I can feel my strength improving, even in a relatively short time frame. I’ve had the opportunity to “test” myself on the trails in Arizona since I’ve started working with Ericka. What a difference! My body is delivering power in new ways with minimal effort. Practice plus patience will bring performance. I cannot wait to see how Ericka’s programs will continue to help me execute my goals for the coming year.
You want to earn a beer? THIS is how you earn yourself a beer!
Bells & Beers is a FUN, fast-paced, workout that's intense, but not intimidating – anyone can do it, as long you're ready to sweat for an hour!
Ericka changes up the class every time so there's always something new to challenge you...from swinging, squatting, and curling with kettlebells to passing (empty) beer kegs with your fellow B&Bers to bodyweight exercises that SEEM like they'll be easy at first, but quickly start to kick your butt (in a good way). The hour-long class flies by and before you know it, you're enjoying a delicious beer from one of the Twin Cities best craft breweries.
It's not easy, but it's the best kind of challenge. Yes, you'll find yourself with sore muscles that you didn't even know you had! But you'll also have more fun than any other workout – you'll get to spend time with good people and enjoy good beer afterward!
Bells & Beers is the best. Just don't call them "kettleBALLs"!
I heard about EDK through the Calhoun Beach Athletic Club where I started taking Ericka's Bodyweight Circuit Training classes. As those classes drew to a close, Ericka approached me and asked if I'd be interested in her kettlebell class, which is also offered at the club. She proposed the class to me for the obvious strength training benefits, as well as a way to focus on my breathing – both essential as I was training for my first marathon. Three marathons later, I insist upon making kettlebells a regular part of my training routine as I have noticed so much improvement in my running performance and overall confidence.
Ericka takes a personal interest in all of her students. Their needs and concerns become her needs and concerns. On more than one occasion I have informed her of some unresolved pain I am feeling as a result of running. If not in the same class, by the following class she will tell me what she thinks is going on. I can tell she has thoroughly thought it through and will suggest personalized tips to work towards a strong and healthy solution.
Ericka will correct students form in a non-judgmental and non-targeting manner. Her classes have never given off a competitive air yet she will push individuals to out do themselves. What was once a ridiculous goal becomes a reality with much hard work and Ericka's constant encouragement. I equally dread and relish the moments that she plops a heavier bell than I've been working with right in front of me. It's her subtle way of destroying any doubts I may have had…non-verbal affirmation that I'm stronger than I realize. The lighthearted manner in which she approaches each class adds immensely to the overall atmosphere. Even with a 6am starting time, I don't think I've ever left a class without laughing!
I met Ericka by participating at one of her Bells & Beers events and knew from the door I wanted to train with her regularly - not only because of her expertise in kettlebell training, but also her coaching style. That was two years ago and I’ve made a commitment to my health and training, signing up for both EDK classes and personal training with Ericka. I could not ask for a better trainer! I have a number of mobility issues from my 15 years of military service. Ericka’s knowledge and coaching allows me to continue to train, but also helps me rehabilitate.
Don’t let your experience level or movement issues hold you back - the investment and time with Ericka is well spent and you will definitely see amazing results!
For the past two years I have taken Ericka's kettlebell class every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 6am!
You have to really deliver an exceptional class to get people motivated to come at 6 o'clock in the morning – Ericka does not disappoint. I started working out with kettlebells by watching DVDs and quickly realized that if I wanted to master the kettlebell I would need some expert coaching. Over the past several years I have worked out with some great trainers and among that group – Ericka is the best of the best.
Each class is different. She brings energy, commitment, and creativity to each session. Most important, she doesn't just stand up there and workout with the class, she coaches us.
The result: we're all improving and getting stronger at the same time.
When I first heard about Bells & Beers kettlebell classes at a brewery, I was a bit skeptical! Traditionally, I've been a runner (term used loosely) and had never put much thought into stepping outside of that – but knew at some point I needed to. The idea of having a beer after the workout was definite motivation, I just didn't know how I felt about the kettlebell part. After the first class, it went from something I wanted to try...to something I wouldn't miss!
Learning the fundamentals of the kettlebell swing, especially the body positioning, has been something I've been able to incorporate into other (non-kettlebell) workouts and my daily activities. As someone who's had all kinds of back issues, learning those fundamentals has helped me make better choices as to how I use my body, helping me to avoid back injuries.
Bells & Beers classes offer a ton of variety – not just kettlebell! It is a great mix of cardio, strength, and stretching. The class offers a solid workout, which to me is most important, but cooling down and chatting with other participants (while having a beer) is a close second!
I am an avid Bells & Beers participant and I was completely hooked within 10 minutes of my first class!
Ericka demonstrates her experience, skill and passion in everything she does. Safety is the top priority for her students and will spend time where she needs to in order to ensure everyone she's working with is comfortable and confident. Ericka is able to adapt to all skill levels – no matter what your baseline is, you will have a great workout with her as your coach. My husband and I think that her classes are the perfect way to spend fit-time together, and have made great friends in becoming class regulars. I can't wait for the next Bells & Beers session!
Ericka is a fantastic trainer and coach!
She finds huge importance in teaching her students how to do specific moves, motion by motion, because she wants us to train correctly for form and safety. I used to exercise infrequently, but now I look forward to my twice a week training with Ericka and the community of friends I have made at kettlebell classes. I even have (kettle)bells at home now!
I feel empowered both physically and mentally – especially with Ericka's feedback and encouragement. I heard about EDK from my sister, tried a class and now we go to classes every week together!
Bells & Beers is the best!
I often bring friends and family from out of town, knowing we will get an awesome workout and enjoy a local brew! Ericka does an awesome job and the class works for all skill levels. She provides modifications to fit everyone's needs and you walk away feeling the results!
Definitely recommended if you are in the area... What's better than a fun workout, with an energetic teacher, that ends with a beer?!
Who knew that swinging a 16kg kettlebell could be so fun?!
Bells, beers, rockin' the ham(strings)...what else does a guy have to do to run his first marathon? A lot, actually, and it's all about strength and quality of movement. EDK gives me an opportunity to kick-it on the weekends at local breweries with Bells & Beers, and provides targeted training throughout the week in group classes to help me meet my running and fitness goals. Grab a (kettle)bell and try it out!
Kettlebells are a total body – strength conditioning workout that builds lean, strong, core muscles without building up muscle mass. For distance runners, having a rock solid lean core translates into holding an efficient running form over a longer distance at a faster pace. When kettlebell workouts are incorporated early into a marathon training schedule, the runner's core becomes leaner and stronger and their running form becomes more and more efficient allowing for more productive workouts.
I'm told that distance runners tend to have muscular imbalances, particularly in the glutes and hamstrings. Kettlebell swings hone in on the posterior chain of muscles (the shoulders, back, glutes and hamstrings) to help compensate for the imbalances created by running. I'm also told that ramping up the training miles when you have muscular imbalances is the fastest way to an injury. I'm not injury free since taking up kettlebells, but I have noticed fewer of them.
Let's not overlook the muscle between the ears... It takes a lot of self-confidence to step up to the start of a marathon and know without a doubt 'I am strong enough to run a PR right here, right now!'. And nothing builds your confidence like having an injury free training cycle, getting in harder training runs than ever before and most of all – looking in the mirror and seeing someone who flat out looks strong enough!
Don't read my comments thinking kettlebells are exclusively for extreme ultra-running wackos. Kettlebell strength training builds a lean, strong, core and promotes healthy running. That benefit applies to joggers, runners and us wackos.
What I like about Ericka's classes and what keeps me coming back is her steadfast dedication to safe and proper kettlebell techniques. From basic swings to complex combinations, she ensures students have proper form before increasing the effort. I have watched her take extra time with newcomers guiding them through the basic techniques and to ensure they have a safe and productive workout. The conditioning comes from good technique.
I also like the way Ericka's passion for the sport comes through in her classes.
I started with EDK Training at the end of the summer in 2016, after attending a Bells & Beers session. I was looking for a way to improve my strength and small group training seemed like a great option, instead of spending a lot of time at a large gym. Not to mention, kettlebells are really fun! When I went to my first class, it was intimidating, and honestly I had no idea what I was doing. Turkish Get Up... say what?!
Ericka is more than an instructor, she's a passionate coach who has your back and knows when you can be pushed. She focuses on technique before layering on skill after skill. In the few months I've been working with Ericka, I've noticed huge gains in my strength, posture, and overall fitness. I'm a runner, and pairing kettlebells with my training has been awesome. It has helped my stability and form tremendously. I look forward to class every week!
Why do I get up at 4:45am on Tuesdays and Thursdays for a 6am kettlebell class...?
Because Ericka consistently inspires and challenges me. Even though I'm officially a senior citizen, I feel strong and positive about staying limber and avoiding injury because of her expert instruction and challenging workouts. She's an extraordinary trainer and coach.
If you ever want to try kettlebell training, I recommend you contact Ericka at EDK!
Why, you ask? One word, AWESOME! My first class was taught in a brewery (Bells & Beers). It's a fun, hi-tempo class. Bells & Beers classes are geared for beginners, however, It's still a great workout for people that have trained with kettlebells in the past or currently. Ericka emphasizes safety first!
After my first Bells & Beers, I was hooked and started training with Ericka regularly. I've done weight training and bored myself with mundane jogging/cardio routines, but nothing has even come close to the results I've gained kettlebell training with Ericka!
EDK Training private sessions, classes, and events would not be as rewarding as they are without the participation, dedication, and support of many incredibly strong (and fun!) clients – who are also a joy to coach!
These testimonials share a glimpse of student experiences and reveal why training with EDK inspires the motivation to practice, progress, and define strength in more ways than one!
Your feedback is always welcome and appreciated!
Have an EDK experience to share? Fill out the form and submit HERE!
Content © 2018 EDK Training LLC • Ericka Darst