“Expert tips from a Marine with three world records in kettlebell swing”

In the summer of 2017, Marine Corps Sergeant Major Stephen Burkett set out to break the Guinness World Record for the most weight lifted in an hour with a kettlebell swing. After months of consistent training, Burkett was confident he could break the record. A CrossFit gym in Carlsbad, California hosted the event, with judges and about 100 spectators in attendance.

The record requires the most weight swung cumulatively in an hour. Burkett aimed to swing a 53-pound kettlebell 950 times in an hour. However, before attempting the record, the skin on his hand ripped, hindering his progress. He fell short of the record about 50 times, leaving him embarrassed and depressed.

Months later, a Marine who had seen a video of Burkett’s attempt asked him if he was going to try again. Burkett then set out to break the record once more. In 2018, he achieved his goal by swinging 57,147 total pounds in an hour.

During his deployment to Guantanamo, Burkett founded the Guantanamo Kettlebell Club and discovered two other kettlebell records. He eventually earned Marine Corps certification and was awarded Male Athlete of the Year 2022 at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

Throughout his journey, Burkett learned valuable lessons on mental toughness and the importance of mentors. He is currently working on a book called “Jacking Bells” about his story and training methods.

Burkett’s kettlebell journey also holds a lesson for the Marine Corps. As mainstream kettlebell organizations advise less training, Burkett’s opposite approach helped him break records. He stressed the importance of mentors and guidance, but also emphasized the value of adapting and finding one’s own path.

Burkett’s inspiring story serves as a testament to the power of determination and hard work.

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