McAfee Secure sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams
Share Print

You have not viewed any products recently.




Interview with Jessica Renee Pino, RKC Team Leader

Jessica Pino Getup Kettlebell at her gym, Functional Fury in Albuquerque, NM
Dragon Door: It’s great to speak with you again, we had an interview with you many years ago but wanted to check in after your recent promotion to RKC Team Leader. Thank you so much for sharing some of your time today. How did you first get involved with kettlebells?

Jessica Renee Pino: I first got involved with kettlebells four months after the birth of my fourth baby back in 2008. I wanted to try something different, and kettlebells had just been introduced here in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

When I started training with them, I immediately realized that they reminded me of the hard style aspect of gymnastics. I was a gymnast for several years, so the training dynamic felt very similar to me, and I immediately fell in love with kettlebells. I saw results immediately and lost 35lbs over 10 months.

Then I started doing fitness competitions and kettlebells were my number one training tool to prepare myself for the stage.

Dragon Door: Do you feel like kettlebells gave you a particular advantage in competition?

Jessica Renee Pino: Yes. For the competition, they're looking for defined muscles—but one of the compliments I used to get from other individuals was that I looked strong. To me it was a greater compliment than "you look great" or "your back looks good". The fact that they said, "You look strong" was a huge compliment to my kettlebell training because that's exactly the purpose of this type of training—it gets you stronger. And I like that.

Dragon Door: How long have you had your own kettlebell gym?

Jessica Renee Pino: I had my own gym for about two and a half years, then merged it with my partner's gym in 2016. We've been going strong ever since and have recently moved to a larger location.

Dragon Door: Congratulations! And you've hosted a few RKC Workshops there, too.

Jessica Renee Pino: Yes, we hosted a level one RKC three years ago, then we also had another one this past November which was very successful. It was a female instructor dominant workshop with Andrea Du Cane, myself, and then three female assistants. It was neat to be able to learn from each other.

Dragon Door: I believe that both of us earned our first certifications back in 2010, so we know how significant this is!

Jessica Renee Pino: Yes, 11 years now, April 2010 was my first certification. There's been so many changes!
Jessica Pino RKC standing with kettlebell at Functional Fury Gym in New Mexico

Dragon Door: And now you were recently promoted to RKC Team Leader! How long have you been working towards this goal?

Jessica Renee Pino: I've been working towards RKC Team Leader for a long time—and it's something that I have wanted for myself for a long time too. My only regret is that I didn't stay as involved or consistent over the years as I should have. But time has its way of doing things for us when we're ready and it's the right time. So, I'm very excited and honored to be an RKC Team Leader for Dragon Door to lead, influence, help, and inspire other people.

Dragon Door: Again, congratulations on that promotion! Before this call, we had chatted a little about coping with the quarantines. How did your training business fare when everyone in your area needed to stay at home? How did you adapt?

Jessica Renee Pino: In 2020, we had to close our gym for four and a half months due to the pandemic and the quarantine. I was grateful to be a certified instructor at a kettlebell gym because we had the unique opportunity of sending kettlebells home with all our members. We did live Zoom workouts from home during the entire quarantine. Myself and my partner in crime, Dwayne Davis, were doing the workouts and our gym members were following along with us. During that whole time, we were doing about 9-10 workouts a week.

The neat thing is that we were able to retain over 90% of our membership base because we were able to offer the live workouts. Our members wanted to stay in shape and active. We got into even better shape because we were working with kettlebells so often during the week. Now we're starting to see new people trickle in who have gained weight and gotten out of shape because of the quarantine—and not training for over a year. I'm very grateful that we were able to keep training with our members—and that's all been because of the kettlebells and being a kettlebell instructor.

Dragon Door: Excellent. It's wild leading classes online when you're doing the workout too, it can be a very different challenge!

Jessica Renee Pino: Yes, exactly. There were times when I would be completely out of breath because I'm trying to do all my skills and talk at the same time—all while making sure everyone is staying on point. Then there were also times when I would tell them, you guys go on, you're awesome, I'm going to catch my breath! Also, I think it was neat for them to be able to watch us also work out with that intensity. They were able to see that trainers are also human, and we do get tired and breathe hard! I think it was good for them to see that—and for us to be authentic in that way.

Dragon Door: Are you still leading online classes or have you been able to bring the classes back to the gym?

Jessica Renee Pino: We’re back in the gym now and have been since August 2020. For a while we continued to do the online live workouts about three times a week and had a few people participate with them live. We also sent out the videos as members enjoyed doing them later. But once school went back into session, people's schedules changed and not many were logging on. So, for now we're only in the gym. But we may start up the online classes again at the beginning of this year, depending on what the demand is.
Jessica Pino Coaching kettlebell client at her gym

Dragon Door: Over the past two years, I think we all learned how versatile and portable and convenient kettlebells can be. What else do you really enjoy about coaching with kettlebells?

Jessica Renee Pino: I enjoy seeing my clients' and gym members' overall health and fitness improve with kettlebells. And I also enjoy seeing them get those "aha moments" if they've been struggling to perfect their technique on a movement, then they finally get it. Or when we've been using kettlebells in a rehabilitative way to activate certain muscle groups or to get their shoulders or hips out of pain. It's amazing how much of a change you can make just some mobility movements with kettlebells.

At our gym, Functional Fury, we also offer traditional strength and conditioning classes with dumbbells, barbells, bands, and even some machines as well. Some of our instructors incorporate all of that and cross train with everything together. I see such a huge difference in the fitness level of our members versus some individuals who might only train using one method.

I also train several people who are over the age of 60. And I train some clients at their homes. Depending on their fitness level, I may incorporate kettlebells, bodyweight movements, and band exercises. Right now, I'm training a couple of women in their seventies—they're doing kettlebell deadlifts and presses with the kettlebells, it’s wild!

Dragon Door: What's next for you this year? Are you working toward any particular goals with your training or your gym?

Jessica Pino Kettlebell Rack GymJessica Renee Pino: Yes. We are hosting an RKC and an RKC-II Certification. We've also been working on our online program. Before, we were doing the live workouts, but now we're working on an online program so people from anywhere can train with us and have access to us for coaching. Every month I will be leading a kettlebell refresher workshop for new individuals who want to learn or for people with experience who want a refresher.

I'm working through a yoga certification because I've wanted to incorporate kettlebells and yoga in my own training. I also wanted to have that additional knowledge to use with some of my clients as well. A former fitness competitor/team member of mine just put it out there that I should train with her for another fitness competition so we can be fit and fabulous in our 40s, so we’ll see! In January, we also started our Get Fit Challenge.

Dragon Door: Sounds like you have a very exciting 2022 planned! What is involved with your Get Fit Challenge?

Jessica Renee Pino: I call our New Year Get Fit challenge "Swing into Spring" to get ready for spring break since St. Patrick's Day is 60 days from when we started the challenge. We focus on getting fit, so it's not just about losing weight, or gaining muscle, it's really for anyone. We designed the challenge for any goal: if they want to lose weight, they'll lose weight, or if they want to bulk up and add muscle, they can do that as well. It's a workout plan, a 60-day meal plan, and we include a few basic supplements from our supplement line too.

We also have an InBody testing machine at the gym which measures body weight, water weight, body fat mass, body fat percentage, and skeletal muscle mass. When the number on the scale is broken down like that, we can really use the information with each individual client and help them increase their muscle mass or lower their body fat. The InBody machine also shows you how many pounds of muscle you have in your right arm, your left arm, your right leg, your left leg, and your trunk so that you can work on symmetry. During the challenge they'll get four InBody tests along with their two-month class membership for the 60 days.

Jessica Pino Getup Kettlebell Gym thumbnailJessica Renee Pino, RKC Team Leader is co-owner of Functional Fury Strength & Conditioning in Albuquerque, NM. Follow her on Facebook:
and Instagram. Functional Fury Strength & Conditioning is located at 141 Osuna Rd NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87107 Phone: 505-385-1171