Aaron Ellis: That Kettlebell Guy

Aaron Ellis - Double Bottoms Up Kettlebell Press

The birth of the first Kettlebell in Australia

It was 2001 I was searching for Russian strength training methods and came across a site that looked like propaganda. Guys raving about the benefits of the ancient Russian exercise tool that looked like a cannonball with a handle.

I hung out in the forum, asked questions, I was reading posts by Steve Maxwell, Pavel Tsatsouline, Steve Cotter and Mike Mahler. Little did I know that these guys would be known as gurus in the coming years.

These guys were serious about strength and even more serious about Kettlebells. I felt like I had earned a degree in the ways of Kettlebells and strength, unfortunately, there wasn’t a Kettlebell to be found in my land of Australia. In fact, there were only two other Australians at the time (to my knowledge) that knew that kettlebells existed. These guys were Simon and Rick.

Kettlebells sales had started in the US but the minimum Kettlebell weight was 16kg and the company refused to ship one to Australia. A few guys from the States offered to collect the order and then forward it Australia but freight cost was astronomical.

Rick, had an idea and posted on the forum “Any Aussies on here that would 100% buy a 16kg Kettlebell from me if I can forge a few? I’m in Melbourne.” I promptly replied a huge YES and waited. Rick was a personal trainer and started to create an interest in Kettlebells in his community and got the numbers to forge the first 10 (16kg) Kettlebells.

A few months later I was jumping for joy when a delivery truck arrived. I still remember that day vividly, looking out the window watching the delivery man struggle up my driveway with what looked like a small cardboard box. I knew exactly what it was and I couldn’t wait to get it out of the box. I had become one of the first Aussies with a Kettlebell and Rick had kickstarted the Australian Kettlebell revolution by creating the company, Australian Kettlebells. (Australian Kettlebells is now known as IronEdge)

The Journey had just begun

Before my Kettlebell arrived I had been using a 25kg dumbbell for my exercises and was feeling quite comfortable with that weight, to my surprise the 16kg Kettlebell felt as heavy as a 25kg dumbbell and a lot more awkward to handle due to the shape, how you hold it and the offset balance. You continually have to fight the Kettlebell holding your forearm strong in every part of an overhead lift.


Kettlebell Key to Fitness Redcliffe Herald Aaron Ellis
Kettlebell Key to Fitness Redcliffe Herald 2003