Training at Charleston Kettlebell Club is one of the best things I have ever done for myself. At 60 something I thought losing strength was a natural part of aging, but when my grandson became increasingly difficult to lift, I knew I had to do something. Now let me say I do not like gyms or spandex clad young people running circles around me, so I was hesitant to reach out. Fortunately, I had heard about the the Kettlebell Club and decided to take a look. I found the gym small and intimate and the trainers friendly and perfectly willing to work with me. I have been training with Mike Fickling successfully, and he is knowledgeable, fun, and easy to work with. For women my age who hesitate to go to a gym or a trainer, I highly recommend Charleston Kettlebell Club. I can now lift my grandson with ease and feel better than I have for years. If you are no as strong as you would like to be or have aches that slow you down, Charleston Kettlebell Club is the place to go!!
-Dana Mobley, Charleston, SC
Mike, Many thanks for coming to Dallas to work with our strength coach and players on kettlebell training technique. You do a great job of communicating and demonstrating the many different aspects of kettlebell training, and we really appreciate your time. Also, thanks for the great work you did with Jerry Stackhouse over the summer. He says that his strength, balance, and flexibility have improved tremendously since you started working with him in July. We look forward to seeing you again during the season in Dallas.
-Letter from Rick Carlisle (Head Coach of The Dallas Mavericks)
I have been a member of Charleston Kettlebell Club (previously Progressive Fitness) since December of 2014 and I typically attend three to five sessions each week. With their complementary teaching styles, both Mike and Brett not only teach you the how, they also fully explain the why. They are always eager and available to answer any questions I have regarding exercise, physiology, and nutrition. The daily fitness classes are fun and there is plenty of one-on-one instruction so I am constantly improving my technique. If you are looking for a well-maintained gym with a highly knowledgeable and positive, forward thinking staff, then I strongly recommend Charleston Kettlebell Club.
– Thomas Happel
What keeps me coming back to Charleston Kettlebell Club is that it’s more than a workout, but a focus on strength, mobility, and wellness seated a real understanding of what works and why. Mike and Brett share an incredible depth of knowledge, but do so in a way that is personalized and recognizes individual weaknesses, injuries, and challenges, while always keeping it fun. They aren’t trying to produce the same results in each client, but instead are focused on defining and achieving individual goals, be it in one-on-one training, or even in a class setting. Their passion for what they do is evident every time you walk in the door.
– Matt Hastings, Charleston, SC
My journey to strength began in September of 2014. The previous August I underwent back surgery to repair a ruptured disk in my lower back. I have ridden horses my entire life and unfortunately the years of weakness and repetitive misuse had taken its toll. I was desperate to get my life back and ride my horse again!
I tried physical therapy and traditional gyms, but couldn’t get past the fear of pain and re-injury! Charleston Kettlebell Club was recommended by one of my Doctors as the “place to go if you are serious about getting strong”. I didn’t realize at the time that strength was the element I was missing!
I instantly knew that CKC was not an ordinary gym! It was simple and uncluttered. Not a treadmill in sight! The environment is laid-back and welcoming. It became clear very quickly that Brett Bracken and Mike Fickling are masters at what they do! With their one on one support and endless knowledge, I quickly surpassed all my original goals. Within 6 weeks I was back on my horse! Now I’m continuously setting new goals!
Brett and Mike taught me that, “strength is the foundation of all physical activity”. This seems like a simple concept, but it took me 40 years to learn it! Today I know that strength is power and freedom and beauty! I am truly addicted to being strong! Charleston Kettlebell Club has changed my life and I will forever be grateful!
-Tammy Kindt, Johns Island, SC
When Mike asked what my goals for training were, I said: 1. Fit into my (2nd) wedding dress and, 2. be able to carry many bags of groceries in at once. After years of trying gyms on my own, other trainers, aerobics and other classes, this was all I could imagine training would do for me. Now, 5 years later, I have a whole new perspective.
I have become stronger, more flexible, and have better posture than I ever could have imagined. I can push myself to lift weights – and even swing Kettlebells! My back pain, which was on and off since 1982, is now gone. Now I can tell in advance when I have “triggered” my back and also know what to do to mitigate those symptoms.
Mike has also helped me and my family recognize better ways of eating. Although I am still middle-aged and a little overweight, by choosing better foods, I have more energy during the day and less “digestive” issues. And my girls have learned better tools for nutrition from me!
Mike and the Charleston Kettlebell Club team have made a big difference in my physical and mental health. I now want and need to be training, and I even miss it when I am out of town. For those who don’t know me – “in my day” girls didn’t train. At best we played half-court basketball; and I never learned how to play a team sport. So, all of this exercise ability is so surprising. Even more amazing, I am taking an extra Functional Kettlebell class once a week. Who knew?
– Dale Poulnot, Charleston, SC
I want to thank Brett and Progressive Fitness for a life changing weekend, as I recently attended the CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level 1 course that they hosted. I have been having great difficulty with specific core movement patterns. The combination of the course material and Brett personally taking 30 minutes out of his day to help led me to making a breakthrough. What I learned from Brett and my friend Wendy, is that with proper breathing, focus and being honest with myself, is that I already had the answer. All I had to do was ask the right question and listen. It was an amazing feeling of accomplishment as I recognized the root cause for this dysfunction. With this realization, the obstacle no longer exists. The CHEK education that Brett has and is applying to clients is wonderful and a great gift. I thank you Brett from the bottom of my heart, you have no idea how huge this was for me.
-Michele Olesky, PA
Brett has been an extremely positive influence in not only my life, but my family’s life. I sought him out initially to help me build muscle to support my aging bones and since have improved my nutrition as well as physical capabilities. We began with metabolic typing to fine tune my eating habits. I have taken what I learned from that format and applied it to my family meal preparations and the energy and overall digestive improvements are wonderful. After the initial consultation to measure where my body was in strength and flexibility, Brett set up a plan to be used both with my in-studio sessions and my at-home sessions. He continuously adjusts to my gains each week and also my requests if I don’t like a particular exercise – but not if I’m just whining! Brett is great at pushing me and understands how to motivate me without my knowledge. With his education and training, his eye quickly corrects any movements I may be doing wrong – unlike the numerous videos I have done on my own the last 25 years. After years of working out at home and usually encountering an injury every 3 to 6 months, it is worth it to have someone with Brett’s experience to teach me accurate exercises. The strength I have gained is astounding – I am picking up and moving items with ease that required help in the past. Brett also keeps up with industry reading and is always willing to research any topic requested. I look forward to continuing down this path of wellness with Brett going forward.”
In having been an NCAA Division I athlete, Olympic Trials competitior, college athletic administrator and sports lawyer and agent, I have had a chance to meet just about every significant coach, strength coach, fitness trainer or speed consultant in the business over the last two decades, Brett Bracken is the equal of anyone I have ever met in the field. Brett excels both in the deep of his knowledge and the dedication he shows to his clients and craft. After having been coached most of my life I hate working with a trainer, but I have enjoyed my work with Brett tremendously. Every session is adventurous, challenging, fun, and while he pushes you hard, Brett has a great demeanor and you enjoy the work. He has a brilliant career ahead of him but someday Brett Bracken will be among the very finest fitness and human performance leaders in the country. Whether your goal is being able to climb Kilamanjaro, getting a college scholarship, shaving a tenth off your 40 time, running a better, faster 10k, coming back from a nagging injury or just fighting off Father Time for a while longer, Brett Bracken is an invaluable resource and should be part of your team.
-Robert A. Boland, Esq.
I have been actively working out with trainers for the past 15 years and am in a high stress/demanding career. In the past 15 years, I have had 4 trainers and can honestly say that Brett’s approach to health and fitness has been the best for me. He pushes me hard and really helps me advance to the next level of fitness, while recognizing that if I am tired from a week of travel, we need to take it abit easier on my body. I have come to really appreciate that level if maturity and understanding – Brett really gets how to modify the routine around what’s happening in my life so I don’t get hurt and I get healthier and stronger with each visit. Brett is an exceptionally knowledgeable trainer…he obsesses over education and ensuring he is learning everything he can to help his clients. I love that he is constantly learning and that we get to take advantage of that knowledge! He has a great read on people and understands how to make the workout the most effective for that person…as one size does not fit all when it comes to training. He is very flexible and easily modifies his plans for your session based upon what’s going on in your life that day….I can honestly say I look forward to each session!
After several years of poor nutrition and lack of excerise, I was recommended by my parents to Brett Bracken. Right off the bat i was impressed with his professional approach, knowledge and interest in my goals. He is easy to work with and is a great motivator. After the first month I dropped 14 lbs, became more flexible and stronger than I ever was at my peak athletic ability in high school. By using the C.H.E.C.K system, i was not only able to reach my goals but I have been able to accomplish more than ever imagined. With Vault fitness of Charleston, anything is possible.
If you’re looking for a trainer who will give you a one-size-fits-all training program, pick somebody other than Brett. But if you need a training program that fits your unique needs, that is tailored to your goals and that is designed around a really rigorous assessment of what your strengths and weaknesses are, then Brett’s your guy. He’s a real pro, and I enjoyed working with him very much. I especially enjoyed the fantastic results: healthy shoulders for the first time in over a year, something that was beyond the capabilities of three different physical therapists.