About Kat

Ekaterina (Kat) Tabakova grew up in Russia, lived in Israel and has been based in New Zealand since 2002.
Kat engaged in springboard diving from 5 years old, ballroom dancing, speed skating and cross country skiing. Later, after coming to New Zealand, Kat competed in Powerlifting, Crossfit and Kettlebell Sport as well as completing Hardstyle Kettlebell challenges.
Kat considers herself a bookworm and not an athlete. She reads voraciously on the topics of biology, human psychology, sociology, anthropology, motivation, habit science, strength and conditioning, nutrition, philosophy and economics. She takes university courses in Behavioral Science, Cognitive Therapy, Exercise Science, Anatomy, Physiology, Weight Loss and Holistic Health. She is a certified Strength and Conditioning coach with 15 years of experience, Jump Rope and Bodyweight Callisthenics trainer, Nutrition Coach, and Level II Kettlebell Instructor.
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Whose goals?
"A huge challenge in my early years was going after someone else's goals. 
Those were typically conventional aesthetic goals a.k.a. trying to get the abs, the shoulders, the arms, of somebody I saw on TV, read out from a women's mag or saw at the gym. Trying to be slim like a model, lean as a fighter etc etc. So, I would jump from programme to programme, wondering why I lost enthusiasm so quickly and never liked what I had to actually do to 'look' like somebody or to have the bodyparts I was after.
Why? Not because there is anything wrong with aesthetic goals. Not at all. I believe everybody has aethetic goals somewhere among their priority stack. The issue was that I did not think for myself and didn't prioritize my own values. Because while we all might care about looks and endurance and strength and flexibility and health, we prioritize those things differently, at different times in our lives. Not only that, but all those things look very different to all of us. Health migh look very different to me than it does to you. Strength for one person might mean being able to get up off the floor, for another it might be doing so with a 16 kg kettlebell held overhead, and to someone else strength is being able to go for a daily hike without getting sore knees.
Once I set my priorities in order, I realized that while I care about aesthetics somewhat, I care about health and physical fitness more. That I believe that form will follow function and I want my training routine to tick many more boxes than appearance alone. Things like focusing my mind, training smart not hard, improving my movement, practicing patience, perseverance, discipline, integrity, trusting the process, respecting my body, having fun, self awareness, self control, handling failure, balance, sustainability, convenience, minimalism, simplicity, elegance, poetry in motion.  
My consistency, goal achievement and overall life satisfaction skyrocketed since I adapted my training to my values.
And the athletic appearance came along as a happy byproduct of those habits, without much effort or struggle"
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I have since experienced the same process with my clients. Everybody's different, but everybody's the same in that we all need to think for ourselves. When the goals come from YOU, you get the buy-in from your mind and body, and avoid self-sabotage which is so common among people who try to white-knuckle their way into health. 
If your goal setting is not coming from your own thought process but that you are 'borrowing' goals from others, culture, society at large or even from your trainer, you are much more likely to trip yourself up"
"My minimalist fitness habit made me incredibly fit over the years. When I discovered the world of Crossfit, I could do everything at the elite level almost right away. Naturally my coaches began signing me up for competitions, which I began winning. In my first year doing Crossfit, I qualified for the Australasia regionals. Ditto for the second and third years. I was the alien creature who could do everything seemingly without effort. I lifted heavy, jumped high, ran fast and swung from rings like a monkey as if I was born doing it. No one believed me when I said that 7 years ago I couldn't perform one push up from my toes. No one believed that all one needs to be fit is 20 minutes a day, a soild habit and a good technique.
So, slowly I began to build an identity out of my athlete persona, to become addicted to the winning, and worst of all, to buy into the exhausting long workouts, the twice a day training sessions and the compromise on form and progression in the name of 'intensity and competition'.
People were now flocking to me asking to make them as strong, as flexible, as fit and move as well. I did that, making them stronger and better, and rehabilitating their Crossfit injuries, only to see them go and get smashed again by another competition. 
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My joints began to creak from sheer volume of training. I began to question the purpose of all those arduous long workouts. I wasnt reading as much anymore, a large porion of my day was spend in the gym and a large portion of my income went into all the supplements needed to keep up the brutal intensity of workouts. 
Throughout my 5 years competing in and coaching Crossfit, I never stopped my kettlebell training. And upon reflection, I realized that it was the most enjoyable, functional and efficient part of my training. So I left Crossfit and began to train only with Ketlebells and Bodyweight. I pick up a barbell every year or so, to test that I can still lift 120kg easily. For the past 4 years, I still can. I have been having a blast with kettlebells and never looked back. 

Kettlebel Academy Principles:

Minimalism - do what works, discard the unimportant.

We are what we habitually do. The compound effect of small daily habits consistently repeated over a long time is what makes a body, a character, a life.
Form follows function.
Competition is competition and training is training. Making training into competition is failing at both.spice.jpg
Moving with good technique, using smart progression and minimizing risk of injury are more important than appearance, winning, or proving something.
Through constant reflection, we must stay in touch with our own prioritie and avoid dysfunctional comparison. 
Everyone is different and we are all special snowflakes, but there are laws of physics and biology that apply to us all. 
Every master was once a disaster. Making mistakes and looking foolish are the currency of learning.
"15 years on, I am still passionate about WHAT I do, I love WHY I do it, FOR WHOM I do it, and am always improving in HOW I do it."