Privet, my name is Ekaterina (Kat) Tabakova.
I grew up in the Soviet Union / Russia and currently split my time between Israel and New Zealand.
I was brought up in an active family of avid readers. Our parents inspired us to care for our bodies as well as cultivate curious and active minds. So, despite participating in many sports, (springboard diving, ballroom dancing, ice skating, cross country skiing, Powerlifting, Crossfit, Kettlebell Sport), I have always placed fitness in a supporting rather than a primary role in my life.
The primary role has always been the development of my mind and skillful living, not the training in the gym. To me, training should support these objectives, not get in the way.
Hence, I practice calisthenics, kettlebells and fitness minimalism.
My ultimate passion is to help people who want to live life outside the gym – especially those whose professions require an intense mental effort – to achieve and maintain optimal health, strength and fitness in the most efficient, enjoyable and sustainable way possible. You do not have to choose between being a ‘geek’ and being a ‘jock’ – in my book, the smartest person keeps both the body and the mind in tip-top condition.
I am a bookworm and read voraciously every free minute I get. In addition to continually reading within my field: anatomy, physiology, psychology, rehabilitation, life coaching and nutrition, I am a passionate student of philosophy, civil engineering, politics, economics and dystopian fiction.
I am standing on the shoulders of giant, having had a number of amazing teachers in my life. The ones I am particularly grateful to are:
– My parents, Ludmila and Vladimir Tabakovi for making learning and health a priority and always being an example of hard work and perseverance,
– my English tutors in Russia, for making learning english language fun.
– my Jewish Sunday School teachers, for instilling a love of Jewish culture and making my childhood magical.
– my middle school English language teacher, Janna Alexandrovna, for believing I can do better and not settling for medioctiry.
– my Senior College of New Zealand teachers: Economics teacher Mr Cahill, Chemistry teacher Mr Frank Liu, English Literature teacher Ms Beresford – for making me fall in love with the subjects I was learning in my second language.
– My Business Ethics professor Ross McDonald – for passionate thought-provoking classes and recommending amazing books.
– My first fitness profession mentor, Matt Newey – for sense of humour, drive, care for his clients and being a great role model.
– My StrongFirst instructors Fabio Zonin and Shaun Cairns – for sharing their vast knowledge in a fun and accessible way, and patiently answering all my questions 🙂
– To my friend and mentor, Nutritionist and Author, Maria Middlestead – for being an amazing human, role model and friend.
– and to all the authors of the hundreds of books that taught (and continue to teach) me so much. I am grateful to be living in the world where we have access to so much knowledge, and I try to pay this gratitude forward through my YouTube channel Kat’s Kettlebell Dojo, my Instagram Kettlebellacademynz, my blog and my coaching practice.
I am a Level 4 Certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Certified Strong First Level II Kettlebell Instructor, IKSFA Girevoy Sport Coach, Olympic Lifting, Strength and Mobility Coach, Jump Rope and Bodyweight Callisthenics trainer, and Precision Nutrition Coach.