Taco Fleur is perhaps one of the most dedicated and passionate kettlebell trainers in the world. He’s written several books on kettlebell workouts and exercises that have been well-received on Amazon. In addition to the books, he’s produced dozens of videos that help both newbies like me and veterans alike in performing kettlebell moves the right way. Unlike some trainers, he is eager to assist and offer advice for anyone interested kettlebells.
In the short time I’ve communicated with Taco, I’ve found him to be very humble and gracious. It’s a little bit amusing because I never realized it before, but he is actually the man portrayed on this website’s home page! Although I did get the photo from a free stock photo website, I thought he might be upset or angry with my usage of it. To his credit, he never even mentioned it or brought it up. Now that’s some humility!
To say I’m grateful for the opportunity to interview him would be an understatement. I’m just your average guy looking to improve himself and spread awareness about kettlebells. So without further delay, let’s get to it!
Taco Fleur Interview
Hello Ryan/readers, and thank you for interviewing me, I consider it an honor to be on your website.
I read in your biography that your experience with kettlebells goes back 15 years and that you started seriously training with them 10 years ago. In the time since, you’ve authored numerous books and produced many videos in regards to kettlebell training. What was it that sparked such a passion for this tool?
Most of the photos and videos of you and your kettlebell feature backdrops of beautiful landscapes and scenery. It’s a refreshing change from the typical confines of a drab and dark gym. Do you have any fond memories of a particular place or two that you’d like to share?
Spain and Portugal have such beautiful sceneries, it’s just breathtaking. As I’m writing this my wife and I just got back from the Sierra Nevada which is probably one of my favorite places to go together with El Torcal. Sierra Nevada is so amazing as the scenery changes so much throughout the year and the place is so enormous that there is yet so much to discover. El Torcal is not as big but looks like such a magical place and I can still discover things there just by climbing and crawling into places no one goes.
As if climbing isn’t challenging enough,
Taco brings his kettlebells everywhere!
One of the objectives during our getaways is to get away from people and just relax. I need this as a lot of my time is spent behind the computer to write books, edit videos, maintain websites, answer people, write programs, etc.
Getting back to the question, yesterdays 3-day hike adventure would be in the book of fond memories as we slept in a tent next to a running stream of water and just had a great time overall with not one other human being around us. The other time would also be in the Sierra Nevada where we hiked 3 days to get to the top of the largest mountain (3,479 m) in Spain mainland and be the first to bring a yellow kettlebell to the top.
Let’s talk about that yellow kettlebell that you feature so prominently. Just from my observations, I’d say you could describe it as a companion of sorts. Is that accurate? What’s the history between you and this kettlebell? How much does it weigh?
I recently learned that you possess many unique skills which give you an advantage over the majority of kettlebell trainers and coaches. Graphic designer, video editor, blogger, social media influencer, you’re like a one-man band when it comes to producing and promoting your brand. How do you balance all of these responsibilities and still have time for yourself and family?
As for time for the family, my son (Benooi) recently moved back to Australia so we don’t see him. But as for my wife, our dog, and me, we make time. As our life Is very busy but still fluid, i.e. we set the times of what and when. We can go to the beach when we want, we’ll have breakfast in the morning at the beach sometimes and then work out together (which is somewhat work), or we all go on a long hike to clear the mind, which is also work as on the last hike we combined it with shooting some new course material.
One of the qualities I admire about you is your openness and candidness. Last year you wrote a piece touching on failed expectations and the reality of your current situation. Not an easy thing to share I’m sure. However, I think we both have the same philosophy that true failure is when you give up. In all actuality, your hard work has led to thousands of subscribers to your YouTube channel, a vibrant and active community in your Facebook group, and increasing sales of your books. Do you feel like you’re on the cusp of something great?
You brought something to my attention that never crossed my mind before as it pertains to kettlebell sport. That being footwear, which you’re not really a fan of! Are there really no official competitions that don’t require shoes? Seems a bit odd to me. No shoes, no shirt, no kettlebells!
I think a lot of people still believe that no shirt means you want to show off your guns and body, yes, of course, even myself sometimes feel like showing off what I worked hard for. But the majority of the time it’s really all about comfort for me. Working out with a sweaty shirt (I sweat a lot) that just obstructs my movement and breathing is not my favorite way to train.
“If you ever see me train with shoes on,
it’s because I’m forced to do so” – Taco Fleur
Speaking of apparel and gear. I’d like to get your opinion on workout gloves. Yay or nay? I hardly ever see any trainers using them. However, they’ve helped me significantly in reducing blisters and callouses. Is it just a matter of technique or experience/conditioning to prevent these things? A little bit of both?
What’s the kettlebell culture like over in Spain? Are many people familiar with them? In the U.S. we’re starting to see more kettlebell gyms pop up each year. However, there still isn’t much awareness and the perception to some that they are a gimmick or a fad still persists.
Your kettlebell training group on Facebook features members of all experience levels. People are sharing their own videos, stories and accomplishments. I find it amazing that all of the comments I’ve seen are supportive and encouraging. There is no sense of superiority, elitism or negativity. Would you attribute this to the many benefits that kettlebells offer? The fitness world can be intimidating but I’ve noticed there is a wide diversity among kettlebell trainers, athletes, and enthusiasts.
Thanks for taking the time to answer all of these questions. I’d like to reserve this last one as a spot to share anything you’d like. Whether that be advice, a new endeavor you’d like to promote, or simply a message.
As for advice or message. I believe no one is ever too old to get fitter, ever! I believe that anyone can do anything if they really want it and set their mind to it. I believe that health and happiness start with understanding yourself (body and mind), changing yourself, always improving, and that nutrition is key to just about everything. I know that sounds hocus pocus, but I’ve been analyzing myself over the years. What you eat/drink affects your performance, it affects your mood, it can even change you drastically (think drinking too much for too long), it affects how you heal, it affects how you think. Exercise is the second key and usually the path to good nutrition, it has the same benefits as nutrition but with nutrition being the first and exercise being the second. The mind is just as important too and I believe if you get those two previous ones right the next layer you’ll unlock is the mind. You can’t unlock a cloudy mind that needs to look after an unhealthy body.