UW staff and faculty set Guinness record for largest kettlebell workout

On Friday, over 1,200 UW faculty and staff lifted their way into history with a Guinness World Recordbreaking kettlebell workout.

Lead by Coach Marti Young via live webcast from the Dempsey Indoor Field, participants across all three campuses squatted, deadlifted and curled for half an hour to set the record for largest kettlebell workout ever. UWT’s workout took place in William Phillip Hall with almost 100 kettlebellers.

Participants were given their own kettlebells to take home and work with in the future.

“It is cool to be part of a Guinness Record,” said Nathan Ketzner, a staff member from UWT’s nursing school.

Throughout the workout, Young taught participants proper form in movements such as “around the world,” asking for a “bell yeah” whenever the going got tough.

This event served as a kickoff for a new university wide program, The Whole U. The program, which began early this quarter, was started by President Michael Young as a way to turn the university into a more vibrant workplace.

“Our employees are the heartbeat of our university,” Young said during opening remarks of the event, “this is to encourage everybody to connect with each other.

The program is run in large part by The Whole U staff on the Seattle campus, while the other campuses are involved through faculty ambassadors. Nine ambassadors from the UWT campus will work with those from the other campuses to organize things like interest groups, fitness activities, and anything else that may help people engage with their coworkers outside of the workplace.

Through various activities, The Whole U will focus on promoting healthy lifestyles and personal growth.  

“It is all about being well at every age and every stage of life,” said Anna Salyer, head of community outreach for the UWT library, “I love that we are all supporting each others wellness.”

Richard Wilkinson, Associate Vice Chancellor for Organizational Effectiveness and Development, said the hope is the kettlebell event will give the program the momentum it needs to get off the ground.  

“There’s value in creating these opportunities to connect,” Wilkinson said.

The past record for largest kettlebell workout was set in November of last year by 300 athletes from the International Confederation of Kettlebell Lifting Masters and International Kettlebell Triathlon Federation in Arkhangelsk, Russia.