Brit who took up kettlebell juggling just 2 years ago after getting unfit has come third in European competition

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A Brit who took up kettlebell juggling just two years ago after getting unfit has come third in a European competition.

Elisha Millard, from Crouch End, north London, started training in 2020 after worrying about letting himself go in his 30s.

He quickly realised he had a talent for kettlebell juggling and last weekend took part in the European Open Championships in Poland, where he came in third place.

Elisha says he was encouraged to take the exercise seriously after posting some videos online.

Fellow jugglers saw the footage and encouraged him to enter the championships - where he is believed to be the first Brit to take part.

Elisha, a musician and sound technician said: "I'm ecstatic and so proud to be the first from the UK to compete at this level, and I'm extremely pleased with my result.

"I'm very proud to have introduced the UK to the European Kettlebell juggling community.

"I didn't realise how good I was until the pros invited me to take part.

"I never thought fitness would be a thing for me. I've gone from just walking and no gym at all two years ago to this and it's amazing.

"I'm really looking forward to the competition.

"Getting fit and discovering I have a real talent for kettlebell juggling has had such a positive impact on my mental health as well.

"It helps let off steam and has rekindled all my energy and confidence.

"And my physique has changed a lot - I've had to buy a load of new shirts."

Elisha and fiancée Vinay Heer, 41, started listening to health podcasts during the first Covid lockdown in March 2020.

It was then they decided to try using kettlebells - starting off with a 10 kilo weight which left them in agony.

Determined to improve, Elisha started two or three 20 minute sessions a week using an 8 or 10kg kettlebell.

He joined a gym and increased to 12kg and 45 minute sessions three to four times a week in June when lockdown lifted.

At that time he could only manage ten repetitions of a kettlebell exercise before having to stop, but after a year he'd ramped that up to 30, which took him a minute.

He was able to keep going for ten minutes, completing 90 reps with 15kg, by March 2022.

Elisha has trained for an hour kettlebell juggling six days a week since registering for the competition in September, and added in a 45 minute bar-bell workout four times a week.

Elisha says he used to stop for a break when carrying shopping from the supermarket to their flat.

But, after two years of training, he can cover the 200m and two staircases with no difficulty.

Elisha has been training up to 16 hours a week for the competition since registering in September.

He has a routine of 30 moves which have to run one into the next without putting the kettlebell down for the competition.

He'll join five other men in the professional category at the contest, which is the first to be run by the newly formed European Kettlebell Juggling Federation.

Elisha said: "It's lovely to have found something I'm good at, that's good for me, and that enjoy.

"When you find the right exercise for you you really crave to do it. I never dreamed all this could be a thing for me."

Oleksandr Nikiforiak, founder and organiser of the European Kettlebell Juggling Federation, said: "Elisha is a professional and a strong competitor.

"In my opinion, Elisha is one of the most promising kettlebell jugglers in the world."