12476371_969424056480464_1758297076_nWhat is your name and age?
Gintaras Zilinskas, almost 39 years young 🙂

What are you working with/as?
I own a CrossFit gym “CrossFit Thirst”, situated at 35 km from Paris, where I work as a coach.

Do you have a motto or any catchwords?
My motto: “Live your life or life will live it for you”.

When did you start kettlebell training? Why and how did you start?
It all started around 2007 (even if I was familiar with the kettlebells from my youngest age). I practiced the mixed martial arts for a long time, and was working as physical preparation coach even longer. The kettlebells was a logical, and at the same moment, intuitive choice: the benefits of using them for the contact sports was obvious for me.

Maybe more interesting, why did you continue doing it?
The interest for the kettlebells transformed itself into love, and at one moment, I think around 2009, I discovered the GS. At that moment the internet: one Russian forum and some videos on YouTube were the only way for me to learn the technique and methodology of this sports discipline. My snatching was quite good, but jerk technique sucked, so I didn’t really train it 🙂
All changed when in 2013 I invited Ivan Denisov for a seminar – at last I started to understand the things! At that period I totally stopped my mma training. And that was the year when I started competing in the IUKL competitions.

Have you entered any competitions? Do you want to share your results?
I participated in one European Cup, one World Cup, two European Championships and three World Championships since then.
Now I’m preparing for the Poland in May.
My results are far from being impressive: in my last three participations I totalled 165,5 points in biathlon.
Under IUKL and Russian classification (the only two I accept as a standard) it gives me the MS level in the under 95kg class.

12498751_969424326480437_853710342_nDo you have a coach? Who is it and which are his/her strengths?
After the EC in Zagreb Anton Anasenko kindly proposed to be my coach, which of course I accepted.
There’s no need to talk about his qualities as an athlete, coach, leader or simply as a man: Anton is The Man and a friend.
7 or 8 months later we stopped the coaching because of me being incapable to follow the program as prescribed. I spend my life in the CrossFit gym, which forces me to do a lot of stuff.
So, I program my training by myself. Concerning the technique, I had a chance to receive a lot of advices from some of the best gireviks in the world, but my mentor, without him officially being one, is without any doubt Ivan Denisov: his vision of the movement technique is the one that my brain can assimilate the best 🙂

When did you start being a coach? Why did you do it?
My first GS coaching experience started in 2013, live and online. As for this day, I accept to work only in person – online coaching is too hasardous.

What kind of education do you have in coaching?
In France, in order to work as a coach, you must obtain either the Sports Ministry or Education Ministry diploma, plus the professional license.
I obtained my diplomas and license as a wrestling, grappling, boxing, kickboxing and S&C coach. As for the Kettlebell Sport, I’m a “level 3 international GS coach” under IUKL, I’m also an international IUKL judge.

What is the most challenging thing being a coach?
The most challenging is to feel your student and be able to adapt.

12595947_969424463147090_1866038516_nWhat are your own strenghts as a coach?
It’s not my role to talk about my strengths.

What do you think are the most important personal qualities in an athlet?
The exact vision, determination and love for pain are the qualities that build the Winners.

How do you think the future will look like for the sport (GS)? How do you think it will be for you or your athletes?
The GS future: well, probably we’ll see something similar to the situation with the running: there will be a big number of “joggers”, lifting long and light, and also, there will be a professional group, lifting how it is supposed to be in competitions… Don’t really know about my future or that of people I train.

What/which are or were your personal goals in training? (long-term/short-term?)
My only goal in GS is (as for a lot of other athletes) the international class level under the Russian standards.

Which discipline do you like the most and why is that?
Snatch ! It’s a like a dance for me 😀

What do you think is the most challenging in training?
I really struggle in the rack position, because of my anatomy – simple static rack holds are my cauchemar 🙂

Do you have any training tips to share?
Well, I’m quite active on the Facebook and YouTube, where I share a lot of tips – here it’s quite difficult to chose one.

Do you have any anecdotes from competition or training that you would like to share?
Probably the most important technical advice I received, came neither from a coach, nor from an athlete, but from a judge (who is also the president of the Lithuanian KLF): Mr Rolandas Kubilius.

Who (or what) inspires you?
Kettlebells inspire me!!!

Is there ever anything that makes you not prioritise training day?
I skip training from time to time for different reasons – don’t see anything wrong about it.

How do you eat? Do you have a special diet or a food-philosophy?
Yes, I do have my thoughts about how the diet should look like, but the way I ate the last year (because of some personal issues) give me no right to speak.

What is your favourite thing to do when you’re not ”kettlebelling” or coaching?
Spending time with my kids, reading and playing chess.


We would like to thank Gintaras for sharing this with us. He sure has a lot of great things to say and are an impressive athlete aswell as coach. We wish him the best of luck in the future!


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