Over a decade ago our predecessor, RKC kettlebell certification, shook up the complacent trainer education industry with a previously unheard of practice. Instead of letting their graduates off the hook with multiple-choice questions, RKC subjected their instructor candidates to a “martial arts belt test.” To earn a coveted RKC certificate a student had to demonstrate perfect exercise technique, have his or her spirit tested in grueling workouts, pass strength tests, and demonstrate teaching skills with a volunteer from the general public. “Walking the walk” was the only way to earn the “RKC” designation.

Among RKC graduates are world champion athletes, special operators, elite coaches, medical professionals, and other hardcore types committed to serious training. Not surprisingly, the RKC course was extremely demanding mentally and physically, required extensive preparation, and, in spite of the high caliber of the individual it attracted, typically failed 30% of the students. In one in-house certification for a government agency, the failure rate was a record 82%—because the organization had not taken the warning about the elite nature of the course seriously.

Never content with being the best, RKC kept constantly polishing the chrome, collaborating with top scientists, medical professionals, and coaches like Professors Stuart McGill and Tom Fahey, Gray Cook, and Dr. John DiMuro. In a little over a decade, the RKC instructor manual has seen 24 editions.

StrongFirst was started by Pavel Tsatsouline who developed the RKC curriculum and led the RKC organization on the field. StrongFirst has preserved the best RKC standards and traditions and it continues to improve on them. Consider that in order to graduate from our bodyweight training instructor course, a student must be able to do a strict one-arm pushup—and that is the ladies’ standard.

When we say “strength,” we mean StrongFirst.

Betsy Collie, Senior StrongFirst Certified Instructor, Owner, Co-Founder, Head Instructor


Betsy Collie has been in the fitness profession for 20 years, specializing in group exercise and fitness and dance. She has spent her entire life moving--starting dance at the age of 3 years old! She has had extensive formal dance training over the last 20+ years including ballet, jazz, modern dance, hip-hop, and gymnastics. She received a scholarship to and attended the very prestigious North Carolina School of the Arts for Dance in Winston-Salem, NC and was also chosen to attend the exclusive Governor's School of North Carolina for Dance.

Betsy’s professional background is evident in her graceful, elegant, and fluid movement. She has instructed and choreographed dance and movement for everyone from pre-schoolers to debutantes, to collegiate dancers. She has taught group fitness classes to all populations from the early days of aerobics and step through the current trends of Pilates, Bosu, Cardio Box, and Muscle Pump. Betsy has done it all and concluded that kettlebell training provides THE BEST fitness solution for all populations.

Betsy is currently certified as a Senior SFG Instructor, SFL (StrongFirst Certified Barbell Instructor), SFB (StrongFirst Certified Bodyweight Instructor). She is also certified in Z Health Level I, certified as an FMS trainer, a Level II Battling Ropes Coach, and certified through American Fitness and Aerobics Association (AFAA) to teach Group Fitness, and Personal Training.

As a StrongFirst Certified Senior Instructor she has trained all walks of life from housewife to grandfather and everything in between. In addition she instructs at the national StrongFirst certification courses that are taught throughout the year in various states. Just recently, she was appointed by Pavel Tsatsouline along with 9 other instructors to train the Navy SEALS in Kettlebell training.

Undoubtedly the most unique thing about Betsy’s background is that she was a professional cheerleader for professional football’s World League.

Betsy is also a national figure competitor having competed in the NPA and NPC federations. She placed 2nd in the NPA Figure Competition in July 2008.

Get to Know the Kettlebell With These Moves

Click here to read customer reviews of Betsy Collie

Jennie Brown, RKC I Instructor

Jennie has been a part of the Rapid Results Fitness family since July 2009. She completed the Russian Kettlebell Certification in April 2011 and happily joins the Rapid Results instructor team. Jennie received her BA from The University of Richmond. Her career was in the pharmaceutical industry but Jennie has taught various group fitness classes since college.

Jennie currently stays at home with her three children. “I have always been involved in some form of fitness. However, I have never participated in a fitness form as time efficient as Kettlebell training. This is the ideal workout for a busy mom that wants both strength and cardio conditioning; achieved in a time efficient manner. What makes the Kettlebell instruction at Rapid Results Fitness so unique is the focused attention you receive from the instructors. The environment is much more of a personal training situation which ensures proper form, safety and results in each workout.”

Jennie looks forward to assisting other clients in developing their full body awareness and potential with Kettlebell training; both in a personal training setting and the class setting.

Jennie is married and loves spending time with her family. She was born in Durham and has lived here since 2000. Jennie’s first fitness choice is Kettlebell training but she spends all the time she can outdoors.

Ben Bryant

Ben started his fitness career in 2006 by acquiring his personal trainer certification from the highly regarded Cooper Institute in Dallas, TX. His journey began with his own personal transformation and conscious decision to become healthier and happier. This, in turn, sparked his desire to spread health awareness to those around him. After obtaining his PT certification, he began private instruction in his home state of Arkansas, followed by working as a training manager in a big box gym in Ohio. His subsequent move to North Carolina brought the realization that he needed to expand his knowledge, giving rise to his interest in kettlebells and the unique simplicity and effectiveness as a training method they offer. Ben rapidly acquired his RKC Level 1 certification and SFG Level 1 certification.

Ben’s focus has always encompassed the combination of proper nutrition and effective training tailored to each client’s specific needs and goals. His clientele ranges from high school athletes to senior citizens approaching their 80’s. He has been lucky enough to join the Rapid Results Fitness family where he continues to grow his passion for a healthier lifestyle and the opportunity to spread that knowledge.

Shawn Powell / StrongFirst Certified Level I Instructor

Shawn Powell trainer

A lifelong practitioner and "tinkerer" in health and fitness, Shawn has over 10 years of kettlebell experience in the "hardstyle" methods brought to this country and popularized by Pavel Tsatsouline. Shawn's philosophy is simple - most of the methods that make us stronger, more powerful human beings have already been presented to us and have been in place for years. There are no magic pills or gimmicks. Lifting heavy things with exceptional form and movement, with a never-stop-learning mentality, is the only true way to become stronger, healthier, and more fit from head to toe. Shawn maintains his StrongFirst certifications every two years, which is no easy feat. He believes strongly in always learning, being the student and continuing education and training. He believes that we should treat the basic movements of the kettlebell and barbell as some people treat their golf swing - a never-ending, constantly improving process.

A down-to-earth family man, Shawn understands the struggle most of us face when trying to balance fitness, family, and career. He lives in Durham with his wife and three kids, and has a passion for training youth and improving their performance when not at Rapid Results.

Shawn is currently an SFG Level 1 StrongFirst Kettlebell Instructor and a certified speed and agility coach. He obtained his kettlebell certification at the extremely taxing Denver, Colorado certification. Shawn is also CPPS (Certified Physical Preparation Specialist) certified, directly under world renowned Strength and Conditioning coaches Joe Defranco and James "Smitty" Smith. He is also pursuing a number of other certifications in fitness and nutrition while helping the Rapid Results Fitness clientele reach their own fitness goals.

Claire Thomson / StrongFirst Certified SFGII Instructor, StrongFirst Certified SFB Bodyweight Instructor

Claire Thomson trainer

Claire is a passionate instructor with a focus on kettlebell and barbell training. Since starting to train with kettlebells in 2015, she has achieved her Strong First Level 2 kettlebell certification, Strong First Bodyweight certification and completed Sinister. Her joy is teaching people to reach new strengths; whether that be your first swing or a huge deadlift PR. She's looking forward to working with you!