Ladies and gentlemen of the primalburgher.com community, I would like to thank you all for following this blog for the past year. Over the weekend, I traveled to Vienna Virginia to take on the Russian Kettlebell Challenge sponsored by Dragon Door. One year ago, I had decided to take all the scattered pieces of my life and mold them together into a stronger version of myself. This weekend, I was able to pass all the demanding certification requirements of the Russian Kettlebell Challenge and became an RKC Certified kettlebell instructor. Words cannot express how happy I am to have passed this grueling three day certification process. I’m glad the physical challenges are over (haha!) but most of all, I am glad I can finally move forward into this amazing community of RKC instructors and launch my career as an independent trainer. With all that in mind, I wanted to take some time today to explain the RKC certification process and discuss what you need to keep in mind if you are truly thinking about going for this certification.
So…let’s get started!
The entrance exam for the RKC is the hardstyle pushup test. Men must perform a set of 10 pushups and women must perform a set of 3 pushups. Failure to meet this requirement will result in being disqualified for the remainder of the weekend. Please note, you MUST make sure your form for the push up is solid. Any deviation from a strict military pushup will count against you. After passing your entrance exam, you will be required to handle the demands of extremely challenging workouts for three days. One of the most challenging workouts is the RKC snatch test. This test is an endurance test that requires you to perform 100 kettlebell snatches in a 5 minute time frame. Failure to meet the demands of this test will result in a failure of the entire course. Now, to give you an idea of just how demanding this test is, please watch my snatch test below in this following YouTube video. Please note: snatch test size kettlebells are determined by weight classes. For more information on the weight classes for this certification, please visit Dragon Door.
Snatch test…glad that bugger is over!
The remaining portion of the RKC certification is based on how well you can demonstrate your technique of basic kettlebell exercises as well as how you can teach kettlebell basics to wiling volunteers. Your technique will be tested on six skills: the swing, the clean, the get-up, the press, the snatch, and the front squat. All exercises will be tested with a single kettlebell with the exception of the front squat, which is tested with double kettlebells. Your teaching requirements will be evaluated on the final day of the certification process. You will have volunteers to work with and you must teach basic mobility drills, safety tips and basic kettlebell form to your participants with utmost professionalism. All physical demands aside, if you cannot teach what you’ve learned at the certification to a complete stranger, you will fail the course. In my personal opinion, the teaching portion of the certification is the most demanding portion of the certification. Do not take the teaching aspect lightly!
Now that you have an understanding of what to pay attention to for this certification, here are some of my final tips to help you all pass this certification.
1) Train hard but train SMART! I have written about overtraining before, and there is a tendency to completely over train for a certification of this nature. I know that because I have done it myself (oops!). Keep your workouts short but intense, increasing your overall load incrementally over time. You will notice that you will be stronger for it in the end. Be sure to find a local RKC instructor to help you with your basic drills. You may even want to consider passing your HKC certification prior to signing up for the RKC. That’s exactly what I did, and I feel I was more prepared for the RKC having done HKC first. For more information on HKC certifications, please visit Dragon Door.
2) DO NOT CUT YOUR WEIGHT! Dragon Door has implemented a middle weight class for the certification to make the RKC process fair for all participants. I have written about weight cutting issues before, and I cannot stress this enough. If you are on the cusp of a weight class, GET STRONGER! It is better (and might I add, healthier) to allow your body to produce muscle mass in order to move more mass around in terms of heavy weights. Forget numbers, and for that matter, forget your bathroom scale. The RKC is a school of strength, and it makes no sense to inhibit your personal strength for the fear of a slightly heavier kettlebell. Just to make a point, when I weighed in for RKC (not fasted mind you. Fasting is lame!) I was 130 pounds. Having previously weighed at 122lbs standing at a whopping 5’3”, that should give you all an idea of how much mass I gained before my certification. So….be strong and carry on! If you need some inspiration for getting stronger, please read my previous post here.
3). Gain as much teaching experience as possible. I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to gain one on one experience with clients prior to RKC. My trainer, RKC II Kerry Swick had allowed me to co-teach some classes out of the Pittsburgh Kettlebell’s studio. If you are able to, ask your own RKC instructor for a chance to shadow and co-teach some basic kettlebell classes. The hands on experience will really make you stand out as an exceptional trainer by the end of the three-day workshop.
If you have any other questions related to the RKC, be it how to train for it, what to expect, or how to really pass it with flying colors, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com. In the coming weeks, I will be updating this blog to make my own training services public. As of now, I will be taking on private clients one-on-one and in groups in and around the Pittsburgh area. If you are at a distance, I am happy to meet with you via skype. Again, you can contact me about all that via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
That sums it up for today folks! Be on the look out for more highlights from the RKC and stay tuned for a brand new year in the life primalburgher.com! Remember to eat smart, train hard, and enjoy your life!