For the last few months, Ben and I have been training for the StrongFirst Kettlebell Certification. The SFG kettlebell course is a physically demanding, three day workshop that is considered by many to be the gold standard in kettlebell training.
The SFG kettlebell course is based on the training principles of Pavel Tsatouline, formerly of the RKC organization and the man who introduced the kettlebell to North America.
The primary tenet of the StrongFirst organization is that strength is the foundation for development of the rest of physical qualities and any athlete who has not built a foundation of strength will not reach their full potential.
I have used Kettlebells for years, mainly to compliment barbell training, but never as my primary training tool. When Ben suggested that we attend the SFG certification, he referred me to a couple of different sites which outlined training protocols to prepare for the course. I was blown away by the volume and frequency that these programs called for and honestly was a little nervous! But as they say, a failure to plan is a plan for failure.
Having trained for athletic competitions in the past, Ben and I know how to prepare and we are treating this course like one of those competitions. We'll be heading into this course in top physical condition to not only fulfill the strength requirements, but to also be able to absorb as much information possible over the 3 days. Confidence heading into this will be key.
We have based our training around heavy swings (singles/doubles), cleans, presses, snatches and get-ups. The cornerstone of our prep has been the swing, as the cleans and snatches are built off a powerful and efficient hip hinge. It has seemed repetitious at times but "grooving" these movements is vital for staying safe and building mental toughness when you fatigue.
We have two more weeks to prepare and I am feeling pretty good. We will spend our next several sessions building up our conditioning and refining our techniques. Outside of the gym I am aiding my recovery by eating foods which will support my increased caloric demands, getting quality sleep and foam rolling and stretching daily!
1. Two Hand Kettlebell Swing
2. Half Turkish Get-Up