Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's a good time to be in the RKC

This past month RKC's were announced for Philadeplphia, PA and Seoul, North Korea. In addition to that we have the RKC II coming to San Jose, CA in February, and the HKC's starting up. There are a few other things about to go down (based on my theorizing) that are going to rattle the cage as well.
This is a good time to be a part of this organization. This has all been building for the past 9 years and it is finally coming to fruition. I was just fortunate enough to have walked in the door at the right moment.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Reaching the finish line

So I'm finally reaching the finish line with the DVD. The movie is encoding on my computer as I write this, then it burns to DVD, print the covers, and it ships. I'm guessing I start shipping next Monday.
I am also finishing the user manual now as well, and think I will ultimately offer the first few pages as a free download.
I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I think I might have instructing the pistol down to 10 minutes. I've done it three times now. I'm going to keep field testing this so we'll see if it's a fluke or a pattern.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Guest post by The World's Strongest Librarian!

Okay all you Average To Elitists, today we have a guest blog post by Josh Hanagarne RKC. I am mentioned favorably in this one, so it gets posted. :)
Keep an eye on Josh as I see great things coming from him in the not so distant future.

Because It’s Worth Doing Right
By Josh Hanagarne

I always hesitate to speak in absolutes, but during my first 16 months with kettlebells, I’ve learned indisputable facts.

1. Kettlebells can change your life in positive ways you can’t imagine
2. Improper kettlebell use will change your life in ways that really, really suck

Now, I haven’t made costly kettlebell mistakes that have punished me, but I could have. I trained for a year on my own before seeking instruction. When I did look for help, Jordan’s presence on the Dragondoor forum and his youtube videos convinced me that I was probably doing some things wrong.

Enter the RKC

One month ago I became an RKC. My suspicion that I had been doing some things wrong had been confirmed with a bazooka strike to my ego and also to my perceptions that self-assessment is the way to go.
Oh, I was a sweet, innocent little lad.
My instructors were all kind and insistent. They kindly insisted that I knew nothing and showed me how to do things correctly.

The misguided temptation to teach
Like most people I’ve known who get bitten by the kettlebell bug, I immediately set up a ministry in my head and ran around yammering to anyone who would listen the ravings of this new convert. I can be very persuasive and charismatic, so it was a slap in the face when people said, “Oh, that sounds awesome! Can you teach me?” and I then realized I couldn’t. Not really.

It was kind of tempting. I’m a pretty good guitar player, but you can show off for anyone who doesn’t play the guitar. You could strum any heinous Matchbox 20 song for someone who’s never held a guitar and you can come off like a virtuoso.
In the same way, people who saw me practicing with kettlebells were impressed at the power I could generate and the weight I could lift. They wanted to invest me with credibility I didn’t have.
It’s fun and easy to collect compliments, even if you don’t deserve them. But luckily I had the sense to step back and say, “I’m so glad you’re interested. I’m not qualified to teach you at all and should probably shut my mouth. Take care!”

I was fine letting people watch me do my exercises, but it was painfully apparent that I had no idea how to instruct.

Great instruction looks like this.
I’d been watching Jordan’s videos and was beginning to understand the meaning of thorough instruction. And those youtube videos, excellent as they are don’t even being to scratch the surface of how knowledgeable he really is. I didn’t realize this until I got the chance to preview his upcoming DVD The Corrections. And now I’m saying these long DVDs are also not scratching the surface of his knowledge. But I’ll take it for now until the next set comes out, which I can only hope is once a week from now on until I die.

Great instruction is impossible to misunderstand
Really good instruction is impossible to misunderstand. You don’t scratch your head and say, “I wonder what that means?” You don’t have to guess, and you shouldn’t have to guess, because a good instructor will be able to size you up. They’ll say, “Do this, cut that out, tighten this up.”
Proper instructors give examples and try to tell you why they’re having you do certain things. There’s nothing wrong with doing what you’re told, as long as it gets the results you’re paying for, but if you do ask questions, expect your instructor to provide answers. Answers that can’t be misunderstood.

A great teacher knows when to lighten up

I mean this in two ways.

1. You’ll get farther if your instructor has a sense of humor. It helps lighten the stress of a nasty workout. This stuff is fun and rewarding and it can improve the quality of your life by leaps and bounds—but it is not life or death. It can be okay to act like it’s life or death while training, but maintain perspective.
2. A great teacher has nothing to prove to themselves. They should respect how you say you feel and be aware if you start pushing yourself in dangerous or counterproductive ways.

Anyone can prescribe a nasty, horrible workout that will kick your butt. If I tell you to do 1000 snatches in an hour, that will be difficult. As soon as I realize you’re physically incapable of it, I should get you out of that situation. Good instructors don’t just smoke you—they smoke you in ways that lead to greater gains. There’s a vast difference between working hard and working hard and productively.

Accountability and integrity

Jordan’s sense of humor, his ability to quickly pinpoint and troubleshoot problems, and his concern for the welfare and results of his clients have led me to seek his advice over and over. I’ll keep doing it, too.
The RKC is an honorable system of strength. This sounds corny to some people, but we don’t apologize for it. Without integrity, you have no business teaching anyone.
A good hardstyle instructor teaches the RKC system in the way it is intended. They promote only the techniques and principles that are proven and brutally effective. They hold themselves accountable, admit their mistakes, and conduct themselves with honor—because he takes what he does seriously, and what he does is make us better.
I don’t care if it sounds corny. This “exercise” system has changed my life and taught me things about myself that there is no other way to learn.
The effects of physical health and strength are inseparable from the rest of our lives. I don’t believe you can separate your body from your mind, or your mind from your health. We are the sum of our parts and strengthening one area strengthens all in time. Strength leads to confidence. Confidence leads to progression. Progression leads to improvement and that is what gives us joy. The rejection of boredom.
Insist on evolving. Don’t be average, because that makes a mockery of profound and awesome human potential.
Hard training changes you. If you commit to training hard, it is worth doing right. The time will come when you can do everything on your own. Until then, find a trainer that can help you reach that point in the least amount of time.

I know a guy in California who’s pretty good. His name starts with a J.

Josh Hanagarne, RKC, is the World's Strongest Librarian. If you're looking for more information on kettlebells, coping with Tourette's, buying pants when you're 6'8", you need a shoulder to cry on, or you're wondering how to write a successful but unfocused blog, he's your man.

Please subscribe to Josh's Stronger, Smarter, Better newsletter and RSS updates to stay in touch.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My DVD is now available for purchase on my website

Click here to go to the sales page.

So far I've received many good responses to the material, so I do not think you will be disappointed.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The first reviews for my DVD

"My points are:
1. This is definitely not one of those useless, but flashy dvds, and I am grateful for this...
2. You stick to the basics, and that is one of the biggest advantages of the DVD. You show details that many of us know already, but are probably not using actively.
3. The DVD is a big help for medium level kettlebell practitioners, but most of all it is mainly a very useful source for RKC instructors, kind of a video notes for the RKC manual.
I am very satisfied with the quality of the information, and I would definitely buy a copy."

Peter Lakatos RKC Team Leader

"I received an advance copy of Jordan's DVD the "Corrections" and was wondering what more could he come up with since I have seen all of his youtube videos already. I was lucky enough to have a kettlebell nearby when I started watching the DVD. I got so excited about a few of the corrections I had to pause the DVD to try them out for myself. I have always been amazed how small corrections can lead to big leaps in progress. Through out the DVD the corrections Jordan suggested made so much sense I couldn't wait to try them out on myself and my clients. For myself I found many "wtf" or like we say "Ah Ha" moments in the DVD. Jordan's Corrections DVD is filled with "Ah Ha" moments. If you own ETK this is a must have to help in perfecting your technique. I give the DVD 5 Stars!!!!!"
Joey Williams RKC, NSCA-CPT, UC Berkeley Special Response Unit Police Officer

"I consider myself lucky to have the opportunity to review Jordan Vezina's new DVD, The Corrections. Most of the people out there either new to hardstyle kettlebell training or following the progress being made in the evolution of hardstyle kettlebell training are familiar with Jordan's videos available for free online. Like most of you I rely heavily on Jordan's videos to help perfect my form. I'm very lucky in that I live 5 minutes from where Jordan trains and have benefited from private instruction from Jordan.
After viewing The Corrections I can say that, aside from personal instruction from Jordan, this DVD is the next best thing to having Jordan train you personally. The basic hardstyle movements are given full attention and you most likely find that you are making common mistakes in your training that can be difficult to self correct without guidance. This DVD is your guidance towards hardstyle perfection. Just the section on proper body posture and form in the military press alone is a gold mine of information. Be assured though that equally detailed sections on the goblet squat, clean, swing and snatch will have you making this DVD your most highly used resource for correction.
Beyond the extremely detailed instruction from Jordan, the production of the DVD is very nicely done. Like the Jordan's delivery of the subject matter everything is clearly presented, simple and efficient. Everything is geared towards making sure that you know precisely what you need to do. There is no glitz or excess fluff here, just knowledge being passed on to you from one of the best hard-style kettlebell instructors in the world. I consider this DVD an indispensable part of my kettlebell library and give it my highest recommendation."

Kai Johnson

"Using kettlebells properly will change your life in ways you can't imagine yet.
Using kettlebells improperly will change your life in ways that suck.
Kettlebell practice is worth doing throughout your life, as long as you can do it right. Jordan knows how to do it right and he has a wonderful ability to present complex concepts in simple, fun, and clear language that is impossible to misunderstand. I am an RKC and my technique is pretty good. After watching The Corrections, my technique is markedly better.
I can't say enough good things about Jordan and the new DVD. I hope he makes one each week until I die."

Josh Hanagarne RKC, World's Strongest Librarian

Stay tuned for the release this Wednesday. Or just click here. :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Hurt Locker

Finally... a movie about our soldiers in Iraq that portrays them as the heroes they are and doesn't try to make them all out to be murderers, rapists, and criminals who don't want to be there. How sad is it that I think this is the first movie that actually shows them in a positive light?
The movie doesn't glorify the war, it definitely shows all of the darkness of it, but it's even handed.
Hurt locker is the story of an Army Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit in Iraq in 2004.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

My time is coming to meet the USSST

So by now we know my current primary goals. They're insane so they're easy to remember. See how that works? I've made one small alteration, which is changing the 5 minute snatch test on the 32 kg. to a 10 minute test, otherwise known as the Ultimate Secret Service Snatch Test. I'm also eyeballing the ultimate clean and jerk with the 40 kg. but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

1. Bend the red nail in compliance with IM cert standards.
2. Complete the Beast Challenge by 2010.
3. 200 reps on the 32 kg. in 10 minutes.

I ordered these by how soon I think they'll get done. Where am I on everything now? I can crush Gr5 bolts pretty easily, and I recently took down 14 in a row. I'm going to make a run at some Gr8's this week or next. After the Gr8's I should be close to the red.
I can currently pistol the 40 kg. with authority (Hamstring to calf) and am very, very close to the 44 kg. I'll get the 48 kg. by the San Diego RKC in August.
I'm pressing the 32 kg. for 8 reps at a time. I'm still unlocking my shoulders, and I think once that is done I will rapidly press the 40. It will also be done by august.
I'm only now seriously starting my snatch prep by working into VWC. I'm going to set goals for the 10 minute test to work my way up. I.E. 100 reps in 10, 130, 150, etc.
We'll see.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Are you training or just trashing yourself?

First, this is not directed at the Crossfit community, so calm down. I've seen several people get great results from CF when properly employed. What I've been seeing lately is more and more people just trashing themselves doing 'a bunch of stuff' until they almost pass out, and calling it a 'crossfit-type workout'.
If I were to show you a workout that was hard but didn't destroy you, and made you stronger, faster, and built your endurance, then I showed you another that smoked you but you made little progress on... which would you choose? Lately I've been running into more and more people who think they have to do the latter. It's almost as if this mentality is taking the place of the old bodybuilding mindset that you need 40 exercises to hit the biceps properly.
My question would be, is this getting you anywhere, or is it just a clever workout?
"Hey, let's do 30 deadlifts, 5 pull ups, and a 50 yard dash for time until we puke!"
Well, that's cute, but is it getting you anywhere?
Meaning you should pick a few things to test. They might be a 3 mile run time, a max deadlift, and max pull ups. Any combination of whatever is fine, but you need a way to measure progress. Sort of like how we use the SSST and a max press on Rite of Passage. If you do your tests and aren't getting anywhere, you have your answer.
The goal of training should not be to smoke yourself all the time. The goal is to progress in your chosen event.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy July 4th and the new 'action trailer' for my DVD

Happy July 4th everyone! We're getting ready to take off for the weekend and it looks like it will be beautiful out.
Here's the new 'action trailer' for my DVD.
Sorry I couldn't work in any explosions.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Taking my own medicine.

The other night I pretty much banned my kettlebell class from squatting until everyone addresses their ankle mobility issues.
So I have decided to take a dose of my own medicine.

That is my shoulder mobility. Knowing this I recently started RTK. Putting that much weight overhead consistently, really fired up my shoulders in a bad way. So as of right now nothing goes over my head until I at least hit symmetrical 2's.
I'm working my FMS corrections consistently and will report back.