Sunday, February 28, 2010

RKC II: I passed!

Wow. It's over. Brain hurts. I took copious notes to try and retain as much of the information being launched at me as possible. Today I hit my 24 kg. pull up and nailed it. I passed all of my level one and two tests and am now RKC II. Not bad for a course that has had as high as an 80% failure rate if memory serves me.
To be honest I did not expect to pass. I went in barely able to press the 36 kg. (my required half body weight press) some serious flexibility issues and a jacked up left shoulder. However i just applied what I was taught and pulled it off.
A big thank you to the RKC Instructors who taught the course. No way would I have made it through without all of the information and attention I received.
If you are an RKC Instructor and think the level two is some sort of 'bonus course' or 'merit badge', guess again. This is no joke, and you will easily learn 3 times as much as you did at level one if not more.
The standards were very, very high. No one was given a free pass.

Friday, February 26, 2010

RKC Level II: Day One

I am sitting here at home getting ready to hit the Tempurpedic. How nice it is to have this taking place 25 minutes from home.
Some folks think I know how to swing a bell. About two hours into this course I realized I know nothing. As the time ticked by I thought back to the blogs or posts I see every so often declaring "I don't need to spend three days learning to swing a kettlebell, it's so simple!"
Yeah, right. I realize that if I tell someone I just spent a half a day learning how to do a pull up there will be two sorts of recipients. The type who mockingly declares he does not need someone to show him how to do a pull up, and the type who is curious as to what it is we did for all that time, who approaches it with an open mind.
Consider that the entry fee includes a pull up with a 24 kg. kettlebell hanging off your foot. That is one of the three strength tests to qualify as an RKC II. So before you start spouting off, aren't you the least bit curious how a pull up with a 53 pound kettlebell hanging off your foot can be the standard?
Those who excel are doing 106 pound pull ups or more. There is a good reason, it is not coincidence.
I stepped on the scale today a little concerned I would weigh in a 169 and be required to press the 40 kg.
How did that happen? I pressed the 36 kg. easily. It felt like the 32 kg. I missed the pull up by about an inch. I know what I did wrong, and if I don't get it this weekend I will get it imminently.
All is good in the land of kettlebells and honey.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Average To Elite crew kills the RKC

I did some math the other day and figured out that I in some way trained about 20% of the attendees at this past weekend's RKC in San Jose. Nearly all of them passed. Not only did they pass, reportedly they killed it. Some of them had their first introduction to kettlebells at one of my workshops. It is pretty cool to know that you started someone on this path, and they then picked up the ball and ran with it all the way to the RKC.

Below are Denise, Meg, and Alyssa with Team Castrogiovanni. Meg brought up an interesting point to me, which is that the three of them snatch tested together at my RKC Prep workshop and then ended up on the same team. below is the photo and then the video.

Pretty weird.

I was also priveldged to meet some of the folks who purchased my DVD including Doug Descant RKC and CJ Brown RKC.

Now it's off to the Level Two this weekend to do my own certification. :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The new DVD is in the books

This Sunday I filmed a new DVD with Max Shank RKC. It covers some of our individual methodology of strength training as well as some useful tips for different exercises such as the bottoms up press, push up (believe it or not, most people do them wrong), long cycle, pistol, and more.
I'm not going to get super detailed on it, but I will tell you this.
I had been stuck on my 36 kg. press for a little over a month. I hurt my left shoulder in December and had to back off of pressing until I rehabbed it. Prior to that I had pressed the 36 a couple times. I have to press it this week for RKC II. When I tried to press it again in January I couldn't do it. Up to last week I still couldn't do it. For some reason last week I could press a stacked 24 kg. and 12 kg. but not the 36 kg. Sunday Max gave me a couple pressing tips and we drilled the bottoms up press.
Yesterday I pressed it. Twice.
Let me throw another one at you. Max has been trying (for longer than he would care to admit) to bend a sixty penny nail with zero success. Not a kink. After I gave him about two minutes of instruction not only did he bend it like nothing, he was laughing as he did it. Fortunately we caught it on film so you will be able to see it for yourself.
This is going to be two discs with a planned release date of April 15th. You will not want to miss it, I promise you that. I predict it will blow The Corrections out of the water.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Average To Elite T-Shirts available again.

Average to Elite t-shirts are available again here.
This t-shirt has the logo of the rattlesnake wrapped around the kettlebell with the slogan "The snatches will continue until morale improves."

If it's good enough for this guy...

It's good enough for you.

Monday, February 15, 2010

De-greasing your bells

Do me a favor. Go put a thin coating of oil on the handles of your kettlebells, then wipe it off with one swipe. Now chalk up. Let me know how that works out for you. :)
De-greasing kettlebell handles is something I virtually never hear anyone talk about, though I can probably find 18,000 threads on the DD forum about how to properly use chalk.
I first picked up on de-greasing after reading Jared Savik's excellent book on Girevoy Sport.
Jared mentions that regardless of whether you choose to chalk or not 'De-grease you bells!"
So how do you do this? Using rubbing alcohol will break down the hand oils that have been accumulating on the surface of your kettlebell handles over the months or years. Particularly if you have any that feel kind of 'slick' you will notice a big difference after you de-grease them.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The August 2010 RKC in San Diego has been announced!

Click here for the upcoming August RKC Kettlebell Certification in San Diego!

I had the pleasure of being an assistant instructor at the last San Diego RKC and hope to return for this one as well in some capacity. The last one was great. Over 100 people on the field swinging bells for 3 days. I ran the Max Vo2 workout and we went beyond thunderdome.
Read my after action report here.

Let me take a moment here to say that some people talk a lot of smack about the RKC and how you don't need to spend three days learning to use kettlebells. Most of them have atrocious form. Understand that technique is not just about 'looking cool' it's about safety, and performance. I will say that some people are able to develop razor sharp form learning from books and DVD's, but they are the vast minority. I have had many, many people come in to my studio to fine tune their technique. Most are a train wreck. It's not their fault, they really are trying hard, but at the end of the day nothing substitutes for experience and a guiding hand.
So as a trainer, if you are using kettlebells with your clients you owe it to them to learn how to do it properly. If you scoff at that then you are basically telling me you know more than Pavel, Brett Jones, Mark Reifkind, Kenneth Jay, Andrea DuCane, and pretty much everyone in the RKC myself included.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. If you are trainer using kettlebells as one of your main tools and you don't attend a real kettlebell cert (not the $200 cert at your YMCA) you are negligent. If you disagree feel free to e-mail me.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

First true unbraced reverse bend of a sixty penny nail

In the past when I've reverse bent sixty penny nails I was bracing my anchor forearm against my thigh. This makes it easier and reduces the need for quality tension throughout the bend. Today I hit my first unbraced bend. Much harder, but it felt pretty smooth. I just have to learn to keep my shoulders down.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Big things are coming in 2010

Big things are coming in 2010, some so big I can't even talk about them. That's not hype either, I literally can't say what it is.
The Corrections Vol. 1 is about to be re-released in a better packaging and better format from a distribution house I have contracted with. Max Shank and I shoot our DVD in a little over a week with an intended release date of April 1st (no fooling), and The Corrections Vol. 2 is set for release in July. All DVD's will also be available for international purchase.
I'm working on a string of workshops for mid-late 2010, and the HKC's here in the Bay Area are only going to get bigger.
I am knee deep in my book 'The Hard-Syle Kettlebell User's Manual' and am going to do my best to get it out before the end of the year. It is a Monster. Whatever you think it is, it isn't.
More stuff coming.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Teaming up with Max Shank RKC to put out a new DVD!

Max performing Long Cycle with two Beasts.

In two weeks Max Shank and I will be shooting our upcoming DVD tentatively titled 'Max and Jordan's School of Strength'. I'll have more details coming soon, but suffice it to say you will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Beast Pistol

An obsessive focus for the first month of 2010 has paid off, and I have hit a pistol on both legs with the 48 kg.
This is not as strict as I would like, but I hit below parallel so I'll take it. Now that I've overcome the mental hurdle and know what I need to work on I think I'll get a more strict version of this within the month. It wasn't really all that hard on my legs, more so on my ability to just hold on to the bell. I'm most impresses with my ability to keep my extended foot off the ground. All of my flexibility work is paying off.