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RKC Qualification

My RKC Journey

I think it’s about time that I wrote about my experience qualifying for my RKC Certificate before the memories are lost forever. As I’m about the embark upon the RKC II certificate in February 2010 San Jose, California I thought It a good time to recorded my first Kettlebell Experience to the blog.

May 5th-7th 2007

It’s been almost 3 years since I passed this really tough and demanding weekend and I haven’t looked back since. I met some interesting people from all backgrounds and some people I’m still in touch with 3 years on. I would recommend to anyone to sign up for the RKC. It’s full of expert instructors, unique information, training tips and some grueling workouts. You will leave with sore hands and body but also a head full of useful information that will grow your business and you as a trainer.

I signed up for the RKC after experiencing a Kettlebell taster class at my Gym. I was absolutely amazed at the results that I felt during the class and also the amount of pain I was in 2 days after. I was knocked out by the simplicity of the moves and the intensity of the workouts.

Destination Denmark

After experiencing the class I thought that I needed to know more, so I began to research courses and came across the RKC Certificate in Denmark. Without hesitation I signed up immediately and began to train for the required Snatch test that would be tested on the first day of arrival. Back then the Snatch test requirements where a little different to those that are on the course to date. The test was determined by weight category and a predetermined set of snatches was required for this. My weight, back then, was 70kg so I had to perform 52 snatches with only one catch. We couldn’t put it down nor could we rest. There was a time limit of 5min but the reps were so low and not being able to put the kettlebell down quickened the pass for everyone, so the time frame was irrelevant. This resulted in a much quicker finishing time but a more taxing test for the cardiovascular system than todays test requirements.

After the snatch test, which I completed first time, we had an afternoon of theory interspersed with practical. As the weather was superb that weekend we did a lot of the practical outside in the sun, which was very agreeable. All major techniques were covered such as the swing, TGU, clean, squat, high pull, press and snatch.

After each technique was learnt, we all lay on our stomaches and had the opportunity to ask questions and witness participant correction. At first people were reluctant to ask questions but a threat of burpees was enough to encourage many questions, oddly enough!

Earn Your Lunch

After a long afternoon of theory, practical and the relief of the completion of the snatch test, well at least for me, we had a much deserved lunch. Wow, I have never eaten so much in my entire life. This was well needed after our ‘Earn Your Lunch’ workout that basically finished us all off. This consisted of swings and high knee lifts whilst holding the Kettlebell by the horns and close to the chest. This lasted about 10min but was enough to crack the most hardened athlete.

As the second day came to a close we had a recap of what was learnt so our lunch could be digested. You could feel the exhaustion throughout the room and there were signs of fatigue and pain with many hands taped up due to callus’s opening up from the snatch test and the swings. My hands were fine as I did plenty of swing and snatch preparation before the course. But on the last day I did bandage my hands as I knew that the graduation workout was looming and didn’t want to miss that at all.

Final Day

On the beginning of the final day we were told that each of us was going to be assigned a ‘victim’ to teach the swing and the Turkish Get Up. A person from the local school with no kettlebell knowledge was given to us to coach these two methods. We would be assessed upon our teaching skills and our execution of safety. This was pretty straight forward to me with my background in coaching and managed good results. Fortunately my ‘victim’ could speak good English and had very good aesthetics. We were not told of our performance until at the end of the course.

Graduation Workout

More theory ensued after our coaching test with presses and squats yet to come. After that afternoon we had the ‘Graduation Workout’ to finish with. This consisted of double kettlebell 24kg see saw presses and double-handed single bell swings for as long as the senior RKC permitted. This was done over a full length football field and back!

During the workout there were screams of pain and frustration as hands began to bleed and shoulders and other body parts began to fail. Most people got through it…but was it enough to pass the course? We were assessed on this workout too for our endurance and strength, but above all our eagerness and our enthusiasm.

Passed with Flying Colours

We all each had a meeting with the Senior instructor of our group, mine was the ‘Dane of Pain’ Kenneth Jay.

I had passed! The pain of 2 days of Kettlebell Hell was about to kick in but not yet, we had celebrating to do.

What an experience to be amongst such great people and to learn so much in such a small amount of time. This course has helped me develop as a trainer and as a person and above all to apply what I have learnt straight away for my clients benefit and enabling them to improve their fitness and strength.

I’ll be back in a few months to complete my RKC II certificate in San Jose 2010.

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