Fundamental Human Movements Reps and Sets Load Sadly, I think this is the correct order that we should approach weightlifting.
But, please don’t think any of that is going to improve your skill set or your long term ability to do anything from sports to simply aging gracefully. At the HK, we learn what I consider to be the key patterns to human movement: the swing, the goblet squat and the get-up.
The get-up (not the “Turkish sit-up” as I often note) is a one-stop course in the basics of every human movement from rolling and hinging to lunging and locking out. So, the HK covers basic human movements in a way that is unlike any other system or school.
As I often argue, add the push-up and, honestly, you might be “done.” Here are the basics of proper training: Training sessions should put you on the path of progress towards your goals.
I have a simple answer for most people: control your repetitions. In teaching the get-up, or when using this wonderful lift as a tool to discover your body, keep the reps “around” ten.
One of the great insights, among many, that I picked up at the ROC is the idea of doing twenty swings with one kettle bell and ten swings with two kettle bells. After doing literally hundreds of swings a day, I noted that my technique held up fine in that ten and twenty range.
It is the basic teaching of sports: don’t let quantity influence quality. I usually call these the “Punch the Clock” workouts and I think they are the key to staying in the game.
Tim Ferris, ASCII, tells us in his excellent book, The Four Hour Body that there is a minimum effective dose (MED) of everything fitness related. Doing the little “Humane Burpee” with a big kettle bell is a killer workout.
When you look at movement first, then reps, then for whatever reason, the loading makes more sense too. In a one-day course, we learn and do (a lot of “do”) the three core movements of the kettle bell world.
Prepping for the HK is not as complex or deep as the three-day ROC. Showing up “in shape” and ready to learn would be ideal, but I would also recommend include some additional mobility work and perhaps some work on the hinge, squat and some basic rolling to prep for the event.
The time you spend prepping for the event pales in comparison to what you do AFTER the HK. I always send along the following Twenty-Day Program to guide our attendees deeper along the ROC path.
From there, I show the one arm press and introduce the kettle bell clean. I trained for the ROC with clean and press, swings and what I thought were snatches at the time.
Fresh from a new learning experience, there is always a tendency to want to do everything at once. But that approach is tough to do and fraught with long and short term issues.
It is recommended that you do the hip flexor stretch during each warm up and cool down period; it can be done very well with an easy set of goblet squats. 15 Two hand swings 1 Goblet squat Ten reps of high knees “March in Place” (Each time the right foot hits is “one rep”) Recovery breathing (up to two minutes) Do this for a total of 3 rounds.
15 Two hand swings 5 Goblet squats 1 Push-up 10 Reps of high knees “march in place” (Each time the right foot hits is “one rep”) Recovery breathing (up to 2 minutes) For a total of 10 rounds The three movements of the HK Care the core to conditioning, mobility and goal achievement.
Master ROC, Dan John is the author of numerous fitness titles including the best-selling Never Let Go and Easy Strength. An All-American discus thrower, Dan has also competed at the highest levels of Olympic lifting, Highland Games and the Weight Pentathlon, an event in which he holds the American record.
Dan spends his work life blending weekly workshops and lectures with full-time writing, and is also an online religious studies instructor for Columbia College of Missouri. As a Fulbright Scholar, he toured the Middle East exploring the foundations of religious education systems.
20 How to Submit Your Video Test More resources to upgrade your kettle bell instructor skills Before you go... As an incentive to help athletes and coaches build on and evolve their skill-sets, HK certified graduates may deduct $200.00 from a registration for a future ROC certification workshop, within one year of achieving the HK.
Kettle bell safety 101: ten key items The Swing: its benefits, technique, teaching progression, and remedial drills The Get-Up: its benefits, technique, teaching progression, and remedial drills The Goblet Squat: its benefits, technique, teaching progression, and remedial drills HK program design The three key principles of effective training identified by Russian sports scientists: continuity of the training process, waving the loads, and specialized variety, Ten program design tools for an unlimited variety of effective kettle bell workouts: Rep Ladders Weight Ladders Time Ladders Breathing Ladders Reverse Ladders Drop Sets Super Sets Timed Sets Series Active Recovery Exercises Besides having to pass the requisite plank test at the outset of the workshop, each HK candidate will be evaluated for technical proficiency and teaching skills at the end of the workshop and will then be granted either a pass or fail.
If you fail to maintain proper alignment or you drop to your knees, the test is considered a failure. You must be able to demonstrate safe and effective technique as part of being an HK instructor.
Your course instructor will test you on the following exercises in the latter part of the course to ensure that you can perform what you have been taught during the course. The swing is tested using two hands with an appropriate size kettle bell, for 10 reps or more at your instructors’ discretion.
Their inclusion reinforces the student’s understanding of HK /ROC principles and should be included in any well-rounded kettle bell program. In addition, proper performance of the Hard style Push up is the Entrance Requirement for the ROC Instructor course.
When a workshop is cancelled or postponed, candidates will be notified immediately and will receive a complete refund of all workshop fees or be allowed to transfer at no penalty to the new dates or another course of their choosing without penalty. If cancellation is required, Dragon Door is not responsible for any expenses (travel or lodging) incurred beyond the registration fees.
The certification workshop was held at the American Eagle MMA and was led by the amazing, Phil Ross, ROC. But I knew going into this day of learning, it would be a lot more challenging, yet I would leave feeling 100% more confident training both myself and using proper kettle bell techniques with my clients.
Many people in the health and fitness field are familiar with the ROC, which is a kettle bell program that has become the gold standard, now with over 1,500 certified instructors in over 43 countries. Currently, only an average of 70% of ROC candidates succeed in passing the requirements by which they can proudly hold themselves forth as “RKC-certified”.
Phil Ross presented kettle bell training with such passion, it is impossible not to be blown away and immediately drawn toward his energy. Dowel and body weight Mobility drills began our 10-hour workshop.
Start by kneeling with one leg forward with your hips squared straight ahead and level. Squeeze your glutes and push forward with your pelvis; simultaneously trying to lengthen your spine.
Avoid letting your knee travel past your front toe. When I first began learning proper technique a couple of years ago, I took KB training classes and worked one on one with some amazing trainers in my company to ensure I was learning proper movement patterns.
Now, a couple of years later and so excited to have attended this workshop, I am a true believer! Kettle bells develop strong, defined, dense muscles that deliver when you need them.
Why put our bodies in a compromising position that in no way carries over to real life? Sitting in a machine or lying on a bench is not going to give you the athletic ability nor make your body feel the way it should be meant to move and work.
In order to perform it properly, you have to be 100% focused with every single muscle in your body in tune with the movement. To BEGIN the movement of the kettle bell, you should squat down (pushing your hips back) until the kettle bell is well clear of your groin, and flick the kettle bell back between your legs, this is the only time you use your arms to push the weight across, to begin the momentum, the arms should not move the weight during the swing At this point in the swing, you should have your forearms push up against your groin and the kettle bell extending out behind you.
I remember when I first started, this is what my swing looked like:Not bad at all BUT now when I watch it over and over again, I notice that I led with my arms too much in this movement. The bulk of the POWER comes from the lower body and abdominal muscles.
Like the swing, I have learned the TGU a couple of years ago and use it in my training, but this is certainly more of an advanced kettle bell technique that I am always looking to improve on. The TGU is a highly functional movement that works every single muscle in the body.
The weight is placed anterior from the body, thus forcing you to engage every muscle in the core region in order to stay upright. The goblet squat is a phenomenal powerhouse of an exercise because it trains the body in a way it is supposed to move.
There are some exercises in a traditional gym that yes, have their time and place, however for the most part, they put our bodies in positions and movements they are not meant to do. Take the hamstring curl machine. In order for our bodies to feel better, move better and stay pain free.
The goblet squat helps alleviate all of these issues in addition to increasing core strength tremendously. Grab the bell with a TIGHT grip, keeping your elbows tucked and glued to your sides. Hold it in place as you perform a goblet squat, keeping your chest up and shoulders back.
You MUST maintain a tall posture and tight belly or else you will fall forward on your toes. It was a bit of nerve wracking due to the fact that I felt “on stage” having the entire class as well as the instructor glued to my form, but I put my nerves aside and performed the movements as if I was simply working out on my own.
We stopped at a New Jersey diner, filled up on salads, lots of meat, coffee and hit the road back to Boston with full bellies and tight hamstrings I am so grateful that I had the chance to work with Phil Ross as his studio in New Jersey.