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.
The prized ROC certificate represents a “Black Belt” in kettle bell instruction that requires extensive pre-training to attain. 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”.
But what about all of those otherwise-dedicated coaches, trainers and athletes who just can't commit to the full-bore ROC, but would still like to be certified in the most important essentials of kettle bell lifting? Currently, there is no entry-level kettle bell certification program that addresses these folk with the kind of quality and standards Dragon Door has become famous for.
If you fail to maintain proper alignment or you drop to your knees, the test is considered a failure. 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. You will use both hands to roll and lift the kettle bell into the starting position as well as pulling it down to your chest at the finish.
The goblet squat will be tested holding one kettle bell by the horns in front of your chest, you will be asked to perform 5 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. At the end of the course you will be asked to demonstrate your ability to teach one kettle bell exercise that you learned during the workshop to a fellow student.
Excellent Early-Bird Registration Discount: Register and pay by July 19th, fee is only $499.00 (Save $100.00) If cancellation is required, Dragon Door is not responsible for any expenses (travel or lodging) incurred beyond the registration fees.
Functional fitness is such a catchall term it has probably even surpassed the core as being the most over-hyped, but misunderstood. The implement used, whether it be a barbell, body weight, a kettle bell, or a cable stack are simply tools.
The simple truth is what makes an exercise functional is that it transfers to improved performance. On a shallow level we teach people at the ROC how to instruct others in the safe use of kettle bells.
Looking at the FMS system one of the ways we teach the body to get the pattern right is with what’s called core assistance. In this case the abdominal brace to resist that flexion force and the result is a cleaner squat.
Holding a kettle bell in front of you by the horns will act to flex the trunk and the abdominal will have to brace to resist that. The training continuum starts with developing mobility and stability, progresses to muscular endurance, and then onto strength and power.
And if we go all the way to the other end of the screen and look at the inline lunge, do you know what one of the final corrections is? They both appear to just be a collection of exercise progressions, but if you start to get to know them in-depth you’ll see why they can be all the training you need.
From correctives and patterning to strength and power, both of these are vital elements of delivering truly functional training that has enormous carryover to the field or the ring.