Thursday, August 21, 2008

As for me, personally,

regarding my own training, if I had to pick the three most enlightening insights I encountered during the CK-FMS course, they would be

"Be consistent and methodical at the front end."
"The goal of training is improvement, not entertainment. Practice what you need, not what you like."
and the #1 AHA: "Core stability is stance (foot position) dependent."

You are only as stong as your weakest link. Everybody knows that, yeah, very well. Me too, but, and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone with this issue, I still somehow tend to prefer exercises I like and I'm good at anyway. This was especially easy to fall victim to as I have never been in regular training with an RKC either group-wise or one-on-one (incl. preparation for RKC L1). When Peter finally came up with Kettlebell Hungary I attended a few workshops to have my form checked but as for program design I relied upon myself, DD books, articles and your 'virtual help' via forum, blogs and comments. I can't even say it didn't work. I got certified and I think I did quite well, or at least not below average. But back when I started I had the advantage of being relatively strong as compared to my size (I had done some weight training using PTTP and NW principles before) so I could sort of "muscle through" a couple of things I neglected (consciously or unconsciously). Like I can swing a 32 or a 40kg but can't keep my feet parallel at the deep squat, I can TGU a 24kg but tip over in the scissor stance, let alone the in-line lunge, I can even do a (quick) pistol without actually being able to balance on one leg or do a SLDL, I just have to make sure to come up _before_ I loose equilibrium. Go figure.

So, even if I was too busy catching up with work and other obligations to come to posting since I'm back from the U.S., I took some time reading through the manual and my notes and pieces are starting to come together now. I mainly did stretching and corrective exercises the past week, except for classes and demonstrations I didn't do much kettlebell-wise. I didn't score low and I don't have any asymmetries but I'm simply not on a level where I should handle heavy weights or big volume. This is quite a big frog to swallow. But there is much more wisdom in following Gray's advice: "If an exercise is weak, don't practice it. Go down one level and reset.", than making the same mistakes over and over again.

I'm still working on a new strategy, but one thing is sure, no fancy big numbers for a while, it'll probably be months before I post anything 'impressive' - although getting a first ever _solid_ SLDL in, even without any weight, just the stick, is going to be way more impressive to me than snatching a 24kg _somehow_ :)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Let them pics talk for themselves :)

There's no way I can put into words how awesome it was to see Pavel, John, Doc and Kenneth again, to finally meet Masters, Seniors, Team Leaders, fellow RKCs, friends from the blogosphere, my "RKC heroes" I've only read about, people I've never heard of before and still became friends with in minutes - it was like suddenly landing in your favorite movie :) The fantastic BBQ at the Fridays (Fawn and Aaron, I can't thank you enough for that!), the happy throng in The Liffey, a perfect roommate, talking training and business at breakfast, discussing plans and ideas at dinner, a quick exchange of impressions in the breaks, people of all walks of life all joined by the escalating enthusiasm about what we were doing at the course in particular and the shared passion for what we represent in general, the RKC.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Okay, here's the first

So that you rest assured we did have quite some fun, too :)


When I told him about my plans to attend because everybody seems to be out of their minds about this stuff, Doc Cheng told me I shouldn't wonder and I would be out of my mind at and after the course the same way. Well, he knew what he was talking about, just "being out of my mind" is a major understatement :)
I had one AHA moment after the other. "Don't add fitness to dysfunction." "Have an objective measurement tool to protect you from your own expertise." "Do not assume anything." "Be consistent and methodical on the front end." "Performance doesn't equal durability." "Mobility before stability." "Systems vs. programs." "Motion has priority over load." (Just to name a few, the list is way too long!) Background, philosophy, screens, scores, labs, Q&A. Things people had had trouble with for years now fixed in minutes (and the best, it was no miracle!). Tons of info, my head is still spinning.
I feel transformed. It is as if I had a switch in my mind Gray and Brett turned over so that I'm not able to think about training and movement the way I did before any longer, what's more, I actually have difficulties recapitulating those 'old' (although maybe just one week old, lol) thoughts.
I can't imagine any longer how any trainer or fitness pro could be serious about training others without this tool. Like you would doubt an architect's sanity if he would simply determine what type of foundation a house should have without caring about what kind of ground it should be built on...

To be continued - expect some pics, too :)