Friday, October 2, 2009

Kettlebell Woodstock

That's what the first ever HKC event was like, with Pavel and John, all the Masters and all but one Seniors (so sad Sara couldn't make it) present. It was sooo coool to see them all again, as well as many more friends like Andrea Chang, Ricardo, Fawn, Tracy, and to finally meet guys in person like Adam Glass, Dustin Rippetoe or Brad Nelson.
Speaking of the latter... Well... he's such a nice guy, really... You wouldn't ever think he'd come up with something as mean as The Sissy Test... :) (In case you haven't tried yet: it's 25 swings, 1 burpee, 24 swings, 2 burpees, 23 swings, 3 burpees, etc., all the way down to 1 swing and 25 burpees - done for time.) I did that last Tuesday, it took me about 40min and it was waaay more of a horror than 1000 swings in 50min @24kg or 80 sets of 8 @16kg VO2Max or whatever crazy stuff I had ever done before. (I had suspected something like that, or else why would I have kept putting this off for more than a year in the first place? LOL.)
I even had the chance to clear up a couple of form questions regarding the windmill and the bent press with David Whitley (thanks again, Dave!) so I'm a lot more positive about L2 now, too.

But back to the HKC itself. 

In a nutshell: The 3 most basic kettlebell lifts were taught, the goblet squat, the (old, switching-legs) get-up and the basic swing. There was a technique test and a teaching test, too. I missed the workouts though - although the chapter on program design in the manual is a gem, in training matters feeling is more believing than seeing, I'd say :) Oh, and there was an entry test of pullups/flexed arm hang, too (I still wish it was something KB-related, just to make sure people do spend some time practicing the drills before showing up). 
Assisting Andrea Du Cane was, again, a great experience, highly educational and lots of fun at the same time. We had a fantastic bunch of dedicated people on our team who were a pleasure to work with. Results-wise, I don't know for sure but I think the overall failure rate was similar to that of an average RKC. The HKC was nowhere near as physically challenging as even half a day of an RKC weekend, that's true, but, its main focus was on teaching people how to train with kettlebells _safely_ and that was taken very seriously when it came to passing or failing people.

One thing is sure: This is going to be HUGE!! It was amazing to see such a diversity of folks showing up: from as young as 10 years of age (okay, that was Jeff O'connor's son, but still) to well over 60, of all fitness levels and training experience. This way the RKC principles of hardstyle kettlebell lifting are going to reach a much wider public. Many of the candidates stated they wouldn't have dared to even dream of attending an RKC but in the HKC they saw an opportunity to take a smaller bite first - at the end most of them were eager to learn more and do the RKC within a year. They'll be better prepared, not only in the 3 lifts taught but also because they have now seen it's all by far not as easy as they maybe thought to learn (and teach!) correct form and will probably seek out an RKC to help them get ready.

And the other thing is, as kettlebells are now 'in', there are far too many trainers out there already that think they must jump on this wagon too, and they're teaching without a cert and without a freakin' idea of what they're doing trying to copy youtube stuff or whatever and how dangerous that can be for their clients. They'd probably never commit themselves to doing the RKC but much harm could be avoided if they got at least the very basic instruction at an HKC.

As for training this week:
Not much. I'm still tired.
Tuesday I was glad to be alive at all (I arrived Monday night), lol. Some Z drills only.
Wednesday I did a lot of naked and light weight (low and high) windmills, "leash" bent presses, and then
5/5 military presses @12kg
5/5 side presses @12kg
5/5 bent presses @12kg
5 times through.
I actually got a bit sore in the lats, cool.
Thursday I practiced hang cleans and dead cleans @16 and 24kg and then did variations of the FTL press @2*12kg (the double overhead version is really no joke!). Fun stuff.
All I could think of the whole day today was sleep so I only did naked partial get-ups (sit-up to half-kneel, HKC-style - this is a great drill by itself for the T-spine and the hips) and a few 2*32kg deadlifts, that was all.