This past weekend I spent 8 hours on Saturday and 8 hours on Sunday at Nerd Strong in North Hollywood attending the Onnit Kettlebell Specialty Certification. This was an interesting educational experience for a few reasons:

  1. I am already fairly competent with the kettlebell both in my personal practice and in teaching others. I attribute a lot of this competency to the 3 day RKC certification I did back in 2013 whereby one of the tests to pass the certification was completing 100 KB snatches with the 24kg bell in under 5 minutes. In spite of this level of competency, I had yet to receive continuing education from Onnit, and one of the elements of Onnit that I really admire and am always interesting in learning more about is how to incorporate rotational movement while under load.
  2. I am a big believer that the only form of learning is RE LEARNING. Therefore, while I was a little bored at times because a lot of the material wasn’t new to mine, it is always invaluable to go back to the beginning and revisit the nuances of the fundamentals, particularly being exposed to different methods for teaching the fundamentals and being reminded of methods I had forgotten to incorporate.
  3. At this stage in my coaching life, I am more interested in coaching philosophy, i.e., the art and approach of coaching, particularly the coaching of others coaches. Therefore, I enjoyed observing and analyzing how the instructors structured the learning environment/experience and how they spoke about what they were teaching. After many hours of continuing education, one thing that I have grown extremely allergic to is any type of coaching that is overly dogmatic and uncompromising in the description of integrating the material amongst the rest of a preexisting coaching repertoire. Fortunately, I can say that the instructors of this cert did a phenomenal job of NOT being dogmatic and instead supporting every coach’s process of making sense of the material, so he or she could leave the cert with more autonomy over the material versus being overly dependent on the exactitude of any technique.

Take Aways:

  1. Progressions and regressions of movements are NOT linear; they are cyclical. Therefore, as coaches and students we need to constantly be going back to the fundamentals and refining those details, as opposed to thinking that once we’ve achieved a certain skill level, those foundational movement patterns and/or drills are no longer needed.
  2. If you want to get better, the key mindset is HIGH INTENTION/LOW ATTACHMENT.
  3. Flow has to be trained. Predetermined sets and reps is important but so is the practice of creating movement in the moment with little certainty of what is to come. Consider the following workout: 8 minutes of KB deadlifts and OH presses. The goal is how many different types of deadlifts and presses can you do in the allotted time while making the transitions between movements as fluid as possible. You aren’t concerned with the number of reps completed or the speed. You are focused on expressing the patterns of picking an object up and pressing it overhead in the infinite number of ways that exist, especially when you consider how novel and unique your transitions can be between movements.

Sunday’s 8am, 9am, and 10am workout on October 28: Kettlebell Flow. See you there!

Mental Toughness
For Time:
21 Right arm Turkish Get-ups
50 RKB Swings (24/32)
21 Left arm Overhead Squats
50 RKB Swings
21 Right arm Overhead Squats
50 RKB Swings
21 Left arm Turkish Get-ups

A) Mobility (Pec focus)
B) Dry Land Swimming 2-4 Rounds:
  9 Banded OHS (red or blue)
  7 KB Swings (32/24) @ G4-G5 5
  Double KB DLs (32/24) @ G3-G4 Max Distance Farmer’s Carry on Exhaled Breath
  (24-minute cap)
C) Bench Press
     PEAK: 6 x 5 @ 75%
     BASE: 5 x 10 (by feel) 

1 thought on “Continuing Education–Kettlebells

  1. Finding flow is definitely challenging – I am exploring it more and more in my physical practice but it requires so much focus that it feels anti-flow right now. Those moments of smooth flow are so fleeting but feel so good. I’m looking forward to seeing how you integrate the KB work into our programming!

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