Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Going barefoot is good for you...

Interesting article I found through an RKC, CK-FMS - Thanks mc...

You of course need to "build up" to going barefoot all the time but this article is pretty cool:
http://www.sportsci.org/jour/0103/mw.htm

I had a request to post my RKC prep article so here it is...

How to Prepare for and PASS the RKC

By: Brett Jones Master RKC, CSCS

Over the past 4+ years I have been involved in the RKC program and have
seen many certification attendees come through the three days that make up the RKC experience. My goal in this article is to provide you—the RKC hopeful—with a template that will have you prepared for the RKC. This is important because it is a physically
demanding weekend where you must still learn large amounts of technique, corrections and principles. If your body is not up to the challenge then you will not learn effectively. And that just will not do!

Unlike most 200 question multiple choice weekend certifications, you will earn your RKC with sweat and hard work. In addition, you will be tested on demonstration of proper technique in the basic RKC drills and the ability to assimilate application of the proper
corrections at the right time—it is an instructor’s course. Read the testimonials if you need proof. Again—you will
earn this certification.

Where I think the preparation process goes awry is in two main areas. These are:
#1—Too much emphasis on the
snatch test
#2—Not preparing for three,
8+ hour days of work.
While the snatch test is important, it is only a starting point. It is a requirement
because we—as instructors—need to see that you have the base level of conditioning and overhead stability to even begin the course, proving to us that you have at least picked up your kettlebell and that you have some experience with the tool. But it is not ‘the test’ of the certification—as I stated it is only a starting point. Because RKC hopefuls get focused on the snatch test they tend to forget that three days of 8+ hours of practice of the basic drills and corrections await them, and this does not include the three (or more) 20-30 minute workouts during each day

Step #1 -

is to find your snatch test requirements and read and understand the rules. Ask questions on the dragondoor.com forum if you need to do so.
Now go one weight class up and prepare for those numbers. This will provide a comfortable cushion and allow you to relax going into the snatch test. Steve Freides has written an excellent article on preparing for the snatch test available on dragondoor.com. There are other excellent articles available as well, so do some reading and be prepared for your snatch test.

Step #2 -

is to get prepared to demonstrate proper form in the basic kettlebell drills. To do this I would recommend a session with your local RKC so you can eliminate mistakes and prevent grooving any bad habits. If this is not possible, then you will have to rely upon DVDs and books. I would recommend:
Enter the Kettlebell! bookand DVD, Kettlebell Basics for Strength Coaches and Personal Trainers DVD set, and the original RKC book. This will provide you a set of resources that will give you ample information to prepare for the certification and arrive prepared.

Step #3 -

is to get physically ready to handle the RKC weekend. Below I will lay out a template of practice that will help in preparing you and I will make suggestions on mimicking the weekend so that you will not be caught by surprise and have to battle the physical demands placed on you. The template lays out three different workouts for three consecutive days where one drill will be emphasized as the other drills are practiced in between. Perform 1-3 circuits of the drills in the order listed. Perform 5-8 reps per set except on swings where you can feel free to increase the reps as long as form stays perfect. You will not need a day to emphasize cleans or snatches as you will
be performing enough of those during the other drills and with your snatch test practice (which is to be performed in addition to these workouts on at least two of the days).

Workout #1
Swing
Clean and Press
Swing
Clean and Front Squat
Swing
Get-up
Swing
Snatch
Swing

Workout #2
Clean and Press
Get-up
Clean and Press
Clean and Front Squat
Clean and Press
Swing
Clean and Press
Snatch
Clean and Press

Workout #3
Clean and Front Squat
Swing
Clean and Front Squat
Clean and Press
Clean and Front Squat
Get-up
Clean and Front Squat
Snatch
Clean and Front Squat

This is about practicing the drills and perfecting form while increasing conditioning specific to the weekend. Hence, you will be performing the three consecutive days of
training in addition to the snatch test preparations. I would even suggest that you make Friday, Saturday and Sunday your workout days—then rest on Monday and work additional snatch test workouts on Tuesday and Wednesday and then rest on Thursday before beginning again on Friday. This will get you in the groove for the weekend. You will also need to rotate intensity of volume and weight—16 kg for 3 circuits one day and 24kg for 1 circuit the next— Single Kettlebell drills one day and double
Kettlebell drills the next etc…
I would also recommend Super Joints and/or ZHealth drills to keep your body ‘tuned up’ and prepared for this type of training. (Oh, and you might want to get very familiar with an exercise known as the Burpee!) Be willing to reduce the volume and weight if needed—DO NOT GET INJURED preparing for the RKC. BE SMART!

So there you have it—a training template that will have you physically tuned up and ready for the demands of the RKC weekend. Nothing is more frustrating for us as instructors than people arriving ill prepared for the RKC. So put your time in and remember that you will earn your RKC. You have been warned.


Brett Jones
is a Master Instructor in the RKC program and is the author of
Kettlebell Basics for Strength Coaches and Personal Trainers as well
as co-author of the Secrets of…DVD series with Gray Cook. You can contact Brett by email - appliedstrength@gmail.com and you can keep up with his blog and his website
at www.appliedstrength.com

7 comments:

P. J. said...

I would have to agree that today's high-tech shoes aren't the answer but at least in the US of A, I'd have to be careful recommending barefoot if you happen to be one of the 80% that has first metatarsal deficiency. http://www.mortonsfoot.com/pain.html

And for those times you can't go barefoot, here's one of my favorites for the next best thing - http://www.sanuk.com/

Brett Jones said...

PJ,
IMO - having proper mobility of the joints in the feet is more important than an "artificial" correction of the foot structure. I
Z drills take care of a lot of foot issues.

Remember this is JMO and there is a place for aides like the PCI but having to "always" rely on an insert has it's issues as well.

Thanks PJ

P. J. said...

Brett,
I completely agree that proper foot mobility and everything else up the kinematic chain is beneficial and adviseable and does give you the ability to function better when you can't wear insoles. But why not take it one step further, especially for less than $100. And the Solemate product even gives you a barefoot option. Plus I hear there is a flip-flop version in production. Even with a flexible foot there is still an anatomic deficiency that the body has to compensate for. Eliminating the need for compensations let's the NS function at a higher level. And let's face it, there are a lot of people too lazy to do their Z drills on a regular basis. I tend to be exposed to this population more than those in the fitness industry.
JMHO,
PJ

Franz Snideman said...

Very thorough Brett! Awesome!

Merry Christmas to you and your family!!!

Coach RJ said...

These are great tips Brett. Thanks for posting them. My wife Candas is attending your workshop in ATL with Delaine. I'll be working in California that day, so will have to miss it. Getting help from Delaine and Dr. Cheng/KBLA for my RKC in 2009! I'll use these tips you posted for sure!

Brett Jones said...

Thanks Franz
Thanks Coach RJ - look forward to working with you in the future and with your wife in Atlanta.

PJ,
They don't start correcting leg length until it is over a 1/2 inch and even then you only ever correct it by 1/2 of the length difference. The body has an amazing ability to compensate within a certain range.
We cannot and should not correct everything to the Nth degree.

myfavcpabdm said...

Brett, my question is how long should someone use this workout scenario? One month? 2 months? 6 weeks? I love the routine but aren't sure how long you recommend someone use this.

Thanks,
Bryan

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