Friday, February 24, 2012


How to Prepare for and PASS the RKC
By: Brett Jones Master RKC, CSCS
Over the past 9+ 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.  Also scroll down the blog here on appliedstrength.com for a post on how to prepare for the 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 5 circuits one day and 24kg for 3 circuit the next— Single Kettlebell drills one day and double  Kettlebell drills the next etc…(be sure you put time in on the drills with double KBs).
I would also recommend Super Joints drills to keep your body ‘tuned up’ and prepared for this type of training.  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.




Kettlebell Snatch Test Requirements
100 Kettlebell Snatches in 5 minutes
The sum of both arms is scored. Depending on the gender, age, and bodyweight, the candidate must perform the following number of reps in the specified time:
Men Open Class up to 60kg/132lbs
20kg
100/5min
Men Open Class over 60kg/132lbs
24kg
100/5min
Men Masters (50-64)
20kg
100/5min
Men Seniors (65 and over)
20kg
50/3min
Women Open Class up to 56kg/123.5lbs
12kg
100/5min
Women Open Class over 56kg/123.5lbs
16kg
100/5min
Women Masters (50-64)
12kg
100/5min
Women Seniors (65 and over)
12kg
50/3min
If you do not pass the snatch test at the Certification, you may retake the test no later than 90 days after the course. You may retake the test in person with a Master, Senior, or RKC Team Leader in your area or send the video to your team leader.
So how are you going to prepare for this requirement?
The sample training routine below is specific to the 24 kg requirements but you can adjust it accordingly for your KB weight requirement.
This is about as simple as I can make it:
Day one: Heavy One Arm Swing
32 kg One arm swing x 10 min - Goal of 10+10 x 8 sets
Day two - 24 kg Snatches
Density Training = certain number of reps at the beginning of a minute then rest till the start of the next minute and repeat
5+5 x 15 minutes
6+6 x 13 minutes
7+7 x 12 minutes
8+8 x 10 minutes
9+9 x 9 minutes
10+10 x 7 minutes
Stay with a workout until it is “easy” then progress to the next step/level
at 10+10 x 7 minutes you will have passed the snatch test + 2 extra minutes
This means 40-45 seconds of snatches with 15-20 seconds to set the KB down and shake it off and recover.
Why 2 extra minutes?
Because you should go into your RKC knowing that you OWN the Snatch test.
Day 3 - 16 kg Snatches
16 kg snatches x 10-15 minutes 
Higher number of snatches (20-30) per arm will build more grip endurance, condition the skin on the hands, and give you a day of volume without beating you up.
So you have a heavy day of swings to build power and grip, a day specific to the snatch test, and a day 
of volume for extra conditioning but not a beating.
There are many, many strategies for attacking the RKC Snatch test but this is a simple way to 
accomplish the task, save the hands and have lots of energy left for the weekend.
(You’ll need it!!)

4 comments:

Iacopo said...

Hi Mr. Brett!
I've a question about this program...
I'm following the ENK Rite of passage, Can I use this program with it?
Ex. Heavy Press day - Snatch density training
Medium day - Heavy swing
Light Day - 16 Kg snatches

What do you think about?
Well, right now I can do 5 ladders with a 24 Kg Ket and 5 ladders of 3 with a 28. My press record is 1 rep per arm with the 32 kg.
Thanks for helping :)

aleebalee said...

For the 3 day plan you outline, where you have swings-is that one hand swings with heavy weight?

aleebalee said...

Sorry, just want to clarify. My question relates to the first 3 day workout you have in this post (day one: Swing , C/P, Swing, C/Fr Sqt, Swing, TGU, Swing, Snatch, Swing)

thanks!

Brett Jones said...

lacopo
I wouldn't combine the programs
finish ROP and then work on the Prep program

Aleebalee
It can be either two handed heavy or one handed with your snatch size KB

About Me

My photo
Personal Trainer and Strength Enthusiast Email: appliedstrength@gmail.com

Blog Archive