Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years Eve and End of Year Reflection...
And a look ahead to 2009

Well - here we are at the end of the year - 2008 is closing out and 2009 is about to ring in and now is the time for a bit of reflection.
I taught a total of 22 workshops and attended two of the Z Health workshops - Included in that are 11 FMS related workshops (including a brand new Certification blending FMS and RKC), and  10 RKC or Kettlebell related workshops, and even a "tension, relaxation and flexibility" workshop.

These workshops took me to Minneapolis many times (6 or so), Amsterdam twice, Hungary, San Diego, San Jose (CA), Chicago, Roanoke (VA), Ohio, Las Angeles, and even Pittsburgh.
The Secrets of... series grew to four products and Gray and I have launched "Kettlebells from the Ground Up 2 DVD set and manual.  2009 will mark the release of Kettlebells for Power Athletes with myself and Jeff O'Connor. 

In short - it was a tremendous year professionally which does include my personal training clients and a very good year there as well.  And I am looking for an even better 2009!

Personally - I shaved my head and grew my hair back ;-)
Attending the Z Health workshops has been an incredible part of my continuing education and has brought wonderful friends into my life.
The RKC community has continued to grow and progress and includes some of my best friends and I am honored to be a part of it.

Look into reading "The Brain that Changes Itself", "On Intelligence", Einstein's Biography, Ben Franklin's biography and the Sigma series by John Rollins, "Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar..." - these are great books and had quite an influence on me this year (even if it was just fun).

I think that will do it.  2008 was amazing and I am charging into 2009 (much of success in life is simply persistence and moving forward regardless....

I wish you all the best life has to offer in 2009!  SHAKE and BAKE Baby.....

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:

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 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 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
Clean and Press
Clean and Front Squat

Workout #2
Clean and Press
Clean and Press
Clean and Front Squat
Clean and Press
Clean and Press
Clean and Press

Workout #3
Clean and Front Squat
Clean and Front Squat
Clean and Press
Clean and Front Squat
Clean and Front Squat
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 - and you can keep up with his blog and his website

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Great articles from

Two really good articles on some current research...

Up first an article about possible changes to the dietary recommendations for diabetics...
Turns out the "whole grain" recommendations are not as good as "low glycemic" recommendations (beans etc...)

Although I had a "dietician" tell me over a decade ago that low glycemic "stuff" was worthless...

And the really cool and I mean REALLY cool article...
Seeing without seeing using the Primitive "so-called blindsight, the native ability to sense things using the brain’s primitive, subcortical — and entirely subconscious — visual system."

How freaking cool is that?????!!!!!!
I have been telling clients recently that the body and brain is a strange place to live and seeing without sight would certainly be way up there!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

VO2 Max training today...

Prep work - Z

Get-ups - 24kg x 3+3

VO2 Max 24 kg x 6 reps per 15 sec x 50 sets

Z and stretch

Pretty good workout - the 24 kg felt like the 16 kg - guess all that "light" work might have some benefits. ;-)

My first bit of feedback on S phase - Z is a performance system - not just a joint mobility system.  More later....

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Quick training and catching up...

Got in a quick training today:

Prep work - Lots of Z

Get-up x 3+3

VO2max Snatches 20kg x 8 per 15 seconds x 20 sets

Z cool down

Continuing to try to get caught up from my trip to Phoenix for S phase and I will have some more observations etc... up soon

Monday, December 08, 2008

Quick post...

Back from Z Health S Phase 

An amazing week with Dr. Cobb, Kathy and the Z health gang - Z is an amazing system.

More on this later this week

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