Wow, what a weekend! After two days of intense kettlebell work with Steve Cotter and John Buckley I'm very happy to report that I am now an IKFF certified kettlebell teacher. The weekend was a total blast that taught me things on so many levels that it is hard to put into words. Naturally I'll try anyway.
We started day 2 with an interesting proprioceptive drill designed to gently warm up the body and nervous system. This was followed by some more skipping and lunging drills and a thorough joint mobility session.
Next on the agenda was the dreaded snatch. We first went through a detailed instructional session designed to point out the finer details of this classic kettlebell lift. This was followed by four one minute sets that focused on learning how to rest in the lockout. Each set decreased the amount of reps until the last set which was only 6 reps a minute. Once we all knew how to relax and rest during the lockout phase we concluded the snatch training with a 6 minute set. I was amazed at how easy this last set was. There is just something about the way Steve teaches GS that fully drills efficiency of motion and mental relaxation deeply into ones neurology.
After a brief rest we continued with work on double swings, double cleans and double front squats. This was of course followed by the dreaded one arm overhead squat. Steve took us through some really cool drills designed to prepare the body for the rigors of the one arm overhead squat. We trained this lift via three sets using a descending weight ladder. Set one was a two minute set (for me with the 24kg), then a 4 minute set with the 16kg and finally a 6 minute set with the 12kg. These things really are brutal and I suffered quite a bit due to my hip / lower back injury. During our lunch break I discussed my problem with Steve and he showed me a really cool stretch to help in the rehab of the injury. I'm really happy to say that my overhead squats were significantly improved at the end of the day due to the drill Steve showed me.
After lunch we worked on core / ab work which consisted of Turkish get ups, get up sit ups, and low and high windmills. I really have to incorporate these into my training again.
This ab session was followed by John teaching the finer points of the bottoms up clean and bottoms up press. I was amazed that I could do a couple of perfect bottoms up presses with the 24kg after this very clear instruction by the big guy. My previous best was with the 16kg.
The last challenge of the day was a period of non-stop lifts that covered everything we did during the 2 days of the course. At this point it took some real focus and mental commitment to keep moving. I am however happy to report that every single participant gave it their all and received their certifications at the end of the day. What a truly great bunch of people.
Steve ended the day with a very genuine discussion of the philosophy of the IKFF. I must say that I really love the way he thinks about training and marketing. His approach is honest and compassionate and I can really relate to it. He shows none of the ego or extreme marketing tactics that have become common place in the fitness industry.
In conclusion I want to send out a huge THANK YOU to Dawn for organizing this event and also for being just a really great human being. Also, naturally thank you to Steve and big John for traveling half way across the world to impart their wisdom, wit, compassion and humanity. You guys really rock and I will miss hanging out with you - until we meet again.