Kettlebell Certifications – Questions, Answered!
Hello and thanks for asking about Kettlebell Certifications.
First and foremost, Human Motion Inc does not offer a certification. Instead, we endorse the RKC, which is an American Certification held over 3-4 days in various cities in the USA. There is both a Level 1 and a Level 2.
Lately, we have had many enquiries about training and preparing for the RKC and I am going to do my best to answer these questions.
Q: What are the physical requirements for the RKC
A: I recommend you do an online search and find out. It is based on gender and weight class. It is easy to find at http://www.dragondoor.com/workshops/?F_c=1&F_Page=-1
Q. Can I prepare for a RKC in less than 6 months?
A. Well, it depends. And I am going to be very honest here. Most people who come from fitness (versus sport) do not necessarily spend a lot of their training time lifting weights. To do the RKC and to train for the RKC, a base level of strength is needed, even before learning the skill of kettlebell lifting. I am not saying you cannot get stronger by lifting kettlebells, you certainly can, you just need to put in the time. Doing double cleans with 2x24kg bells for men and 2x 16kg bells for women is no joke. They will rag doll you if you do not possess rooting strength. Moving weight at a high velocity requires a strong foundation of full body strength and power and connectedness (no energy leaks). I loosely recommend women be able to deadlift 1.5X their bodyweight for example. Olympic Lifting backgrounds help too, although the swing is quite different mechanically. That was my personal background.
It is also key to have excellent movement patterns and joint mobility. If you cannot squat below parallel with a straight spine or lock out your elbow overhead without your ribs flaring, you will fail. So, those strong, yet muscle-bound types with no mobility do not fare well. Be strong and be mobile like a martial artist or gymnast.
Adequate conditioning is also necessary. I did my RKC in 102F weather. If I weren’t so fit in terms of my conditioning I would have been done by that heat. I recommend have a high anaerobic capacity, think fartlek training and hill repeats versus a 10Km time of 60 min, for this weekend of work. Again, like high levels of strength, that type of adaptation takes time, so if you are used to steady state low intensity workloads, you have work to do.
So, to go back to the question – I cannot tell someone how long it will take. Not to sound smug, but if they are a trainer, they should have a pretty good idea of where they are at physically and what kind of commitment they are willing to make.
Q. Why the RKC?
A. The RKC is not just a kettlebell cert; it is a Strength School. There, you will learn many strength principles. When you are evaluating new training methods, always go back to principles. Plus, from what I can see, the other certs are held by former RKC’s who have branched off for various reasons and the practical component is not rigorous enough in my opinion. We have a few clients ‘certified’ by other associations and they do not possess the knowledge or skillset the RKC’s I have met do. But, perhaps I have yet to meet more kettlebell instructors as it is new method in Canada.
Q. Do you prepare people for the RKC?
A. Yes, we have had a few clients go to the RKC (all have passed BTW). There are HKC’s available to prep people technically a well. However, they are not one on one courses. If you want one on one help with your technique, I suggest you see Jim Talo or myself to help you get ready. However, since we are both very committed to seeing our clients pass, we are also very honest and we cannot tell you over the phone or email whether or not you will be ready in 2 mos or 12. Instead, take the time to book an appointment and come in and see us for some coaching. Again, read the requirements and see if it is something you are willing to commit to. As for the number of session you need, it depends as well. It is best to come in and be evaluated.
The RKC is not for everyone, which is what makes it so awesome. It is hard, exhausting, technical and detailed – everything that you must love if you really want to be a great kettlebell instructor!
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