What a phenomenal weekend! There’s really too much to write about, but I’ll sum it up as best I can.
Day 1 – Thursday – 6/25
I arrived early around 1:30pm (on purpose AND highly recommended!) so that I could get situated and head up to the workshop area to help out in any way I could. Luckily for me, Dennis Armstrong of Dragon Door offered all attendees a BONUS Pre-Cert workout with none other than Dave “The Iron Tamer” Whitley, SrRKC, Jeff “The Redneck Ninja” O’Connor, SrRKC and Kenneth “The Dane of Pane” Jay, MRKC.
After I performed my snatch test and helped unload bells, we headed for the field and within minutes, my brain was hurting. These guys throw so much at you! It’s just so hard to absorb it all. The workout lasted about an hour and a half, was extremely worth it, and wasn’t so bad that it compromised me for the next 3 days.
Meet and greet went great and I was introduced to a lot of new faces with familiar names and reunited with a lot of friends I’ve made over the last 2 years in the RKC family.
Day2 – Friday – 6/26
The morning started off with people taking snatch tests followed by 2 stations of Level II requirements: The Pull Up w/ a 24kg hanging on the foot and The Press w/ a KB closest to half your body weight. I had to press a 40kg which went up with no problem and the pull up seemed pretty easy (probably because of adrenaline). I knew I could perform these prior to signing up last October, so I felt prepared.
Pavel and Jeff covered some really awesome material on the Core Basics which still blows my mind at how much more there is to learn about the Swing and TGU. Jeff’s presentation on the TGU and Foot Work was really awesome and I’ve started using his Hard Style Yoga on myself and clients as soon as I got home.
The rest of the day wasn’t so pleasant. We worked Level I drills and their corrections, which seemed like a very long time. I wasn’t paying much attention to the rest of the group, but I believe there were some who were really struggling with just the Level I skills we were supposed to have nailed down. Shame on us and we got punished for it. I had my first double forearm cramp right at the end of the day due to dehydration which was interesting while trying to snatch. I’m glad it happened at the end, so it didn’t ruin too much for me. Thankfully it happened while we were performing the Vo2MAX cadence test and I had already done that prior to coming, so I knew my cadence number.
I had the great honor and fortune of getting to eat supper at the “Big Boy” table with Pavel, Dave, Jeff and Kenneth. Those guys can consume! I got some great Powerlifting pointers from Pavel and was encouraged further to participate with the Power To The People Deadlift Team this January. We talked about nutrition and other random topics…JUST Friggin’ Awesome!
Day 3 – Saturday – 6/27
A little more sore this morning. Friday was definitely a smoker, as it should’ve been for all that were unprepared, but thanks to John DuCane’s Morning Recharge, I felt great and ready to go.
Jeff, Dave, Pavel, Will Williams, SrRKC and Andrea DuCane, MRKC covered the Bent Press, Windmill, Pistol and Pull Up and I was immediately humbled by the correct ways to perform these exercises. This put a huge spotlight on my dysfunctions, which I will “own” and work on continuously.
We spent some time in lecture with Kenneth teaching the intricacies behind Viking Warrior Conditioning. He really knows his stuff and put on an excellent presentation! He unveiled a new protocol that we got to practice and it was really amazing! I’ll be using that one as well!
Day 4 – Sunday – 6/28
The morning started with a presentation by Dave on Kettlebell Group Training for Fat Loss and how to maximize your business potential. Great stuff and then we got a little tough-love application on the field. I’ve already used his Get Up – Swing progression in a class and it worked awesome!
Then Jeff presented on using Kettlebells as a one-of-a-kind tool in Youth Athletic Development. Phenomenal information with great drills and some really cool swing variations were added for power development.
Then we broke for our Skills Testing. Some had to retake their basic Pull Up or Press tests again as well as being broken up in teams to test the Level II skills. This was pretty nerve-racking. It’s not a strength thing, it’s a skills thing. The idea was, “can you perform ‘X’ number of perfect reps of ‘Y’ exercise after you’ve be thoroughly taught when I ask you to perform it?” Many couldn’t, which doesn’t make them bad instructors or weak at the skills, it was mostly mental lapses. I thankfully passed, but I was definitely sweating it! Most that failed the skills or basic tests will be put on provisional probation for 90 days to film the correct version of the test they had trouble with, send it in, and if accepted after evaluation, they get certified. I believe the attrition rate will be much lower after the 90 day period.
I equate it much like a powerlifting meet. I’ll spend 3 months on training, tweaking my program, hours in the gym, constant self-evaluation on technique, $$$ for gear and equipment, $$$ for organizational dues, $$$ for meet entry fees, $$$ on travel, and $$$ for nutrition to prepare for a meet. However, if on that meet day, I set my opener too high and miss 3 attempts, or I miss the head judge’s commands 3 times, or I have technique issues 3 times, I’m OUT. No bench attempts, no dead lift attempts…OUT. Wait ‘til next time, if there is one and go back to the drawing board and reinvest on all the above-mentioned aspects. Bottom line, it’s life. We mess up, we fall down…most of will just dust ourselves off and get back up to try again.
I’m glad the bar was set high for this cert. I couldn’t have asked for more from The Chief, Masters, Seniors and Team Leaders. The experience was second-to-none and I would do it again in a heart beat. If you’re RKC and you plan on expanding that with Level II, start NOW! THE CURRICULUM WILL NOT GET EASIER! The higher standard creates a badge of pride, honor and integrity, and I’m blessed to have had the opportunity.
Thanks to everyone for making the experience one I’ll never forget and for all the new friendships that I made over the weekend. The RKC Family is such an awesome one and I’m honored to be a part of it!