There’s a lot I can write about my original journey to the RKC that started in 2009, and there’s a detailed day by day account of that first RKC Workshop on this site. That first experience was transformative on too many levels to fully explain here, but those of you who know me, know a majority of the story. Every now and then people try and challenge the existence of part of the RKC testing. I’m firmly against making the testing easier. The biggest non-personal reason is that learning to pass the tests – technique tests as well as the venerable RKC Snatch Test teach us a lot about ourselves and how to troubleshoot issues we will later troubleshoot for others. Struggling to meet a challenge is also a great source of empathy–which will further benefit us as instructors.
Last week I realized that the cost of going to San Jose, California was not so bad at all. I’ve been wanting to train with Master RKC Chris Holder for quite some time, and he has an RKC coming up in early March. In 2010, after passing the RKC testing and experiencing the 3-day workshop (it used to be three days, it’s only two now – which is actually just fine) I promised myself to always hold this standard. I’ve gone up a weight class since then (which is also a good thing, as is muscle gain) and find that the 14kg is an extremely appropriate testing weight for me. It’s enough to make me pay attention, but not so much that I’m under duress. If I do find that I am under duress for that test, then I know I need to make some changes in my training.
So, after making all these travel arrangements I was keen to get outside and check in with myself on a couple different levels – it was also NOT raining and delightfully cool (40 degrees) outside. Pretty much optimal conditions by my standards. I also wanted to see how well my new Aeropex by AfterShokz headset stayed on during kettlebell swings and snatches… you know for science reasons… and because I wanted to rock out to a mix of music that was half “stuff I have liked since age 15” and “weird internet music from last year”. Happy to say that the headset stayed on with zero issues – which is good because I had considered I’d otherwise have to go find it in the woods if it were to go flying.
Here’s what I did:
Warm-ed up with Joint Mobility, a few favorite stretches, and about six get-ups (the first two unweighted, the last four with the 14kg kettlebell… sure, I could have used the 24kg, but this was the warmup, and it has been raining this week so I would end up sinking into the ground–this has actually happened BTW and it is disturbing to say the least).
Then I fired up some old industrial music I’ve liked since 1991 and knocked out 10 rounds of the following:
- 20 24kg kettlebell swings
- 10 Push-ups (as much to give the grip a break as anything)
- 5 24kg goblet squats (because why not)
That didn’t take too much time, considering 10 runs through that simple combo yields some decent overall reps… with the San Jose RKC coming up, I wanted to also run through the RKC Snatch Test to see where I currently am with it – especially since there’s still time to do some fine tuning – not loads of time, but considering my above stated long standing goal, I have made it a point to keep it only at fine tuning. I also want to cut a teeny tiny bit of weight to have a safety margin for the 14kg kettlebell weight class. Do I need to do that? Not really, but it’ll look good for photos and make room for more tasty steak the night after weigh-in. In the past I’ve taken this a little too far and looked gaunt, but I know better now. (Basically I just don’t buy bags of mixed nuts for a couple weeks, that’s the whole thing… pretty funny, yeah?)
I’ve set up a special test timer on one of my timer apps that has a 15 second count down lead in, then chimes on the minute every minute for five minutes so I can dial in my rep strategy if necessary. Proud to say that the test went smoothly with time to spare–and that was with me keeping a “cruise” pace, no rushing. Also my hands are doing just great – and that’s something I fought hard for – it is on one hand hand conditioning, but actually a lot of what goes into ripping up our hands can be dialing in the arc, grip timing, over-gripping and trying to over control the kettlebell. Yes, the RKC Snatch Test may teach you some life lessons in there as well if you let it. These things can teach you and your clients a whole heck of a lot. Feel free to disagree with me in the comments, it’ll boost the engagement on this post! Thank you! 🙂
After that I cooled down with another couple light get-ups with the 14kg, my joint mobility favorites then went to get some FOOD! I’d left a rather delicious heavy-duty Factor 75 meal at the office on purpose, so I stopped in there to finish up some customer requests, small details etc. then headed home.
Now to continue making sure my technique on all the other moves is dialed in and ready to go! I want to represent well and set a good example.