Building Social Currency, one swing at a time!

Joaquin Miller Park Swingin'

Joaquin Miller Park Swingin’

I’m not sure where this kettlebell train is going, but I like how far we have come. Such good souls that I have met over the last nine months. Some of you have even been with me for over 18 months! I have to kick myself sometimes because I’m actually getting the opportunity to do what I really love. Isn’t that what life’s all about? I always heard that phrase, “do what you love, help people, and the rest will take care of itself.” I’m a believer!

I’ve gotten to know so many incredible and diverse sets of people. Pastors, derby girls, architects, marketing mavens, attorneys, artists, small business owners, psychologists, healthcare providers and government employees. All brought together under the KettlebellZen Umbrella. We share information and encourage each other. Best of all, I get super-inspired by your enthusiasm, and the inevitable PR (personal record) that happens for virtually everyone when we meet.

Ready for another week of ‘Feats of Strength’

The Foley Dojo has been prepped and cleaned for another week of  ‘Feats of Strength.’

Mia Kettlebell Familia

Mia Kettlebell Familia

Highlights from KettlebellZen – August 2013

Mark with farmer walks in the Oakland Rose Garden

Group Get-ups at Emeryville Marina

Ginny practicing her thoracic bridge

Scott getting in the groove with the 16kg swing

A well-balanced approach to peace of mind and strength

A well-balanced approach to peace of mind and strength

Strength is a Skill

Bulldog Swings (40kg)

Bulldog Swings (40kg)

Thank you. All of you. You kept me on my toes. 12 weeks ago I really needed to focus on nailing my recertification. You helped provide that focus for me and for that I am eternally grateful.Two years ago it was the Russian Kettlebell Challenge (RKC). Moving forward, it’s Pavel’s StrongFirst Girya, the Gold Standard in kettlebell instruction.

Unlike other professional “personal training” certifications, StrongFirst requires that I maintain a high level of proficiency with basic kettlebell movements. These standards must be maintained at least every two years. There was also a written test at the end of the three days.

Going into the 3-day weekend, I felt prepared. There were 80 students split between four teams. One Team Leader and two assistants were on every team. They drilled us on the Big 6 movements: Swing, Squat, Snatch, Military Press and Get-up.

The Snatch Test was completed first.

24kg bell – 100 reps in less than 5 minutes. I finished in 4:50. My new goal is 4:15. I’m not sure if the high altitude affected my performance. We were at 4,440 ft.

My performance testing included the following..this would be the same for any male that I know considering this path. Females 123.5 lbs and higher use 16kgs, under use 12kgs.

Double 24kgs – 5 reps

Front Squats
Cleans
Military Press
Swing – 10 reps

Single 24kg
1 get-up each side
5 snatches each hand

I received invaluable feedback in all of these areas that improved my form and technique. The major lesson that I learned is that I need to collaborate more with my fellow colleagues and get out of the Foley Dojo (aka Garage Gym) a little more often!

My Team Leader was Andrea U-Shi Chang. Talk about an eagle eye for detail! She was amazing. If you are ever in the Seattle area you must check out her studio – Kettlebility! Here is an article that was featured in Oprah Magazine about Andrea.

I believe that each one of you could attain these levels with consistent practice and focus. I’m there to help you do it. I think Mike Simpson might be the first to take the plunge..we will see!