RKC kurzus / a teljes leiras es kovetelmenyek

RKC kurzus / a teljes leiras es kovetelmenyek



RKC TM is a highly demanding course, mentally and physically. 25-30% failure rate is typical. Don’t take your preparation lightly.

You will have to meet the following criteria in order to earn your diploma:

  1. Exhibit safe and efficient technique in the foundation exercises.
  2. Demonstrate good judgment, especially concerning safety.
  3. Demonstrate effective teaching skills.
  4. Pass the Kettlebell Snatch Test.
  5. Pass the Grad Workout.
  6. Abide by the RKC Code of Conduct.

Your instructor diploma will be awarded to you only after you have passed the specified requirements. If you fail any of the above you may retake the course for $500 and be retested. If you were close to meeting the requirements your team leader has the discretion to make alternative retesting arrangements that do not require retaking the course.

If you are NOT planning on teaching others, you may choose to forego the testing. You will be issued a certificate of attendance, instead of an instructor certificate.

Kettlebell Snatch Test Rules

The girevik picks up the kettlebell, swings it back between the legs, and snatches it overhead in one uninterrupted movement to a straight-arm lockout. If you have a medical restriction that prevents you from fully locking out your elbow you must notify the Chief Instructor during the course. Poor flexibility does NOT qualify as a medical restriction.

After fixing the kettlebell in the top position for one second, the girevik lowers the kettlebell between the legs in one uninterrupted motion without touching the chest or shoulder.

The snatch may be performed with or without a knee dip at the overhead lockout. The girevik is allowed to place the free hand on the hip or waist (but not on the thigh) and move the feet. However, the competitor must stop all movement when fixing the weight in the top position.

On each attempt, the judge will announce the repetition number or “No count.” A repetition is not registered if the competitor failed to lock out his elbow, pressed out the kettlebell to the finish, or touched the platform with a knee or free hand. If the student lets go of the kettlebell, stops to rest with the kettlebell anywhere but in the overhead lockout, leaves the platform, or makes more than one extra swing back when switching hands, the attempt is terminated.

The snatch is first performed with one arm, then, without stopping or resting, with the other. One additional swing back between the legs is allowed when switching hands.

When the competitor has quit, failed to make three attempts in a row, or committed any rule violation warranting termination of the set, the judge commands “Stop” and announces the number of properly performed repetitions.

The sum of both arms is scored, e.g. 25+25 =50, 30+20=50, etc.

Chalk is allowed; belts, wrist wraps and other supportive equipment are not.


Kettlebell Snatch Requirements

Weight Class, kg/lbs. Snatches, total L+R
60 / 132 32
65 / 143 38
70 / 154 48
75 / 165 52
80 / 176 56
90 / 198 64
90+ / 198+ 74
24kg Kettlebell

MEN’S MASTERS (50+ years old)

Kettlebell Snatch Requirements

Weight Class, kg/lbs. Snatches, total L+R
60 / 132 24
65 / 143 28
70 / 154 32
75 / 165 38
80 / 176 48
90 / 198 52
90+ / 198+ 56
24kg Kettlebell


Kettlebell Snatch Requirements

Except for the bottom and the top weight classes, women have the choice of testing with a 12kg or a 16kg kettlebell.

Weight Class, kg/lbs. Snatches, total L+R, 12kg KB Snatches, total L+R, 16kg KB
50 / 110 40 NA
56 / 123 50 NA
60 / 132 60 30
67.5 / 148 70 40
75 / 165 80 50
75+ / 165+ NA 60

WOMEN’S MASTERS (50+ years old)

Kettlebell Snatch Requirements

Weight Class, kg/lbs. Snatches, total L+R, 12kg KB Snatches, total L+R, 16kg KB
50 / 110 32 NA
56 / 123 38 NA
60 / 132 46 24
67.5 / 148 54 30
75 / 165 60 40
75+ / 165+ 66 46

We advise you to overprepare. Confidently pass the snatch test for the weight class just above yours at home, and you should have no problem at the RKC.

Power to you!

Recommended Training
for RKC Students

RKC TM is a tough course. Make sure you have been doing a lot of kettlebell swings to withstand the demanding and grueling pace. Men should be able to comfortably press a 24kg kettlebell for multiple sets of 5, women a 12kg kettlebell.

Also develop your flexibility:

  • The hamstring flexibility to comfortably assume the low position of the standing jump or deadlift with a flat lower back.
  • The hip flexor flexibility to comfortably support two kettlebells on your chest (or the biceps for the ladies) without bending your knees.
  • Comfortably support two kettlebells overhead: your elbows locked, looking straight ahead, the kettlebells behind rather than above your head, the elbows close to your head.
  • These abilities are not prerequisite for your future clients as you can take your time building them up. We do not have that luxury in a three-day course. Be prepared.

Recommended exercises:

  • Turkish get-ups
  • Face-the-wall squats
  • Walking around with one or two kettlebells locked out overhead
  • Military presses with a forward lean once the kettlebell passes the head
  • Handstands
  • Yoga downward dogs or slow and focused Hindu pushups
  • Good morning stretches
  • Shoulder bridges
  • Stretches from Strength Stretching and Beyond Stretching: the Seminar

Reading Enter the Kettlebell! is a prerequisite.

The RKC Code of Conduct

The RKC program is not a just trainer certification program but a school of strength. A school proud of what it stands for: the gold standard of instruction, integrity, and quiet professionalism.

I am an RKC therefore I shall:

  1. Represent my school with honor in my professional and personal life.
  2. Treat my ‘victims’ with respect and tough love.
  3. Carry my strength with modesty. Remember that my job is to teach, not to impress.
  4. Never overstep the boundaries of my expertise and be humble enough to say, “I don’t know.”
  5. Never stop improving my instructor skills and enhancing my own strength.
  6. Conduct myself as a gentleman or a lady in public places, including the Internet. Exhibit restraint, the hallmark of a professional.

Should I violate the code my RKC certificate may be revoked.

The Grad Workout

Designed by Senior RKC Kenneth Jay, the Grad Workout alternates 20sec of walking see-saw presses with two kettlebells, 10sec of rest/setting up for swings, 20sec of swings with one kettlebell, 10sec of rest/setting up for presses, etc. for the length of a football field.

The see-saw press technique is demonstrated by Senior RKC Tommy Eli as he puts the class through a Grad Workout at the end of the videoclip from the 2007 RKC in Denmark.

Watch a video clip from the May 2007 Kettlebell Certification workshop


Kettlebell Sizes for the Grad Workout

Weight Class, kg/lbs. Kettlebell
67.5 / 148 16kg
80 / 176 20kg
80+ / 176 + 24kg


Kettlebell Sizes for the Grad Workout

Weight Class, kg/lbs. Kettlebell
56 / 123 8kg
56 +/ 123 + 12kg

I have read the certification requirements and I want to
Register Online.

I’m not registering at this time.

Kettlebell Safety 101

It’s Your Fault.

— Title of a future self-help book by Rob Lawrence

  1. Check with doctors before starting training.

    Especially an orthopedist and a cardiologist.

  2. Always be aware of your surroundings.

    Train in a place where there are no concerns about property damage or injury to anyone—including yourself.

    Make sure to train on a flat surface; facing downhill invites back and knee problems.

    As with basic range safety, make sure there are no people in the line of fire of your swings or snatches. The line is hot!

    Is there anything to trip over? Including other kettlebells? Clear out!

    How is the surface? If it is slippery or not flat—move!

    If you are training with ladies’ light, rubberized kettlebells also make sure to choose a surface where they will not bounce.

    Are you about to face the sun at the most challenging point of the get-up if you are starting out facing a certain way?

  3. Train barefoot or wear shoes with a flat, thin sole.

    Wrestling shoes and Converse Chuck Taylors are the best. Not only do cushy tennis shoes compromise your performance; they make it easy to roll forward on your toes during swings and snatches and injure your back. Don’t fight the kettlebell if a rep goes wrong.

    If the bell wants to twist your elbow, shoulder, or any other joint in a way it is not supposed to go in our species, or pull you off forward on your toes, don’t fight it. Abort! Guide the kettlebell to fall harmlessly, and move out of the way if necessary. Move those feet.

    Avoid “half-tension”! A good example is lowering a kettlebell from the rack. You could safely do it with a strict negative curl if the kettlebell is light (total arm tension) or drop it and not fight it at all (zero tension). But if you cannot make your mind whether you are totally controlling the kettlebell or totally releasing it, if you panic and fight the fall with “half-tension”, you will get hurt.

  4. Practice all safety measures at all times.

    Because “practice makes permanent,” and “under stress we revert to training.” How can you expect to do the right thing during the stressful last rep with a heavy kettlebell if you grooved wrong habits with the easy reps?

    The dumbest—and most common—injuries can be compared to safely navigating rush-hour traffic and then backing up into your mailbox.

    A typical mistake is setting the kettlebell down sloppily, with a rounded back and the weight on the toes, following a hard (and often perfect) set of swings or snatches. Don’t! Mentally stay with the set until the kettlebell is safely parked. Lower the kettlebell in a way you would if you were planning to do another rep. Then let go, and only then relax.

  5. Focus on quality, not quantity

    Gray Cook, a premier sports physical therapist and an RKC, has pointed out that your motor control goes south as you fatigue and “the body will always sacrifice quantity for quality”. A weightlifter will stop at three reps of a snatch or C&J. Not because he can’t do more but because he shouldn’t. In the hard style of kettlebell training, like in weightlifting and powerlifting, reps do not reflect one’s ability (if you swing the kettlebell with more power you will not get as many reps, ditto with the total tension in presses) and should not be the end goal.

    Focusing on doing more reps will only encourage your body’s innate tendency towards energy conservation and unsafe technique. Emphasize maximum explosion in your quick lifts and maximum tension in your “grinds” and don’t worry about the reps too much.

  6. Keep moving once your heart rate is high.

    If you stand, sit, or lie down gasping for air following a hard set, your heart has to work unreasonably hard. You are still in severe oxygen debt, and moving your muscles—especially in the legs, by jogging, shadow boxing, even walking—pushes the blood back to the heart. Stop moving and your ticker has to work extra hard—too hard for some. Don’t come to a complete stop until your heart rate and breathing are halfway down to normal.

    Marty Gallagher makes a heart rate monitor his only concession to hi-tech in his “purposefully primitive” approach to strength and fitness. I have no experience with this tool, but when Marty speaks I listen.

  7. Build up the training load gradually using common sense, and listen to your body.

    If you have sore elbows, it is your own fault, dude. Doing 50 cleans the first day you learned them was stupid.

    “The training load” refers not only to the weight, sets, and reps, but also to the flexibility requirements. Don’t force yourself into positions you are not ready for; develop your flexibility gradually.

    If you bang your forearm during cleans, don’t go clean crazy until you have fixed your technique. Bruised and swollen forearms are signs of impatience, not toughness.

  8. Know how to manage fatigue.

    Never sacrifice technique to finish your reps! Following are several suggestions on how to modify kettlebell exercises when you are about to lose form and switching to a lighter kettlebell is not an option.


    • Switch from one-handed to two-handed swings.
    • Swing lower.
    • Switch to sumo deadlifts.


    • Switch to partial get-ups.


    • Switch to low swings.

    Single kettlebell military press

    • Increase the side bend,
    • Reclean the kettlebell more frequently, before every rep if necessary.
    • Switch hands more frequently, every rep if necessary.
    • Assist yourself by pushing against the body of the kettlebell with your free hand through the middle of the range of motion (the back-up press).
    • Switch to long push presses (push presses from a full front squat).

    Double kettlebell military press

    • Reclean the kettlebell more frequently, before every rep if necessary.
    • Switch to see-saw presses.
    • Switch to single kettlebell presses.
    • Switch to long push presses.

    Front squat

    • Widen the stance and reduce the depth.
    • Switch to one kettlebell if you have been squatting with two.


    • Switch to one-handed swings.
    • Switch to two-handed swings.
    • Switch to low swings.

    Overhead walk

    • Switch hands as soon as the alignment is about become less than perfect.

    Make sure to drive this home to your students.

  9. Instruction cannot cover all contingencies, and there is no substitute for good judgment.

    And if you don’t have good judgment, forget kettlebells and go take a Pilates class.


Rob Lawrence has pointed out that in the RKC system safety is viewed as a part of, not the opposite of, performance. The following instructions simultaneously reduce the odds of injuries and increase performance.

  1. Hips first!

    A natural athlete moves from his hips, never from his back or knees. Hips-first movement is safest for your back and knees—and most powerful.

    Stand up and place the edges of your hands into the creases on top of your thighs. Press your hands hard into your “hinges” and stick your butt out while keeping your weight on your heels.

    Same thing on the way up: hips first. Drive with your glutes and hamstrings, less with your quads, and not at all with your back.

  2. Don’t slouch. Bend back, not forward, when stretching your back.

    A seemingly harmless thing to do is to slump forward after a kick-butt set or workout. Renowned physical therapist Robin McKenzie explains that overstretching of the ligaments and the surrounding tissues triggers most back pain. Which is in turn often caused by bad posture, especially the loss of the arch in the lower back. “After activity, the joints of the spine undergo a loosening process. If, after exercise, we place the back in an unsupported position for long periods, distortion within the joint readily occurs. This is true whether we sit in a slouched position or whether we stand, bending forward with our hands on our knees.”

    Avoid slouching, and perform five back bends immediately before and after lifting. “By standing upright and bending back before lifting,” explains McKenzie, “you ensure that, as you begin the lift, there is no distortion already present in the joints of the lower back.” Place your hands in the small of your back pointing your fingers downward and keep your legs straight. Bend back slowly using your hands as the fulcrum, pause for a second, and return to the upright position. Try to bend further with each successive rep.

    Just because your back started hurting immediately following a given activity, you should not automatically blame the activity. Things are not always as they appear to be; most likely it was your slouch. So avoid slouching after vigorous exercise, and wrap up with the same five back bends.

    Some Russian coaches have their athletes lie on their stomachs and read a book after a practice.

  3. Stay tight through your waist.

    “Stay tight”—maintain a tight muscle corset around your waist to protect your back. The abdomen should neither suck in nor protrude. Useful imagery is bracing for a punch (that can be arranged).

  4. Stay loose through your arms.

    Kettlebell cleans and snatches are not curls; the arms barely pass ththe force generated by the hips. Should your arms tense up, especially on the downswing, you are asking to tweak your elbows.

  5. Tame the arc.

    We owe the “tame the arc” term to Rob Lawrence. It applies to swings, cleans, and snatches. On the way down toss the kettlebell back almost hitting yourself in the groin with your forearm. “Hike pass.” On the way up do not pull with the biceps but yank the shoulder back, like starting a lawn mower.

    Taming the arc also applies to racking the kettlebell on your chest after a clean or catching it overhead after a snatch. Letting the kettlebell travel in a big arc means banging yourself on the forearm. Tightening the arc by outrunning the kettlebell with your fist makes the catch soft.

  6. Keep your shoulders in their sockets.

    Put up a very light kettlebell or dumbbell overhead and walk fast or even jump. You will quickly learn that your shoulder and elbow do not care for this—unless you lock your elbow and suck your shoulder into its socket every time you get jarred.

    The lesson: pull your shoulder into your body the way a turtle pulls in its head when you are supporting the kettlebell overhead.

  7. Don’t hyperextend your wrists.

    The heavy kettlebell is determined to bend your wrist backward. Don’t let it happen! Stick your hand far inside the handle so the weight rests on the heel of your palm. Then counter with the wrist flexors, the muscles that gooseneck your wrist.

  8. Keep your elbows straight.

    This rule applies to two points in the kettlebell’s flight plan, on the bottom of the downswing and at the overhead lockout.

  9. Take care of your hands.
Ripped calluses mean lost training time which is why we try to avoid them.

You must gradually build up the volume of swings, cleans, and snatches to let your skin adapt.

You may want to sandpaper your kettlebell’s handles, as kettlebell sport competitors do. Remove the paint and smooth out the iron.

Unlike presses and other grind lifts, swings, cleans, and snatches call for a loose grip. “Hook” the handle with your fingers rather than gripping it.

Try to lift in a way that minimally stretches the skin on your palm. Figure it out.

Load the calluses at the bases of your fingers as little as possible; let the kettlebell handle glide from the “hook” of the fingers to the heel of the palm and back in a manner that does not pinch the skin at the bases of the fingers.

Do not let the calluses get thick and rough. Russian gireviks soak their hands in hot water at night, then thin out and smooth out their calluses with a pumice stone, and finally apply an oily cream or a three-to-one mix of glycerin and ammonia. I hang my head in shame as I am giving you metrosexual skin-care advice.

Speaks Brett Jones, Master RKC, who gives his hands the double abuse of kettlebell lifting and extreme gripping feats:

“Go out and get Cornhuskers Lotion and use it several times a day. This lotion is unique in that it is not greasy and actually toughens and conditions your skin. At night you may want to use a product that penetrates and moisturizes in a different way. Bag Balm and other heavy (oily) lotions can be used at night and can best be absorbed if you put them on before bed and wear mittens, socks or specially designed gloves available at some health and beauty stores.

“File or shave off your calluses. By using an Emory board, buffing pad, or even high grade sand paper you can simply file off the excess callous s o that it never gets thick enough to tear or rip. There are even callous shavers available that use a razor blade with a guide to shave off thick calluses. But, if you file often and correctly you may never need them. You do not want to file away the entire callous. The thickened part that becomes ‘caught’ or pinched during the snatches or KB work is what you should file off. Your calluses are there for a reason. Just keep them in check to reduce the possibility for tears.

“Listen to your hands. If you skin begins to pull, tingle or give indications of a blister or tear, listen to it and stop. Halting a set early to save your hands is far preferable to ignoring the warning and allowing a tear to occur which can derail your training.”

Mark Reifkind, Senior RKC, a man who has been hard on his hands with gymnastics, powerlifting, and now kettlebells, recommends “a technique I used back in gymnastics for dealing wwith overly thick and hard calluses.

1) Soak the hands in hot water for at least five minutes. Hot baths work well but showers take forever.

2) Dry the hands and wait 30 seconds or so for the blood to come back.

3) Sand the hand with pumice stone or sandpaper callous remover.

The skin just sloughs off with very little effort and all the pads get nice and flat. Just enough to protect but not tear.”

Rif will also tell you what to do if you have gone too far and got blisters:

“What I do is cut the dead skin away and as close to the remaining callous pad as possible. Clean and dry and then place a square of athletic tape (MUST be porous or it won’t work) over the tear and work it into the skin until it is seamless. Leave it on until it gets wet or dirty then replace. If the tape won’t stick it is wet or dirty.

“This technique allows the tear to get air so it will dry out but the porous covering allows it to be just moist enough so you don’t get cracks in the center. Works every time. You can work out with the square of tape covering the tear.”

If your workout calls for snatches but your paws feel like they are ready to pop, do two-handed swings instead to minimize the stress on the skin of the hands.

A special note on training in high humidity. Rob Lawrence advises, “When you are working out under humid conditions, the deadweight snatch is your friend. You can do multiple sets without ripping your hands. Snatch the weight, lower to shoulder, lower to ground, repeat.”

The backswing, and thus most of the skin stress, is eliminated. You could do the dead snatch even if the weather is dry but your hands are raw.

Power and health to you, RKCs!

How to Treat and Prevent Blisters

By Kristann Heinz,

I, like many of you, pride myself on my strong hands. Mine are nicely calloused from hours of farm chores and, of course, from my KB training. But, alas, even the most conscientious KB athlete faces a blister from time to time.

What is a blister? A blister is a bubble under the skin that can be filled with a clear liquid, pus or blood. Friction blisters can form when the skin is repeatedly rubbed in one spot. We see this with improperly fitting shoes or a KB rubbing on the palm of our hand. A blood blister is seen when the skin has been pinched or undergone a traumatic insult such as catching it between two KBs. The area around the blister may be red and tender. In general, with proper care a blister should heal within 3 to 5 days.

Step-by-Step Blister Care

  1. When you first detect a blister, stop your activity. Do not break or “pop” the blister. The skin that covers the blister helps to protect it from infection.
  2. Gently wash with soap or clean with Betadine if you are not near a sink. If the blister is broken make sure to wash the area as above. If the blister came from KB training, it is important to clean the blister of any paint or medal filings that may have imbedded themselves in the blister area.
  3. Next, apply antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin or Bacitracin to the area.
  4. You can protect your blister by making a blister doughnut. Cut some moleskin to the appropriate size for the blister area. [You can buy moleskin at a drugstore.] Then cut out a circle from the center of the moleskin that is slightly larger than the blister area. Place the ring or doughnut around the blister.
  5. Cover the blister area with gauze and secure with hypoallergenic tape. This should reduce the friction that is applied to the area. Change the blister dressing daily.
  6. Monitor healing to ensure recovery. If you find the blister area is increasingly red, swollen and painful or you notice pus, your blister may be infected. You may also have a fever. Your blister needs to be looked at by medical professional and they may need to give you antibiotics for a skin infection or cellulitis.

Calluses are the build-up of hard skin caused by the uneven distribution of weight. I often get calluses at the base of my index, middle and ring finger on my palm from KB training. If calluses are not properly cared for, they to can be torn off and leave one with an open sore like a broken blister. If you have a torn calluses follow the care instructions for a broken blister. To prevent torn calluses, do not let the calluses get too big. After a shower or bath, carefully use a pumice stone or emery board to gently remove excess build-up of tissue.

Blister Prevention is the Best Prescription

  1. If you know you have a tendency to get blisters in a certain spot, cover it with hypoallergenic medical tape prior to the activity. I have known folks in my classes, to use duct tape over the area. But please be careful and check to see if you have an allergy to the adhesive of duct tape before you use it, the last thing you need is an allergic reaction to the tape on your hands.
  2. You can also wear cotton fingerless gloves on your hands to prevent blister formation. We buy cotton gloves from the hardware store and cut off the fingers.
  3. Assess your KB handle. John, my blacksmithing husband, also an RKC, files down the handles of our KB to help prevent blisters (see box on next page for instructions).
  4. Keep a first aid kit handy with the appropriate medical supplies to care for a blister. I suggest Betadine or hydrogen peroxide, moleskin, antibiotic ointment, gauze, hypoallergenic medical tape and scissors.

The Tracy Rif Sock Sleeve
for High Rep Snatch and Swing Training

By Mark Reifkind,
Senior RKC

Perhaps the most troublesome aspect of high repetition snatch and swing training, especially for Comrades Ladies, is the wear and tear on the hands. Women clients, most particularly, are loath to develop calluses much less deal with tearing those calluses. While proper hand care; consisting of shaving and filing large callus pads down regularly, is vital, many trainees like to use some kind of hand protection during rigorous training. One can use gymnastics grips (sometime poor feedback from the bell), make grips from athletic tape (hard to do if you train alone) or, you can use an innovative solution my wife came up with – the Sock Sleeve.

This is a very simple solution to a vexing problem. The gymnastics grips and the athletic tape work by reducing friction between the hand and the bell. Holding the bell in the hook grip and NOT deep in the palm is another key component to not tearing calluses and this solution actually encourages the correct hand and grip position on the bell.

All one has to do is find a pair of medium thickness socks and cut the top, elastic portion of the sock off. A two-inch section is best, although one can cut three inches if they have very large hands. We have found crew socks, as opposed to tube socks to work best although feel free to experiment. New socks works best as the fresh elastic helps to keep the sleeve in the right part of the hand.

Simply slide the sleeve over the top of the hand covering the lower portion of the fingers and the top section of the palm of the hand. Just where the bell should sit if properly held!

That’s it! Pick up the kettlebell and start snatching or swinging and you will find there is considerably less friction in the hand right from the start, but with almost no extra bulk to tax the strength of the grip. The sleeve doesn’t roll up as you swing and encourages you to hold the bell in the correct part of the hand. You can use this all the time or just when you feel tender or hot spots on the calluses.

A very simple but effective solution for keeping the hands in tip top shape and keeping your training on track. Nothing worse than wanting to train but having to make adaptations because the hands are trashed. Enjoy!



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