RKC

Never Stop Learning

One of the things I pride myself in is that I am always a student. I would never think that I know everything and that I have no room to grow.

I think the problem with a lot of trainers out there is that they get their certifications and that is the end of their learning process.

I can’t begin to tell you how much time and money I have spent attending workshops, reading, studying and applying the things I’ve learned with myself and my clients.

This past weekend, I had the honor and privilege to attend the San Jose RKC as a Team Leader. With this new position, I was responsible for teaching, training and leading a team of 12 candidates through their Russian Kettlebell Certification. I think I was just as nervous as they were. Hopefully, it didn’t show that much.

We spent about 10 hours a day learning and perfecting just seven of the basic exercises. It was Deadlifts, Swings, Turkish Get Ups, Cleans, Presses, Squats and Snatches. Each exercise was broken down, dissected and practiced. Drills were taught to help our clients and ourselves with any problem that may show up in their form.

Each segment began with a lecture and demonstration by the master and senior instructors. Even though I was there as Team Leader, I took a ton of notes. Every instructor brought something new to the table. I learned some different cues, drills and other things to take home with me. I learned that not every cue or drill will work with everyone. Use the right cue for the right client.

I also opened myself up to learning from my team of RKC candidates. Most of them have already been experienced as trainers and they brought along with them some knowledge, cues and drills that I had not used nor have heard of. I made notes of those also.

So although I went as a teacher, I allowed myself to be a student. Being a perpetual student makes me a better instructor.

The weekend was stressful, long and exhausting, but it was also fun. I met some wonderful people.

One of the most fun things was meeting my roommate in person. I “met” Carol a while back on Facebook. She ended up being one of my team’s assistants so we decided to save some money and share a room. Since I didn’t know her personally, I stalked her Facebook page to get more information. She currently lives in Seattle, WA but to my utter surprise, I found out that not only is she from Florida, but she also graduated from the University of Florida. I live in Tallahassee and am a diehard Florida State Seminole, which makes us automatic enemies.

Hoping that she had a sense of humor, I went out and bought a ton of FSU stuff. I spent quite a bit of money on flags, banners, signs, streamers and cups. I also made sure our morning alarm played the FSU War Chant.

I let her have the shower first and while she was in there, I decorated her side of the room with FSU memorabilia. I replace all of the cups with FSU cups and then sat on the bed waiting for her reaction.

Let’s just say it was worth the money spent and having to pack an extra big suitcase.

Yes, she was a good sport and that began what I hope to be a long lasting friendship.

The RKC is not just about learning, working out and training for me. I have built friendships and bonds that will never be broken. Even though many of my Kettlebell friends have gone with Pavel and Strong First, they are like family.

I value those relationships and I value the knowledge that I have received from them.

I will forever be a student.

Super Strong Nana is Getting Stronger

Working out alone is getting easier, obviously the blogging is not. It’s not that I don’t have stuff to write, it’s just that I get lazy when it comes to writing. It’s really a lack of discipline. I’m finally getting more disciplined with my workouts but now I have to carry that over to my home and work life.

A lot has happened since my last blog. I have continued working with Brett Jones. We Facetime every couple of weeks and he sends me workouts based on my goals.

As I have mentioned before, my goals include completing the RKC Iron Maiden Challenge in the next year. That includes a pull up, press and pistol squat with a 24 kilo (53 pound) Kettlebell as well as a double body weight deadlift.

So far I have been doing weight ladders for Turkish Get Ups and pressing. It’s been 4-5 sets of 1 rep using different weights. I’ve also been doing single DL, Squats, pull ups and single leg DLs.

When I received my first workout, I was shocked to see a single get up with a 24 kilo bell. I was directed to just do it as far as I can. I was certain I couldn’t do it, so I chose a lighter weight the first time. The second time, I decided to use the 24k but just do the roll to press and see how that went. I felt pretty solid and I ended up doing a full TGU on both sides!

http://youtu.be/SzNZKej249c

One thing I had to learn about PRs (personal records) is that they are elusive. I just assumed that now I would always be able to do my Get Ups with a 24 kilo and my presses with a 20 kilo. Wrong!!

Some days I can’t even come close and once in a while I can do it with ease.

The next few weeks have me backing off on weight and focusing on reps. One important thing is that you should never train your max all the time. I used to do that and ended up getting hurt. I’m pretty confident that when I go back to the heavy singles, I will be much stronger and my PRs will become my normal.

Super Strong Nana is Bending Steel and Taking Names

This has been a super strong week for me, full of PRs (personal records) and surprise feats of strength. I also learned an important lesson about negative thinking and confidence. Both more important than PRs.

I have a lot of strong, super-fit friends that I follow on Facebook. At least once a day, I see pictures, videos or status updates on their workouts, incredible feats of strength, weight loss or another amazing accomplishment. My first thoughts are how awesome they are, my second thoughts however become self defeating.

I begin to tell myself that I can’t do that, I’m not strong enough, not good enough and just not enough. I’ve spent my entire life comparing myself to others instead of being the very best me I can be. What I am learning; slowly but surely is that my attitude about myself pretty much dictates whether I fail at a given task or not. It dictates whether I attempt something or not and it keeps me from following through on my dreams and ideas.

Last week I had the honor of having super strongman, Bud Jeffries stay with me and my family while he was passing through town. The biggest perk was spending two days at my gym training with him. Bud obviously sees something in me that I don’t see in myself and he encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone. We spent a couple hours on Deadlifting. He dialed in my form and then started loading on the weight. With each increase, I kept telling him I can’t do that. He just smiled and told me to try. To my surprise, I lifted some weight that I thought would take months of training to lift. I also did partial Deadlifts with just over 300 pounds!

The next day was nail bending. Again, we worked on my form. He pointed out that I need to work on my wrist strength (which I knew). I bent a few 3/16 nails which are pretty easy for me. Then he brought in some 1/4 inch nails and a couple of 3/8th inch pieces of steel. Again, I thought he obviously had me confused with someone else.

I worked and worked on bending the 1/4 inch nail but my weak wrists prevented me from getting it. Bud put a very small bend in it and once it was started, I was able to bend it. Let me just add that nail bending is a hell of a cardiovascular and full body strength workout. I was sweating buckets and my heart rate was flying. So since I couldn’t bend the 1/4 inch without a start, I was wondering why the 3/8th. I thought maybe he was going to do something with it.

He did. He gave it to me and showed me how to use my entire body to bend it. You start by getting it started over your thigh, once you have a bend, you start placing it and using other body parts. So bending this piece, involved some crazy isometric full body moves. I bent it!!

Keep reading because that isn’t even the good part.

After some recovery, I was telling Bud that all of my friends were posting videos of themselves doing 2 finger pull ups. I told him that I felt a bit jealous and how I wished I could do that. He then asked me if I had ever tried. The answer was no. I just assumed I could never do anything like that. I had given up before I had ever started. Something I realize that I do a lot….a whole lot.

He told me to try it. We walked over to the rings. I put my first 2 fingers on the rings and all the while was thinking how I’m going to be embarrassed because I can’t do it.

Then, I just pulled myself up. Not only did I pull up, but I held myself up there for quite a while. Holy Crapola!! I couldn’t believe it. I did it again and again.

I did it for several days after to make sure it wasn’t a fluke..it wasn’t.

It was then I knew I had to do something about my negative thinking. I would never in a million years tell anyone that they can’t do something. With others I am encouraging and positive so why the heck am I so hold on myself? Finding the answer to that really doesn’t matter. Knowing why doesn’t elicit change. Changing elicits change. So where to start?

One of the things I will do first is to make friends with myself. I will treat myself as I treat others and how I would like to be treated by others. Secondly, I will act as if I am already a confident, positive person. The old, “Fake it Till You Make it”.

I have a list of affirmations next to my computer and I am redirecting negative thoughts into positive ones. Yesterday, I took things to a whole new level. Instead of putting my goal on paper, I did this.

The Iron Maiden is a major feat of strength with Kettlebells. A lady will perform a Pistol Squat, Press and Pull Up with a 24 kilo bell (53 pounds). I have a great training program and my goal is to complete this in the summer of 2013.

Me and this bell are going to become very close in the coming year.