Monday, January 9, 2012

Road to RKC, 21 Day Kettlebell Swing Challenge by Josh Hillis

Happy new year and welcome to 2012.....2012 will bring some changes to Thyme To Cook, hopefully positive ones!!

First off,  as some of you know, I recently was certified by Dragon Door in their entry level Kettlebell program, the Hardstyle Kettlebell Certification (HKC). I found kettlebells last November (2010) and knew that I wanted to pursue them in a higher capacity then just being a student in class. They provide an amazing way to get strong, and when you workout with them, feel totally empowered. I will be going for the next level certification, called the Russian Kettlebell Challenge (RKC) in the Fall of 2012. The certification is rigorous and extremely demanding. Therefore, I have begun a training program to (hopefully) ensure that I pass the cert.

To start my training off right, I did the 21 day Kettlebell Swing Challenge, brought to you by RKC Josh Hillis. Josh has some great fitness and fat loss programs, including the 21 day Kettlebell Swing Challenge, and System Six. Be sure to check out his blog, Lose Stubborn Fat for more info. I did the 21 Day Kettlebell Swing Challenge without counting out my days, but interestingly enough, my 21st day fell on December 31st, so it was a great way to end my 2011, and bring myself into 2012. The program was great and very effective. It consists of 21 days worth of kettlebell swing workouts, broken down into beginner, intermediate and advanced workouts, ranging from 5 - 20 minutes. The beauty of working with kettlebells is it's one of the most effective forms of exercise, and a 10 minute workout can burn 200+ calories. I chose to do the Advanced 21 day program, which included swings, one arm swings, push ups, and lunges. The only thing that the plan was deficient in was a front end and back end stretch and/or roll. I started most of the days with a dynamic stretch and joint mobility work, and ended with foam rolling and stretching on my own. My main goal in doing the program was to get stronger in my one arm swing so that I could move on to my next challenge, conquering the RKC Snatch test, a test to pass RKC where you need to do 100 snatches in 5 minutes, using a bell weighted for your specific weight (body weight under 123 lbs can use 12kg bell, over 123 lbs have to use 16kg bell). Check out the snatch here: snatch.

When I first started the program, I was doing it in conjunction to my regular kettlebell classes that I take. This was challenging for me as it meant that on some days I was doing 2 workouts. I got through it just fine though. 2/3rd into the challenge, it was December vacation, so the last 1/3 of the challenge became my workout for the day, or at least part of it. On some of the days where the workout was only 5 minutes, I added in other kettlebell exercises to keep my training on point. My last day was December 31st and I did that workout in a hotel room! I brought my 14kg bell with me and worked out, right there, on my mini-vacation.

Overall, it was a great program. I was successful in building up some strength to the point where I can now effectively move on with my training. I highly recommend this for anyone looking to improve their kettlebell swing and stamina. Josh provides videos for those looking to learn more about how to swing correctly as part of the training.

So, now onto a big change for Thyme To Cook. You know I split my time between cooking/coaching clients and fitness, teaching 2 Spin classes a week and subbing kettlebells when the opportunity arises. I have decided to move into fitness more, adding a personal training cert to my education and I am currently doing the American Council of Exercise (ACE) Personal Training Certification. I hope to train people and broaden my kettlebell teaching experience. Cheers to change in 2012. In my next post I'll talk about changes with my diet! Have a great day everyone!


Fred said...

Way to go! I think this is so awesome!!

She who cooks... said...

Thanks Fred!! :)