What an outstanding weekend! I spent this past Saturday and Sunday training with some really fantastic people at the IKFF Level One Certified Kettlebell Teacher course. It was a truly fantastic experience. I’m sure not everyone would agree that spending 16 hours lifting heavy objects over two days is a good way to spend a weekend, but I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my time!
We were hosted by Red Barn Fitness in Glastonbury, CT and Terri Parker did an absolutely fantastic job of hosting us. Thank you, Terri and everyone else at Red Barn Fitness!
Steve Cotter and Ken Blackburn did a great job teaching and coaching all weekend long. Both of these guys are so accessible, caring and patient in the way they teach. It’s obvious that they are passionate about what they’re doing. And, not only are Ken and Steve great teachers and coaches, each is an inspiring example of physical strength and conditioning.
I’ve done a lot of seminars over the past few years and have found that, many times, the personality giving the seminar is aloof, inaccessible and really operates inside a “bubble” of I’m-better-than-you energy. Ken and Steve were absolutely notable exceptions. They joked and talked and hung out with everyone at the seminar. No favorites, no being aloof. Just teaching and learning and sharing.
I got to spend one-on-one time with both Ken and Steve and was absolutely satisfied with the amount and quality of the individual attention I got. In particular, I noticed that both Steve and Ken took every break as an opportunity to connect and share with everyone. I don’t even remember seeing either one eat – they both took lunch as an opportunity spend informal time with all of us and answer questions.
The level of technical instruction was completely outstanding. You really got the feeling that everyone got individualized attention from Steve and Ken and was a better lifter by the end of the weekend. Steve spent about 30 minutes one-on-one with me during the Saturday lunch break talking about timed sets, work capacity and the mental aspects of completing long timed sets.
Speaking of timed sets, these were something completely new to me. I’d been working some timed kettlebell sets, about a minute or two, for a while now. But, I had never worked timed sets with periods of “rest” or recovery included. I’ll be posting extensively on these soon, but the basic idea is to take a long time period and pace yourself through it on one lift. An extreme example was the 20 minute timed set of cleans we did. Yup, 20 minutes. The deal was: no putting the kettlebell down, one hand switch at the 10 minute mark and a minimum of 10-20 reps per minute. The only “rest” we got was in the racked position or during the swing back to the clean.
Do you think I developed a strong rack and an incredible awareness of every detail of that movement? Absolutely! My clients are going to hate me, because there are going to be A LOT more timed sets coming up.
At the end of the course, Steve talked to us about building our training businesses and how he sees the role of IKFF regarding member support. What really impressed me about Steve’s attitude is how member-centered he has made the IKFF. I’ve been a member of many different types of professional groups over the years including science, marketing, entrepreneurial, fitness and training and a few others.
Every group SAYS they’re “member-focused” but, my experience has found that few truly are. IKFF is absolutely the exception and is absolutely serious about their commitment to supporting their trainers and building relationships. My feeling right from the start was that Steve and Ken were old friends who care about and support every one of their trainers. I was already aware of some of the high standard for support members get from Steve and Ken because of the great feedback I got from two of their more established trainers, Bob Garon and Sincere Hogan. Both of these guys recommended the IKFF cert to me with fantastic enthusiasm and both mentioned the high level of support that comes from Steve and Ken. But, still, I was thoroughly impressed by what I saw from Ken and Steve!
I’ll be posting more on the technical stuff I learned over the weekend in the coming days and weeks, but I have to say that this IKFF event – not to mention Steve and Ken – absolutely exceeded my expectations in every way!
Last posted at [http://adamfarrah.net/IKFF-Certified-Kettlebell-Teacher-Glastonbury-CT]