Last weekend I attended a Kettle Bell Instructor Assessment day in Birmingham to finish off my qualification to be a certified Kettle Bell Instructor. It had been a long time coming.
I'd had access to the online material for a while and although the online videos and tutorials were really helpful I knew I needed time in the gym chucking Kettle Bells around to get my head around each of the moves and what I needed to be able to demonstrate on the day.
I love Kettle Bells, they're a really great tool to use in the gym and something I knew I wanted to be able to teach and use with my personal training clients. I have seen some terrible techniques when watching people use Kettle Bells in the gym - I didn't want to be one of those people or risk injuring one of my clients.
There were a few moves that scared me, the clean and the figure of 8 specifically. In fact the figure of 8 still scares me, during the training day I accidentally threw the Kettle Bell backwards between my legs. Thankfully I didn't hurt anything, other than my pride.
In the morning we went through all of the core moves, the swing (including one handed), the clean, the press, the lunge and the figure of 8. This was a solid couple of hours practicing which was much needed, there were 7 of us on the assessment day, everyone was at slightly different levels which in a way helped. We ended up in pairs and small groups which meant we could play around with different weights and moves.
If I was to give you one bit of advice it would be practice before you get there, with a Kettle Bell and figure out which moves you struggle with most and ask the tutor for help with those on the day. You could end up in a large group for an assessment day and the tutor will only have so much time with you all to demonstrate and give you teaching points. Practice with a lighter weight, by the afternoon my hamstrings were in bits and they still haven't quite yet recovered. Just make sure you increase the weight with your client during the assessment if it looks too easy. Swinging with 4kg just looks daft.
So what did I learn on my Kettle Bell assessment day? Actually, quite a lot...
If you wear a ring, take it off before you start otherwise you'll have some seriously impressive cuts on your hands by the end of the day.
Liquid chalk is a life saver if you have it - some gym's are funny about chalk so double check in advance.
Stretch those poor hamstrings before you start. In fact just continually stretch, all day long.
There's a big difference between gym Kettle Bell and a competition grade Kettle Bell, our tutor on the day had both to show and demonstrate with.
Start on a low weight on your assessment day, your hands and hamstrings will thank you at the end of the day.
Remember to do a violent thrust in the swing and make sure your glutes are activated.
Warm up again before your assessment. Just trust me on the warming up/stretching thing.
I really enjoyed my assessment day, it was a long one and the journey to Birmingham at 6am was not in any way enjoyable - bar the pit stop for Costa.
Our tutor was great, helpful and enthusiastic and even went so far as to show us moves not included in the assessment that he really liked and felt would be helpful for us all to have a knowledge of and play around with on the day.
Thinking of doing a Kettle Bells assessment or any questions - get in touch!