I'm going to start with the three lessons, then I'm going to talk about my experience and all the ridiculous fun it was.
1.) The Power Swing (Stop Start Swing)
The "power swing" was a new addition to the RKC Curriculum. I don't know if I'm going to call it the "start-stop swing" or "individual swing" or "power swing". The way it works is you re-set at the starting position after every swing rep. It's harder AND safer, which is a foundational concept in the RKC system – deliberately making training more difficult and safer at all times.
The power swing does two amazing things for trainers who are coaching the swing:
1. It gives us time to coach, in between every rep. This by itself is amazing, inside of how quickly we can now tune up a client's swing form.
2. It gives us a lot of practice on that first hike back, the part that 90% of people suck at. It's a chance to practice making EVERY rep awesome, from rep #1.
The Power Swing does two amazing things for people working out for fat loss:
1.) The power swing seems to be about 30% more work per rep. More work = more fat loss in a shorter amount of time.
2.) It's an extremely safe way to add more volume at the end of a workout. If you did want to extend the length of your workout, power swings are a great way to do that, because they are so safe when done correctly.
Since our goal is fat loss, and not to win a rep counting contest, we're really all about doing just enough work to get lean and hot. More work per rep means less total reps to get lean, and less reps makes it easy on people's hands. Less callouses tearing means more opportunity to get in reps. Really cool.
2.) Heavy Double Kettlebell = Awesome Lean Body
This year at the RKC there was lots of heavy doubles (two kettlebell) work, which.
Less total reps this weekend, the same or more total tonage lifted. In the past there was a lot more work with one kettlebell, or with lighter kettlebells. Now, "school of strength" is definitely in full effect.
Anyone prepping for the RKC this year should put some serious time in doing double kettlebell work with "snatch test sized" kettlebells (in other words, you use two of the size of kettlbell you are required to use for the RKC Instructor Snatch Test):
Guys: Two 53lb (24kg) kettlebells
Girls: Two 36lb (16kg) kettlebells
Girls under 126lbs bodyweight could use two 26lb (12kg) kettlebells
For people training for fat loss, you could look at how lean the girls and guys at the RKC looked, and check yourself on what you are using for training weights right now. One of your strength goals should be to use two snatch size kettlebells (or heavier) for most of your kettlebell workouts.
You might not be there now, but it's something to work towards.
Like I always say, strong girls are hot.
Neghar Fonooni doing swings, snatches and squats with two 36lb kettleblels
3.) You Can Work Really Hard, With Perfect Form
The "Grad Workout" is the last thing that the instructor candidates do in the RKC. It's known for being grueling.
This time, I also noticed that for was kept perfect.
It was 15 minutes of swings, snatches, presses and squats (with one snatch test sized kettlebell).
People were pushed to their limit, but no farther. Lots of work, but proper form was maintained and candidates were required to manage form and fatigue effectively.
1.) Everyone was given alternates: A perfect push press was preferable to a military press with bad form (like the shoulder elevating).
2.) Rest was built in to the workout. While the rest periods were only 20 seconds, built in rest makes a big difference in workouts with this volume of work.
The performance=safety maxim of the RKC showed up live during the grad workout, and I believe it really taught the everyone that you can have clients work REALLY hard without it turning into P90X slop.
Take these three lessons, and kick your kettlebell fat loss training up to the next level!