In case yinz didn’t catch the news, Dragon Door recently changed the testing standards for the Russian Kettlebell Challenge. These changes are effective April 1st, 2013. If you follow this blog, you know I am set for RKC Vienna beginning Arpil 19th, 2013.
Well then….these changes affect me now..don’t they?
First let me set the stage for how I actually found out about these changes. Once upon a time I woke up to 3 emails and 7 (yes, 7!!!!) facebook messages from fellow HKC’s and RKC’s who were concerned about my upcoming certification. I was completely uncaffeinated at the time of reading about the new certification requirements, so my initial thought on the whole matter was “I need coffee, because I have no idea what the hell is going on.” After cup-o-joe number one, I returned to my computer and saw that Dragon Door had made two significant changes to the Russian Kettlebell challenge. Those two major changes are the Hardstyle Push Up Test and the new weight class for the Snatch Test. First, allow me to comment on the push up test.
As an HKC instructor, I am constantly teaching clients the necessity of core strength and stability for basic kettlebell movements. You need that core strength and stability for moves as basic as the Goblet Squat and Swing to something as challenging and complex as the Turkish Get Up. I feel that this entrance assessment for RKC Level I is spot on! If you can’t demonstrate core strength properly and effectively, you’re not going to do well the date of your cert. Period!
Now, many of you are probably wondering about the new Snatch Test standards. Previously, the RKC level I cert had two weight classes for men and women. As for the ladies, if you were 123.5 or below, you had to do 100 repetitions with a 12kg kettlebell. Anything above 123.5 mandated the use of a 16kg kettlebell. There are now three weight classes for women. Any woman up to 115 pounds is to use a 12kg kettlebell for the test. Women 116 to 135 will test with a 14kg kettlebell and women 136 and above will test with a 16kg kettlebell. In case you’re wondering, I was preparing for the RKC snatch test with the 12kg kettlebell (i.e. 26 pounds) as I weigh 122. I now must test with the 14kg kettlebell, which translates to 31 pounds. That is 5 pounds heavier than what I am used to testing with…but guess what? I DON’T CARE! In fact, I want to commend Dragon Door for using this kettlebell for a new weight class. Here’s why.
I have spoken before about trying to get strong enough to pass the certification with the use of a 16kg kettlebell. At my 5’3” height and weighing close enough to the old cut off weight, I took it upon myself to start incorporating more 16kg kettlebell work in my RKC preparation. Over the course of time, I had gone from being a small 119 (what I weighed at the HKC) to a pretty darn strong and muscular 122 (yup, gained 3 pounds of muscle mass during training that I just can’t sacrifice. My current photos and youtube videos will prove that. My arms are HUGE). I happen to be one of those females who gains muscle due to how I train, and to be honest, I was in a panic over coming in over the 123.5 weight class for the certification. I have tried (and I am embarrassed to even admit this :/ ) to cut my weight back during my training only to feel otherwise “loopy” and “funky in the head” from the volume of my workouts. I just can’t sacrifice my weight and performance anymore. I refuse to sacrifice solid nutrition to fuel the demands of my body. The fact that Dragon Door incorporated the 14kg makes me VERY HAPPY! Yes, it’s 5 pounds heavier than what I am used to, but I no longer have to obsess about the darn scale anymore as I can continue to train hard now using the 14kg kettlebell as part of my training. Granted, I will have to increase my strength and endurance now to get 100 reps with the 14kg compelted with good form in 5 minutes. And, the pressure is on as I only have a handful of months left before RKC Vienna. Truth be told though, I’d rather incrementally increase my overall strength than attempt to jump into a heavier weight class with a much heavier kettlebell. I’m a strong female, but I am honestly not quite ready yet for the 16kg kettlebell snatch test. There. I said it. This progression form the 12kg to the 14kg kettlebell makes total sense to me and IS TOTALLY FAIR!
I realize that a lot of the smaller females at the 116 to 120 range are a bit concerned about the new snatch test requirements, but ladies, please understand that proper progression is the key to overall strength. The fact of the matter is that yes, the exit exam WILL be more demanding for us, but a 5 pound progressions is doable and reasonable all things considered. Dragon Door has clearly outlined proper and strategic progression for the weight classes and for the overall certification progressions from HKC, RKC level I and RKC level II. If you have questions about WHY the RKC certification requirements changed, please read this feed. Also, for a breakdown of the RKC level I changes for both the ladies AND gentlemen, please visit this post on dragondoor.com.
I hope this clears up any confusion for yinz about the RKC level one certification requirements and I hope I have made myself quite clear on my position regarding these changes. Is this a big deal? Well…it will require eating smarter and training harder, but HEY! The RKC is a school of strength after all, and if the standards have changed, I must change my training to meet those standards. Speaking of which, be on the look out for my new workouts for month 2 of my RKC preparation. I will be tailoring my training to meet the demands of the changes to the certification. STAY TUNED!
Remember to eat smart, train hard, and enjoy your life!
See you all in Vienna!
Janelle Pica-HKC, CPT