It is important to know where we are putting our attention as we get stronger. Once we get good at the basic fundamentals of lifting, our goals and benchmarks should shift to reflect the progress we’ve made thus far. Adapting your goals to your current skill level is important to continue driving progress as you become more adept at your craft, and it helps to have main goals at the forefront to motivate and focus your practice. This can help lessen the monotony of training and help you to measure your progress as your “beginner gains” start fading into memory. Now, every pound of the bar has to be earned, sometimes for weeks. Setting short term goals can help the process go by a lot faster, and more enjoyably.
Here’s a look at Mike’s current goals. As someone at a high level of expertise in strength and kettlebell training, the days of chasing mere numbers on a bar are no longer at the forefront.
As of now, Mike is looking forward to completing his StrongFirst SFG 2 Certification this November. One of StrongFirst’s most central beliefs is that one has to be able to Do to Teach.
The SF certifications are challenging in that there are strength, conditioning and skill requirements for each level. The specific lifts in the SFG 2 cert are double kettlebell lifts – push presses and jerks – and some more uncommon lifts like windmills and bent-presses. Check out this link for more info on this certification: StrongFirst SFG 2
One of the more challenging requirements in this trial is a ½ bodyweight Kettlebell Military Press. At 185lb bodyweight, I must strictly press a 44kg, or 97lb, Kettlebell. Full disclosure, as I write this, I cannot yet complete this feat. This challenge is just like any other, as I would teach my students. You must start where you are and practice a well-designed program to overcome the challenge. I will complete this challenge and pass this certification as I have all others, not through sheer force, but through consistent and strategic programming and application. Whether you are trying to complete your first Turkish Get-up, or complete the SFG 2 like myself, the approach is the same. In application, it may look different, but the principles of basic and simple programming work every time.
Fortunately, I have access to great programming through StrongFirst and some great coaches that are kind enough to post brilliant programs. When in doubt, sometimes it can help to have a network of instructors that can look at a program from a bird’s eye view and apply their own experience to the equation. It can be a difficult feat to program yourself, as I have found – there are too many variables to objectively account for. Thanks to Paul McIlroy, as I am running a press program that he provided here: Paul McLlroy Press Program
Hopefully some insight into what the coaches at Charleston Kettlebell Club are working on individually has put into perspective what you could be working toward as well. What are you training for? You, too, have access to coaches that can create programs that will help you overcome your challenges, whatever they may be. Come by the gym and let’s put together an individualized strategy to get you where you want to be, safely and effectively!