RKC Weekend Part 2: The Certification

Missed Part 1? (Getting to RKC)…read it first.

So I left off on Friday morning after the flexed arm hang (5 pull ups for guys)…no problems there. I love me some pull ups.

After a quick mobility complex we got together with our teams. Here was my team…team Hull. (Everyone was awesome!)

Russian Kettlebell Certification Team Photo

The whole day is a blur of swings (pretty heavy swings by the way), lying on our stomachs listening/learning and trying to grab snacks when we were allowed breaks. We also learned the clean and the press that day. A whole day of working out and eating…sounds like my perfect day, right? We started at 8:00am and didn’t end until nearly 7:00pm. Still sound good?

I went back to my hotel room and demolished my dinner from the night before, chowed on some more snacks and passed out reading my manual. I woke up a million times, but of course when my alarm went off the next morning I was not ready to get out of bed and once I did boy oh boy did I hurt. I took a hot shower and got dressed.

Day 2 was a lot more of the same, but we were outside instead of in a school gym. I only got the chance to put on sunblock once because we had very short breaks and I choose going to the bathroom over reapplying. Here’s a photo from mid-chew of me and my buddy Liz at lunch (thanks Candice) which is why we both have silly faces. I should have noticed the rudolph nose at this point.

Lunch at the RKC

We were dirty and disgusting (and I was a burnt) by the end of the day, but it was great to be out in the sun getting fresh air. The weather was perfect. We learned turkish get ups, squats and snatches. We also did a lot more swings, but if you are at all familiar with the RKC you probably could have guessed that. I went to the RKC team dinner that night. It was nice to meet a few other people that weren’t in my group and we had some yummy food. Then I passed out again.

Sunday (day 3) I woke up all kinds of nervous. I knew I had the snatch test in the bag since I was using the 12K (and had been training with the 16K), but I was still a little worried that people would be really picky with technique, that I would do something really dumb or that I would get a really hard victim.

The weather was stinky again so we were inside on day 3 with limited room to spread out. After a short team meeting and quickly running through each drill, we got right into the technique testing. We lined up and were tested on one exercise at a time. After getting through the 6 exercises (swing, turkish get up, clean, press, front squat, and snatch), we moved on to the snatch test. Three people from our team went at once. I was in the second group of three and finished in 3:40 or so. It was so cool watching everyone and supporting all of my team mates. Almost my entire team nailed it although a few were realllly close to that 5 min mark. Hopefully it was our cheering that got them through the end. It’s kind of hard to explain the snatch test to those who haven’t been there…it was really inspirational and emotional to watch everyone complete this portion of the testing. I wanted to cry every time someone finished!

After testing we had a marketing lecture and ate some lunch as the victims showed up. (People from the area can sign up for a free kettlebell session and can get discounts on kettlebells, books, DVD’s, etc.) I ended up being paired with a really nice guy who had never trained with kettlebells before. We worked through the hip hinge and progressed to two hand swings. At the end, I gave him a 10 minute workout that included swings, farmers walks (stopped these because it was too crowded!), pushups, deadlifts and planks. He said he was really glad that he came because he had no idea just how much went into the kettlebell swing. He also said that he could see how people would get hurt if they didn’t have proper instruction (he’s right!). I felt really good about his progress in the limited time that we had and it made me even more excited about training new clients.

Right after training the victims we had our grad workout. Generally this is a really tough workout, especially because your body (and your hands) are pretty beat up from the weekend. Thanks to my preparation (with the help of my great coach) and the fact that I really watched what I ate for  a few weeks to get my weight low enough to test with the 12K, I was actually feeling pretty good even after a whole weekend of training. We ended up using a bell lighter than our snatch size for the workout which was a 10K for me. The workout wasn’t so bad, but I could see how it would have been really challenging for those with heavier weight!

We went back to the gym after the workout and waited to find out if we passed. I met briefly with my team leader and assistants and they let me know I PASSED. :)

Certified Kettlebell Instructor - RKC

Sunday night we went to dinner again, but honestly at that point I was really missing my little man (and my hubby) and couldn’t wait to get home. Four nights away is about two too many for me at this point. Monday I flew home (uneventful again thankfully!) and after running through the grocery store I went straight to daycare to get CJ. He sprint-crawled right over to the door and gave his momma a big fat hug. I missed him so stinkin much.

If I had to sum up the RKC in a few words I would say that it was tough, awesome, exciting, nerve-wracking, tiring and energizing all at the same time. (Maybe that was more than a few words.) I’m really happy I did it and I feel really proud of myself for accomplishing this goal, especially so soon after having a baby and with everything else we have had going on this past year.

Words of advice for those who are planning to attend an RKC in the future?

Prepare! Start training several months or even a year before the certification. Work with an RKC to check your technique. Follow a program and work with heavy bells so that lighter bells feel easy. You will do a ton of swings in 3 days. Increase your volume and take care of your hands as the certification approaches. Then back down the week before and get some rest to take care of your body. Bring snacks…lots of snacks. Enjoy it and take it all in. Realize that you are not the only one who is nervous…everyone is! If any of you are planning to attend this certification in the future and want some help/guidance please feel free to reach out.

Thanks to everyone at the RKC, especially my great team (Team Hull!) for an amazing weekend and thank you to all of my friends, family and blog readers for your continued support during my journey to the RKC! :)


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  3. Michele hunt says:

    Hi! Thank you for such a sweet response! What’s your email? I am going this Sunday to precision kettlebell a in malvern, pa. Mike Barbato is who I’m meeting with. I’m so excited! Thank you I need the prep for sure. I am training with the 35 and ill be using the 35 to qualify. I am just curious how to train as it gets closer, you know? so yes if I could email you that would be perfect! It feels awesome to contact other strong moms for support and advice! Thank you!
    And i also love your blog :)

  4. Michele hunt says:

    Hi! I came across your blog because my goal is to obtain my RKC this year. Congratulations on your baby and obtaining your RKC! I also am a mom of 2 boys, ages 3 and 1. I just wanted some advice and whatever you have to offer in regards to getting RKC. I have known for awhile I will get it and finally I am going to. I have a training program designed and plan to call A place in Pennsylvania for personal training for my form. Only by some with RKC though.

    Thank you so much for the inspiration! And congrats!


    • Hi Michele –

      I love hearing from other strong mamas! :) Sounds like my little munchkin is right inbetween the ages of your two.

      Where in PA are you? We might be able to help you find someone great to train with to prepare for RKC. My husband can also help with prep over skype or writing programs to help you succeed. He helped me train and I was definitely prepared despite having my son just 10 months before.

      Always feel free to email with questions!!! :)
      Amanda Perry recently posted..Surround Yourself With Positivity

  5. kathryn schmidt says:

    Hi! I loved reading your RKC entry. I am attending the one in Vienna Va May 17-20 and I am getting nervous. I wanted to ask you about the weigh-in. I am at 126 pounds right now. I think I will have no problem getting down to 123 in 10 days. BUT all scales are different. Did they make any concessions for differing scales – like plus or minus a pound? Love your website! I will be a frequent visitor!

    • Hi Kathryn – Glad you enjoyed the post. :) Don’t be nervous…you are going to have a blast (and be very tired for a few days. :)

      Have you been preparing with the 16K just in case? Happy to answer any other questions you have if you want to email me! (amanda at skillofstrength.com)

  6. Just got done reading all your RKC posts. Soooo cool and so inspiring. Congrats on passing!

  7. Congrats! You’re my post-pregnancy hero!

  8. Congratulations on passing! I have decided to try to get mine later on this year and have started to work with an RKC around here. I am curious to know if there is anything that you wish you would have worked more on before you went, and what was something that you were thankful that you trained hard for. I am scared that I won’t be prepared enough.

    • NICE! Which one are you attending? Some people that I did the HKC with are doing the RKC in Philly (Sept). I am REALLY happy that I prepared w/ the 16K even though I was hoping I would be able to test with the 12K. Since I was able to do everything with the 16K, the 12K felt really super light which was awesome. Also, lots of swings and heavy swings because you’ll be doing a ton of those w/ your partner during the weekend. Might as well get used to it! There’s not much I wish I worked more on, but that’s bc I worked really hard and prepared for everything! I’m here if you have any questions. :) Good luck!!

  9. OMG that’s intense!! But it sounds like you nailed everything. Huge congrats and like Jess said, you are a rock star!!

  10. Wow you are SUCH a rockstar!! Killer weekend and you NAILED IT!! SO AWESOME!!!

  11. Hi Amanda,

    Congrats! I’ve been following you guys on FB for a while, and often end up here reading your blog. I briefly ran into you and Mike when Justin from Crossfit Woodshed held the Dan John seminar. I’m very excited that you guys finally got your new gym! And I’m hoping you guys will be able to team up with Justin some time in the future to give us some KB instruction :)

    Anyway, just dropping by to say hi and congrats!

    • Hi Paul – thanks for saying hello. :) Yes, that would be great if we teamed up at some point….I know Mike and Justin speak often. Thanks for the congrats! Hope to see you soon.

  12. wow!! sounds like such an intense weekend!!! you did amazing and you look fantastic! congrats!!!

  13. Congratulations!! I really hope to come to one of your workshops – I am literally booked solid through May but I’m keeping an eye on your site for June workshops!! I think this looks like a great workout but I really want to learn the right techniques!

  14. Congrats!!


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