The Ten Dollar Spend

I used to teach people how to ride motor bikes very fast. I have to admit that before I came across Steve Brouggy and the Australian branch of the California Superbike School I was only moderately quick. But once I started applying Keith Code’s world famous riding system to my own approach my lap times fell very quickly. In one season of racing I dropped six seconds a lap at Phillip Island raceway. Good enough to go from a back of the pack to a top ten finish by the end of the season.

Now maybe because of my military background, or the fact I was educated in Switzerland, I prefer a solid system for getting things done. Code’s uniquely logical system about something physical appealed to me and one of the lessons in particular really holds true for a lot of exercise too. So here it is –

Imagine you have ten dollars to spend. This ten dollars represents the sum total of attention you can give things while performing a task. In the previous example it may be getting through a corner safely on a motorbike, but applies equally to anything including swings, snatches and get ups. Everything you do, from using the brakes, to steering, to changing body position, moving your vision, coming back on the gas, standing the bike up, etc. all use some of your ten dollars. Now, if you go screaming into your corner at a terrifying speed, nearly all of your attention is going to be used up on just getting the thing slowed down enough that you don’t die. No surprise then that you won’t be able to get around the corner well as you’ll have used up nearly all of your attention just on survival. If instead you come into the corner a little slower, under more control, you save vital dollars for picking the best line, feeling how much grip you have and when and how much throttle to use as well as where to place your body to save your tires. Again, no great surprise that this leads to much, much faster lap times.

The same holds true for learning a new exercise. The Get Up is a classic example of this. There are seldom times in modern life where we deliberately hold weight over head and move around through a variety of angles and planes. If, while learning the Get Up, you decide to pick the weight that is the most you can hold overhead then all of your ten dollars is going to be used up just on holding that weight up! However, in the RKC system we focus on principles, not methods. We focus on quality of movement, not on “working out”. We understand that when form becomes second nature then adding load becomes easy. For my part I made enormous jumps in my ability to handle heavy loads overhead in the Get Up by doing lots and lots of Get Ups with  a light weight. In fact, the first time I tried to do a 48kg Get Up I had only been training with a 16kg for over a month! But I had been really working on alignment and positions so that when i added load it would all be the same.  By the time I went heavy, I didn’t need to pay much attention to the movements as they were all dialled in and all I needed to do was focus on the weight.

This same principle can be applied much more practically to our own education too. We all have a very obvious amount of money that we can afford to spend on our own education and training. While I think it’s great that people want to increase their knowledge and understanding some thought needs to be put into where and on what to spend money. So let’s break down the best ways to train –

Attend a workshop with the best instructor you can find. This has to be number one. For me, this means I travel to the US up to three times per year to spend time with Pavel and his Master and Senior instructors. I recognise that not everyone is up to where I am so the choices become a little more practical. There are a number of RKCs and HKCs in Australia now and all are capable to varying degrees of helping you learn and progress. How do you tell who is the best? The easiest way is to check out the instructor pages. The Australian page is here. You’ll note that this lists both HKC and RKCs alphabetically. The bit you want to pay most attention to is how many reviews the instructors have and whether or not those reviews sound like they are from people you identify with. If you’re looking for fat loss, read the fat loss reviews. If you’re looking to become the best you can, look for reviews by other instructors. You get the idea. (And another thing I’ll point out, to highlight the teaching strength we have at Dragon Door Australia – the two most reviewed instructors in the whole country work under the same roof!) Perhaps even something like this is a good place to start

A great way to start your kettlebell education.

Once you’ve started the education process you need to figure on the best way to continue. If you’ve done an introduction class and decided you like the feel of the Russian Iron, then perhaps a Beginner’s Class is just what you need? This class is so good that we offer a 100% money back guarantee if you’re not convinced that you’ve learnt the fundamental kettlebell drills well enough to either train on your own or enter our regular classes safely. And with the two most experienced instructors in the country teaching you can’t go wrong!

At this point there are a few options – if you train on your own then some books might be a good place to start. I recommend Enter the Kettlebell and Kettlebells from the Ground Up. Both are superb and will give you literally a lifetime of training right up to passing RKCII.

If you are keen to become an instructor, then at some point you need to attend an HKC or RKC. If that holds your fancy then simply hit the links to the right ————> and they’ll take you straight to the relevant pages. If this is your goal then you probably need to spend some time with an RKC prior as it greatly increases your chances of passing. Again, given Dragon Door Australia are the only instructors in the country to have a 100% pass rate for our students, where do you think is the smartest place to spend that hard earned cash?

And finally, even if you are an HKC/ RKC the only way to continue getting better is to keep attending events. The best instructors I know – and I count all of the Master and Seniors instructors in this, as well as Pavel himself – continually put themselves out there attending events with an open mind. In the next few weeks in Australia you have choices of quite a few workshops to attend. Now, my very first point was “attend a workshop with the best instructor you can find”. Without doubt that will be the massive eight hours of workshops being run on Sunday March 20 by Senior RKC Shaun Cairns. Getting a Senior here to run workshops is like having the opportunity to get singing lessons from Pavarotti. I mean, these are the top handful of guys in the world, hand picked by Pavel to spread the word about his system and trusted enough to run his workshops for him. So, spend your money attending a small local event, or attend the best quality instruction available in Australia? Seems a simple choice to me.

No matter your needs – Dragon Door Australia have you covered. From workshops to educational books and DVDs to instructor level events. There’s always more in store at Dragon Door (apologies to Amanda Salas for stealing her line).

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One Response to “The Ten Dollar Spend”

  1. TC Says:

    Hey Andrew
    Thanks for sharing your experience with the TGU. Being practicing with that exercise and it’s been really good on my dodgy shouder.

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