Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Perpetual Motion

June 16, 2011

Along with turning lead into gold the invention of a perpetual motion machine has been long desired. The thought is that by designing a machine that not only can continually reuse the initial amount of energy put into it but perhaps even continually create more, out of thin air, the world would obviously be a better place. Imagine a car that actually had more gas in it when you returned home from shopping?

However, much like turning lead into gold, or fat into muscle, the creation of a perpetual motion machine is impossible and beyond the laws of thermodynamics. I’m not going to go uber geek on you and explain why, just realise that things that never run out of energy or recreate new energy from scratch are impossible.

Unless you’re the RKC…

I should be more specific and mention that this probably doesn’t apply to ALL RKCs as everyone has different desires and different aims and goals. But what I am about to say runs across the board with ALL the Masters and Seniors as well as all the Team Leaders I know. Not a single one of them is sitting still, content with their abilities either physically or intellectually. Reading their blogs and FaceBook posts you realise very quickly that as high as the RKC standard is the standard among the senior ranks is even higher. How high?

Well, let’s use as example number one this video of Dave Whitley, Master RKC. 

What’s significant about this is that not that many months ago he had knee surgery and has actually spent more months recently doing rehab than “training”. While some may argue that his size and obvious strength make this not such a challenging effort I urge you to go try it for yourself before judging. To put this in better perspective in Pavel’s book Enter the Kettlebell he cites 200 snatches in 10 minutes as the objective for conditioning. Dave completes this in 75% of the time! Clearly, despite being well known throughout the strength community for feats of strength Dave hasn’t just sat still and has kept moving forward. I happen to also know that he attended a marketing and sales workshop last weekend to further improve his business skills. At the speed he’s rolling along, continually developing his skills, it’ll be some time before anyone in his area can even come close to catching him to try to compete against him.

In fact, this marks his second marketing and sales workshop in a year as he attended the first Marketing Mastermind Intensive with me. Hosted by John du Cane and attended by Pavel, two Masters, two Seniors, three Team Leaders and a handful of distributors as well as high achieving “normal” RKCs this event was described by all who went as “the best marketing workshop of it’s kind” by all who attended. So Master Whitley clearly sees the value in attending ongoing education to further his skills as a trainer, businessman and RKC.

While we’re on the subject of continuing education I’m not sure people realise but the HKC now has CEC and PDP points accredited to it. While I realise that the necessity for points does have some bearing on the decision of which courses to attend it should by no means be the sole factor considered. Looking at myself as another example I have spent roughly $50,000 on my education over the last two years – none of which had points attributed to it. But, let’s look at the benefit –

  • Became one of only  handful of RKCs in the country.
  • Became first Certified Kettlebell Functional Movement Specialist in the country.
  • Became the first RKCII in the coutnry.
  • Became the distributor for Dragon Door in Australia.
  • Became first Australian to ever teach at an RKC.
  • Became first ever Australian Team Leader.
Let’s break down some of these a little more:

The distribution side of things is a good side business to PT. It doesn’t earn as much as PT most weeks although on occasions I have earned as much as $3000 in a single week from it. So the money I have spent on my education and on developing my networking and marketing skills has been more than repaid.

Likewise the money I initially spent on attending the RKC was repaid. I ran two seminars within a month of returning home teaching people how to use kettlebells. The trip – course, flights, accommodation, etc. – cost me ~$5,000. I made $6,600 in my first month home! A $1,600 profit from a single weekend in the US, not counting my actual PT revenue from the same month. Clearly, the RKC alliance has been a great one for me.

You would be mad to think that “saving” money by attending a cheaper and, let’s be honest, inferior course would somehow give you as much benefit. I’m yet to see a kettlebell instructor from another brand certification be able to match any of that in terms of income. And that is one of the biggest separators for the RKC – all of the senior ranks very much understand that we are in the business of fitness and selling fitness. Points or not, if you want to succeed as a trainer there are vital elements that need to be looked at.

Continually looking to move forward, to strive for more is what keeps the Masters and Seniors still training. They’ve all achieved massive levels of strength and mobility yet they keep looking for more. For my part I am lucky now to have two RKCs working for me making us the only place in Australia to have multiple RKCs in the one spot) and I have them constantly look over my form. I’m not going to rest on my laurels of everything that has happened for me in ONLY TWO YEARS. I, and Dragon Door Australia, are going to push ahead to keep innovating in Australia, attempt new highs and learn new skills while continually improving our base. By expanding our abilities, yet staying within the kettlebell zone, we will wind up owning our niche as kettlebell trainers. And that’s a very important thing –

as a trainer you can choose to either be a general trainer knowing a bit of everything or you can choose to be a specialist. Let me ask you this – when you go see a doctor who makes more money? The GP or the specialist?

I know which one I want to be. And the start of all things kettlebell, of starting to develop the skills necessary to niche target and really build your financial success is the HKC. Book now to reserve your spot. If you’re a raw beginner though the best thing to do is attend our Beginner and HKC Preparation class. If you want to become a leader in your field and really develop the deep skill necessary to be able to distinguish yourself as a specialist in functional movement and kettlebell training come learn from the best. We’ve got the track record to help you.


Good Instructors Wanted

December 12, 2010

I get emails and calls daily from people saying “swing hurt their back”. My answer is always the same – swings don’t hurt your back. How you swing, or were taught to swing, hurts your back.

Having seen instructors from various other organisations attend the HKC and fail it is no surprise to me that people are getting hurt. I am yet to see an instructor from any other fitness organisation who is able to pass an RKC standard technique test. I’m sure there are some out there, I just haven’t seen them yet. So it’s no surprise that if their own concept of good form is so poor that they are unable to convey to their clients what good and safe form should really be.

Given most certifications spend about three hours on six different lifts how deep are they really teaching technique? Not only that but with no technical testing or entry requirement how good are their instructors really going to be? All they really are is three hours more experienced than their customers. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t go see a doctor who had only three hours more medical experience than me! I want the guy who has been in the trenches and has had to sweat for his piece of paper. The guy who not only knows it but can do it himself.

Let’s compare a three hour “instructor workshop” to the HKC:


3 hour course




Length of course All day All Day
Number of Lifts Learnt



Course run by

Master or Senior RKC


Who taught them

Pavel Tstatsouline


What you get
  • A deep understanding of the true benefits of kettlebell training—for both yourself and your clients
  • A solid knowledge of vital kettlebell training safety procedures
  • A workmanlike grasp of the fundamentals of biomechanics—to ensure your clients move with perfect form and avoid injury
  • A grasp of the key HardStyle skills and principles of strength
  • The ability to competently perform the three foundational kettlebell exercises (the Swing, the Get-Up, and the Goblet Squat)
  • The confidence you can now correctly teach the three essential kettlebell exercises—and troubleshoot common technique problems
  • The unique HKC template for designing an unlimited number of effective kettlebell workouts.


  • A comprehensive manual with pictures and detailed descriptions of the exercises you learnt, plus kettlebell training programs
  • Wholesale prices on all our equipment if you are a personal trainer
  • A listing on our website, which gets over 30,000 unique hits per month, as a Level 1 Kettlebell Instructor if you are a personal trainer
  • A copy of an instructional DVD
  • Access to a website with a further 42 exercises.
  • Ongoing support – you can contact us at any stage with questions about kettlebell training
  • Access to a private forum to discuss kettlebell training with other workshop attendees and workshop instructors
  • A pair of sweat bands to protect your wrists when training with kettlebells


See how one group worries about giving you sweat bands and the other worries about giving you the best in-depth tuition you can receive? Which one makes more sense? And is it better to have a book showing you another 42 exercises you don’t know how to teach or implement or really, truly understanding three that form the basis for all human movement?

Not only do we want to be the best at teaching movement we want to perform each lift a particular way to maximise the benefit of Pavel’s world famous RKC system. The kettlebell is a tool we use to make your body function better. If your goal is just to lift it up and down then why use a kettlebell? You may as well just use a bar or a dumbbell. Because of our aim we have a list of very specific standards. How do you know you are doing it right if you have nothing concrete to compare your form with? Here is our list:

Swing –

Swing a kettlebell back between the legs and then in front up to chest level for 10 repetitions, switch hands and do another 10.

  • Back must be flat
  • Heels planted and the knees track toes
  • Working shoulder packed
  • Working arm is straight in bottom position
  • Kettlebell handle stays above the knees during the backswing
  • No forward knee movement on upswing
  • Body forms a straight line on the top of the swing: the hips and knees extend fully, neck neutral
  • Biomechanical breathing match
  • Abs and glutes visibly contract tat the top of the swing

Get Up –

Lie on your back, pick up the kettlebell with both hands and press it with one. Slowly stand up while keeping your loaded arm straight and vertical. Assist yourself by pushing into the ground with the free arm. Slowly reverse the movement.

  • Use both hands to lift the kettlebell from the ground at the start of the exercise and to return it to the ground at the finish
  • Wrist on the kettlebell side is neutral/straight
  • Elbow on the kettlebell side is locked
  • Shoulder on the kettlebell side is packed
  • Shoulder of the free arm does not shrug up
  • Heel of the front foot on the kettlebell side stays planted
  • Knee touches the deck silently when descending into the half-kneeling position

Goblet Squat –

Pick up the kettlebell by its horns and hold it next to your chest. Squat below parallel, rest your elbows inside your knees pushing the latter out, pause, stand up. Repeat 5 times.

  • Back is flat
  • Shoulders are pressed down (scapulae depressed)
  • Neck neutral
  • Heels planted
  • Big toes planted
  • Knees track the toes
  • Elbows push out against the VM in bottom position
  • Ascent initiated with a grunt
  • Hips ascend at the same arte as the shoulders
  • Hips and knees extend fully at the top of the squat

With the next HKC fast approaching in Melbourne on March 19, 2011 we are agin looking for smart, dedicated trainers to join our ranks. We want the best. If you think that is you then sign up here!
HKC Certification

Also, if you are keen to become involved with Dragon Door as a certified instructor then you will benefit greatly from attending one of our workshops. With a 100% success rate for those attending it is well worth your while to come and learn from the local expert resource for all things Hardstyle! For more information on why you should train with Dragon Door Australia go here and here. To be the best, train with the best! Don’t leave it to chance.

Certified Kettlebell Functional Movement Specialist

May 27, 2010

One of the very great privileges of being an RKC is being able to attend events that are only for RKCs. One of these is the Certified Kettlebell Functional Movement Specialist course. This course was developed by Grey Cook and MRKC Brett Jones to support the RKC system.

While there are many similarities to Grey’s original Functional Movement Specialist course, the CK FMS is far and away a better course. For example, the FMS course is a one and a half day course. The CK FMS is four full days from 8am to 5.30pm. On top of that there is a bigger testing protocol to pass ensuring that CK FMS graduates are of the highest calibre trainers around.

The breakdown goes like this:

1. Become an RKC. This alone will put you ahead of the vast majority of other trainers around. The depth of movement skill taught as well as the application of that movement is what sets the RKC apart. The RKC is about movement first and foremost. This is why I think many people in the fitness industry are really missing the big picture when it comes to functional training. As Grey Cook says “Functional training isn’t about what the training looks like or the implements used, its about whether or not that training improves performance”. Pavel’s RKC course is devilishly clever in its approach to training and has almost nothing to do with the kettlebell at its deepest levels. If you don’t believe me then you should head off to an RKC to see what the hell I’m talking about. Alternatively, you could sign up for the course and check it out for yourself.

RKC Instructor- Get Certified

2. Once you’ve become an RKC the process shouldn’t stop there. While many choose not to further their education much after passing the rigorous course, there is so much to learn, and the Dragon Door system has so much to offer, that you could study endlessly for years and still have much to learn. The great question is really “What will give my clients the best results with their training?”

The first place to start is with a book called Super Joints. Super Joints is the starting point for a variety of reasons. Chief among them is that it is an easy system to follow, promotes joint health and range of movement as well as helping to rebuild lost motor patterns at the smallest level (at the joint). The systematic approach is easy to follow, the pictures are simple and the whole process itself takes about 5-10 minutes to conduct. With my clients we start every single session with a Super Joints warm up. I have used many approaches over the last few years and find that this is the easiest and fastest way to get my clients ready for the real training to come.

The next important bit of information is a hidden gem of the RKC. Many will have seen the book and DVD package entitled Kalos Sthenos, Kettlebells From the Ground Up. What they don’t realise is that this book and DVD combine to teach the single most under rated exercise in the world today – the Get Up. The Get Up is core training at its best – teaching cross body stabilisation and activation, Lat activation, open and closed chain shoulder stability, hip mobility and activation and the linking of the upper and lower extremities together to resist force and stabilise the spine. That it forms an integral part of the famous Program Minimum from Enter the Kettlebell should speak for itself. When all the Senior instructors recommend the Get Up as half of the foundation of movement and strength we should all pay close attention.

A further reason this set is so important is that it gives clues as to how to use the Get Up to assess and correct movement as well as use it as a corrective exercise. We spent a lot of time performing a variety of Get Ups and Kalos Sthenos drills during the CK FMS and I can honestly say that as much as I had an appreciation for the get Up before, and all my classes consist of Get Ups, I can see that we don’t spend anywhere near enough time on them.

The CK FMS course is built on information from Grey and Brett’s “Secrets” series. These four DVD sets contain so much information in them it is amazing. I had the opportunity to watch them all before attending the course and can say that it was time well spent. The series is based on four DVDs –ShoulderCore Training, the BacksideHip and Knee and Primitive Patterns. It is testament to the brilliance of Grey and Brett Jones as to how good the material is. These four DVD sets alone could possibly wipe out nearly every common gym based injury as well as show people a smarter way to train. The reason I found these so useful is that during the actual CK FMS course, there is so much information to be given that there is little time for slowly explaining the exercises or their reasons for use. That information is covered in depth in the manuals, but is equally well covered in the DVDs. I know that my copies will be copping a hammering over the next few months as there is so much information there I will need to go back and re watch them to get the most out of it. Well known Melbourne based Physiotherapist Andrew Lock also has copies and has been making use of them and is equally happy about the quality and depth of content provided. If only more therapists realised the importance of strengthening!

Last but not least in this chain is the CK FMS DVDs. With 15 DVDs in the set there is so much information to be had you will need many, many hours of viewing to extract all the gems of knowledge.

The benefit of buying through Dragon Door Australia is that there is nowhere else you can buy this information from locally where the seller has actually attended the course and knows the information inside out! Not only do we have RKCs and HKCs to train and use this system at our training location but with one of only two CK FMS practitioners in the country we can answer your questions better than anyone about this system, the benefits of it as a trainer, or the best ways to use it to assist your own training.

The strength of the CK FMS course is it highlights movement deficiencies in people. Not only where people have lost motor patterns, but also in discovering left/ right asymmetries. This is a huge issue as the balance of the body from side to side is an important factor in injury prevention. I’ve actually been asked to write a series of articles that are FMS based for both Blitz and Ultrafit and you’ll be seeing those articles soon as the issues hit the stands.

The result of all this, for you, is that we are now better placed than ever to answer all your training questions and get your body working better and feeling better. Don’t forget that I will be in Brisbane for seminars soon on June 19. If anyone needs an FMS assessment I will be able to provide that also at the time. For mor einformation on the upcoming seminars, HKC workshops or FMS tests please contact me at

Road Trip!

May 15, 2010

On Monday I will be off to the US again. About a year ago I was there for the RKC. This time it will be the Certified Kettlebell Functional Movement Specialist course. The things that makes this course so good is that not only does it have elements of Pavel Tsatsouline’s amazing RKC system but it also combines the best of the movement system devised by world renowned therapist Grey Cook. Quite simply, he is to corrective training what Pavel is to strength training. To have the opportunity to participate and learn from events such as this is why I became an RKC in the first place – there simply is no substitute. Forget local providers who have spent a few minutes watching things on You Tube or DVDs – this is learning directly from the world leading source.

The course starts next Thursday and runs four four days. Again, try to find a local course that can offer so much depth, so much detail and so much knowledge. This is why Dragon Door are the world leaders in what they do. Detail, knowledge, experience and passion.

While I’m there I have an appointment scheduled with Senior RKC, CK FMS and Z health guru, Brad Nelson. I met Brad last year when he took me through some Z drills and was thoroughly impressed. He’s a super professional guy, very easy to get along with and has a wealth of knowledge and it’ll be great to catch up with him again. This time we’re going to work on some things I need to sort out for my next trip to the US in July for RKCII.

But before then…

On June 19 I will be back in Brisbane to run the next in a series of workshops prior to our Brisbane HKC. I will be running two workshops – the first will be the three basic lifts of Swing, Get Up and Goblet Squat. It will run for three hours and be $200. This workshop was well attended last time I was here (see this post here) and covers the safe use of these three essential drills for kettlebell use, athletic performance and power and strength training. The second workshop will be an HKC preparation class. At the Melbourne HKC we had 12 attendees and 6 who passed. Out of those 6, 4 had attended my preparation class. Since the HKC I have helped another 2 people pass their restests. The short version is that if you plan to attend the HKC and plan to pass then it is in your best interest to attend these preparation classes. The preparation class will be run in two parts – the first on June 19, the second part on July 31st. The reaon it is held in two parts, and why it is so important to attend is simple – there is a world of difference between being shown how to perform Swings and being proficient enough, and having a deep enough understanding of the movement to be able to teach it safely (another massive difference between the RKC school and local courses – we expect perfection from our instructors). These preparation classes break down the movements and you will be given corrective drills to make sure your movement is crisp and flawless. Additionally we will cover teaching cues as well as spend time gaining the necessary fitness to undergo the HKC day.

The cost for the preparation classes is $300 to attend both days.

On top of all that, I will be returning to the US early July to attend RKCII. Currently the RKCII course has about a 35% pass rate. At the course last year it had an 80% fail rate, and earlier this year had roughly a 50% pass rate. Combined this gives about a 35% pass rate. In short – if you are RKCII then you are something very special. I have been working my butt off getting ready for this course (I will be making a post about my training for the course on my personal blog at when appropriate). Suffice to say that there is a reason why there are no RKCII’s in Australia right now – the training necessary is mind bending.

And of course all this is for one thing – to benefit you. The better I am the more I can help you to achieve your goals, train better and even help you to decide what direction to take with your training. While these trips aren’t cheap, to me, they are worth every cent to help you and all my other customers who train directly with me. Right now, at Dragon Door Australia we have the only facility in Australia where you can train with an RKC and two HKCs. Soon, I hope it will be an RKCII/ CK FMS and two RKCs.

Not to mention that later this year in August we are again hosting an HKC in Brisbane at KMTA which will again be hosted by Senior RKC Shaun Cairns. His last trip here was an astounding success – the HKC was amazing and his follow up workshops on the next day were well attended and very popular (with the press workshop seeing every single attendee set a PR in the press!)

Don’t delay!
Dragon Door’s HKC (HardStyle Kettlebell Certified) Instructor Workshops- U.S. and Worlwide
Click here for Certification Course Information – Register now!

I’ll be posting updates on my meetings with Seniors and the brilliance of the course over the next few days so stay tuned!

Red Dawn in Brisbane

April 27, 2010

If you swing kettlebells in Australia then you know that the first ever Hardstyle Kettlebell Certification has been run in Melbourne. You can see my write up of the event
and you can find participant praise here.

Get Up

Get Up

So what’s next for Hardtsyle Down Under?

I’m pleased to announce that we will now be running the second ever HKC in Australia in Brisbane. Dragon Door’s HKC (HardStyle Kettlebell Certified) Instructor Workshops- U.S. and Worlwide
Click here for Certification Course Information – Register now!

The Brisbane course will be held on August 21st at the Krav Maga Training Academy. Krav Maga has a strong association with the RKC and Dragon Door and it is only natural that this bond is continued here in Australia. With so many common elements between Pavel Tsatsouline’s world famous Hardtsyle system and the famous Israeli fighting art the two are a natural match.

Andrew Read RKC

Explaining the concepts of Hardstyle

Andrew Read RKC

Teaching body position for the Swing

In the lead up to this event I will be back in Brisbane to run some introduction workshops to teach people the basics of the Swing, Get Up and Goblet Squat – the three movements covered by the HKC. I have already been there once, just a few weeks ago, to start the first of these sessions. To be honest, it was the first time I had to ship large numbers of kettlebells interstate and then get myself there too. I was assisted greatly by Tim Uljarevic, the head instructor and owner of KMTA. Tim is one of only a handful of Elite instructors in Australia and was the youngest graded to that rank. The quality expected from the IKMF is obvious and Tim’s easy going yet business like manner made the trip easy and an absolute pleasure. Over the course of six hours I taught the basics of Swing, Get Up, Goblet Squat, Clean, Press and Snatch. I know there are groups out there that will do that in three hours or less but the RKC is concerned with perfection of movement just like martial artists are.

The next time I plan to come back there are plans to again teach the Swing, Get Up and Goblet Squat at a beginner level. BUT…

There are also plans to start running preparation classes for the HKC too. These cannot be underestimated. At the Melbourne HKC out of the six who passed five had trained with an RKC prior to the event. I know that one of the other six has now passed after spending a few hours one on one with an RKC too. So the message is clear – if you plan to attend the HKC, and you plan to pass, then you better make sure to attend these sessions. The next time i will be back in Brisbane to run the introduction seminar plus HKC preparation classes will be the 19th of June.

Andrew Read RKC

Teaching the bottom of the Swing

If you are keen to attend the HKC then act fast! If you book soon there is a $100 discount and you will be assured your spot. There were people who missed out in Melbourne because they waited too long to book. Don’t miss this opportunity again. I have been having talks with Fitness Australia regarding the accrediting of kettlebell courses. there are simply too many uneducated, fly by night operators out there offering poor instruction and little in the way of teaching skills. Fitness Australia is going to be changing everything soon. I can guarantee that the HKC will be among the first to be accredited as they recognise that Dragon Door are the world leaders in this field. So if you’re a PT who uses kettlebells don’t take chances with your insurance, don’t risk injuring your clients showing them poor form learnt from someone who watched a DVD, instead come to the HKC and watch your clients results go through the roof!

Dragon Door’s HKC (HardStyle Kettlebell Certified) Instructor Workshops- U.S. and Worlwide
Click here for Certification Course Information – Register now!