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Hardstyle Kettlebell Certification


How to master the essentials of kettlebell lifting—and dramatically boost your power and effectiveness as a personal trainer or coach

Dragon Door's one-day, entry-level kettlebell instructor certification workshop


Hardstyle Kettlebell Certification
Cartersville, GA, United States
January 21, 2012

Hardstyle Kettlebell Certification™ (HKC™)
with Master RKC David Whitley

Workshop Code # hkc146
Register on-line or call 1-651-487-2180 for credit card orders.

Since Pavel and Dragon Door launched the world's first-ever kettlebell instructor certification program in 2001, the classic RKC program has become the gold standard, now with over 1,500 certified instructors in over 43 countries.

The prized RKC certificate represents a "Black Belt" in kettlebell instruction that requires extensive pre-training to attain. A grueling, "experience of a lifetime", the RKC program is the ONLY current program which insists on stringent testing of multiple skills and strengths. Currently only an average of 70% of RKC candidates succeed in passing the requirements by which they can proudly hold themselves forth as "RKC-certified".

While qualified RKCs continue to graduate to ever-higher levels of expertise, through such groundbreaking graduate programs such as the CK-FMS and the RKC level II, it's clear that these individuals share a very special combination of drive, passion, skill, commitment and physical capability—without which the RKC would remain a distant dream.

In other words the RKC is not for everyone! Not everyone is ready to step up to that level of intensity and commitment. To pay that kind of price in blood, sweat, tears and money—whatever the final prize and future benefits, be it enhanced financial opportunity or dramatic physical gains.

But what about all of those otherwise-dedicated coaches, trainers and athletes who just can't commit to the full-bore RKC, but would still like to be certified in the most important essentials of kettlebell lifting?

Currently there is no entry-level kettlebell certification program that addresses these folk with the kind of quality and standards Dragon Door and Pavel have become famous for.

Time to change all that and provide this larger group of fine individuals the chance to "Enter the Kettlebell", as it were—and learn from the very best in the business.

So with that in mind, we present you the HardStyle Kettlebell Certification, the HKC—and your chance to join forces with the world's premier kettlebell instructor training system.

In creating the HKC, Pavel drew on his eight-plus years of developing the current Level I and Level II RKC programs, his authoring of the widely acclaimed Enter the Kettlebell! system and other kettlebell training resources, plus thousand of hours of personal discussion and research with high-level training experts of all kinds.

With his deep skill at identifying what is truly essential for effective kettlebell training, Pavel has created, with the HKC, an opportunity to build a superb and rock-solid foundation as a kettlebell professional.

Like the RKC, the HKC includes a qualifying test of physical strength. The RKC is famous for its mandatory snatch test—that immediately sets a high bar for those wishing to qualify as an RKC. We take pride in this. Many fitness certifications have no physical test whatsoever, allowing that curious anomaly of an obviously out-of-shape trainer dispensing advice to clients who are clearly fitter than they are!

To ensure that those who register for the HKC have a reasonable level of fitness, Pavel settled on an entry-level pullup test for men and a flexed-arm hang test for women based on the US Marine Corps'

Attend the HKC and leave with these major advantages:

  • 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.

And discover all this and more in the course of your HKC training:

  • Understand why mastery of the kettlebell swing is fundamental to high-level HardStyle practice
  • How to develop power through compensatory acceleration and overspeed eccentrics
  • How to train hip extension for back and knee health and athletic performance
  • How to employ bracing and neutral spine—for injury prevention, enhanced performance and optimal transmission of force
  • How to recruit the lat as a "core muscle" to improve the spine safety and glute strength
  • How to increase power with the biomechanical breathing match
  • A safe, effective modality for developing different types of endurance
  • Explosive training techniques for more effective fat-loss
  • The deadlift: the most "functional" exercise of all
  • The two-arm swing and corrective exercises
  • The concept of rooting and two key drills for developing it
  • The one-arm swing
  • The hand-to-hand swing
  • Russian relaxation exercises to enhance the acquisition of skilful movement, increase power and endurance
  • The two hundred year history of the get-up
  • The get-up as an assessment tool
  • The strength and health benefits of the get-up
  • How to correctly perform the get-up and teach corrective drills
  • How to move from mobility to stability, then from stability to strength—and why this progression is crucial for truly effective kettlebell work
  • The get-up, shoulder mobility and stability exercises. The role of the lat in shoulder stability and strength—and advanced lat facilitation techniques
  • How to employ and teach steering strength
  • The concepts of leakage and linkage—and their importance for effective kettlebell lifting
  • How to perform the goblet squat and corrective drills
  • "Strength stretching" for the hips
  • How to overcome gluteal amnesia
  • How to most effectively stretch the hip flexors to dramatically improve athletic performance, back health, and posture
  • How to modify the squat stance for a client with back problems
  • An alternative squat exercise for overweight clients
  • Why "sport specific training" is inappropriate for 99% of the coaches and athletes—and a powerful alternative

Take home an information packed HKC instructor manual:

  • What makes kettlebell training unique?
  • What Russian research says about the benefits of kettlebell training?
  • What is "Hardstyle"?
  • Kettlebell safety 101: ten key items
  • The Swing: its benefits, technique, teaching progression, and remedial drills
  • The Get-Up: its benefits, technique, teaching progression, and remedial drills
  • The Goblet Squat: its benefits, technique, teaching progression, and remedial drills
  • HKC program design
  • The three key principles of effective training identified by Russian sports scientists: continuity of the training process, waving the loads, and specialized variety,
  • Ten program design tools for an unlimited variety of effective kettlebell workouts:
    • Rep Ladders
    • Weight Ladders
    • Time Ladders
    • Breathing Ladders
    • Reverse Ladders
    • Drop Sets
    • Super Sets
    • Timed Sets
    • Series
    • Active Recovery Exercises

As with the RKC, the HKC will be earned through diligent testing of each candidate. Besides having to pass the requisite pullup/flexed-arm hang test at the outset of the workshop, each HKC candidate will be evaluated for technical proficiency and teaching skills at the end of the workshop and will then be granted either a pass or fail. 

The HKC™ strength test

The test is based on the US Marine Corps'. The requirements are 5 pullups or chinups for men and a 15sec flexed-arm hang for women.


(1) Sweatshirts will be removed during the conduct of the pullup/chinup event in order to observe the lockout of the elbows with each repetition.

(2) Assistance to the bar with a step up, being lifted up, or jumping up is authorized. Any assistance up to the bar will not be used to continue into the first pullup/chinup.

(3) The bar must be grasped with both palms facing either forward or to the rear.

(4) The correct starting position begins when the student's arms are fully extended beneath the bar, feet are free from touching the ground or any bar mounting assist, and the body is motionless.

(5) The student's legs may be positioned in a straight or bent position, but may not be raised above the waist.

(6) One repetition consists of raising the body with the arms until the chin is above the bar, and then lowering the body until the arms are fully extended; repeat the exercise. At no time during the execution of this event can a student rest his chin on the bar.

(7) The intent is to execute a vertical "dead hang" pullup/chinup. A certain amount of inherent body movement will occur as the pullup/chinup is executed. However, the intent is to avoid a pendulum-like motion that enhances the ability to execute the pullup/chinup. Whipping, kicking, kipping of the body or legs, or any leg movement used to assist in the vertical progression of the pullup/chinup is not authorized. If observed, the repetition will not count for score.

(8) A repetition will be counted when an accurate and complete pullup is performed.

(9) Gloves, chalk, or other grip aids are not allowed.

Flexed-Arm Hang

The goal of the flexed-arm hang event is for a student to hang with the chin above the bar for 15 sec. The procedures are:

(1) Assistance to the bar with a step up, being lifted up, or jumping up to the start position is authorized.

(2) The bar must be grasped with both palms facing either forward or to the rear.

(3) The correct starting position begins when the student's arms are flexed at the elbow, the chin is held above the bar and not touching it, and the body is motionless. At no time during the execution of this event can a student rest her chin on the bar.

(4) The clock stops as soon as the student's chin is no longer above the bar.

(5) Gloves, chalk, or other grip aids are not allowed.

Hardstyle Kettlebell Certification™

Cartersville, Georgia
Saturday, January 21st

9:00AM - 6:00PM
Register now


Tuition: $599.00

Registration deadline: January 17th, 2012

$50.00 fee for cancellations or transfers, no exceptions.

No refunds on cancellations after January 7th, 2012

Workshop Code # HKC146

Workshop reference: HKC, Cartersville, Georgia, January 2012


  • Excellent Early-Bird Registration Discount:
    Register and pay by January 3rd, fee is only $499.00 (Save $100.00)

Certification Location:

Maximum Body Training
41 S. Public Square
Cartersville, GA  30120
Host: Beth Andrews
Phone: 678-773-7290
Register Now