SFG I Kettlebell Certification Requirements

SFG is a highly-demanding Certification, mentally and physically. 25-30% failure rate is typical. Because our SFG Instructors meet the highest standard in the industry, you should expect to be challenged and tested. Do not take your preparation lightly.


Your skills will be tested on these basic movements.

  • Swing (10 repetitions each side)
  • Double Clean (5 repetitions)
  • Press (5 repetitions each side)
  • Double Front Squat (5 repetitions)
  • Snatch (5 repetitions each side)
  • Get-up (1 repetition each side)

SFG I Weights

  Weight Kettlebell Snatch Test
Women Open Class Up to 59kg/130lb 12kg 100/5min
Women Open Class Over 59kg/130lb 16kg 100/5min
Women Masters (50-64 years old) 12kg 100/5min
Women Seniors (65+ years old) 12kg 50/3min
Men Open Class Over 100kg/221lb 28kg 100/5min
Men Open Class Over 68kg/150lb and below 100kg/221lb 24kg 100/5min
Men Open Class Up to 68kg/150lb 20kg 100/5min
Men Masters (50-64 years old) 20kg 100/5min
Men Seniors (65+ years old) 20kg 50/3min

Snatch Test

Candidates will complete a number of kettlebell snatches in the time allotted (see table above). Candidates must wear clothing which would allow the testing instructor to see whether the elbows and the knees have locked out, e.g. a T-shirt and gym shorts.

The candidate grips the kettlebell handle. Upon the testing instructor’s command the clock starts and the candidate swings the kettlebell back between the legs and snatches it overhead in one uninterrupted movement to a straight-arm lockout. After fixing the kettlebell in the top position until the kettlebell and the student are visibly motionless, the candidate lowers the kettlebell between the legs in one uninterrupted motion without touching the chest or shoulder. The candidate is allowed to place the free hand on the hip or waist (but not on the thigh) and move the feet. However, the student must stop all movement when fixing the weight in the top position. The knees must be straight at the lockout.

If you have a medical condition that prevents you from fully locking out your elbow you must notify your Team Leader before the snatch test is administered. Poor flexibility does not qualify as a medical condition.

The SFG technique standard for the snatch is the technique used for the snatch test. The biomechanical breathing match is encouraged, but not a standard for the snatch test. If a student does not pass their snatch technique, they will not be permitted to perform the snatch test until that technique is passed.

An unlimited number of hand switches and back swings is allowed. The candidate may set the kettlebell down and rest as many times as he or she wishes to.

On each attempt, the instructor will announce the repetition number or “No count.” A repetition is given a “No count” if the candidate has:

  • Failed to lock out the elbow.
  • Pressed out the kettlebell to the finish.
  • Failed to stop all movement (the kettlebell, the body, and the feet) at the lockout.
  • Touched the chest or the shoulder with the working arm and/or the kettlebell on descent. (The “No count” will be announced on the next repetition, for example, “Fifty … Last rep no count, fifty …”)
  • Placed the free hand on the knee or thigh.

The attempt will be disqualified when:

  • Three repetitions receive a “No count.”
  • The candidate has touched the kettlebell or the working arm with the non-working arm, except when switching hands.
  • The candidate has let go of the kettlebell before it has touched the ground (dropped it rather than set it down).

The testing instructor will announce the time elapsed after 1, 2, 3, 4 min., 4:30, 4:45, and 4:55.

Chalk is allowed; tape is allowed only to cover open wounds; belts, gloves, wrist wraps, and other supportive equipment are not.

The sum of both arms is scored in the appropriate time frame based on the gender, age, and bodyweight of the student.

Other Requirements

  1. Exhibit safe and efficient technique in the foundation skills.
  2. Demonstrate good judgment, especially concerning safety.
  3. Show a strong spirit.
  4. Demonstrate effective teaching skills.
  5. Pass the kettlebell snatch test administered on the last day of the certification.
  6. Conduct yourself like a professional.

Those who fail less than 4 test skills will have an opportunity to submit any skills or snatch test to their Team Leader within a 90 day/3 month time frame following their SFG Certification.

Testing exceptions

In rare cases a highly accomplished, national, or international-level coach or athlete may be exempt from the strength or technique tests due to chronic injury. The same exemption is available for veteran military, law enforcement, and first responders. These exemptions will be approved on a case-by-case basis. Requests for a testing exemption can be sent here.