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Level 6 Valued Member
Hey guys, I'm looking at taking the October bodyweight 1-day course in Exeter, NH.

Should I look into getting the Naked Warrior or any other resources to prep for the workshop? I'm not really sure how the schedule of the workshop itself breaks down and would like to get as much from the workshop as I can. Down the line, SFB could potentially be a goal as well.

Currently, I primarily do S&S (pretty close to 'Simple') and Flexible Steel, and try to fit in one longer bell-related training session a week if I have the time around my BJJ classes. I also have taken an interest in handbalancing (it's super fun).

Just for laughs, I attempted a one arm pushup this morning and one arm elevated pushup and well, it didn't go so great. Thanks in advance for the feedback, and best of luck to everyone in their training! My fortunes with pistols are a little bit better, and my handbalancing coach gave me some mobility drills to work on my "rock bottom" position, so I'm hoping I will be doing a couple of pistols per side right around the time I have 'Simple'.

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Yes, I'd recommend getting a copy of NW. The class is very consistent with it, but getting the hands-on instruction really makes a difference.

The skills that are taught are more internal than some other skills like kettlebell and barbell. If you can understand and practice the main skills before the course, you'll be able to focus on some of the subtle nuances and advanced skills that can make a big difference.

You can also see if your mobility is lacking and spend some time working on it. That takes time, but will open up more possibilities for you as far as the exercises and progressions.

Generally speaking, there are a lot of things within the bodyweight material that your body may just not be able to do. It combines three things that so many people are lacking: mobility, strength, and ability to selectively apply tension in your body. (This is not directly from the course material, just my own re-wording). That said, it is also taught so that any progression can be used, so the material is applicable to people at any skill level. But you might as well get as far along as you can so that you can practice the most advanced progressions.

So let's say each of those 3 qualities can be rated on a scale of 1-10, relative to an average trainee. Mobility (M), Strength (S), and Tension (T).
  • A powerlifter or someone who does a lot of barbell work might be a 6M/10S/7T. Strong and knows how to apply tension, and can squat, but maybe lacking some mobility.
  • Someone who has done a lot of kettlebell work, but with relatively light weights might be a 7M/4S/7T. Understands the principles of tension and can move well, but not a lot of absolute strength.
  • A beginner trainee who hasn't been doing much other than sitting and walking might be a 2M/2S/1T. Mobility restrictions, lack of strength, and no knowledge of the skills of tension.
  • An advanced bodyweight practitioner would be a 9M/9S/10T. Full range of motion in all joints (but not hyper-mobile like a gymnast or yogi might be), really strong but maybe not powerlifter strong, and has mastered the skills of tension.
So you could think about where you might be within these three areas and any gains you can make will open up more of the progressions that you can actually practice and learn hands-on.

The other thing you might want to work on is abdominal strength. Hardstyle Abs might be a good thing to get if you're getting NW. If your abs are strong there are a lot of progressions in the course with the HLR and others that you'll be able to try. Most people can only watch, and try the less advance versions.


Level 3 Valued Member
Didn't realize hard style abs
was mentioned already but lots of info in it to help.


Level 6 Valued Member
I just grabbed Kindle editions of NW & Hardstyle abs. Holiday on Monday and substantial rain in the forecast. Looks like I'll be doing some reading!

Karen Smith

Level 6 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Iron Maiden
For the SFB course there isnt anything speficific that you must train prior. It is open to all levels and I will teach you usable progressions for all skills, as well as make sure you leaving knowing which pregressions are best for you prior to the end of the day.


Level 6 Valued Member
Note: I posted this from my training log here in case people come across this topic and would like a summary of how things went / my experience in taking part. It was great!

I can also say that even though I grabbed Naked Warrior & Hardstyle Abs to "study up", there is no substitute for in-person coaching.


Seminar Day @ Ironman Fitness in Exeter, NH!:

This was AWESOME! It was taught by Karen Smith, Chief SFB, Master SFG -- and the Master title is not to be taken lightly. The course was amazing in so many different ways. I learned so much. I really want to do the kettlebell course next, but I have a BJJ tournament when one is scheduled to be about 10 minutes from my house :(.

A rough outline of the format is as follows:

1. General introduction & discussion of SF principles

2. One-arm pushup (and the appropriate progressions required as well as some demonstration of how they apply to the OAOL):
----After about 15 minutes of this portion I realized this seminar was going to be ever better than I thought originally. The SF way of teaching pushups and the pushup progression totally changed my opinion on the pushup. Up until today, I thought of the pushup as more of a muscular endurance exercise and a way that sports coaches would discipline a ragtag team when I was growing up. However, the coaching cues and body positions that Karen emphasized really underscored the importance of treating the pushup as a power move. Also, when I tried to mess around with OAPU in the past, I thought it was just "not for me" -- the setup cues and strategies that were relayed really have my wheels turning. I don't think I'm quite as far off as I thought.

3. Tactical Pull Up:
----This was the skill that I had the most confidence in coming in, and I adapted to most readily. The coaching cues also helped tremendously in terms of some variations and regressions as well as how to wave the load to better fit what your goals are and your program calls for.

4. Pistol:
----The mobility routine that we went through was almost worth it in an of itself. I really covet the pistol as a skill, as I love the idea of being able to train the lower body at a high intensity without any equipment. My initial baseline was not all that great, but after the mobility work we went through, I was able to do some counterbalanced pistols with an 8kg bell, as well as some "switches" to help myself in the bottom position. Also, some of the other progressions and regressions were extremely valuable.

5. Hanging Leg Raise:
----I was most intimidated by this skill, as when I've tried it before (going from a book, without a knowledgable coach) it was basically a disaster. The various progressions will be amazing to work with here, and I was only about a foot away from hitting a rep when we tried them out. This is a great skill and the level of comfort and advice that I got from this course probably fast forwarded my progress by 6 months alone.

6. General programming talk / Q&A:
----Karen gave us some programming advice as well as some insight in to how she plans her own programming/training due to the fact that she travels as much as she does to teach, etc. She also gave some input on how she feels about setting and managing goals, having a positive mindset (and some great book recommendations on mindset/mentality).
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