End of Year Update and a Look Forward

“Hindsight is 20/20”

Typically reserved for situations where we look back with greater clarity than we had at the time, this oft-used saying might have special meaning in the year 2020.

Yes, the year of ‘perfect vision’ is upon us. So, let us see if we can use our hindsight on 2019 and look forward with the gift of clearer vision into the year ahead.

2019—A Little Hindsight

The year we are leaving has been a big one for StrongFirst. We now have representatives in over 50 countries, and hundreds of StrongFirst events were held around the world throughout 2019.

This year, our founder and chairman, Pavel, released a revised and updated second edition of the seminal Simple and Sinister. Then, after more than five years of research and study, he launched his latest book, The Quick and the Dead, which combines insight and protocols from the Strong Endurance™ seminar into a training plan for advanced minimalists. Pavel also collaborated with Fabio Zonin on the Reload e-book to make the intricacy of customized barbell programming cycles accessible to all.

Pavel's three books released in 2019

We also added two more online coursesKettlebell STRONG! and StrongFirst Barbell Fundamentals—plus another on StrongFirst Teaching Principles exclusively for our certified instructors.

Offline, our roster of special events grew with the addition of the Resilient seminar, which teaches a program of exercises and principles for safely adding injury-resistant toughness to strength.

As our certification manuals and teachings are always evolving, we have introduced more recertification options, so instructors can easily stay up to date, no matter when they qualified. Finding a StrongFirst Certified Instructor via our online directory means their qualification is current and they are equipped with the most recent StrongFirst coaching information and techniques.

One place you are guaranteed to find our certified instructors is a StrongFirst Accredited Gym. There are now StrongFirst accredited facilities in 14 countries, with more on the way.

Our Tactical Strength Challenge had a great year of growth too, comprising the community edition in May and competitive division in October. The TSC comes around again, in even more countries and venues, on May 9.

TSC events from around the globe

As I said, it has been a big year. However, I don’t want to focus on the numbers but rather on the people.

The mission of StrongFirst is to pursue, promote, and practice strength, because we believe strength has a greater purpose. Our community lived that mission in significant ways throughout 2019.

For the second year running, one of our StrongFirst Certified Instructors became a living organ donor. In 2018, Hector Gutierrez became a liver donor to a member of his extended family. This year, Anna Cannington donated her kidney to StrongFirst Certified Team Leader, Dustin Rippetoe. Amazingly, Anna and Dustin’s connection came about purely through the StrongFirst community, and we couldn’t be prouder.

These incredible displays of strength truly having a greater purpose inspire me and countless others. It makes me wonder about all the demonstrations of strength that I am unaware of in our ranks.

The StrongFirst HQ and Leadership is continually driven forward by the strength of our community—thank you.

2020—The Year of Perfect Vision

That brings us to looking forward into the new year, a new decade—2020. Inspired by our community, we will continue to pursue our mission and inspire others to understand that strength has a greater purpose.

To that end, you will see projects that have been in development in 2019 come to fulfillment in 2020. While I can’t confirm details just yet, you can expect:

  • updated certification manuals
  • new online courses
  • new instructor-only resources
  • another new special event
  • innovative new training technology
  • new training equipment

Already confirmed are the new StrongFirst Foundations workshop and our inaugural StrongFirst O-Lifting seminar too.

Pavel teaching O-Lifting

Opportunities to connect with the StrongFirst community will become even better in 2020. We will continue to improve both the Tactical Strength Challenge and our StrongFirst Accredited Gym program—two excellent ways for us to pursue, promote, and practice strength while we welcome new members into the community.

Our curriculum is constantly strengthened by our work with the StrongFirst Leadership, and we will continue to sharpen the blade in the new year. We look forward to yet more members of our community progressing toward milestone achievements, such as the Sinister standard, Beast Tamer/Iron Maiden status, or Elite Instructor Certification.

It will be another big year, with more to come from our chairman too.

The hindsight of 2019 and the displays of strength were 20/20. While the mission remains the same, it is strengthened by our community and a clear vision into the new year.

From the StrongFirst HQ we wish you a Strong New Year!

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Brett Jones
Brett Jones is StrongFirst’s Director of Education. He is also a Certified Athletic Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Specialist based in Pittsburgh, PA. Mr. Jones holds a Bachelor of Science in Sports Medicine from High Point University, a Master of Science in Rehabilitative Sciences from Clarion University of Pennsylvania, and is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

With over twenty years of experience, Brett has been sought out to consult with professional teams and athletes, as well as present throughout the United States and internationally.

As an athletic trainer who has transitioned into the fitness industry, Brett has taught kettlebell techniques and principles since 2003. He has taught for Functional Movement Systems (FMS) since 2006, and has created multiple DVDs and manuals with world-renowned physical therapist Gray Cook, including the widely-praised “Secrets of…” series.

Brett continues to evolve his approach to training and teaching, and is passionate about improving the quality of education for the fitness industry. He is available for consultations and distance coaching—e-mail him for more info.

Follow him on Twitter at @BrettEJones.
Brett Jones on EmailBrett Jones on Twitter

2 thoughts on “End of Year Update and a Look Forward

  • Reading Reload and The Quick and the Dead have been revelations for my training in 2019.
    2020 should see me achieve my black belt in Jado Kuin Do and the articles posted on StrongFirst have helped me develop a plan of cycles for the coming year. Many thanks to all the contributors.

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