How to Get the Most Out of Earning Your SFG

Congratulations! You have separated yourself from the pack and joined the alpha predator of the strength and development field — you are now an SFG Level I. Your preparation, hard work, fighting spirit, and willingness to set aside your ego and accept coaching brought you across the finish line.

Now, I would like to share five suggestions on how to retain the massive momentum you have built for yourself. These suggestions are based on trying, failing, learning, and overcoming.

SFG Level I Certification1. Be Diligent and Detailed in Your Practice

Take what you have learned, revisit the fundamentals with a narrow focus and attention to detail to dig deeper until you can take apart and assemble the swing and get-up with your eyes closed. Grip, stance, posture, tension, breathing — go back and learn something in each area that you did not know and implement it into your practice. You will be safer as you move toward developing more strength.

SFG Level I CertificationDo not make the mistake of thinking “this is boring,” “I already know this,” “I am not comfortable doing this over and over.” It is not about your comfort. It is about getting stronger. When the strength gains start rolling in, I promise you it will become much more interesting. A mere 5% technique gain in four fundamental components on one movement is going to add up to a huge gain downstream, guaranteed.

Every time I revisit these two movements — the swing and the get-up — and go deeper I become stronger and a better teacher. Which swing? All of them. They are listed in the SFG Manual, and each has a unique lesson to teach.

2. Regularly Use Your SFG Instructor Manual

Your manual is a goldmine of bulletproof information that will make you stronger, carry it with you, teach from it. You will be forced to learn the fundamentals more deeply while delivering results to your students that will keep them coming back.

The programming and specialized workouts for each exercise alone are priceless. Try each of those specialized workouts and see how they affect you. I will purposely glance at it once or twice when I am teaching. If the students even see the manual or see me glance at it for even five seconds, their intensity level automatically goes up.

SFG Level I CertificationReferencing the manual will make your students more willing to submit to your coaching. They pick up on the fact that you are teaching material that is an amalgamation of the world elite brought right to them by you, their trusted StrongFirst teacher. You have your own Hammer of Thor, use it.

3. Ask Questions and Act Upon the Response

No one expects you to know it all and be perfect, but you are expected to continuously move forward in your practice. Remember you have the StrongFirst community to support you in your questions. And you don’t necessarily have to understand the coaching for it to work for you. After you put the time in, then your understanding will grow.

earning-strongfirst-certificationMake sure you circle back to your mentor and let them know:

  1. You followed their instructions.
  2. What your improvement was.

It is good manners to say thank you. Similarly, stay in contact with your team, your Assistant Instructors, and your Team Leader. The lone wolf does not survive. You belong to the strongest pack in the world. Leverage that to your advantage.

SFG Level I Certification4. Read the StrongFirst Blog

Here, you will be fed fundamentally sound advice that will turbocharge your progress. You will stay narrowly focused on the techniques, topics, and knowledge that matter.

5. Have Patience

Skill practice takes time and repetition. While it may feel “slow,” you will actually improve quickly. Why? You are focusing your attention on the 20% that delivers the 80% of the results.

SFG Level I CertificationIf you actually implement even one of these five points, you are going to develop faster. If you choose to work as smart as you work hard and implement all five, well then — power to you!

How has the SFG impacted you and your life?

Tell us. Tell everyone. #STRONGFIRST

Russ Moon

6 thoughts on “How to Get the Most Out of Earning Your SFG

  • This is a well written article and all of the points are valid, but I think it is missing some essential material. Namely an understanding of business. Most people who go through the work and expense to pass their SFG are trying to turn training into their career either full or part time. With that in mind one should spend as much time learning about business as lifts and programming. You can have the best material in the world and be unknown and close up shop shortly after opening, or you can be a celebrity trainer with zero knowledge and be very successful. I am not saying we ignore the importance of honing our craft and improving our skill set. I’ve been training and teaching martial arts for 30 years, kettlebells for 8, and I’m an SFG II so I know about continuing education. That said, I highly recommend anyone who plans on becoming a trainer spend ample time learning about starting, running, marketing and managing a service-based business.

  • Great Article. I often see many people go quickly from level 1 to level 2, but I have always felt that they need more time in between. After completing HKC with David Whitely years back, I was so blown away by the power of the bell that I consumed my practice in it. I wanted to be better, and those basics were an inch wide, mile deep skill base. From there I took the time for Level 1, and since completing it, have taken my time to improve skills, study others, practice instructing, and better understanding how they all make me better. I am now prepping for Level 2, and new set of skills that will continue to blow me away. Great post!

  • Russ, great article. I can’t tell you how much I agree with your comment about fundamentals. I am no where near certified but I took a basic KB class Saturday at a gym owned by an SFG. It focused on the KB swing. We spent the first 30 minutes on almost the same list of fundamental swing components you mention, before even looking at a kettlebell. I absolutely loved it. It may have be my favorite 1 hour class ever. All because of the focus on fundamentals. The first thing I did when I got home was write down the cues for the swing.
    Thank you,

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