Avoid the Traps of Intuitive Training

An Excerpt from Iron Cardio By Brett Jones, StrongFirst Director of Education “It’s a trap.” —Admiral Ackbar Intuitive programs can fall into a few traps: Always intense Always increasing Increasing reps per set Not doing the math Chasing the clock Always Intense The “always intense” trap is the sneakier of the five. You think you […]

The Paradox Breathing Crunch for Stronger Abs and Bigger Lifts

An Excerpt from Deadlift Dynamite The paradox breathing technique, developed in the USSR by opera singer Alexandra Strelnikova for applications obviously unrelated to lifting, will teach you how to tense your abs while “packing” your belly with air. Lie on your back with your legs straight.[i] If you are top heavy, anchor your feet under […]

Keeping A Resilient Back as We Age

Meeting Pavel for the first time about twenty years ago changed my life. It is a story that has been told in these pages before. I was impressed with this quiet gentleman who knew so much about training systems far from the American tradition. We discussed the eloquence of Russian sport science that produced performance […]

20 Years and 20 Observations

In February of 2002 a group of 22 students assembled for the second ever kettlebell certification with Pavel. From water balloons, mattresses, and a very different teaching progression, it was life-changing to say the least. Out of the first group came many of the original senior instructors and the organic development of the School of […]

Mastering Your Press, Part I

When I’m invited to teach at an SFG I StrongFirst Kettlebell Instructor Certification, I always request to lead the military press. I love teaching the military press and, pardon my lack of modesty, I’m very good at it. An average gym rat might classify the kettlebell military press as just another exercise for delts and […]

Optimizing the Kettlebell Military Press Grip—For You

“All failure is failure to adapt, all success is successful adaptation.”—Max McKeown We all know, hopefully, that learning is an ongoing process that is never complete. After 20 years of kettlebell training, we continue to learn, and our most recent lesson might just help a lot of you with your military press goals. What led […]

Kettlebell Deadlift ➔ Barbell Deadlift

An Excerpt from Deadlift Dynamite If you know your way around the kettlebell, you have an unfair advantage when it comes to learning barbell skills. Start with a barbell half-deadlift because it is less demanding of skill and flexibility. And it really teaches you to drive the hips forward, an essential element of Andy’s competition […]

A Strength Plan for Professional Soccer Players

In team sports, soccer being a prime example, the time available to train an athlete’s physical strength is quite limited. The majority of training is spent performing tactical and technical sport related exercises. Keeping this in mind, I planned a new strength program for Renate Calcio, one of Italy’s professional soccer teams, around two fundamental […]

Mastering Your Press, Part II

In my first article, “Mastering Your Press, Part I,” I addressed specific ways to test your press and find weak areas by analyzing how your body responds to pressing a heavy kettlebell. Paying attention to where your press breaks down when things get heavy is an important aspect of mastering your press. Although there are […]

Get Stronger with One Kettlebell

Backstory In January 2021 I led the programming section at an SFG Level I certification. I wanted the attendees to grasp some programming concepts and be able to create an effective program with just one weight. So, I decided to build on what I had heard Fabio Zonin, StrongFirst Certified Master Instructor, discuss regarding a […]