StrongFirst & Val’s South Korea Trip

I’m going to South Korea! I’ve been invited to be a team leader at the StrongFirst Level 1 and Level 2 kettlebell certifications at the beginning of October. For those of you who’ve been training with me for a while, you know that I’ve been wanting to teach at the certifications since I first picked up a kettlebell. Part of the motivation was to be acknowledged as a leader in my field – but more than that, I wanted to be a leader in THIS organization.

StrongFirst started as the RKC in 2002. Back then, the RKC  had the best instructors from all areas of fitness (physical therapists, chiropractors, college strength coaches, physicians, etc), and they were all good people.

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, I really felt like I found “my people”. I always say that there are a lot of trainers who get into this profession because they think it’s easy money, they like working out, and (mostly) because they like looking at themselves in those floor-to-ceiling mirrors that are  in most gyms.

The RKC, lead by Pavel Tsatsouline, was different – I met people who were in it because they genuinely wanted to help people live better lives. It’s a community of smart, educated people who are experts in what they do. It’s a collaborative community that works toward a common goal – helping people get healthier, move better and reach their individual goals. I knew THIS was an organization I would be proud to be a part of.

A couple years ago, in 2012, there was a split and Pavel left the RKC to start StrongFirst. I didn’t know which direction I would go – stay with the RKC or recertify with StrongFirst. I felt such a strong pull to what I knew as the RKC; however, I finally decided to align myself with StrongFirst. I did so because most of the teachers I connected with and learned the most from stayed with Pavel and moved over to StrongFirst. Most of all, I wanted to be in the organization that would allow me to always keep learning and growing.

I hold my Level 1 and Level 2 StrongFirst certifications. This means I have prepared, trained for and passed the requirements to train in this field. Both are intense physically and mentally and I am proud to hold these accomplishments. I was named Team Leader a little over a year ago, and have lead teams in San Diego and Chicago. This is such a cool organization and it attracts really great people. I can’t imagine being anywhere else. And to think it all started back in 2008 when Gabby and I took a one day kettlebell course…

Being asked to be a team leader  in South Korea is a whole other level. It’s an honor. Two of my mentors, Jon Engum and Dr. Mark Cheng, have enough faith in me to take me to teach internationally alongside them. It means the world to me.

After accepting the invitation, I found out I’m the first person these two are bringing to Seoul with them, the first female, and the first team leader. It’s a pretty big deal and I’ve already started to prepare.

Please, stay with me on this journey. I’ll keep you up to date and let you know what I’m doing to prepare, what the food, people, and kettlebell culture is over in Seoul, and how the certifications go!

News & Events – August 25, 2014

Our very own SFG Team Leader, Val, has decided to accept the invitation to go to Seoul, South Korea to teach two StrongFirst Kettlebell Certifications. Level 1 the first weekend in October and Level 2 the second weekend. It is a huge honor to be asked to teach at any certification and the South Korea trip is a very special one. Val will be going with two of her mentors, Dr. Mark Cheng (Senior SFG) and Jon Engum (Master SFG) and she’ll be the first female and the first team leader to go to South Korea to teach at a certification.

Val couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity and she’ll be taking you with her on the journey as she prepares, travels, teaches, learns, tries the food, and explores. So keep reading the blogs to see how the Korea trip is going!


Strength-tember is Back!

Join us for the Strength-tember challenge starting September 8th, 2014.  You set your goals, we help you meet them. Simple as that! (See last week’s post for more information or ask about it in class!)

Sign up for Strength-tember NOW!


‘Mastering the Swing’ Workshop

As a Strength-tember kickoff, our next workshop is on the Swing! Yes, you all know how to swing, but who wouldn’t like to be a little better, get a little stronger, or learn some fun new tip that’ll help make them more efficient? And a good swing will translate to a lot of good things… firm abs, better snatch, better clean, even more work in less time, and much more!

Come to our Swing Workshop on Saturday, September 13th at 9am. It’s just $25 for 1.5 hours of instruction and then we’ll head to the Beach Shack or Ellie’s after for coffee or juice and some socializing.

Vacation Training

I’m not one to stress about training when I am on vacation but if I am going to be in a bikini for a week I want to feel comfortable, and staying active while vacationing just enhances my getaways!

It can be quite a challenge to fit in a good practice/workout of any kind while away from home. Also, I don’t normally train with conventional equipment so I have to get creative with hotel equipment and bodyweight training or I just get bored out of my mind.

10476298_10204657171094366_9169781512821818543_nRecently, I took up surfing so I knew that I would have a few days of getting some surf sessions in. Paddling out can be brutal and a ton of work for a beginner! We also booked a kayak and a snorkel excursion, which are as active as you want them to be.

So, off to the hotel gym I went for a few morning workouts…

Much to my delight as I walked into the gym- there they were- a lovely rack of about 10 kettlebells! I was set! Without missing a beat I knew what my practice would consist of. It was going to be complete in less than 30 minutes and it was going to be a full body workout that I would repeat another day. In between the two I planned a workout consisting of on the minute heavy swings for 20 reps at 20 minutes.


Here is what I did:
I used a 20k for my swings and a 16k for the rest.10547473_849041878439199_4505117865316955603_n
3 rounds took about 30 minutes
20 Swings
20 Alternating Rear Lunges
5/5 Clean and Jerk
5/5 Rows
5/5 Front Squat
1 Min Plank
3/3 Windmill
3/3 Bent Press

I left the gym feeling energized and ready for whatever the day might bring. I was on vacation after all and I fully intended to (and did) enjoy my time sipping a margarita or two, relaxing and playing.

Hasta Luego!