Archive for the ‘ck-fms’ Category

Hello everyone.  Hope you are training with integrity, grace, and a bit of humility.  I am just finishing up my training for RKC Level 2 and Dan John is so correct that the training “is about the journey, not the destination”.  I have learned so much about myself and how to not only properly train myself, but others to achieve their health and fitness goals.

I want to review to you an extremely valuable DVD and tool called Kettlebells from the Ground Up 2-Advanced Corrections.  This DVD was performed by Brett Jones, Dr. Mark Cheng, and Jeff O’Connor.  This is a step in the progression from the Kalos Sthenos 1 DVD set performed by Brett Jones and Gray Cook.

In the Kalos Sthenos 1 DVD and video progression, in my mind, it went on the progression of using the Turkish Get Up as a very valuable evaluation tool toward asymmetry and how to work on each specific step of the Turkish Get Up towards the goal of fluidity and balance.  Also included in the KS1 DVD are very valuable information and drills that I have personally seen do wonders for Shoulder Mobility & Stability as well as Rotary Stability.  It is a great way to use kettlebells to help clean up movement patterns.

The Kalos Sthenos 2 DVD takes the Turkish Get Up to another level.  It very nicely reviews the Turkish Get Up and involves some more progressions to help open up the shoulder (mobility).  What is the gem of the KS2 DVD is the Active Straight Leg Raise progressions/Hip Mobility drills.  These set drills do a fantastic job of working on the FMS Active Straight Leg Raise and Rotary Stability movements.

The small drills alone I have seen with my own eyes do wonders on improving hip mobility, ankle mobility, as well as making a huge impact on clients ASLR and RS scores.  Plus it is a type of Reactive Neuromuscular Training needed to help improvements to stick.

In my professional recommendation, I HIGHLY suggest that you purchase this video as it will do wonders for your patients and clients with kettlebell experience.  The drills in here can be done in a personal training format, in a class/team type setting as a warm up/cool down or FMS break, and also as something that the client or patient can be sent home with to do daily if they have kettlebells at home. It will make a DIRECT impact on your clients and how efficiently they move.

Right now you can purchase your own copy at Perform Better.



Hello everyone, hope you are all doing well and training smart (I know I always say that but I feel it is important to let all of you know that I care).

Today I wanted to present to you a CK-FMS Success Story that we achieved just recently.  This individual contacted me after meeting me at CK-FMS and asked if I would be interested in providing him coaching and programming to improve his FMS score, get him out of pain and help him achieve some of his goals.  The only problem was is he lives about 6 hours away and is unable to come at all for an FMS screen and visits to work on his programming.

At first I was going to turn him down and have him see someone locally, but since he is the only CK-FMS of his kind where he was there were no other options, plus I was assured by Master RKC, Brett Jones that this type of program can and will work if you use the Functional Movement Screen as your foundation for programming.  So I took on the task of improving this person’s FMS.

Let me provide you a little background information on Corey (in his own words).

“I met Mark Snow at the CK-FMS in May of 2011. At the time I has just pulled out of the RKC Level  II workshop and into the CK-FMS because I was experiencing pain from my workouts. I have a “nice healthy” case of scoliosis, and my overhead pressing was causing low back pain and numbness down my leg. After bombing my FMS (scoring an 11 at CK-FMS), and struggling with daily activities I decided only a fool trains himself.  I asked Mark for help with a goal of moving better, feeling better, living pain free and a completion of the USSS snatch test.”

So we have established some goals below (this is the destination in our journey).

Goals:
•    Pain Free
•    Achieve Secret Service Snatch Test of 200 snatches in 10 minutes
•    Become efficient in all Level 2 skills (pain free)
•    Improve and stay technically sound in Level 1 skills (pain free)

Next we needed to determine where we are currently at in our program (our starting point in our journey).

I had him video his FMS screen and send it to me to score.  Its not that I didn’t think he would score his FMS well but I have seen a tendancy for individuals to pad their score a little by accident.

Here was his FMS score Day 1:

The good news is that he has already improved 2 points since CK-FMS by working on his lowest score at that time (Active Straight Leg Raise) this also improved his Rotary Stability from 1/1 to 2/2.

First step in developing the program is to remove the negatives.  I asked Corey to provide me with a list of exercises/workouts that he is doing for 3 days and send it too me.  Basically, Corey was doing A LOT of loaded upper body pushing activities and not enough upper body pulling activities.  I wanted to take pressing, snatching and squatting off the table for a little while since they all were established at red lights in my mind.

So here was our first plan of action:

So with all of this knowledge in our corner I devised a workout plan (built the map).  Please remember that I instructed Corey to constantly follow up with me and let me know how the workouts are going and to keep checking the baseline to make sure we are staying on track.  Once the map has been built there doesn’t mean that we can’t take any detours and have to revise the map now and again.

We kept in contact and once Corey was able to complete the program (4 completed weeks of workouts) we rechecked vital FMS scores to make sure we were on track.  Then I would revise our plan of action and from there establish the program for the the next 4 weeks.

I am very pleased to state that, for 4 months of training, Corey stayed the course and trusted the program and did not try to add anything additional to the program.  He sent me every video that I asked for as I wanted to make sure the program was doing what it was designed to do.  Here are his words on what he has accomplished throughout this time.

“It’s important to me that I see tangible improvement on paper. Keeping that in mind, my FMS score has improved to a 17.  My get up has gone from a 32k max to an easy 40k max (I don’t have a heavier bell or I’d try it).  My bottoms up clean and press is now an easy 24k. Intrestingly enough, I’m up 3lbs but down 2% bodyfat.  And as far as nontangibles, I don’t hurt all the time now.   My low back pain has subsided.   The leg numbness is gone. And as a father… I can play with my 7 year old son pain free!

“I need to say that everyone needs a coach.   In my area I was the only RKC (pending Ck-FMS) and as a result I get a ton of questions about training programs.   Dan John says: “”only the fool trains himself””, and for me that was spot on accurate.   I need someone like Mark Snow to give me a path.   That way I don’t think for myself and screw up.   I needed an outside view and a professional application of the FMS to fix me and help me achieve the goals I have set for myself.   As an RKC… I expect and demand a lot from myself, but Coach Snow provides a brilliant map.  Without his Yoda-like skills, I’d still be hurting and nowhere near where I am.   Mark is a perfect example of what it means to be a part of the RKC community.   Thanks Coach!

So there you have it.  Determine you starting point, determine your destination, draw the map, and continue to re-evaluate the map and your baseline to see if you are going in the right direction.  Even long distance, a lot of fantastic things can happen if you use the FMS as your baseline and re-evaluation tool.

You have had enough.  You are tired of looking at what you see in the mirror everyday.  You want to lose fat and you want the body that you have always dreamed of.  You are now even more determined to achieve your fitness goals.  You will make it happen this time even after failed attempts.  This time is different.

BUT, Before you go out and buy the program, before you buy the DVD’s that are all the rage, before you make the financial investment into the equipment, gym membership, personal training sessions, bootcamp classes, and/or supplements you need to do one simple thing.

That is ASSESS YOUR FOUNDATION.  Any house that has been built to last the test of time has a solid foundation.  So why not do that with your body as well?  If your body does not have a solid foundation (as Gray Cook says) no matter what type of fitness you put on top of it, you are putting fitness on top of dysfunction.  This is not the correct way to start to achieve your goals.  In fact, it may be the reason that you are not achieving your goals.

Assess your foundation before you "Bring It"

What type of FOUNDATION am I speaking about?  Your MOVEMENT FOUNDATION which can also be described as your quality of movement.

PROBLEMS THAT ARISE FROM STARTING A FITNESS PROGRAM ON A POOR MOVEMENT FOUNDATION

  1. Poor Metabolism = Moving poorly restricts your metabolism.  You are not getting the most out of your body when you exercise and also as you go about your everyday activities.
  2. Injury = Would you drive a sports car at 100 mph when the car’s alignment is all out of whack?  It’s not a matter of IF but WHEN that car will break down.  And if you are driving that car at a very fast speed not only will the car break down sooner but bad things can occur very quickly!  The same goes for someone exercising with a poor movement foundation.
  3. Efficiency = Think of it this way.  If you move poorly or less than optimal, when you perform exercises you are not getting the most out of your body.  The less that you get out of your body then you are restricting your workouts and not getting the calorie burn you would optimally love.  The better you move = THE MORE YOU BURN!

Before you go "INSANE", make sure you understand how well your body moves.

So how do you assess your Movement Foundation?  You have a few choices.

  1. You go get a Functional Movement Screen from a certified professional.  This is the cream of the crop on movement quality.  They can assess your foundation and provide you with exercises to make your foundation strong.  Once you achieve a proper score with no imbalances then you are free to workout any way you wish, just keep rechecking your movement after finishing or beginning a program.
  2. You can perform an at home SELF MOVEMENT SCREEN.  The screen is easy to set up and perform without having to purchase any equipment (all you really need is a broomstick, tape of some kind, and a doorway).  All the instructions are below in the video provided.

Here at SG Human Performance we understand the importance of having a solid Movement Foundation and how providing you with the FMS screen and exercises to help to build this foundation this will ultimately help you to achieve your fat loss goals.  If you are interested in getting an FMS screen and/or would like to learn more about our training programs and group classes VISIT OUR WEBSITE HERE.

If you do not feel you need any help then put your money where your mouth is and perform the Self Movement Screen to make sure your foundation is rock solid.  If you pass all the tests, then fantastic!  Go after your goals and we hope that you achieve them.  If you fail any of the tests then you need to either check out an Functional Movement Professional (FMS/SFMA) or check out the book Athletic Body in Balance.

We love to use our GRAY COOK BAND in many aspects of our training and it works fantastic whether you are training your clients one on one or in a group setting.  If you have attended an FMS Seminar or CK-FMS, then you already know alot about Reactive Neuromuscular Training.  The GC Band is another terrific way to wake up stabilizing musculature and facilitate RNT.

In this video I just wanted to show a video on how you can use the GRAY COOK BAND to help improve aspects of you and your clients Turkish Get Up.  Take a look and let me know what you think.  Right now at Perform Better the Gray Cook bands are on sale.

Hope everyone is dong very well. I just returned from a fantastic event, the RKC’s Certified Kettlebell Functional Movement Specialist Workshop. What a wonderful 4 days Nikki and I had with our RKC brother/sisterhood.

Throughout all the lectures, labs, and exercise breaks I started thinking to myself: “who would not want to be FMS screened and/or attend CK-FMS?”

Think about it for a second. For those of you who have trained for RKC level I or II, how many of you had to deal with some kind of setback/injury? How many of you when training or attending RKC was informed that your technique was sub par and really struggled with proper technique?

Did you ever think that your setback and/or injury may have been due to a limitation that may exist in your body? How about the thought that this limitation puts your body in a position that you cannot perform the RKC standard for exercise technique?

That is the beautiful thing about the FMS.
It sets a baseline that gives you an idea about what your limitations are (be it asymmetry or imbalance). It provides you with a proven method of correcting these limitations whether it be improving on mobility, stability and/or motor control.

The reason why I am talking about it is because I have seen it as well as experienced it. I have seen individuals training for HKC and RKC get setbacks in their training due to a limitation. I have seen those same individuals fail their certification because they would not take the time to work on that limitation.

I am no better!!! I had alot of trouble getting my snatch numbers as well as being able to demonstrate RKC competency in my press and snatch in the lockout position. I was very fortunate enough to understand my shoulder/thoracic limitation in my FMS score and addressed it during training and taking a step back from training to get my shoulder mobility score to where it needed to be. Then I slowly progressed back into proper technique with corrective exercise and help from my instructor Master RKC David Whitley.

So if you would consider some advice:

If you are planning on training and attending a RKC level I or HKC. Take the time to get a FMS and work with an RKC. Better yet, get with a CK-FMS and get the best of both worlds. Then you can make sure that you are limitation free and that your technique is solid.

If you are RKC Level I, attend CK-FMS. This is a terrific opportunity for you to better yourself as a Kettlebell instructor. Knowing your clients FMS score helps tremendously with guiding you as a RKC to determine what patterning will work best to get your clients training with proper technique. Remember what I said earlier, poor technique may be due to your client’s limitation

Also you are giving your clients more value to your training by helping to get them in fantastic shape AND prevent injury!

Nikki and Imade a very good decision and went to CK-FMS before attending RKC II.  This gives us all the tools to keep our limitations at bay and have the optimal ability to train for the rigors of Level II.  Also, another smart thing we have decided is to attend the Summit of Strength to help us get our technique on target to train limitation free and with solid technique!

NEW INFO:

Since we truly believe that the FMS is a very important system to have when training for ANYTHING, including HKC/RKC.  If you sign up through our affiliate link, you will get a free functional movement screen, corrective session and prep session.  HKC = 1 hour, RKC = 2 hours.


Everyone has something that they need to address when it comes to imbalances within their body. The important thing to know is that you have to except the fact that you have a limitation and that you address that limitation on a daily basis. Some days might take more time than others to workout those limitations, some days you might only work on cleaning up that limitation and nothing else.

This is fine, actually I believe that Brett Jones, Master RKC and Gray Cook, RKC would agree with me on the fact that if you don’t improve on your limitations then you should not be working out. “If you don’t have time to perform your prep work, then you don’t have time to workout” (Brett Jones)

This means taking 5-15 minutes in the beginning of your workout and addressing this issue that you need to fix. For example, if you ever check out Brett Jones’ Applied Strength blog (he posts his workouts on there) he ALWAYS has some type of prep work to address his limitations. Whether it be Z health work, ASLR work, brettzels, you name it he is working on addressing any limitations he may have before he even picks up a heavy kettlebell. This means not only a safer workout, but a more productive workout as well.

As for another example I will use myself. On the FMS my lowest score has been on the shoulder mobility test. Through time and the discovery of the RKC system I have improved on this imbalance. But, I continually must make an effort to address my thoracic and shoulder mobility to make sure that I am in balance before I workout or there is a good chance that I will fall back into my old patterns and return to a lower score on the shoulder mobility.

I have two very strong ladies in my Injury Prevention & Human Performance program who begin every workout that they perform addressing these limitations. One has a knee mobility issue from a previous injury/surgery and the other addresses her shoulder/thoracic mobility on a daily basis. They always make time to address these corrections first and foremost.
Not sure what your limitation is? Find a FMS specialist or a CK-FMS specialist and get screened, then let them work with your on addressing your limitations.


Everyone has something that they need to address when it comes to imbalances within their body. The important thing to know is that you have to except the fact that you have a limitation and that you address that limitation on a daily basis. Some days might take more time than others to workout those limitations, some days you might only work on cleaning up that limitation and nothing else.

This is fine, actually I believe that Brett Jones, Master RKC and Gray Cook, RKC would agree with me on the fact that if you don’t improve on your limitations then you should not be working out. “If you don’t have time to perform your prep work, then you don’t have time to workout” (Brett Jones)

This means taking 5-15 minutes in the beginning of your workout and addressing this issue that you need to fix. For example, if you ever check out Brett Jones’ Applied Strength blog (he posts his workouts on there) he ALWAYS has some type of prep work to address his limitations. Whether it be Z health work, ASLR work, brettzels, you name it he is working on addressing any limitations he may have before he even picks up a heavy kettlebell. This means not only a safer workout, but a more productive workout as well.

As for another example I will use myself. On the FMS my lowest score has been on the shoulder mobility test. Through time and the discovery of the RKC system I have improved on this imbalance. But, I continually must make an effort to address my thoracic and shoulder mobility to make sure that I am in balance before I workout or there is a good chance that I will fall back into my old patterns and return to a lower score on the shoulder mobility.

I have two very strong ladies in my Injury Prevention & Human Performance program who begin every workout that they perform addressing these limitations. One has a knee mobility issue from a previous injury/surgery and the other addresses her shoulder/thoracic mobility on a daily basis. They always make time to address these corrections first and foremost.
Not sure what your limitation is? Find a FMS specialist or a CK-FMS specialist and get screened, then let them work with your on addressing your limitations.