Category Archives: Strength and Conditioning

Training for Kettlebell Sport weeks 4 to 7

Wed 9 June

Warm Up
10 each of:
• Hindu Push Up
• Bootstrappers
• Reverse Lunge (l/r)
• Side Bends (l/r)
• Cossacks (l/r)
• Roll Ups
• T pose hypers
It looks like this:

Work sets

Long Cycle (Clean & Jerk)
12kg’s x a few, just to get the groove back.
20kg’s x 10 min at a relaxed pace

It’s been a while since I’ve worked the long cycle with 2 bells, so this was a nice easy reintroduction to it. Very enjoyable, wish I’d recorded it so I could count the reps, even though I wasn’t pushing the pace it’d be nice to know what I got.

I finished off with:
Pistol Squat / Pull Up, 2 ladders of (1,2,3)
Shield Casts x 10 l/r with the 12kg club

Thurs 10 June
A nice session with my class.
After the mobility warm up we went onto:

Snatch (24kg) x 5 mins, change hands at will.
Time / Volume training with the heavy dead snatch, 32kg x 3l/r x 10 mins

Ross Enamait inspired finisher:
12 x Burpee
24 x Push Up
36 x Squats
48 x 2H Swings (32kg)
For four rounds (Time taken 16mins 45seconds)

Week Five

Tues 15 June
Trained with my class, this is what we did:

Circuit: Chin Up, “U” Push Up (see No Equipment, No Excuses), Russian Lunge, Wheel Rollout, Double Snatch (24kg’s), Sledgehammer Slams

We did 10 stations x 30sec/station x 2 and 8 stations x 20sec/station x 1

Wed 16 June
Snatch Day

Warm up:
1 min L/R of 12, 16, 24, 32, no rest taken.

32 x 1 min l/r
24 x 2 min l/r
16 x 3 min l/r

This was tough, the grip left me at the end of the 16kg sets, it’s definitely my limiting factor.
I followed up by joining in with the judo class.

Thurs 17/6
Jerks Day

Warm up:
10 x 16, 24, 28
32 x 5 x 2

28 x 23 x 1
24 x 30 x 1

Then with my class:
1 arm long cycle, 24kg x 5min l/r
Double KB Complex:
Hang Snatch, Overhead Squat, Front Squat, Romanian Deadlift/Bent Over Row, Swing
5 rounds 5 reps of each without putting the bells down. We split into 2 groups and alternated, one group worked while the other rested.

Fri 18/6
Snatch Day

Warm Up:
10 x 16, 20, 24, 28, 32 L/R

Work Sets:
Snatch 32 x 30l/r
Swing 24 x 30l/r x 2, 24 x 20 l/r x 2, 24 x 20 l/r x 2 with no rest.

Week 6

Mon 21/6
Jerk Day

Warm Up:
10 x 16, 20, 24, 28

32 x 10 x 1
28 x 20 x1
24 x 30 x 1
20 x 40 x 1

Sissy Squat, 24’s x 70 x 1

Tues 22/6

Warm up:
1 min each hand of 12, 16, 24, 32

Work Sets:
32 x 1min l/r
24 x 2 min l/r
16 x 3 min l/r
Much better than last time!

Jump Squats, 4 x 15 with the 24kg.

Wed 23/6

Warm Up:
10 x 16, 20, 24, 28

Work Sets:
32 x 10 x 1
28 x 21 x 1
24 x 31 x 2

Sissy Squat x 70 x 1 with the 24’s
RDL x 70 x 1 with the 24’s

Thurs 24/6

Warm Up:
10 x 16, 24, 32

32 x 28 x 1 (left hand)
32 x 30 x 1 (right hand)
In 4 min 47 seconds

Then with the class:
2 min l/r 1 arm long cycle (40kg) switching hands every 5 reps
Followed by a T-Nation inspired farmers walk workout:
Bent Over row x 6-8, Farmers walk,
Cleans x 8-10, Rack Walk
Front Squat x 6- 8, Rack Walk
Press x 6-8, Overhead Walk.

We did 4 rounds of this with the 24’s, which sucked! The walk was approx 15 meters.

Week 7

Mon 28/6

Quick warm up on the 16kg.

24 x 50l/r x 1

This felt good.

Tues 29/6
Jerks Day

Warm up:
16 x 10 x 2
24 x 10 x 1
28 x 3 x 1
Felt a weird sharp pain in the wrist here so terminated the set early. Instead of continuing I changed to:

1 min l/r 32kg swing
1 min l/r Sledgehammer slams
times 2
1 min hth swing 32kg
1 min sledgehammer slam (switch every rep)

Wed 30/6

The wrist was still painful so I wrapped it tight and did Grease the groove style long cycle with the 32’s
Worked up to 7 sets of 7 reps over a two hour period.

Thurs 1/7
Only trained with the class today, but it was a good one. Again my arm was wrapped as a precaution.

1 arm Sots Press:
12 x3, 16 x3, 20 x3, 24 x2 x2
Double Sots Press:
12’s x 3, 16’s x 3, 20’s x 5

The “Sincere”
Perform Double Snatch immediately followed by Double Jerk. Do your set then rest while your partner does his, then jump back in.
Do 10 of each, then 8,6,4,2. I used the 28’s and regretted every minute of it!

1 Arm Overhead Squat:
1 min x 24, 2 min x 16 left
1 min x 24, 2 min x 16 left

The Bear Ghrylls of Fitness

The above quote was from Eoin a Wild Geese Boot Camp participant and Kickboxer. I don’t know what inspired the comment, but I like it and it got an important laugh on the first session of the Boot Camp when nerves were high and anticipation hung heavy.

We are now half way the first week of the Bootcamp and camaraderie is already building, the lads an lasses are working hard and shouting for each other to motivate them on. It’s great to see.
We often work harder when there is a like minded peer group around us, people who have similar goals, similar ideas, people who want to see you work hard because in doing so, they work hard.
It’s like a self perpetuating circle, I encourage you to work hard and seeing you work hard encourages me.

Often I tell people to give their training partners encouragement “For purely selfish reasons, if I can motivate you, just maybe when it’s my turn and I’m struggling, you’ll do the same for me!”

This team mentality is the only resemblance the Wild Geese Boot Camp has to a military style bootcamp. Hell, my guys are unshod unless their outside running, not a boot in sight!
But as in a real bootcamp a camaraderie is built, nurtured and encouraged. This group mentality helps each individual member push that little more, go a little further, dig a little deeper.
Eventually when the individual is out on their own, be facing another man in the ring or a brutal ascent in the mountains, that person will already have driven themselves to the edge of their abilities. They’ve gone to places in their minds where all doubt is eliminated, where only 100% pure focus on the task at hand exists, where your too fatigued to consider failure. Because to do so is to let yourself and the team down.

Of course it’s not just the boot camp where this happens. Every Tuesday at the Combat Conditioning session we raise the roof. Just last night the guys and girls were hitting max deadlifts left right and centre, the noise of them shouting each other on was phenomenal. Even the newest guy was hollering his lungs out as the others strained on the bar.
When the time came to put strip the weights, one of the guys turned to me and said, with a hungry look in his eye “What’s next?”

Then came the circuit:
3 stations, Pull Ups, Push ups and Burpees.
The workout was simplicity in it’s most brutal form.
in a team of three, one person on each station. You stay at that station, doing as much as possible, the only person counting is the guy doing burpees, when he hits 20, all change.

It’s rough, but it’s a hell of a buzz. The lads were really shouting for the guy doing burpees, the faster he went, the less pain they suffered at the other stations!

There was a time a while ago where I was considering giving up this life and rejoining the work force, getting a “proper” job.
No chance, to do so would be letting the team down, these guys and girls are working too hard, they’ve come too far, there’s no way I could quit on them.

And who would want to sit in an office when you could be running a gym filled with some of the most highly motivated and positive clients imaginable?

Whatever you’re going to do today, give it 100%. Start strong, but most importantly, finish strong.



What is Functional Training?

Functional training. There has been a bit of a debate over in facebook land over this controversial topic.

Back when I worked in a commercial gym, I remember shaking my head in disbelief at what some of the other fitness instructors would tell people to do in the name of functional training.
And recently I had one of my own clients, who is himself a fitness instructor, talking some meaningless bollocks that he thought was functional training.

If instructors are this confused, what chance do their clients have? So lets start by looking at the words in the title:
“Functional” – Something that serves a purpose, has function.
“Training” – Practicing to get better at something.

These, by the way, are not dictionary definitions, they are my own words. So functional training then is “training in a manner that will improve your performance in a chosen function.”
If you don’t know what that function is, you cannot train functionally.
That sounds confusing. Lets clarify a little.

In 2004 I took it upon myself to run the Dublin marathon. Therefore my training program had to revolve around the need to be able to run for hours at a time. I had my function, to run for extended time, it was easy then to decide on how best to train. It worked too, I ran my first and only full marathon in 3hrs 41.
Then, after the marathon, I wanted to regain the weight I’d lost during the marathon training, and also add some extra muscle weight to my frame. So the function of my next training phase was to build muscle mass.
The fastest way to achieve this goal is by training as a bodybuilder. For my goal, the most functional training method was a 5 day bodypart split. It worked too, I went from 12 ½ stone pre marathon down to 11 stone on the marathon day.
After the bodybuilding training I was up to 13 ½ stone and stronger than ever.

The reason I’ve picked out these two phases in my training life is because neither of them fit the current “functional training” methods that are espoused by Johnny fitness instructor. They will tell you that hours and hours of cardio is non functional. They will tell you that bodypart splits and bodybuilding are non functional. They will tell you that standing on a bosu ball while lifting a paperweight is functional.

But they’ll never explain why. At least not in words that you can understand.

I love to train with kettlebells and bodyweight. For me they are enjoyable and effective tools for my goals. They also suit most of my clients goals, they utilise multi joint movements and lend themselves very well to circuit style training, both very efficient methods of raising the metabolism and burning fat.
Plus kettlebell movements also counter office posture very efficiently, reducing back pain, building core strength and shaping a tidy derrière, what’s not to like? It’s no wonder that they are almost universally accepted by “functional trainers”

I do though have a client who is on a bodybuilding split, and one that is banned from lifting any weights whatsoever. Why is one banned from weights?
Because of her particular injuries, weight training would not only be non functional, but counter productive.

So you see, next time some idiot instructor is harping on about the wondrous benefits of functional training, ask them what function they are actually training. See if they can actually explain themselves in simple layman’s terms, or if they go off on some psychobabble quackery tangent in an effort to baffle you with bullshit rather than help you understand.

In an attempt to bring this to a conclusion, here are my top functional movements that I believe should be trained:
• Hip Extension
• Squatting
• Over head pressing
• Overhead pulling
• Horizontal pressing
• Horizontal pulling
• Counter rotation of the spine
• Counter flexion of the spine
• Counter extension of the spine
• Single leg stability

Notice how I haven’t listed tools or exercises?
“Why not?” you ask, “ I thought you were the Kettlebell guy?”
Well, while I am a Kettlebell guy, I’m also a barbell, bodyweight and sandbag guy. In fact, more accurately I’m a training guy. The only thing I really don’t like are weight training machines and aerobics.

However if you have a specific goal in mind, be it a marathon, a double bodyweight deadlift or getting back into those old jeans, they way in which you use the above movements will change. Once you know why your training, how you train will start to become obvious. If it doesn’t, give me a shout and I’ll be happy to help.

All the best


Putting The Boot In

I WISH the military looked like this

I have been known, on many occasions to stand and take the piss out of these “military” bootcamp classes that are all the rage right now.
I find the marketing and hype far outstrips the actual quality of training, and as for any resemblance to actual military training…. Lets not even go there!
So I find it slightly embarrassing to announce that I will be running a Bootcamp of my own.

I’m not embarrassed by the training on offer, or the fact it will be an early morning group program. I’m embarrassed to call it a bootcamp, but as that is what the market wants, it’s what the market gets.

Why a Bootcamp?
One of the Wild Geese kick boxers has been asking me to give him extra conditioning training for some time now, but he could never get to any of my classes and was too busy to make a private slot. So he chatted to a few people, including other kick boxers and came up with the Bootcamp idea.
And here we are.

What to expect
Because a fighter asked for this, it is built around the fighters needs. But what does that mean for a non combat athlete?
It means, that if you are willing to work hard and push yourself, you will be trained as fighter is trained. The advantage of this is simple, you will never find a more well rounded and complete athlete, someone who is strong, powerful, explosive, enduring and agile. Someone with a body that can not only deliver devastating power, but also absorb it. A body that remains powerful even when pushed to extreme fatigue.
And because form follows function, it will look lean and powerful. It will move smoothly, cat like, ready to explode into action at a moments notice.

The 4 week program start on the 28th June, all payments must be in by the 25th (1 week from today). The camp will run on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 7am. You will be done by 8am, sometimes earlier.
The camp intensity will build to a crescendo in week 3 and then taper down in week 4 as a few of the participants have a fight booked on the 24th July.

If you wish to experience the training needed to step into a ring, or if you are looking for a serious kick up the arse with your training, then here’s what you must do:
Email me (, phone me (087 672 6090) or message me on facebook ( to register your interest.

You will then need to pay, all payments will be taken in advance, the only refund opportunity will be if you are injured, in which case you will get 100% back. If you quit or get kicked out, you get nothing.
The cost for the 4 week (12 sessions) is €147. This works out at €7 per session.
Existing, regular, Wild Geese members receive a 33% discount.
Wild Geese Fighters with a date coming up train for free.
If you are not a Wild Geese Fighter, but have an event (doesn’t have to be a fight) on the horizon and wish to add this camp to your preparation, come in and talk to me.

This is NOT a military style bootcamp.
This is a training program for highly motivated individuals.

Wild Geese is an Attitude, if you have it, you will survive, if you don’t, don’t bother showing up at all.



15 minute challenge

I’ve been getting a lot of cautious interest about the Lunchtime Fitness training sessions that I’m running at Wild Geese.

After all, what can you possibly do to get fit in 30 minutes? I mean seriously, thats what Curves claims up the road and nobody ever gets results there!

So when one of our fighters turns up the other day and says “I’ve got 15 minutes, what have you got for me?” I set him to work and grabbed my camera.

The following is one round of the circuit I set him, the second I think. He manged to get half way through his 5th round before the buzzer went off and he hit the showers and returned to the office.

Watch the vid, thry the circuit and respond with your total, remember it’s the max number of rounds in 15 minutes:


The circuit is as follows:
Clean & Press x 5
Bodyweight Rows x 10
Swing x 10 L/R
Squat x 20

Ensure the weight you use is heavy.
It’s not about quantity of work, it’s about quality.



Wild Geese Meet Irelands Strongest Man

On a sunny Sunday morning, myself and Wild Geese Martial Arts Muay Thai coach, Dave Gordon, drove down to Tullamore, Co. Offally to participate in a workshop run by Ireland’s strongest man, James Fennelly.

While both Dave and I are very experienced in many aspects of training, Strongman is something we’d never previously experienced first hand. Sitting in front of the TV with a beer in hand watching these incredible men doesn’t count.
Anyone who’s seen the Strongman shows on the TV will be familiar with some of the incredible events these guys participate in. Events that combine brute strength, power and endurance that would make us mere mortals soil ourselves just thinking about them. No amount of Smith machine squats and lateral raises could prepare you for the rigours of the Atlas stone. Leg curls and crunches are of little use to you when faced with an oversized tyre to be flipped.

Please watch this video and enjoy James giving demonstrations of these lifts:

During the course of the day we were all invited to try out the events after he had demonstrated them. It gives me great pleasure to report that Dave and myself managed to complete most of the lifts.
I’ll admit that Dave is far stronger than myself in the deadlift, which stood to him on the farmers walk, but I locked out that giant 50kg dumbbell before he did.
Of course that merely spurred him on to lock it out overhead.

Of the lifts covered that day, Dave and I have been discussing which of them would transfer best to the training of our clients. remember that the majority of our guys are fighters, either Muay Thai, Kickboxing or MMA competitors. We also have Kettlebell guys and of course average joes, but the fighters form the backbone.
We quickly came to a similar conclusion. The strongman lifts that would best suit a combat athlete are as follows:

Atlas Stone:
This involves lifting a large, unyielding sphere of concrete of the floor, rolling it up the body and loading it onto a platform of whatever height. Unlike a deadlift, which is the gym lift it most resembles, your back is rounded and your balance is being pulled forward the whole time.
Performing the lift reminded me of rolling in the Judo and JuJitsu training. If you are getting tied up in a scramble on the floor, sometimes your best option is to simply stand up with your opponent. The Atlas Stone is that movement.
Now we are not going to start throwing stones round on our lovely matted floor, but we can replicate this using heavy sandbags, which we are currently building and producing a new training manual for.

Tyre Flip:
Dipping low, driving with the legs, powering through with the shoulders and arms, then doing again, and again. This is the tyre flip. It’s also a large part of your wrestling, clinch and takedowns on the mat.
For developing power, aggression and staying power, the tyre flip is a tough one to beat. I can’t imagine any athlete not enjoying or benefiting from this.
We have a truck tyre in Wild Geese that we use for Sledgehammer slams, but it’s far too small for flipping. However, we will definitely be getting ourselves a much, much larger tyre.

Various Walking Drills:
On the day we covered Farmers Walks, Super Yoke and the Cross, all of which challenge the body in very different ways. Whichever one you choose, you will be attempting to cover ground as fast as possible while under load.
The loads shift and move, forcing you to stabilise, your core has to become a solid unit. Your legs are doing what they are designed for but under far greater load, no machine extensions here, your actually carrying yourself forwards.
And of course you have to try and breathe.
The Yoke sits across the shoulders as if you were performing a barbell squat, but the weight is low so it if you’re not tight it pendulums and pulls you off-balance.
The farmers walk, similar in the fact that they move, but this time your hands and traps take a huge punishing as you carry them like suitcases.
The cross was my favorite, this has to be held in a bear hug on the chest, it becomes very difficult to breathe. I enjoyed this as it felt very similar to the rack position in Kettlebell Sport. For a fighter it will help them to stay strong and to breathe with an opponent sitting on their chest.

We’d like to send out a big thanks to Kieran Dooley who organised the event at his excellent Tullamore gym, and of course to James for taking the time out and giving the presentation.

All the best


Strength Training for Fight Training

Recently some of the Wild Geese Kickboxers have been coming to me asking for advice on getting stronger.

And I have to admit, I’m delighted.

Right from its inception, Wild Geese have been offering conditioning training for its fighters. But various coaches are a little set in their ways and the lads often think that what they do in class is enough.

The coaches I can understand. They’ve done what they’ve done for years and have gotten great results, why change?

Simply since the rise and rise of MMA and the UFC franchise, conditioning has become ever more apparent. The old adage in the martial arts that strength doesn’t matter has been thrown out the window. On the TV show “Ultimate Fighter” you see the contestants go through rigorous conditioning sessions as well as their actual Martial arts training.

And very often, the man who works harder at getting stronger off the mat is the victor on it.

This trend has been noted by other martial artists now and it’s creeping into the wider world.
I see this as a good thing.
For years I’ve been advocating strength training for martial arts. Those around are just starting to listen.

So what do I recommend?

Well that depend on the fighter and the fight.
But nearly always I see weaknesses in fighters backs and hips. Hours and hours of crunches, stretching and cardio often leave them with weaknesses here.
This leads to power leakages when they strike and a greater potential for injury. The answer is simple, Deadlifts for strength and Kettlebell Swings for power endurance.
The strength coach must be carefull to ensure that the conditioning training doesn’t take away from the fighters technical training. They must be fresh enough to work with complicated techniques and combinations, yet building the ability to do these techniques in a fatigued state.

Some method of periodisation then is necessary.
I’m about to put a fighter on a low rep strength program. He has little need for extra conditioning, I’ve seen him knock out around 300 pressups in sets of 50!
Obviously he has endurance.

His 6 pack maybe impressive but his back is weak, therefore his core, as a unit is weak. Which means that whatever power is being generated by his hips isn’t necessarily getting through to his shoulders for that knock out punch.

For this individual a low rep heavy training scheme could be the answer. Build that dense muscle, train the body to function as a unit and build the absolute strength that so often serves as a foundation for both power and endurance.

He is merely one example.
Other fighters, especially if their fight is still a few months out would benefit from building strength and endurance at the same.
Here’s a cracking circuit I perform some days, particularly when short of time:

Perform the following exercises back to back:

1 rep Deadlift
15 Rep Kettlebell Jerk (each arm)
20 Rep Sledgehammer slams into a tyre (alternate left and right)

Take a minute break, add weight to the deadlift and repeat. I usually work towards 5 rounds, with the 5th round being just shy of my 1 RM deadlift (fatigue prevents a true 1 RM)

This one circuit trains all aspects of the fighter, max strength and hip extension through the deadlift, transferring power from lower to upper body via the jerk and then some abdominal work on the tyre.

Play around with it, it’s only one example.
There are many other exercises you could choose.

The key is to work the whole body through a variety of rep ranges in a variety of angles.

Careful dieting and mobility work will keep the body within its ideal weight category and ready to fight at a moments notice.

If strength turns out not to be an issue, I also have a foolproof method of building non stop conditioning and will power, using only One Exercise.
But more on that another day.

Level 2 Kettlebell Workshop – The Core Lifts

Since the success of the last two Level 1 kettlebell lifting workshops, we are pleased to announce the 1st of the Level 2 workshops.
This will advance on the knowledge and skills gained in the level 1:
  • You will take the swing from 2 handed to 1 handed and then into the Kettlebell Clean.
  • You will take the Kettlebell Press into a Push Press.
  • This will then be cemented in place by a short workout using the Clean & Push Press.
You will also learn one of the most beneficial lifts of any style of training:
The Turkish Get Up.
All the lifts on the level 2 will strongly work the core, developing a strong and resilient midsection. Strengthening the core is vital to developing strength and power in other areas.
As with the previous workshops the money will be donated to
I’ve recently been told that Lia has turned 5years old and has beaten the odds again at Crumlin Childrens Hospital.
The workshop is open to everyone who has completed the Level 1 course, or those who have a grounding in Kettlebells and wish to improve their technique.
See you on March 28th, 12 noon.

How do you become a Kettlebell Instructor?

I’ve been getting a lot of emails recently asking how to go about becoming a Kettlebell instructor.

With the meteoric rise in popularity of the kettlebell over the last few years, this is hardly surprising. After all, it can become a nice little earner if your savvy.

However, this should not be your only motivation for wanting to become an instructor.

I know, many of you out there are looking to update their REPs points or gain Continuing Education credits, in order to do this there many weekend courses for you to attend. However, doing a weekend in something DOES NOT make you qualified to teach that something.

Especially in the fitness industry.

There are weekend courses out there that will give you not only the REPs points but will also give you the title of Instructor in any number of aspects in the fitness industry. Some, I can understand, they are small topics that serve as an adjunct to what you (should) already know.

Others, absolutely not.

There is one company that markets quite heavily and offers weekend courses in Olympic Lifting, Kettlebell lifting and Boxing. In my eyes this is ridiculous.

Unless you have years of experience with these skill sets, how can you possibly hope to teach them?
How can you spot the technical mistakes, the details that make these specialities special?

So whenever I’m asked how to become a Kettlebell coach I answer the same way, “Train long and hard with kettlebells first!”

If you don’t you’ll end up a mockery just like that Jillian woman in my last post.

There are two people in Dublin who I know are teaching Kettlebells, they may even have done an “instructors” course, but I know for a fact that they do not have experience with the bells. This makes them dangerous.
(I’m sure that there are more than these two, but I know of these for a fact. And no, I’ll not mention any names)

If you take a look at the Wild Geese class schedule, you’ll see that the monday class is marked as an advanced session. This is because it is taught by Paul Cox, a man whose Instructional experience goes back to 1988, over 20 years.

Does he feel that after 20 years training folk, he no longer feels the need to deal with beginners?


He refuses to teach beginners because he holds no certification in Kettlebell lifting. He refuses to teach anyone that hasn’t already been trained in the basics.
Paul was the only person I showed the Kettlebell techniques to after I first started to use them in my own training, long before I began teaching publically. He took to them extremely naturally, as you’d expect from a multiple Black Belt holder.
Yet, he still doesn’t feel knowledgable enough to teach.

Give him a barbell and he’ll show anyone.
But not Kettlebells, even though I keep telling him that he’s more than good enough.

Yet idiots like that Jillian woman, the biggest looser, will happily go on YouTube demonstrating crap technique in the basics and finish with something ridiculously dangerous.

The difference between Wild Geese Paul and Biggest Looser Jillian can be summed up in one word.


Most instructors these days have none.

They are more interested in lining their wallets then they are in your health.

So with all that said I am going to offer you the opportunity to become a Certified Wild Geese Kettlebell Coach. I’ll spend some time thinking of some catchy title, like CKT or RKC or something, just because that’s what people like.

Like the CKT that the IKFF run or the RKC that Dragon Door run, there will be a minimum standard.
Unlike any other Kettlebell certification that I know of, it will require you to actually teach.
Throughout the course of this year I will be running workshops, levels 1 to 5. By the end of the 5 workshops you will know your way around a kettlebell.
The workshops are spread out, so that if you attend a level 3 but your level 2 skills haven’t improved since I last saw you, you will fail, automatically. No questions, no refunds.

This is very much in the same vein as my Martial Arts upbringing. In fact my own coach, Steve Cotter calls Kettlebell lifting, the “Martial Art of Strength training.” My own attitude is no different.

After the completion of all 5 workshops, you should be ready to think about becoming a coach. you may then apply for your Instructor certification.

This will be a test of your ability to teach either my Tuesday Kettlebell beginners class, or teach both a level 1 and level 2 workshop.

The workshops will be run at the Wild Geese HQ in Dublin 2, or if you have your own club/facility I can come out to you and run workshops there.
Obviously if I’m to travel to your club we can combine the workshops to make longer day.

So, how do I become a Kettlebell instructor?

Train long and hard with Kettlebells, then give me a call.


Level 1 Kettlebell Workshop – Lifting for Lia

On the 2nd Feb a group of fighters and fitness enthusiasts all gathered together at Wild Geese HQ for a Kettlebell Basics workshop.

It’s something I had been promising for a while, but as I’m so busy, often forget to arrange until too close to the date.

This time though it was different.

Our resident Kickboxing coach, Ronan McSweeny, had actually requested that I run a workshop as he’d seen me using them, had a go and thought, this could help.

So he put word out amongst his crew and then said “Dave, need to run a workshop”

Who am I to argue with the Irish, 4 Nations and World Full Contact belt title holder?

We set a date and I got to work.

The result was a cracking afternoon with attendance from a wide range of people, Kickboxers, Brazillian JuJitsu players, Mixed Martial Arts fighters, fitness enthusiasts and our intrepid Judo Coach.

There were one or two cancelled late on but have since paid up and one or two who handed over cash even though they knew they wouldn’t be in attendance.

Why would they do such a thing?

Because all the money raised on the day was to be donated to the Lia Stem Cell Fund (, I’ve written about this poor girl before, but please click the link, you’ll find a whole heap of info on fundraising events and even instructions on how to donate directly into the fund.

We raised a little over €200 on the day. Future workshops will raise even more.

But back to the day….
After a joint mobility warm up participants were taken in detail through the three foundation movements in kettlebell lifting, the Squat, the Swing and the Press.
Over a 2 hour period the gathered crowd learned, listened, asked questions and practiced these drills until each and every one of them had a thorough understanding of the hows and why’s of the methods taught.

This all culminated in a short workout using the same 3 moves.

I’ve since decided to call the workshop my Level 1. I will be expanding on this with further workshops until the participant has enough knowledge and experience under his or her belt to become a certified instructor.

Unlike any other certification I’ve seen, the completion of the workshop does not guarantee a pass. I will expect you to teach a seminar or class of beginners (including myself) before the title of Coach is bestowed upon you.

It is a title that can and will be rescinded if misrepresented.

At Wild Geese we take our reputation very seriously.

That said, I will be running another Level 1 workshop on the 7th March, between 12 and 2pm.

Cost will be €20 per head, all going into

To book your place either email me on or drop me a line on 087 672 6090.

You can also book me to run a workshop at your own club/gym/venue. I’ll still donate the cash.