Tag Archives: Kettlebell Workshop

Light ≠ Easy

 I stepped onto the training floor the other day where my advanced group were milling about getting ready to begin. Ray, one of my top lads pipes up “Eoghan’s just back from holiday, so he asked if we could do a light session today”
I had planned to do heavy front squats to a low box, but how could I refuse such a request.

We kept it light the whole session opening up with bodyweight squats, static squats, push ups, hindu push ups, alligator holds (hold the bottom of a push up). We continued with a relatively light double Kettlebell clean and jerk set, for 5 minutes. This was followed by one arm clean & jerk for 2 min per arm only slightly heavier.
Back to the lighter doubles then for Sissy squats x 50 and single leg Romanian deadlifts x 25 each leg.

We had time to spare so I took the gang through a light conditioning session: 5 reps each of Swing, Burpee and Hindu Push Up. We did this on the top of the minute for 10 minutes.
Nothing heavy, just bodyweight drills and swings.

By the end of the session they were all cursing Eoghan, of course it wasn’t his fault, Ray was just blaming him. But the point remains, just because you’re not lifting huge amounts of Iron, it doesn’t mean you’re not working hard. Static strength, as in the squat and alligators, is a skill often ignored, but very challenging to practice and essential to contact sports. Kettle bell lifts, even with light bells, are taxing due to the explosive nature, the fact that every lift is done at maximal speed.
And then there’s that finisher, only 5 reps of each? Bodyweight? I know 5 swings, 5 burpees and 5 hindu push us is hardly a challenge. But try to do them as fast as possible so you get the longest rest, then do it again, and again.
The last set as the buzzer goes off signalling the 10th minute is a killer.

As usual the gang pushed and worked extremely hard. Everyone put in a huge effort. A light workout certainly did not equal an easy workout. Perhaps Ray will choose his words more carefully next time….

We also held the Level 3 Kettlebell Workshop over the weekend.
Level 3 is the most detailed of all the workshops as it covers the classical lifts, Snatch and Jerk. I wish to thank all participants for not only taking part but also for their insights, questions and comments.
Every time I teach a workshop I learn something from the attendees, this time was no different. And judging from the feedback at then end of the workshop, the group all learned something as well.
The Snatch and Jerk are two lifts that take a long time to master (I’ve been snatching for over  6 years now and it’s still not perfect!)  so a two hour workshop is only enough time to get the framework, now the guys have to go away and perform hundreds, even thousands of repetitions before mastery of these two incredible lifts can be gained.

If you wish to learn the art of kettlebell lifting, for home use, for increasing your knowledge as an instructor or just for interest, have a look at the side bar for upcoming dates.
I’m also available to come to your gym and run a bespoke kettlebell workshop specific to the needs of your group. Give me a shout for further details.

Till next time



Upcoming Kettlebell Workshops

A quick note to announce the dates of the next Kettlebell workshop.

9th May – Level 2 Workshop, 12pm -2pm. Building on the foundation of level 1, we introduce the Clean, Push press and the Turkish Get up.
Places will be limited to ensure quality of instruction.

13th May – Level 3 Workshop, 12pm-2pm.
This workshop introduces the classical Kettlebell lifts, the Jerk and the Snatch. These are technical in nature and so this workshop is open only to those with existing kettlebell training or have participated in the Level 2 workshop.
The level 3 lifts are the backbone of Girevoy Sports and are phenomenal conditioning exercises involving the whole body.

13th June – Level 1 Workshop. 12pm-2pm.
The basics, open to anyone interested in learning more about kettlebell lifting and it’s associated training methods. Covers the Swing, Squat and Press.

Drop me an email on info@wildgeesema.com to book your place.


Updated Workshop Dates

This is just a quick heads up.

The level 2 workshop mentioned in the last post has been moved forward a week, it will now take place on the 9th May.

Other dates as follows:

18 April – Level 1 (thats this sunday, there are still two spots left)
9 May – Level 2, now taking bookings
30 May – Level 3, open to those who have completed a Level two.
13 June – Level 1

Future workshops are being planned around the country.
If your interested in hosting a workshop at your gym/facility, please contact us


Dave Hedges

Last Night’s Kettlebell Class, Level 2 Kettlebell Workshop and a New eBook

Lots happening here at WG HQ.

Don’t really know where to begin.

So lets start with last night’s Kettlebell Fitness class and work backwards….

The gang last night all came in fresh from whatever they got up to over Paddy’s day. I informed them that today will be snatch day. Due to my own shoulder injury, I’ve avoided snatching for the last couple of weeks, so I haven’t had my class doing it either.
That was all about to change.

I decided to do a short “RKC” style snatch test. 5 minutes, change hands as often as you like.
I told the lads that they had a minimun 16kg limit and glared hard at the experienced lads untill they put the 16’s back in the rack and took out heavier….

Every one of them got near the 100 reps mark, some just below others way over. Even the newer people in the group were getting 90+
Over the coming weeks and months as their form improves I’d expect to see them hit 100+ then step up to a heavier bell.

We then hit the front squats using the ladder protocol.
All in a great session.

How are my injuries today?
Fantastic, I feel great.

Yeah the shoulder is a little tight, the old injuries in the low back seem to be relaxing again, and all is well.

So that was just yesterday!

In other news, there will be  a Level 2 Kettlebell Workshop on the 28th March, 12-2pm.
As with the previous two Level 1’s, the money will be donated to the Lia Stem Cell Fund.

What is covered in the Level 2?
We introduce one of the finest full body conditioners I’ve ever come across, the Turkish Get Up. This is a must for any fighter, it stabalises the shoulder, strenghens the entire core and moves nearly every joint in the body while under load. A real corker.

You will also advance on the Swing and Press that was learned in Level 1. These will be brought into the Push Press and the Clean.

So by the time you have completed the Level 2, you will be proficient in the following:

Front Squat
Strict Press
Push Press
Turkish Get Up

All with a single kettlebell.

With those movements alone you can forge a phenonemal physique as well as take your athletic performance to a whole new level!
I am also just about to start work on the accompanying workshop manuals. These will take a little time as I’m still putting the finishing touches to a different project named 1 Exercise Fat Loss and Conditioning.

“1 Exercise” is a new eBook that I’ve been working on, it’s currently being proof read by a few of my peers, hopefully I’ll have it up for sale on the site this time next week.

Whats special about “1 Exercise”?
It answers probably the most common question I get asked:

“Whats the best exercise for loosing this?” asked as the questioner pats their belly.

When I answer I always get one of two reactions
1 – A blank look, or
2 – Shock and horror

Number 2 is my favorite.

So I sat down and wrote out a manual on what I consider to be the best exercise for fat loss. It just also happens to be the best conditioning exercise for my combat athletes.

And that’s all I’m going to say on the matter untill I get it back from the proof readers…

Untill next time


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 http://www.liastemcellfund.com/.
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.

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 (www.liastemcellfund.com), 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 www.liastemcellfund.com

To book your place either email me on info@wildgeesema.com 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.