April of 2011 I had completed my journey into the RKC. After about 4-5 weeks of rest and "freestyle training" I decided to embark on a new program. Once again I began my research into programs based on my current goals. Since I felt strength has always been my weakest link I knew that needed to be my focus. After speaking with Sr. RKC Franz Snideman and hearing his results I decided on Pavels Return of the Kettlebell (RTK).
The program is designed for mass and strength gains. I was more concerned about the overall strength benefits I could receive more than general mass. Gaining mass is largely influenced by diet. Meaning, the more you eat...the more you gain. Even though mass can also influence overall strength, I am happy with my size and would prefer to hold between 163-168 pounds.
Sorry guys...Can't go into program details. You'll have to buy the book for that! What I will talk about are the skills required. RTK is NOT a beginners program. The program requires strong skills using double kettlebells. These skills include the double kettlebell snatch, press,squat and long cycle clean and jerk (LCCJ). Pavel recommends completing his Enter the Kettlebell program first. Doing this helps ensure not only skill but the strength required to start. Snatching a single kettlebell can be hard enough. Snatching doubles is a whole new game. If you are unsure on your ability to perform each skill I would recommend visiting your local RKC II.
Let's take a look at how RTK improved my strength and conditioning. When I started RTK my best numbers looked like this:
- Single arm clean and press R - 36kg L -32kg
- Double clean and press 28kg
- Pistol -32kg
- Single arm snatch 32kg
- Single arm clean and press R- 36kg L - 36kg
- Double clean and press R36kg/L32kg
- Pistol 36kg
- Single arm snatch 36kg
Although not every program is right for every individual, you will never know until you try. One thing I did find was my overall conditioning did drop a bit while my strength increased. I make it my personal goal to hold a minimum conditioning standard of 100 24kg snatches in 5 minutes. Even with my deceased conditioning I am still able to hit my numbers. If your goal is to improve your conditioning then this program may not be for you. If you are looking to improve your overall strength, give it a try. But like Pavel mentions...less than 3 months is not an honest attempt.