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Cali and Brian Head to Chicago in One Week

Updated: Jun 15, 2023

It is finally here! In ONE week...Coach Cali will be in Chicago for her StrongFirst Level 2 Certification and Brian Matlock (you will see him mainly at 6 AM class during the week) will be in Chicago for his StrongFirst Level 1 Certification.

What does this all mean and what does it all entail?

The StrongFirst Level 1 Certification is a teaching certification that has a 30% FAILURE rate. (I hope Brian doesn’t read this any time soon). But, I wouldn’t have given him the green light to go if he wasn’t ready for it.

Throughout these 3 days, the skills taught and tested will include: swings, clean, front squat, press, snatch and get-up. The bell size is determined by age and weight. Throughout the days, there are several workouts to practice the skills learned, time to evaluate with a training partner, dialing in different drills to clean up the movements and then when the body is tired, fried, and beat up, all skills are tested (including the 5-minute snatch test). The 5-minute snatch test is 100 snatches in 5 minutes. This test is usually the most dreaded out of all of them, but honestly, it is 5 minutes of the ENTIRE weekend. If you train and prepare yourself for the certification, you will be fine. The Level 2 Certification is the next step (you have to still show you can pass the Level 1 Certification and all those skills are tested on the first day). The biggest test for the Level 2 Certification is the one arm military press. Men are required to press the kettlebell closest to half their bodyweight while women are required to press the kettlebell closest to a third of their bodyweight. The skills taught include the windmill, bent press, double snatch, double push press, and double jerk. This certification is very demanding on the upper body and requires near perfect shoulder mobility to safely get through the demands of training.

The reason I love the StrongFirst system is that it teaches progressions and regressions so that you can teach anyone these skills and get someone there safely. They also require you to stay current with your skills and you must recertify every 2 years. Why do I love this so much? So that you are accountable to your health, fitness and strength journey. Knowing that I have to re-certify makes me practice my skills, video them, and have other coaches watch them so I can stay as sharp as possible.

If you see Coach Cali or Brian this week, wish them luck! They will both do awesome as they have put in the hard work to prepare them for this awesome weekend. StrongFirst also has a barbell certification (focusing on powerlifting) which includes squat, bench, military press and deadlift with certain weight requirements. There are both strength and technique tests. Plus, they review accessory lifts. When you go in on Day 1, they treat your strength lifts like a powerlifting meet. There are commands during these lifts and failure to listen to the commands will result in a fail of the test. That is why we will be practicing it during any in-house meets that we have, plus during our max out days. They also have a bodyweight certification which includes a One Arm Push-up for women, a One Arm/One Leg Push-up for men, pistol squat (one leg squat) and a pull-up or flexed-arm hang test. This certification is awesome and truly allows you to understand creating tension in the body. I totally think this certification should be the first one that someone attends prior to the other 3 as it can be applied to all of the other certifications. The best part. You get 6 months to learn the skills and train for it after the certification. Finally, on Saturday, May 8th we are hosting the StrongFirst Tactical Strength Challenge. This includes a max deadlift, max hang or pull-ups and max number of snatches in 5 minutes. You do NOT have to compete in all 3 events and can choose one if you wish. If interested, use this link to sign up: If anyone is interested in taking their fitness and strength journey to another level and train for any of the StrongFirst Certifications, let me know! This is an awesome way to set a goal, hold yourself accountable and stick to a program specific for you to get there, plus maintain the skills to keep yourself healthy for the long haul. Below are the next certifications that are taking place in the Philadelphia area. The actual location for the Level 1 has not been announced yet, but my guess is it will be King of Prussia, Narberth, PA, or shoot maybe ANCHOR will have the opportunity to host a certification in the near future (I did submit an application). Kettlebell Level 1: October 1st-3rd Bodyweight: November 6-7th Barbell Certification: December 10th-12th For any information, questions, let me know! I LOVE talking about this stuff! Until next week,

Pick up heavy things and put them down! :)


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