Athlete Journal: Brandon Hofer, Entry 1 – 2/9/2014

In a few months I will be testing for the StrongFirst Level 2 Kettlebell certification. Here’s how I’ve been programming my training for the big day.

Welcome to the athlete journal of Brandon Hofer. Brandon is a personal trainer, yoga practitioner, and kettlebell enthusiast. Currently he is preparing for the StrongFirst Level 2 Instructor Certification, and you can follow his journal here to see how he’s getting ready.

Athlete Journal, Entry 1 – 2/9/2014

In case you haven’t already heard, there is a killer StrongFirst event coming up in April at the “Dome of Strength” in Chicago. Gireviks and kettlebell junkies from all over the world will gather to learn the art of kettlebells from the world’s best.

I’ve been practicing the primary kettlebell skills for about three years now, and will be throwing my name on the pile to earn the StrongFirst Level 2 Instructor Certification. To see the physical requirements I have to meet to earn the certification, you can read here.

As I prep for this event, I thought it would be helpful to myself and others to post my workouts and some commentary during the final three months leading up to it. My hope is that SFG or RKC hopefuls would gain some insight into the process, but also that more experienced practitioners who have already earned SFG II or RKC II might also voice their suggestions and strategies for those of us who are eager to grow strong, but are not yet christened with the honor of the certification.

My overall strategy has been to diligently train the basics while also incorporating skill practice days to work on the Level 2 skills. So far, heavy pressing, one arm swings, and heavy get ups have been the main features of my programming.

Stay strong, friends! I look forward to hearing from you.

Jan 27th

Overhead Carries – 28, 32, Double 28kg

Turkish Get Ups – 32, 36, 36, 36, 32kg x5 each side

Two Hand Swings – 36kg x100

Jan 28th

Turkish Get Ups – 32kg x5 each side

4 Sets:


  • Swing L x5
  • Press L x5
  • Swing R x5
  • Swing L x5
  • Rest


  • Swing L x5
  • Press L x3
  • Swing R x5
  • Press R x3
  • Rest

Finished with One Arm Swings – 32kg x100

10 rounds of 10; alternate hands each round

Rest as needed; no timer

Jan 29th

Active Rest – Yoga

Relaxed passive poses with emphasis on thoracic mobility and hip openers

For the most part I prefer to practice a very slow-paced, passive yoga sequence rather than take days completely off. I find that the day after a sequence like this I am more rested and energized than if I had done nothing.

Jan 30th

Turkish Get Up – 32,32,36,36,36kg x5 each side

Slow Goblet Squat – 24kg x 3 sets of 5

Main Complex:

  • Double Clean x5
  • Double Press x5
  • Front Squat x5

20 minutes on the clock

Finished 11 rounds with alternating weights for each round:

16, 20, 24, 16, 20, 24, 16, 20, 24, 16, 20

Jan 31st

Active Rest – Yoga

Standing poses and hip openers

Feb 1st

Crawling Patterns: Forward, backward, sideways, lizard, chimp

Turkish Get Up x3 each side – 32kg

Weighted Pull Up Ladder – 24kg x3 (1, 2, 3)

Kettlebell Snatch Conditioning – 24kg:

10 rounds x15 reps per round – alternate hands each round

60 seconds per round

Feb 2nd

Express Workout Day

10 Minutes:

32kg – 20 Swings + 5 Goblet Squats

x5 sets

5 Minutes:

My best attempt at Ido Portal’s Squat routine:

This is a great routine, especially if you think you have good hip mobility already. Try it and be humbled.

Metabolic Finisher:

Bacon Meatballs while watching Superbowl x6 reps

Feb 3rd


Feb. 4th

Turkish Get Ups – 32kg x5 each side

My best attempt at Ido Portal’s Squat routine

Kettlebell Press Ladder – 32kg x3 (1, 2, 3, 4)

My press felt a little sluggish today, so I’ll drop down to 28kg next time and work on pressing speed.

Feb 5th

Active Rest – Yoga

Standing poses and spinal twist emphasis

The next two weeks I will put in a few more sessions of skills practice for push press and jerk as well as windmill and bent press. And after reviewing these entries, it looks like I need at least one long session of one-arm swings as well.

Any other SFG hopefuls out there? See you in Chicago!