Monthly Archives: March 2013

StrongFirst Girya: one final look

Many thanks to the tech geeks at StrongFirst who made the live streams available at their historic first SFG certification this past weekend in Houston, Texas!  One of the coolest things about the live broadcasts was that it was coming through Google Glass technology:  read about it here.

Beyond that little bit of geekdom, the weekend underscored why I love the kettlebell community so much, and am so proud to inhabit my small corner of it:  all ages, genders, shades, body types, and levels of experience are welcome.  It came through as clear as (Google) glass:  if you are ready to do work, and have prepared yourself for the challenge, come on in. Compete:  not against me, not against some other group, not against anyone but yourself and what you once believed were your limitations.

A beautiful example of this spirit is demonstrated by one of my personal heroes, Tracy Reifkind.  She too changed her life and her body with kettlebell training, which she has made her mission and life’s work!  She was a candidate for SFG certification this weekend as well.

One of the final tests for candidates is the dreaded 5-minute snatch test, which comes in the morning of the third day.  After two days of grueling work, with muscles already aching and callouses burning, candidates must snatch a kettlebell overhead 100 times, and do so within 5 minutes.

The minimum required kettlebell size is determined by three factors:  gender, age, and weight.  For her kettlebell snatch test, Tracy’s required kettlebell size according to those factors was to be 16 kilograms, or about 35 pounds.

That wasn’t good enough for Tracy.  As she put it, “I’ve snatched 16k a million times. I set a new goal.”  So even though the testing requirements told her otherwise, she determined she would pass the snatch test with a 20-kilogram bell.

44 pounds.  100 times.  5 minutes.

Watch and marvel.  You’ll especially want to stick around for the last 15 reps!

Pure, unadulterated, beautiful strength.  I want to be like her when I grow up!  Congratulations to Tracy and all of the candidates in SFG Class 1.

Go strong, friends.



Filed under Kettlebells, strength training

KISSS (Keeping It Simple, StrongFirst Style)

End of day #2, final work session for StrongFirst Girya candidates, Houston, Texas.  Every move they’re being trained to teach has been broken down its into component parts–regressions, progressions, correctives.  And they have drilled each move endlessly and expertly, under the watchful eye of their trainers, and of The Chief. But their work is not yet complete.

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This last session of the day–another earn-your-supper workout–is surprising for its simplicity:  a descending ladder of hardstyle kettlebell swings and goblet squats.

That’s it.

The experts know:  complexity for its own sake, and the famous “random acts of variety” is a distraction from the core principles of hardstyle.  Teach a body to move first–then to move well–then to move strong.  Keeping it simple allows for mindful movement.  Put a heavy enough weight on simplicity, and you’ve got yourself a workout.

Go strong, friends.

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Filed under Kettlebells, strength training

Becoming StrongFirst

StrongFirst Girya Certification, Houston TX, 3.8.13

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This is the session at the end of Day 1 of the 3-day StrongFirst Girya certification in Houston, Texas–the first for the new organization since Pavel (“The Chief”) parted ways with Dragon Door, the RKC/HKC certifying organization.

The candidates are earning their supper, and giving the rest of us examples of excellent form under load! More than that, knowing how exhausted and probably ravenous they already are, I see perseverance and grit and sheer gut-it-out determination in action.

Respect to them.

So many faces here are familiar and already dear to me–teachers who have been by my side throughout my own journey, though they didn’t know it: Tracy and Mark Reifkind (The Queen of Swing and The Rif), Andrea U-Shi Chang, Dave Whitley (The Iron Tamer), The Chief.

2016 will be my year to go through this rite of passage. I’ll turn 50, and what better way to celebrate? Go big or go home!

I’ll be watching and posting these broadcasts throughout the weekend, and hope that you’ll watch, too.

HardStyle–StrongFirst style!


March 9, 2013 · 9:33 am

Aaaaaand . . . here it is! My guest post for The Strong Nation’s blog, Rise and Transform! Thanks, @StrongByChoice!

Rise And Transform

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Kettlebell Extraordinare: Tracy Seffers of A Plate Full of Crazy.


I want to say a huge thank-you to Strong By Choice for asking me to write a guest post for his fabulous blog. It is an honor to be asked, and to write for The Strong Nation!! My own (occasionally neglected) blog, A Plate Full of Crazy, tells a bit of my journey—physical, mental, spiritual—over the last couple of years. I invite you to check it out, especially those posts in the “Kettlebells and Strength Training” category.

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Filed under Kettlebells, strength training, Writing

What’s Your Motivation?

Originally from Mimi’s Getting Fit!

Love this one–it’s good to have a strategy. 🙂

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Find your motivation today . . . it’s there somewhere . . .

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Filed under Kettlebells, strength training

Watch This Blog!

Hi, friends. It’s a measure of how full the CrazyPlate is these days that the poor blog is so neglected in recent weeks.  But good news!  I’ve been approached by a friend and fellow blogger in my Twitter and Facebook circles to write a guest post for HIS blog!

The post should be going up in the next few days, but in the meantime, you’ll maybe want to check out his site.  He’s a funny, spiritual, technogeek family man who also deadlifts a mean barbell and has been known to swing a kettlebell or two!

It’s always a great honor to be asked to write for someone else.  I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know my friend, otherwise known as @StrongByChoice.  He’s got a great story, too.

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March 2, 2013 · 10:08 pm