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Which Kettlebell Certification & Why?


I know Mike Mahler had a falling out with RSK but don't know why. I am just getting into kettlebells and would be interested in certifying at some point in the future.

Was wondering if anyone had any experience on the different organisations and pros cons differences etc.

Thanks in advance


Pavel/DragonDoor is pretty much the original. The RKC. From what I understood, it was the most respected certification at least as of a few years ago. Since then, I don’t know.

On the other hand, I know a number of people have had a falling out with Pavel, although I don’t know any details.


any other thoughts on this?


Mike Robertson, is was an author here, I think he offers some certifications along these lines Robertson Training Systems. Are you already a strength coach looking to upgrade, or looking to start with KB’s


Brother, my advice … Don’t bother

I got heavily into KB’s a few years back … As did some of my friends. I’m the only one who didn’t need shoulder surgery, but my shoulders were jacked for a long time.

Upper body deteriorated to shit, but my ass got bigger (nice look) …and I was good at them to - 230 reps with a 53 in 10 minutes in the “SS snatch test” (google if unfamiliar)

KB’s are a great conditioning tool or “finisher” … But not something I’d base my routine around - and definitely not worth the cost of the various certifications, unless you are looking to make money teaching KB classes

Some high reps swings are all you need for cardio after your workout … Centering your workouts around them will ultimately be disappointing, IMO


Thanks for the feedback guys. I have really just started using them myself and am certainly not planning to ditch my barbell lifts or other excercises.

I am interested in them for two reasons. Ability to put together a cheap and flexible ‘home gym’. And the fact that I feel a good crossover to my grappling strength.

The certification thought is for down the line as I would be interested in getting involved in teaching some KB classes in the future. For the moment I am just really looking at what the differences in the philosophies are between the different schools.


If you’re gonna do it, go with strongfirst. Pavel and Dan John–nuff said. Btw, people that rip Pavel have not been in the same room with him. He’s the real deal. If you don’t trust my assessment, trust in Dan John and Chad Waterbury. The aforementioned “falling out” was not with Pavel but with Dragondoor.

Mahler, Maxwell, Martone, and Pavel all got pushed away (it seems, but really, I don’t know enough to make any sort of call–could be as simple as people wanting to do their own things). I get nothing from saying this–I was an RKC years and years ago. I am not certified through Strongfirst, but if I were to get further training on kbs/bbells, i would learn from the best (pavel and dj)


thanks cubuff. I have seen some video of Dan John giving seminars and certainly like his style and explanations.