Certified Kettlebell Trainer Level 1

Course Introduction

The IKFF CKT Level 1 course is perfect for beginning, intermediate and even advanced k-bell practitioners. You will learn the proper mechanics/alignment, breathing and groove (k-bell trajectory and position) for all the classical lifts. The IKFF prides itself as being an evolving and ever improving organization – thus, you can feel confident that you are truly learning a cutting edge system and methodology that will deliver results while at the same time ensuring you and your client’s safety.

The CKT Level 1 course focus?

  • Mastery of the basics – You will learn all the fundamental kettlebell exercises, several variations and most importantly, the key physical training principles underlying and associated with each movement.
  • Coaching skills – In addition to learning how to take your own fitness to higher levels, you will learn how to coach others safely and effectively utilizing a process Steve has refined over several years and thousands of clients.

Exercises covered

  • Swing
  • Clean
  • Press
  • Push Press
  • Jerk (taught but not tested on)
  • Long Cycle (Clean + Jerk – taught but not tested on)
  • Snatch
  • Squat

What will you learn at a CKT certification?

  • The classical kettlebell lifts and their variations!
  • Why learning how to differentiate the different types of breathing and knowing how to apply them is so important to safety and efficiency
  • How to properly execute all of the competition lifts involved in Russian Kettlebell Sport – swing, snatch, clean, jerk and long cycle (clean + jerk)
  • How you can still achieve all of your fitness goals despite the challenge of limited time
  • How to design a program for any fitness goal you or your clients may have – strength, endurance, work capacity, muscle mass, mobility etc.
  • Mobility and flexibility work specific to kettlebell training
  • The necessary drills needed to help ensure you and your clients learn all the lifts safely
  • Assistance exercises for competition training – these very unique exercises will take your conditioning and technique to new levels
  • Why hand position is so critical to performance and elbow safety

  • How to to dramatically reduce hand fatigue and tears in the snatch
  • Learn what is YOUR best Rack position
  • How kettlebells train your body to effectively manage any type of force encountered in the real world
  • How to create the “blueprint” necessary for achieving mastery in Russian Kettlebell sport Learn how to integrate time based training and volume based training for extraordinary results
  • Why kettlebells make you more resistant to injury
  • Why learning to regulate your tension is a huge must in improving the efficiency of your lifts
  • Why the neutral hand position allows you to avoid the typical ‘pump’ that is normally associated with high-repetition training. Once the forearm pumps your grip is destroyed and you can’t hold on. So the grip gives out before the cardio system is fully taxed. Kettlebell allow you to work much longer and train the cardio system to a much greater degree.
  • And much more!


  • The IKFF prides itself on producing coaches that are the gold standard in the industry. Thus, our criteria for passing is strict.
  • Attending/participating alone is not enough to obtain CKT status. You must meet the designated criteria connected to the technical and coaching components of the course.
  • All CKT Level 1 candidates must pass a stringent assessment in order to successful complete the requirements and achieve the Level 1 CKT distinction. The assessment is to be the performance of all level 1 techniques (swing, clean, press, push press, snatch and squat). Jerk is taught in Level 1 because it is an important lift and one of the key lifts tested in Level 2 CKT courses. However, because of it’s relative complexity, some Level 1 candidates will not quite have the timing and execution mastered before the completion of Level 1 courses. So you will be taught the lift, but will not be required to test on the Jerk until CKT 2. For all lifts, form is checked to assure effective understanding and performance of the movements. In addition to the technical assessment, all registrants must pass the following Level 1 test. This is simply a test of minimum standards for Level 1 and a building block for continuous progression in abilities. Thus, the focus is on lighter weights and lower volume with exceptional technique.In the case that a candidate is unable to successfully demonstrate competence in one of more of the Level 1 techniques, the student will receive a Certificate of Participation and will need to subsequently demonstrate correction of the techniques. There are numerous avenues in order to accomplish this, including attending a review Level 1 course, testing in person with an IKFF regional representative or by providing video evidence of the corrected techniques.


  • Hand-hand Swing: 20kg x 100 – switching hands after each rep is completed
  • 1 arm Clean& Press: 20kg x 16 reps per hand AND must work for the full 2 minutes on each hand (4 min set); 32 reps total non-stop
  • Snatch: 20kg x 60 reps with only 1 hand switch (can do 30 each hand or any combo that totals 60 reps)
  • Front Squat: 20kg x 30 reps AND must hold KB for entire 2 min


  • Hand-hand Swing: 12kg x 100 – switching hands after each rep is completed
  • 1 arm Clean& Press: 12kg x 16 reps per hand AND must work for the full 2 minutes on each hand (4 min set); 32 reps total non-stop2
  • Snatch: 12kg x 60 reps with only 1 hand switch (can do 30 each hand or any combo that totals 60 reps)
  • Front Squat: 12kg x 30 reps AND must hold KB for entire 2 min

Post Certification Benefits

  • 15% discount on all of Steve’s products (DVD’s, books, clothing) and 25% discount on k-bells
  • Access to the private CKT forum on the IKFF website (www.ikff.net)
  • Eligible for continued education (Level 2 course)
  • Member of a globally recognized organization – we have instructors in almost every major country
  • Affiliate program (earn commission on referrals)

Recertification Process

  • CKT’s are required to update their certification status every three years. This will be based on calendar year (not the actual date). Thus, if you became a CKT in March 2010, you would need to be re-certified sometime before the end of 2013.
  • The goal of the re-certification is straight-forward – continuing education. We are consistently learning and being exposed to new information. Thus, it’s important our coaches stay abreast of updates to the CKT program and remain on the cutting edge on what’s happening in the fitness world.


About Trainer - Steve Cotter

As the Founder and Director of IKFF, Steve Cotter draws from an extensive and diverse background as a champion athlete and cutting-edge trainer to develop some of the most complete and exciting programs in strength and conditioning today.

Sidebar Menu