Steve Cotter Body Weight and Kettlebell Workshop Update

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Hi everyone,

What can I say other than, I am busted after that weekend! You think you are fit and well conditioned until you get every part of your body challenged in a whole new way! Steve Cotter is one amazing guy, who is a sea of knowledge and wisdom. I would highly recommend his workshops to you because they have taught me so much and not just about new exercises, but about the elements of my own fitness that need work – mainly flexibility and endurance!

The Body Weight Workshop was full of mobility, flexibility, agility, plyometrics, “animal” exercises and even tumbling (which was scary as hell). We did warm ups like no other and drills that would put my workout combos to shame!

The Kettlebell Workshop was one serious eye-opener for me. My technique needs a lot of work and I was unashamed to be using 8kg and 12kg for the whole day. Despite this, my poor hand still got all cut up πŸ™ We re-learned the Single Arm Swing (in a totally different way than I’m used to), the double Clean, the double Jerk and the single Snatch (which is now something I want to practice). The way Steve basically put it was that the Swing, while an excellent exercise, should be used as training for the Clean and Snatch. Once you master the Two-Handed Swing, you should master the Single-Arm Swing and then work towards perfecting the Clean and Snatch which will train ALL of the body!Β  I have been using the Swing as an exercise to train the Hamstrings, Glutes, Core and Grip, without thinking about the bigger picture.Β  I still think I will include the Swing because of its horizontal direction and the benefits listed above, but I will utilise the benefits of the more vertical lifts.Β  I also learned the benefits of Long Cycle training and endurance. There was so much information, it was hard to keep up!

Here’s my dramatic tear LOL! OK so it doesn’t look that bad, but it bloody hurts!! πŸ™ War wound!

Basically the experience humbled me and I have gained a whole new perspective on the possibilities of training both the body and the mind! Also, the importance of precision in form – because quite frankly – mine sucked!

Here are some clips from the weekend. Unfortunately I didn’t get that many things because we were all participating in drills and practice and I didn’t want to be rude by stopping to film. But when I had a chance I took the opportunity!

One of the things I missed filming was the Tumbling! This was so much fun. We were all like stunt men rolling down the studio, over obstacles and people. Steve then demonstrated the super-tumbling when he dove over a stick held at shoulder height, landing head first and tumbling out of it! It was pretty impressive πŸ˜€

A big shout out and thank you for the guys at Wild Geese Martial Arts in Dublin for hosting this great experience. There’s nothing like a bunch of Irish enthusiasts in one place to make something fun and memorable!

And a huge thank you to Steve Cotter for being so amazing – what a great guy πŸ™‚ I am so glad I went … But you may hate me for it! HA!!

I will be back as soon as I recover with a new workout πŸ˜€

Marianne

PS If you missed my Interview with Steve Cotter then feel free to check it out too.

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34 Responses

  1. Tony b says:

    I have a man-crush on steve cotter…does stuff that just blows your mind. Those breathing techniques are crazy, i can never get it down properly…taking like 5 breathes in one movement!?!? Lol…i can barely keep up with inhale/exhale..

  2. Jacob says:

    Just a short note to say thanks for sharing this! I have been trying to decide if I should go to the one in Australia this year, so this really helped finalise the decision.

  3. Aliona says:

    Welcome back Marianne!
    Looks like you had one amazing weekend!!!

    I am jealous a bit (in a good way of course πŸ™‚ ) Can’t wait to see what’s new to come.

    Cya,
    Ali

  4. Colm says:

    Hi Marianne,
    I’m so jealous! That looked fantastic! Planning on getting back into training in a month or so after stopping for over a year!

    Keep up the great work.

    Colm

  5. Melissa says:

    MARIANNE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS SO EXCITING!!!!!!!!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    I’m SO PROUD OF YOU!!! I love how you are the only girl in the class, YOU ROCK!!!!!

    And your form doesn’t suck! It is EXCELLENT! Just a different style – it’s all good. πŸ™‚ But I can’t wait to see how your snatch has changed and what input you have about that.

    You are getting to meet and interview all of these icons, and I am just so happy for you!!!

    xoxoxox
    Melissa

    • Marianne says:

      Thanks Melissa πŸ˜€

      The snatch wasn’t all that different, except for the back swing and the breathing (which I can’t get right without wanting to faint LOL). When my hand heals, I’ll be giving it a fair shot πŸ˜‰

      My reasoning is, that if I learn even a little from the best, then it will only do our training good.

      Talk to you soon
      Marianne

  6. dayl says:

    Wow Marianne,
    Looks like a totally awesome time you had there…I always think how amazingly precise your form is in all your videos and so i find it fairly daunting to hear you say that YOUR technique needs improving. I can’t wait to see how what you’ve learned is going to inform your future workouts and am especially intrigued to hear about the swing being a ‘gateway’ exercise into the clean and snatch…have never been confident enough in my technique to seriously give snatches a proper go.
    Hope your hand is feeling better soon!!

    • Marianne says:

      Dayl, the technique I had been using is fine too and I was good at that. But trying to learn a new style is very challenging and something that I am still trying to work out how to apply to my workouts. It may take a little fine-tuning.

      The snatch is a very technical exercise and there are so many variations that it’s easy to get intimidated and confused by it. I get intimidated by it too πŸ™

      • dayl says:

        Thanks Marianne….I just read your comment. I was wondering if you have ever done a tutorial on the snatch, I think i have been through most of your tutorials but don’t recollect one for the snatch (tho i could easily have missed it!!) Can’t wait to see your next work-out…keepup the great work!!

        • Marianne says:

          Hey Dayl, I am ashamed to admit I nevere did the Snatch tutorial – I was actually intimidated by the thought! It’s so technical and there are so many variations, that I really didn’t want to teach something wrong. Besides, I don’t think my own technique is good enough to do one :-/ But then, I tend to be very critical of myself. Hopefully someday soon I will have the confidence πŸ™‚

          Thanks for you support.

  7. Mickela says:

    Thank you Marianne. I am so jealous, but I know you”ll share what you have learned. My plan is to do a workshop this winter season and I am looking at Steve Cotter but also the ice chamber in Richmond California.
    I am so excited for you, and in many ways for all of us who frequent your website feels like we are all growing together.

    Peace

    • Marianne says:

      It does Mickela, we are all on a learning curve here πŸ™‚ You will love the workshop! I just hope I can do the techniques justice in my small space!

      Cheers
      Marianne

  8. Nyx says:

    Awesome Marianne! I am going to the CKT Level 1 certification in a few weeks. I cannot wait even though I’m so nervous that I will fail the fit test I have to pass to be certified!

    Nyx

    • Marianne says:

      Nyx, Good for you, that’s great news! Yes the fitness test will be tough, but you are tough too, so you’ll rock it! Let me know how you get on, I’m excited for you πŸ˜€

  9. amy says:

    thanks! it was SO GOOD!!! πŸ™‚

  10. amy says:

    wow looks amazing!!!
    have a look at my yummy recipes i made πŸ™‚ in the middle of exams so trying to update regularly πŸ™‚

  11. Sarajane says:

    Hey Marianne,

    It was great to meet up with you! Definitely let me know if you’re in Dublin again. Hopefully I’ll get up to Belfast sometime πŸ™‚

    That looked like a very intense two days!! Your poor hand, it looks so sore!! I hope it heals quickly. Those jumps were insane. lol we do something like the forearm/shin jump in roller derby, except there is no jumping involved its just so we fall safely and small. Plus we had have pads on! Was it sore doing that? I guess if you land properly your weight is distributed, still seems like it would be sore though!

    You know the way you said that you were doing the two hand swing differently, were you doing it like how you would swing the kettlebell in the clean? It looked like your arms were closer to your body and not extended. Is that better form than having extended arms?

    I’d so love to do a workshop like that, maybe next time when I have my alignment issues sorted and I am stronger! I have an appointment with that physio I was talking about tomorrow morning, hopefully he can shed some light on the best way forward.

    Talk soon πŸ™‚

    • Marianne says:

      Hey Sarajane – Loved catching up with you again too! At least this time we didn’t go on a bender with the drink LOL πŸ˜‰ Sorry if I seemed like a Zombie at times. Yes, you WILL have to come to Belfast, even just to taste the difference in Corrs Light haha!

      The jumps were sore afterward more than during, like the day after.

      The swing method that Steve teaches is geared to conserve energy (allowing for greater endurance), rather than the “hardstyle” I kind of do, which is all about tension and short bursts. So with the usual style I do the legs are straight as the KB is propelled in front with a lot of tension and on the back swing my legs would be slightly bent, but I would load the hamstrings. With Steve’s method, you bend your knees each time the KB passes through your legs and straighten them both on the back swing and the forward swing. The only problem I had here was my hammies were too tight to straighten πŸ™ LOL

      As for the height of the swing, because it is a more “relaxed” swing without as much full body tension, you only let it go as high as where the start of the clean and snatch would be. To continue it into the clean or snatch you then use your hips to power the KB into position. My arms are meant to be straight!

      It’s hard to undo the old style I was doing, so all I can do is try and use both, depending on my workout goal. I believe both methods to have their place.

      Good luck with your physio appointment. Let me know how it goes.

      Talk to you soon
      Marianne

      • Sarajane says:

        Ah no you had every reason to be tired after a day like that. I wish my excuse was more productive rather than drinking too much wine and being up too late! haha that would be good enough reason for me to take a trip up there!

        That sounds really interesting. You must have learned soo much there. If you have any plans to do oher workshops in belfast or dublin or anywhere else definitely let me know. I’d love to tag along! I’d probably be utterly ashamed at my appalling fitness levels but it would be fun lol! How are you muscles feeling today?

        The physio certainly seemed to know his stuff. He did a lot of tests to see how I (try to) squat….really feel like I’ve lost a lot of range of motion over the last couple of months, how my pelvis moves and range of motion in my hips. I also showed him the mad clicking thing that happens when I lift my left leg up in the air which is apparently being caused by a tight hip flexor. Basically there’s a couple of things going on with my wonky body! He said I need to get orthotics for my feet and the large muscles in my glutes are not working hard enough so the smaller muscles are having to compensate. But he was happy to hear I was doing kettlebells to help strengthen my glutes. He thinks that I will benefit from dry needling (I just looked that up and it doesn’t sound fun). I really want someone to massage my glutes not stick needles in it! eeek!! But I’m getting a MRI scan tomorrow to rule out any muscle damage first. Guess we’ll just see what happens after that. It seems since going to that chiropractor he’s been pushing things into “place” and my body is not reacting well to it at all hence why I’m in more pain than ever! I’m really starting to regret going to him :/ Also I really want to know what “normal” or relaxed glute muscles feel like because mine seem to be full of wound up elastic bands previously known as muscles ugggh! But I’m determined to find a solution to all this. lol but on a positive note I will probably have buns of steel by the end of it!

        Hope you have a lovely day πŸ™‚

        Take care

        • Marianne says:

          There’s a lot to take in for you Sarajane. Although it seems like a lot of problems are going on, it could be something very simple that ends up helping the rest “straighten” out. I have been there with the tight bands of muscle spasms in my glutes and dry needling isn’t as bad as it seems. There is obviously a lot of tension there that is preventing you from moving correctly, so let him do his work and keep going with your exercise as much as you can.

          I’m feeling a lot better today and should be up for a workout tomorrow. I just wanted to ensure proper recovery time πŸ™‚

          And, yes if I hear of any interesting workshops etc about Ireland, I will let you know. It would be fun πŸ˜€

          Talk to you soon

  12. Mark says:

    Steve Cotter is a beast! I saw a video of him once where he was doing pistol squats, but the twist was that he would do the pistol, then explode out of the hole up onto a table where he would land in the pistol squat…then he’d jump off the table onto the floor and land in the pistol. Beast!

    • Marianne says:

      Yeah, I saw that one too! AMAZING STUFF Mark – Steve seriously rocks. And he is so nice in person. His wife was there too and she is lovely as well. Was nice to see them both.

  13. Tom B says:

    That looks like it was an awesome experience. Every time I look at a Steve Cotter video, I’m always amazed at how strong AND flexible he is. It’s freaky … but in a good way πŸ™‚ I can’t begin to imagine the stuff coming down the pike in your workouts … God help us!

    -Tom

    • Marianne says:

      HAHAA πŸ˜‰ I’ll need to go easier for a few days after this, but I will have to design a killer for you all πŸ˜› He is a freak of nature!

  14. Mick T says:

    Hi Marianne,one word….WOW,this guy is just awesome,the stick jumps looked tough, (as was the rest you said,lol),how long were those on for?? 1 min?? also looking forward to your next workout,also does Steve Cotter have dvds/books for sale?? keep up the great work girl,ps your hand does look really sore.

  15. Adam says:

    I soooo want to go on one of these workshops. Any ideas where I can gt an update on Steve’s programme / timetable? If he’s coming to London – I’m in. I can just tell how motivated you are by what you have learnt, M. really looking forward to your hands getting better (it does look painful) because I’m sure we are all going to benefit from your experience. Well done.

  16. Marty says:

    It’s always amazing how the most humbling experiences can sometimes be the most rewarding! On a side note, those lateral one-leg jumps looked like a challenge… πŸ™‚

    • Marianne says:

      Indeed I agree!!! It was suck a learnig curve and really revealed my weaknesses. But I am happy to learn, especially from someone as expert as Steve πŸ˜€

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