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Welcome to the KETTLE PRT

Rob's Brother Steve Kettlebell
"I started working with kettlebells in 2005 and was lucky enough to have an RKC in the family who could keep me tight on my form and practice. Currently, I am a senior manager for a major railroad. I typically put in 80 to 120 hours a week without blinking. For those of you who don’t know the railroad, it is a 24/7/365 industry. Fortunately—and unfortunately—my realm of responsibility is Chicago, the hub and Mecca of the US rail. This level of responsibility leaves very few days off, which can easily lead to a very unhealthy lifestyle.

In 2014, it got to me, and I allowed my career to overtake my health. I did not even know it happened. The realization hit me at the end of January 2015, when Rob approached me to compete in the KETTLE PRT in March. I was excited; I had a goal to work toward and a reason to get back into fitness with the vigor I once had. This energy was short-lived when the reality of how far I had "let myself go" sunk in. I no longer could do a proper pull-up, my kettlebell technique had fallen apart, and I was just unhealthy. I had a long road ahead of me, so much so that I felt doomed. I wasn’t sure if I should even try competing in March. All I could think about was how I would let my brother down, by either failing every challenge or by not doing the competition. I quit training for it at the end of February, and felt terrible giving up on something my brother was working hard to put together.

With all the positive feedback from the March competition, Rob and Katie decided to hold another event. The October KETTLE PRT was scheduled. Rob told me that this was my chance to redeem myself and not to feel bad about how or why I didn’t compete a few months back. I started training immediately. I wanted to find people who could train with me in my area. That’s when I recruited a few friends to join me. Now that we all accepted the challenge, we were full speed ahead on our Fall PRT training. BOOM! By the time October came around, my technique was back and my pull-up game was stronger. I was ready. I effectively went from 0 pull-ups in March to 10 pull-ups in October; not to mention the 30lb I shredded off my body in the first ten weeks of training. The KETTLE PRT sky-rocketed my confidence and realigned my focus on fitness. I am still putting in the same number of hours at work; but I don’t come home like a dead weight anymore; I come home and hit the weights. The KETTLE PRT helped me realize that I still have time to improve myself. It also allowed me to perform better at work. As my depression faded, my focus throughout the day returned with the precision I needed for a fast paced, progressive environment. What I got out of the KETTLE PRT is hard to put into words. All I can say, is the experience will stay with me for a lifetime and I can’t wait until I can compete again."

Iron Worship Team Steve and Family
We like Steve’s story because it is very relevant to many people of our generation. He was depressed, overworked, and dispassionate—and this had a negative effect on his mental and physical health. Something had to change. Steve always knew he would get back into tip-top shape, but when? It was time for him (and people like him) to step up and train like beasts. Steve had plenty of drive but needed direction. All of us can get stuck in a motivation rut or stop getting results without goals and vision, even if we have a strong work ethic. The PRT presented a multitude of strength and skill goals, and held him accountable to his teammates; but there was more to it. The PRT challenged Steve to take charge and get his life back.

The PRT acronym derives from the Navy’s Physical Readiness Test administered biannually to all of its personnel. Each branch of the military has a program designed to keep all sailors, soldiers and airmen fit for duty. We organized the KETTLE PRT to provide this sort of meaningful challenge to the civilian world, not only for people like Steve but also for trainers like us. Our friends and family needed this push to rediscover their motivation. They needed the hard drills we know from the RKC system to get ripped and ready to compete. The KETTLE PRT was originally scaled from the RKC Instructor Standards to set new "civilian" standards that include people of both lower and higher strength/skill levels. (See KETTLE PRT Standards below.) In addition to kettlebell skills, we included barbell and bodyweight exercises to structure six main events and a tie-breaking event.
Ready To Start Heavy Kettlebell Swings
Each event tests different aspects of physical readiness resulting in a fully-loaded, well-rounded training program built to increase strength, stamina, speed and discipline. This is a competition for anyone who has mad love for the kettlebell and is no stranger to hard work. Everyone should have the ability to climb, pull themselves over obstacles, pick up heavy things, move weight through all planes of motion, maintain balance, control—while remaining ready for the next challenge. We bring the PRT to you as a guide for claiming your inherent capabilities as a human athletic powerhouse. This will become your new state of being. You will know your body is prepped and ready for the challenges ahead. This is your new state of readiness.
TGU Competition Collage
KETTLE PRT Individual Performance Standards
  Unsatisf. Poor Average Good Outstanding Elite
1. Pull-ups Men 0-3 4-6 7-9 10-13 14-19 20+
  Women 0 1-2 3-4 5-7 8-10 11+
2. TGU Men 0-14kg 16-18kg 20-28kg 30-36kg 40-44kg 48kg+
  Women 0-8kg 10-12kg 14-18kg 20-24kg 26-28kg 32kg+
3. Snatch Men & Women 0-25 26-40 41-64 65-90 91-100 101+
4. Beast Tamer (Men) Press 0-16kg 18-22kg 24-28kg 30-36kg 40-44kg 48kg+
  Pull-up 0-12kg 14-18kg 20-26kg 28-32kg 36-44kg 48kg+
  Pistol 0-12kg 14-18kg 20-26kg 28-32kg 36-44kg 48kg+
4. Iron Maiden (Women) Press 0-8kg 10-12kg 14-16kg 20kg 22kg 24kg+
  Pull-up 0 8kg 10-12kg 14-16kg 18-22kg 24kg+
  Pistol 0 8kg 10-12kg 14-16kg 18-22kg 24kg+
5. Deadlift (weight/bodyweight) Men 0-0.99 1-1.19 1.2-1.5 1.51-2.19 2.2-2.74 2.75+
  Women 0-0.85 0.86-1.16 1.17-1.3 1.31-1.99 2-2.34 2.35+
6. Complex Men & Women 0-4 5-8 9-14 15-18 19-21 22+
Relay Tie Breaker: No set standards, fastest time wins.

As you can see in the table above, each competitor trains toward a personal fitness goal for every event. Competitors can test their skills in each event to establish a baseline score. Their training program for the next few months matriculates from that baseline. They are trying to beat their own best score and hopefully bump up to the next PRT standard level of excellence. All athletes compete on a five person team (two women minimum per team) but can sign-up individually to be placed on a team. Teams must compete in all seven events, including the tie-breaker. (Only three competitors are required to compete in the Complex and Relay.) At the end of each event, personal scores are tallied for a team score. The highest ranking team across the six main events wins. In the case of tie, the relay results will determine the winner. The top teams as well as individual elite performers will be awarded for their effort.
It was important for us to make this a team lifting competition for many reasons. From our experience in team sports, (specifically Rob’s in the Navy) and now our careers, we know that the team who trains together thrives together. Being part of a team means that people are counting on you to bring your strongest attitude and give everything you’ve got—not just on game day but during the entire training process. The goal becomes bigger than yourself. Being part of a team is about getting better each day to lift up everyone around you. Joining the PRT commits athletes to a common goal across all teams…the more challenging the goal, the more it brings people together. We wanted to give our fitness community a reason to meet each other, train together, and support each other to excel. We see how hard our friends will push themselves, and it moves us, too. This brings up everyone’s game. As Steve put it, "The camaraderie you feel is not limited to your team. The screams and banter when you are attempting something that you have never accomplished before come from the whole room. Everyone who competes wants everyone to do well."
Country Strong Team
In the name of fairness, we needed to do something different when scoring our competition. First, to consider all the variables that make a finely tuned athlete, we had to account for the three different body types: ectomorph, endomorph and mesomorph. Some of the events certainly reward one body type over another. We wanted to create a scoring system that would challenge each athlete, and encourage them to train harder in all events. We needed to give them a reason to tackle their weaknesses, rather than have tunnel vision toward their strong lifts. That being said, whether we are scoring the five-minute snatch test (most snatches), the Beast Tamer/Iron Maiden, the deadlift (max weight) or the complex (most rounds of the complex), each the score is scaled to the bodyweight of the competitor. This means that even the smallest person in the room, male or female, could emerge as the pound-for-pound strongest athlete, claiming the PRT Champion title. Our unique scoring system eliminates the discrepancies of weight classes. While having weight classes might seem like the fairest approach to score other competitions, it is still limiting. Someone at the top of a weight class might be 20lbs heavier than an athlete in the very same division. Our scoring system accounts for this weight differential, so if the smaller athlete lifts the same volume, relative to his/her bodyweight, the smaller athlete inarguably exhibits a stronger physical readiness.

The moves we chose are very advanced, and the technique should be near perfect when lifting high volume or super heavy loads. We advise you to train individually or as a team with an RKC instructor near you. Even if this is the first time you are hearing about the KETTLE PRT, if you are RKC-certified, you are well-qualified to prepare yourself and others to do very well in this competition. If you are looking for an RKC in your area, feel free to email them to assist you with your KETTLE PRT training.

Rob describes how he helped prepare his brother, Steve, for the KETTLE PRT:
"I was my brother’s KETTLE PRT coach. It wasn’t always easy for us to connect for training sessions, but this didn’t mean he could skip training. I definitely knew where Steve was in his skill level so I could leave him alone for a majority of the sessions but he would need a program to stay on track. He was well versed in the difficult moves and was ready to kick it in to high gear."

Now, we know there can only be one winning team and one PRT champion, but there is also a huge success in losing. While the competition is the day you get to show up and perform, the real growth happens along the way. The KETTLE PRT presented Steve with a challenge far beyond one day of grueling team workouts. It moved him to completely reform his eating, stick to a structured workout and mobility program, practice and share his knowledge of kettlebell skills, and ultimately prioritize himself. He couldn’t have known the day he gave up on the KETTLE PRT that it would ultimately change his life. We have been lucky to witness many of our friends involved in the PRT sharing similar experiences. With a community of people individually focused on being their absolute best, there is no other outcome than raising the bar on the whole. All of the RKCs in our network are dedicated to this common goal of helping each other achieve our highest state of physical ability and readiness. This competition will push you to new limits. This is your new state of readiness. Will you join us?
PRT 2015 Group Photo
If you do not have a team, but wish to compete, simply ENLIST individually. You can choose from any available spot on a team, or select to be placed on an open team. If you are ready to step up and train to be ELITE in all categories then ENLIST for our next event in Chicago at

WHAT: KETTLE PRT (Kettlebell Elite Timed Team Lifting Event and Physical Readiness Test)
WHO: Athletes and RKCs everywhere
WHEN: April 2, 2016
WHERE: Chicago
WHY: For inspiration…
To bear a comprehensive training goal to move faster, stronger, smarter.
To respect the natural-born athlete you are—and the one you can become.
To motivate everyone around you to push harder.
To feel the support of a team, the challenge of an opponent, the guidance of a coach and the camaraderie of the toughest army of athletes we know!
To live at your peak physical condition—so when someone asks, "How did you do at the PHYSICALLY READINESS TEST?" you will answer ELITE.
HOW: Become inspired, join our army….WWW.KETTLEPRT.COM