One Mind, Any Weapon: Volume 1

I love the way the bent press makes me feel. My back feels so good, and then when I put the bell down I stand up straighter and almost feel like my head has cleared. It's one of those movements that feels great every time that I do it, but that I don't do often enough. It hasn't always been like that though. I remember the first time I tried to do the movement it felt super weird and uncomfortable, and I just felt restricted when I tried to do it. Even after I did the StrongFirst level II the first time, it didn't land as well as a lot of the other material, and it wasn't that fun for me to practice.

So what changed?

I had two things that changed to make my bent press feel way better; the first one was Jeremy Somerville spending months and months practising the movement and sharing his insights with me, and the second was redoing my level II with Shaun Cairns.

I'm fairly sure that Shaun teaches more Level II certifications for Strongfirst than just about anyone else on the planet and that is really obvious when he teaches the bent press. This weekend I was reminded of the simple, effective cues that Shaun employs to improve the sequences leading up to the bent press, and was thrilled to notice that during the workshop my bent press improved yet again!

One Mind,  Any Weapon

The goal of the workshop was to teach people that the tool is less important than the craftsman. In other words, just as a supreme warrior is going to be effective regardless of what you put in his hands, effective strength training relies upon principles that transcend implements.

The seminar teaches several strength principles and how to apply them using multiple tools including the kettlebell, barbell, and utilising your own bodyweight. Some of the skills that Shaun includes in the seminar are the one arm push up, the bent press, and the deadlift, along with drills and skills that will give almost anyone the capacity to perform the movements regardless of their starting point.

Who came?

We had a great group of people who came along and attended our course in Brisbane, including an acupuncturist who has studied in under experts in China, multiple gym owners, two chiropractors, two highly accomplished martial artists, and of that group, seven were certified StrongFirst Kettlebell instructors, and two were Level II instructors.

Here's a little of the feedback from some of those attendees:

"the push-up stuff was pretty bloody cool. I didn’t actually know how to do one that wasn’t just supremely taxing on the shoulders - no wonder half my push up doing patients complain of constant shoulder niggles!"

- Laura

"I'd absolutely recommend this course for anyone who is looking for a deeper knowledge of strength principles.

My main takeaways were the principl es from the armbar. Learning the shoulder-body connection from the ground up."

- Daniel

"Shaun has a wonderful ability to explain concepts and training fundamentals to participants of varying levels of experience, and backgrounds.

He teaches with a great balance of technical information and attention to detail.

Drawing on his own extensive experience, combined with a relaxed delivery and sometimes humorous anecdotes, ensures that his teaching is light-hearted and insightful."


"I would strongly recommend anyone involved in strength training to attend the seminar as it focuses on the application of universal principals of movement and body control that benefit a yone who wants to upgrade their movement capacity."

- Richard

"I would definitely recommend it to a friend. To be honest I would do it again maybe next year :)"

- Maciej

"I really benefitted from the progression and regression techniques for the arm bar. And [the course was useful for] reinforcing existing knowledge and technique for pushups and dead-lift, building confidence in my ability to teach."

- Chris

When people responded to the email, there was not a single person amongst them who wouldn't recommend the course to their friend.

This was a great course, and if you're in Sydney this weekend, I'd strongly recommend trying to attend it.

P.S. I have no affiliation with the course in Sydney, I'm not getting any return on this, I just love great information, and this course definitely fits the bill.