Kettlebell Sport is a different entity entirely from the other style of kettlebell lifting (for instance, that used in Mike's classes). It has its own - though similar - techniques, goals, protocols and programming, as well as the status of being a sport. The goal is to lift a bell(s) for 10 minutes consecutively, whether that is just for personal purposes or to officially complete. The journey there is one filled with profound mental and physical discoveries.
What is it?
Girevoy/Kettlebell Sport is a specialized form of weight training with kettlebells that requires the athlete to work under physical and mental stress while remaining calm and even quiet to focus on energy conservation. This is more than simple weightlifting. Kettlebell sport is designed to expand our strength-endurance capacity under a sub-maximal load over time - fancy terms for moving weight in a ballistic fashion, but under control and with precision. Work every muscle in your body, all at the same time.
Kettlebells are a powerful training tool used for ballistic mulit-joint movements requiring full body integration and core stabilization. Kettlebell lifting methods were designed to increase strength, stamina, and coordination by challenging our muscular, cardiovascular and central nervous systems simultaneously. This is the ultimate mind-body connection and anyone can benefit.
Three main lifts are studied, dissected and drilled. They are the Jerk, the Snatch and the Long Cycle (Clean and Jerk). Supplemental exercises are also given during class to increase strength and thus proficiency in each lift.
Just starting? All exercises are taught in progression - from absolute entry level to elite lifter. No one is left out, no one is left behind.
Runners, swimmers, cyclists, hockey, martial arts, soccer, rugby, baseball, gymnastics, etc. - any discipline in fitness requires a level of efficiency in order to perform at a higher level. The breathing techniques and overall body coordination developed using kettlebell sport translates directly to increased performance in any discipline you are already involved in. You will see gains in your performance in any sport or discipline in which you already participate.
Not involved in a sport or discipline? Girevoy/Kettlebell Sport will translate to making your daily functional life easier. Lifting the kids, yard work, twisting and turning required in our daily lives will be made easier by training the body and the mind with this method of training.
KB Sport as a Sport
Girevoy/Kettlebell Sport is also a competition sport unto itself. For women, regulations mandate holding a kettlebell weighing 12kg to 24kg with one hand, switching hands only a single time without setting the bell down. Winners are determined by the highest number of repetitions achieved on each side within ten or sometimes twenty minute time limits. Men must carry two kettlebells weighing between 16kg to 32kg with the exception of the Snatch event, in which case only one kettlebell is used.
Various organizations like the World Kettlebell Club (WKC), American Kettlebell Alliance (AKA) and the International Kettlebell and Fitness Federation (ISKFA) host competition events regionally, nationally and internationally. The AKA is also working in conjunction with European federations toward adding the sport to the Olympic Games in the future.
Many thanks to The Ice Chamber for helping us articulate kettlebell sport.