Two very different and very cool events this week with two very good friends. Monday our friends over at Crossfit Fifty decided they’d press their luck and have us back again. Today it was Blue Coast out in Kapolei.
I’ll start with the take home from Monday. Your friends and coaches will tell you…
You’re doing it wrong.
There are two different schools of thought. Traditionally in Russia, the more familiar “hard” style of kettlebell lifting was the norm for the rank and file fitness nut. Hips back. Shoulders squared. Drive from the hips. Explode. It provided an amazing tool for developing explosiveness and power. However as athletes progressed, those that showed a particular proclivity for the tool were invited into the competitive side of training, the sport of kettlebells. The sport moved beyond developing on off power and explosion and shifted towards explosion over time, a sustained attack. How can you, the athlete, distribute the workload of lifting your bell across as much of the body as possible to create as many explosions as possible over a given amount of time. Greater work production over a prolonged period versus maximal individual explosions over an abbreviated period.
You have to decide what your goal is. Neither one is wrong. You have to decide which road is going to get you to your particular goal.
My goal is to achieve as many repetitions over a 10 minute period as possible without resting the bells. Several of the athletes we worked with this week have the goal to compete and kick as much ass as possible in a sport environment . Here’s the key. Ask any endurance or ultra endurance athlete. If you want to succeed, you have to find where in your movement patterns you can achieve rest and gain the recovery that allows you to push through the rest of your event. If your event includes kettles, barbell snatches, muscle ups and a C2 Rower…first off you’re f*cked. Secondly, you’re going to have to find a place in there somewhere to catch your breath, recover, prepare for what’s to come, overcome.
Economy of movement.
As for the rest of the athletes we worked with this week… Think back. What are the most common goals people come into the gym with? Lose a little weight, gain a little strength and build some cardio ability. So the question becomes one of focusing on your ability to produce massive amounts of explosive force in a few short reps versus developing the strength and stamina to produce more work over a greater period, thus producing a greater total amount of work.
There are pros and cons to both. I’m the first to say that anyone claiming to have the one true way is full of it. I have my preferences according to my goals. The key is in knowing the different roads to Mecca exist and exposing yourself to a greater array of tools and techniques.
This year we were privileged to host Hawai’i's first kettlebell competition. Next year we’re aiming for two. You should be there.
Jump in. Absolute and utter beginners are especially welcome. Wednesday nights at 6pm and Fridays at 2pm. Email me to reserve your spot in advance.
Also look for special kettle series coming to the leeward side and Hawaii Kai very soon. We’ll post more here as soon as we can.