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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Girevoy (Kettlebell) Sport explained

It's not for anyone afraid of discomfort. You will most likely get a blister.
Plus, it's really impressive once you know what it entails!

The Classic Kettlebell Lifts:
Jerk, Snatch and Long Cycle.
Biathlon: Jerk and Snatch are grouped together in this one event.
Snatch Only is traditionally the only Women's lift, but has become a stand-alone event for both genders.

Men's and Women's Divisions:
Men perform Jerk and Long Cycle with two kettlebells.
Snatch is performed with one kettlebell.
Women use one kettlebell for all events.
For each division, lifters are organized into weight class, kettlebell load and event.

Time, foremat and correct lifts:
A competitor has 10 minutes to complete as many correct lifts as possible.
A meet is arranged into "flights" where several lifters perform their sets simultaneously.
A lifter only performs one lift for the duration of his/her 10-minute set.
For the Biathlon, athletes do the Jerk set first then have 30 to 60 minutes to prepare for the Snatch set.
Each lifting platform has a counter and a judge. The judge must approve each lift during the set, and will give "no count" penalties for incorrect lifts. The judge gives warnings for improper technique.
In a 10-minute event with a single kettlebell one hand switch is allowed during the set. Once the hand switch is made, it cannot be switched back.
If the weight is set-down or dropped before the time is up that person's set is over.

Specific events:
Depending upon the hosting entity, within the Men's and Women's divisions there may be youth, open, amateur, professional, and masters divisions.
Events beyond the classic lifts (Biathlon, Long Cycle and Snatch Only) vary according to the host.
In some meets there are Jerk Only, Snatch Only and One Arm Long Cycle events for all participants.
In many competitions athletes may participate in up to three events. The organizer positions the athlete in flights that allow 30 - 60 minutes to prepare for the next event.
Strong Sport is represented in 5-minute Jerk, 5-minute Snatch (allowing multiple hand switches) and Seated Press. Strong Sport Lifters are organized by weight class and kettlebell load to determine the winner of each event.

Specific variables determine competitive field:
I enter the Women's 54 kg weight class, 16 kg Biathlon, thus I am only competing against other women in the same weight class and event. Therefore if another woman is in the 54 kg weight class with 16 kg Long Cycle we are not competing against each other unless I also participate in the 16 kg Long Cycle.
It stands to reason that a competitor can only be in one weight class per event.

Photo by Nazo Okc, of Orange Kettlebell Club, CA.
**The above photograph shows a wide range of weight classes and kettlebell loads in one Snatch flight! Everyone here is participating in Biathlon.**

Did I mention, practice for several months before attempting a Kettlebell Sport competition. At the very least, learn the correct technical aspects of your lifts. "No count" reps and sets ended due to repeated warnings can be discouraging!
kettlebellfitness@yahoo.com

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