I have practiced some GS (girevoy sport) techniques previously. Some of the basic stuff like corkscrewing your arm downward. Although my swings and snatches were rarely done with maximum tension, I now know that what I was doing was pretty far from the real techniques used in kettlebell lifting competitions. Previously, I talked about how I was approaching this whole event. You know, with an open mind and all. So that was not hard. A little more difficult was making my body do things differently then I had been doing all this time.
One of the main things is breathing naturally. Also called anatomical breathing. Basically when you are in a downswing your torso is collapsing so you will breath out. As you come back up you naturally breathe in.
This is fine when you are not under a heavy load. Breathing out as you descend in a squat with 500 pounds on your back would be a bad idea. Kettlebells are relatively light (assuming you use weights you are capable of) so this is not a problem.
The whole idea of bracing for a kettlebell swing (snatch or clean too) is not wrong but a different application. Breathing in one method is optimal for strength and the other for endurance.
So I had to consciously think to breathe out on the way down and round my back. There were many other points like this that I need to work on.
Why would you choose one way of doing things over the other?
Let’s talk about the whole philosophy of the AKC. Valery Federenko is frighteningly strong and enduring. He is a world champion at this stuff. Right there is proof that he knows what he is doing. Many of the techniques he taught us where things he taught himself or learned on the road to doing over 130 Jerks and over 90 Snatches with each hand using 32kg (70 lb.) kettlebells.
Kettlebells are made for these lifts. And high repetitions. These techniques are the optimal way to do that. If you want to reach the highest numbers in these lifts then you should use these techniques. Using kettlebells in other ways can be done. They can be used, and effectively, for bodybuilding or weightlifting, but that is not what they are made for.
Now if you are not competing with kettlebells, would you still want to use these techniques? There is no doubt that properly training in this manner or any other can be very beneficial for health and fitness.
So is training this way better than the Hard-Style method of training? Assuming that the only goal was health and fitness, so that we avoid the argument of different training for different reasons. Or perhaps just martial artists or athletes who want to be in the best shape for their sport. I don’t know for sure. The only thing I can say here is that it would be a fun thing to do a study on.
More coming soon.