This past Saturday I participated in my first kettlebell competition.
It was a Bolt competition put on by the IKLF (International Kettlebell Lifting Federation). In case you’re not aware, the Bolt rules make competing in kettlebells more “user friendly” than the original kettlebell sport. They do this through three ways:
- By having more events (Double and Single Snatch, Double and Single Jerk, Double and Single Long Cycle, aka Clean and Jerk)
- By allowing any weight kettlebell to be used, with scoring based on weight x reps.
- Allowing multiple hand switches and allowing the kettlebells to be put down in any event.
I competed in three of the six events. Here are videos of my performances. And they were done in this order.
I worked with 2 x 20kg kettlebells for a total of 97 reps. The first few seconds are cut off.
You’ll notice I did more reps but probably about 20 or so were no-counts as they weren’t quite fixated. As this was my first time being strictly judged, I will need to work on this more for any future competitions. Working to make sure I fixated them on all the reps also proved to be quite tiring.
After the first even my hands were a bit raw. I went with what for me was a pretty light weight, a 24kg, compared to my recent training. I hadn’t done a non-stop 10 minute set in quite some time. To finish through on this was rough but I did manage to go the full 10 minutes, tapping into mental toughness to do so.
Once again, a solid lockout was necessary so it slowed my normal pace. Here I think only 3 reps weren’t counted (when I tried speeding up a bit), so I ended up with 197.
One Arm Jerk
I hadn’t been training in this event at all but decided just to go for it anyway. My friend who was also competing used a 28kg so I decided to use that as well.
As this was less than half an hour after the snatch set, I was quite tired. Here you’ll see I set down the kettlebell quite a few times. While I normally count my reps while I’m working I was also mentally fatigued and got lost on where I was. So in the end I was pretty happy that I managed 121 reps.
Well, for my weight class I did pretty good! I’ll let the picture speak for itself.
(The Hercules 2 Pre-Workout Formula was something I used to support my energy throughout the event.)
Even though I don’t feel I peaked well for this event, letting my other travels get too much in my way of training, I still did good enough. My goal was to bring home the gold in at least two events so that goal was more than achieved.
Lessons on Getting Ready for this Event
As I just mentioned I didn’t feel at my best for this event. There were a couple of reasons for this. I felt I was at the top of my game about three weeks before the event. That’s when I hit 100 reps with the 24kg bells in the double snatch (of course those weren’t all complete lockouts). That was right before a vacation…then the weekend after that I was also on the road.
That might not have been too bad, but I felt like I didn’t get any traction in my training at the times when I was home. If anything I felt like I was backsliding. And the reason this was happening was because I was trying to force things in one direction with the beast snatch. At this point I need to take a couple steps back in order to move forward again. I’ll be sharing more on this idea in a future article…
There’s two other things that I should have done to be ready for this competition. One was to focus on the lockout much more, especially in the double snatch. Working in front of a mirror would be best to help do this so you can see yourself in or out of position.
Secondly, was to do some workouts where I was actually doing several 10 minute sets. If I even did 10 minute sets of kettlebells in my workouts that would be it for the day in my training. Thus having to do it back to back to back in the competition I was very much smoked.
In fact, I think it would be fun (in that weird sadistic kind of way) to go for the Ironman challenge in this in the future and do all six events! To do so would take some major work capacity.
In the end the results were pretty good and I learned some lessons for the future. Hard to beat that.