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View Full Version : Personal Record + a lot of fun



Catrin
06-09-2014, 05:40 PM
Well, it is a lot of fun for me! It is amazing how much my shoulders and neck has improved since I started focusing on kettlebell lifting a few months back. Things have been going so well that my coach is preparing me, slowly but surely, for competition. There are a lot of female competitors my age and older in the kettlebell sport (GS) world, and also lots of younger women as well. There is something very primal about kettlebell lifting that requires as much focus as riding does for me - which means I have to disconnect and focus on that moment (to keep from hitting my head with a rather large and heavy piece of steel) and I like that a lot. I also love the feeling of being able to lift and move my whole body at the same time.

Today my coach had me focus on the KB jerk and long cycle. Here is a link to an incredible pair of women who are competing in the Long Cycle (http://youtu.be/ZmXH_qGSayo) (which is a combination lift of the clean and jerk). These two women are both Master of Sports rank (this rank is REALLY HARD to reach). The purple kettlebells they are using are 44 pounds in weight.

My first "competition" will actually focus on me establishing my rank/proving myself rather than competing against someone else. That is the only person I will ever compete against, ME! The weight is prescribed by one's rank and the reps I am expected to do in those 10 minutes to establish my rank is determined by my weight class - and you can't skip ranks. Beginners rank means that is quite low (8 KG for the snatch) - which makes it much less intimidating. I hope to do this in March if not before, but it probably won't be any earlier than that. It will be in the snatch (here is another incredible pair of women snatching 53 pound kettlebells (http://youtu.be/3WvYQ7JYztE))

I will never be close to the same rank of the 4 women in the above two videos. I do, however, have a role model who inspires me and I hope that I am as strong and fast as she when I am HER age. SHE is 67 years old and just took the podium this weekend in an international long cycle competition in France. HERE Mimi is rocking (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhNEyVLhrpI) the 8KG kettlebell in the snatch in a comp from 6 months ago (I don't have the video from this weekend yet) - she is the one in the middle at the start. She doesn't LOOK 67, does she? This is a light weight for her, she decided to go for reps as you will see if you watch it. She was having fun with this. She is my inspiration and I want to be like her in 13 years :-) I would love to meet her sometime, but alas, she lives in France. When she took the podium this weekend it was in the Long Cycle, very impressive work at any age!

Ok, I will hush now :-) Can't tell I am pumped and strongly encouraged by the butt-kicking my coach gave me today, can you?

Veronica
06-11-2014, 02:10 PM
I had no idea that there were kettlebell competitions. That's cool!

Veronica

Catrin
06-12-2014, 02:59 AM
I had no idea that there were kettlebell competitions. That's cool!

Veronica

Yes it is :-) We are working on my shoulder stability (strength) and my lats so I can lock the weight out properly. I can execute all the lifts, but fixation at the top is vital and that is a bit challenging for me. Fixation = everything stops, kettlebell, arm, body. We are "sneaking up" on my shoulders so I don't get injured, for, of course, beginners are more prone to injuries from improper form or overuse.

ridebikeme
06-13-2014, 04:32 AM
Awesome! It looks as though a couple of those ladies might be starting to put their backs in a challenging position...

Congrats on starting a new phase in your life, very exciting!

Catrin
06-13-2014, 05:07 AM
Awesome! It looks as though a couple of those ladies might be starting to put their backs in a challenging position...

Congrats on starting a new phase in your life, very exciting!

It IS quite challenging to lift heavy kettlebells for 10 solid minutes with only one hand switch and no setting it down. Technique is vital, and there are different styles. The Jerk in particular is a rather unnatural movement and is considered the most difficult to learn. A couple of the women in the videos are jerking almost half their weight - the green KB (24 KG) is typically referred to as "the green monster". The KB weight is dictated by one's rank, I will NEVER be even close to their rank. Nor do I want to be, though if I were a few decades younger I might have decided to chase them down :)

Time will tell if I can get my shoulder stability to the point where I can achieve true lockout/fixation consistently - which is required for competition. Working on accessory exercises for that, so time will tell. Thankfully my coach has decades of experience and is a former judge & competitor so he knows what to look for :cool: He is also 67 years old and specializes in training the "active aging athlete". As hard as it is to admit, that is the category in which I fall at 54!

I do miss riding, thankfully this activity provides me the same level of focus as riding does/did. Now I "just" have to train smart so I don't destroy my shoulders as I progress. KB lifting is quite joint friendly IF approached properly. My coach won't allow me to do anything he doesn't think I am ready for, and I follow his instructions when I am working out in my home KB gym. I've all the weights between 6KB-14KB, which combined with a Jungle Gym + Airex Pad means I only need to go to NIFS to meet with him and when I feel like being around other people or if I need heavier KB weights or other equipment.

Considering how my neck and shoulders are improving, perhaps someday I can ride again without nerve impingement/neurological symptoms!