Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Sharing my experience
At a recent meet, some new lifters asked me for advice and the benefit of my experience. I think "benefit of my experience" is the more appropriate term, since I feel pretty inadequate when I consider the level of coaching available out there. Sergey Rudnev immediately comes to mind, although there are many, many great coaches available. Still, I get asked enough questions by enough folks that I thought it may be helpful to write a post that shares the insights I've gained and the limited knowledge I've accumulated during the countless hours I've spent lifting these funny shaped objects in my garage. I'll start with the basics: Kettlebell sport is an endurance sport. Anything you can do to increase your general endurance will help your numbers on the platform. If you are not running, you should start. If you can't run, find an alternative. Many Russian and Russian-coached GS athletes do circuit training to increase their GPP (they also run, of course). And i know more than a couple have used rowers. But running is the gold standard for additional conditioning work. Strength helps, but as of yet there's no statistically measurable benefit. Even Ultra-marathoners strength train, and from an injury prevention stand point, it's a good idea. And there are studies that show improvement in experienced runners who add strentgh training to their regimens, so it only stands to reason that GS athletes would also benefit. However, absolute strength, and even strength endurance, are not predictors of GS performance. The most persuasive reason for strength training for the GS athlete is that most of the top athletes are well-rounded in their conditioning. I will say this: I did my best numbers with the 2x24kg bells at a time when my arms were skinny and flabby and I'd spend most of the proceeding months just running, walking, and doing light squats. Look at strength training as an ancillary part of your training, not as an avenue to bigger numbers. but this method works best for me. There are many trainers with proven records of success that engage in different types of interval training. But I have found that knowing what your personal records are with a given weight for a given time always gives you something to work towards. Even if you don't feel like attempting to break your 10:00 record with your competition bell tonight, you might feel up to beating your 4:00 record with the next lighter set.