I want to share and maybe clarify a few things about training with Russian Kettlebells (RKB) here in USA. Russian kettlebells can be used in fitness training as well as in the more traditional sport of Girevoy or GS. (Girevoy Sport)
You need to understand the difference between GS training and just RKB training, and there is a MAJOR difference.
Let’s talk first about GS. What is GS?
GS is a very specific type of kettlebell training/direction. This is the professional sport of kettlebells, which includes two types of competition: Classic (Jerk and Snatch) and the Long Cycle (clean and jerk)
During a GS competition the athlete competes in one of the above mentioned competitions. The goal is to complete the highest number of reps in 10 minutes WITH OUT setting the kettlebells down.
The main focus of GS is to compete. (The fitness side of it is just an added benefit) GS is a very difficult sport that requires many things to be competitive. Technique, Consistency, Guts and Patience, and extreme conditioning. Sounds simple right? (Trust me it is not easy.)
There are a few steps that you need to follow and also know how to follow:
g. Knowing how to train to pick out right on time.
h. Small steps
And above all else and most important is get the right coach. One with the experience of competing AND coaching for competitions. In the sport of GS it is crucial that your coach leads by example. You need a coach “Who walks the walk” and NOT just “talks the talk.” I have been honored to have such a coach.
My coach Panteley Filikidi is a man I respect not only for his accomplishments with in the sport of GS as a competitor, but also for his coaching style.
Now let’s talk about KB training:
A kettlebell is a very versatile tool to train with. You can do pretty much every single exercise that you can do with dumbbells plus a few new ones.
Most people train just to get some training done. This normally includes few sets of swings, some presses and some snatches or lifting very heavy kettlebells for few sets.
No structured workout and no specific goal.
Pretty much the same workout as always but with a new training tool (KB).
No correct technique involved but a HUGE possibility of injury. (Especially from lifting very heavy kettlebells.)
When people say I do weightlifting you don’t know what exactly they are doing, when they say I do Olympic Weightlifting then you know exactly what they training for. It is a very specific type of training/direction.
With kettlebells it is the same thing. GS is specific direction, Kettlebells or KBs are wide variety of things.
I believe the GS approach for training is by far more advanced and useful training, then just KB training. And here is the one of the main reasons: Every exercise in GS must involve the right technique otherwise you will never see high numbers in competition.
And correct technique translates into “Safety” and longevity.