I want to share and maybe clarify a few things about training with Russian Kettlebells (RKB) here in the US. Russian kettlebells can be used in physical training as well as in the more traditional sport of Girevoy or GS. (Girevoy Sport)
You have to understand the difference between GS training and just RKB training, and there is a MAJOR difference.
Let’s talk about GS first. What is GS?
GS is a very specific type of kettlebell training / steering. It is the professional sport of kettlebells, which includes two types of competition: Classic (Jerk and Snatch) and Long Cycle (clean and jerk)
In a GS competition, the athlete participates in one of the competitions mentioned above. The goal is to complete the most reps in 10 minutes WITHOUT adjusting the kettlebells.
The main objective of GS is to compete. (The fitness side is just an added bonus) GS is a very difficult sport that requires a lot of stuff to be competitive. Technique, consistency, courage and patience, and extreme conditioning. Sounds simple, right? (Believe me, it’s not easy.)
There are a few steps you need to follow and know how to follow:
g. Know how to train to choose just in time.
h. Small steps
And above all, the most important thing is to find the right coach. One with experience in competition AND coaching for competitions. In the sport of GS, it is essential that your coach leads by example. You need a coach who “walks the walk” and NOT just “speaks the talk.” I was honored to have such a coach.
My trainer Panteley Filikidi is a man I respect not only for his accomplishments 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 for training. You can do just about all the exercises you can do with dumbbells and a few new ones.
Most people train just to train. This normally includes a few sets of swings, a few presses and a few scraps or lifting some really heavy kettlebells for a few sets.
No structured training and no specific goals.
Much the same workout as usual, but with a new training tool (KB).
No correct technique involved but a huge possibility of injury. (Especially when lifting very heavy kettlebells.)
When people say I do weightlifting you don’t know what exactly they’re doing, when they say I do Olympic weightlifting you know exactly what they’re training for. It is a very specific type of training / leadership.
The same goes with kettlebells. GS is a direction specific, Kettlebells or KBs are a wide variety of things.
I believe the GS approach to training is by far a much more advanced and useful training then just KB training. And here is one of the main reasons: Every GS exercise has to involve the right technique or you will never see large numbers competing.
And correct technique translates into “safety” and longevity.