Yes, before you ask, the title of this post is a poor play on the title of Pantera’s iconic album.
But it’s pretty apt after the weekend’s excitement down at the Irish National Kettlebell Sports Championships hosted by Tramore kettlebells.
If you’ve never come across Kettlebell sports then I’LL give you a very quick overview.
- It sucks
- It is brutally hard
- It requires a degree of mental focus and tenacity that is unlike anything else.
The sport requires a lifter to put up as many reps as possible in a ten minute time period as possible.
The lifter who does the most reps with the most weight wins. Simple.
At least on paper.
The events are:
Biathlon- a set of jerk followed by a set of snatch
Long cycle- a single set of Clean & Jerk
Most amateur male lifters compete with 24kg bells, a pair for the jerk, a single cor the snatch.
During single arm lifts the bell can only be swapped to the other hand once.
At no point in the set sure the bells allowed to touch the floor, rest on the shoulders or pretty much anything that takes pressure of the lifter.
Like I said, it sucks.
Yet people are flocking to the sport.
On the weekend I had two lads lifting in the biathlon event. Matt, a first time competitor and Phil who’s becoming an old hand having represented Ireland in international competition last year and has once again qualified for the Irish squad with a personal best on the jerk.
Here’s Phil’s personal best performance on the 24kg Jerk:
Young Matt stole the show though.
He’s a young university exchange student over from the U.S.
He’s no stranger to training with kettles but had never done the sport. Kind of like someone who lifts barbells but has never done power lifting or weightlifting competition.
Matt was both the youngest and the lightest of the men lifting. He weighed in at 65kg and stood on the platform with a pair of 20kg bells
He put up 62 reps, at 68.7kg bodyweight. He followed this by snatching the 20kg bell for 105 reps.
It was awesome seeing this young man put his soul into those two 10 minute periods, stepping of the platform fit to collapse both times. I received several comments complementing his spirit and tenacity from other coaches.
Kettlebell sport is a test of a person’s mental endurance as much as it is about the physical demands.
If you think you have, or if you wish to find out if you have what it takes to survive in Kettlebell Sport, and in doing so wish to build a near bulletproof physique and “old man” strength, come see me.
There are several short 5min events being run around Ireland with the next major open event taking place in Kilkenny in July.