Monday, March 16, 2009

What Is Hardstyle Kettlebell Training? Part 1

What is Hard style Russian Kettlebell Training, Part 1


It may be the best strength and conditioning protocol for those who need to spend as much time as possible training specific to their chosen athletic endeavor and thus have to compress their fitness work into a comparatively short span of time. Additionally, those of us who are simply looking for the most bang for our fitness buck and time invested need look no further than this system of building strength, endurance, power, flexibility, total body awareness and full resilience.

When I started training in the RKC manner, I was 45 years old. In reasonably good shape, I found quickly found out my fitness was far more cosmetic than useful.. The Kettlebell doesn’t lie and I was pretty weak, completely bound up and inflexible, lacking in wind and in general a mess. But hey, I looked pretty good. In fact, my “before” pictures taken back in November 2005 look a lot like the pictures of today. The work I can do in a workout isn’t remotely the same.


I was embarrassed when I first put hand to kettlebell. Nevertheless I knew right away that I had found a tool that I would use for along time, if not forever. My goal soon was to become an RKC certified instructor but frankly the likelihood was remote in my mind’s eye. With that former attitude it’s a miracle I was able to accomplish the goal in hindsight and should give all hope!

I could barely press a 16 KG kettlebell and now can fairly easily grind a 36 KG kettlebell overhead. I have gained amazing strength, conditioning, mobility and flexibility. I assumed I would never get any of this back at one point and now this former collegiate football player may be stronger at 47 than I was at 21. Nice, huh?

So what exactly is “Hard style” Kettlebell training? The main principle is that our body is a machine and should be trained as a unit. The primary elements of the system are “grinds” and “ballistics.” Grinds are Press, Turkish Get Ups, and Squats. Ballistics would be Swings, Snatches and Cleans. Also, we do much joint mobility to blast away old scar tissue and increase our mobility and flexibility while building incredibly useful strength.

Sandy Sommer, RKC

Check Back for Part 2 soon!

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2 Comments:

At March 16, 2009 at 8:01 PM , Blogger Bud said...

This was quite the teaser blog post. I like the progression (16 kg to 64 kg, wow!), and it was a question I had for you. I'm looking forward to future segments.

I would agree that the kettlebell is remarkably challenging. More so than plain old weight training.

 
At March 17, 2009 at 6:47 AM , Blogger Fitgirl-ATX said...

Hi Sandy,
Very nice summation of hard style training! I also appreciate your personal story, as I am sure your clients will also.
Keep getting 'em functionally fit,
Nia
p.s. will still plan to come see you when i'm back in MD. Not sure when I'll be there again, but it will be sometime this year :-) Towson is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Abingdon/Edgewood :-)....

 

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