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Girevoy, The Kettlebell Sport

Girevoy, The Kettlebell Sport

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

by Dan Henderson from Australian Institute of Kettlebells

When I tell people that I have recently hired a Girevoy specialist coach and am looking to compete they look at me with a blank look and have no idea what I am talking about. So I thought I would share what Girevoy is and my experiences…..

Girevoy is the sport of kettlebells and I have never experienced anything so tough and demanding! There are essentially two events in girevoy and these are the Long Cycle Clean and Jerk and the Biathlon. The biathlon is the jerk and the snatch. Now I bet I know what you’re thinking…. A few heavy clean and jerks aren’t all that tough! Well you are right but it gets incredibly tough when you are lifting them for 10 minutes!

The unique feature of the sport is that it features a lift that requires power over an endurance length of time (10 minutes). The first time you attempt the lifts you feel like the first few minutes are a cinch and then it all starts going pear shaped…. You still getting out of breath, your shoulders burn, legs shake uncontrollably and your forearms feel like exploding. The key with girevoy is to build endurance over a length of time. The other essential key is efficiency of movement.

You need to become an efficient machine so there is no wasted energy or effort. You see 1 bad habit repeated over 10 long minutes will lead to unnecessary exhaustion and fatigue. You can get away with some bad efforts over a short space of time but there is no cheating when it comes to 10 minutes. The movements are very complex and this is why it takes years to master them and build endurance.

The weights that the professionals use is almost hard to believe…. Two 32Kg Kettlebells! Now I am very much in the amateur category and use a combination of 16,20 and 24 Kg bells. It will be some time (if ever) before I get that elite level. What I do get is an awesome appreciation of the level of athleticism and conditioning you need to be at that level.

The sport is still very much in its infancy in Australia but it is beginning to grow steadily. Last year Australia held its first ever nationals and this was a big occasion for the sport. The sport is massive in Eastern Europe and it would be a great to see Australians compete on this elite stage in the near future.

In our Level 2 course we introduce the sport of Girevoy and give you a small sample of the demands. If you would like to learn more then please look at Girevoy Australia’s website:

My plan is to compete for the 1st ever time in September and give this 10 minutes a shake!

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