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A Holistic Approach to Kettlebell Sport

On Saturday I ran the first of what I hope to be a regular series of events.

An in house workshop for members and friends of WG-Fit covering a single topic to a detail greater than we can cover in our regular trainings.

This first event was an Introduction to Kettlebell Sport

A post shared by Dave Hedges (@dave_hedges) on Jul 21, 2018 at 6:46am PDT

Now, a half day to cover Kettlebell Sport is a highly ambitious undertaking, so we aimed to keep the info fairly broad and superficial. More a case of showing people how much they don’t know and seeing if it sparks curiosity to delve deeper in the time after the workshop.

And I think we may have succeeded.

The ideas that stood out were the holistic nature kettlebell sport must take if you are to succeed. Especially if you aim to train the lifts for general fitness and/or compete in the sport for many years to come.

What do we mean by “holistic”

By it’s nature, kettlebell sport is a “strength-endurance” event, it require you to lift a moderate weight for many repetitions.

The greater your maximal strength, the lighter the bells feel, so more reps become possible. The greater your cardiovascular efficiency, the more times you can contract those muscles to lift the bells.

For best performance you want to lift as efficiently as possible. The means the best technique possible. And that requires mindfulness and focus in training.

In order to have optimal technique, you must be able to achieve certain positions, this will require a degree of flexibility and mobility. a In short training for kettlebell sport requires you to: Become Strong Become Enduring Become Mobile

What do I harp on about endlessly as the holy trinity of fitness?

Strength – Mobility – Endurance

So what would a training session look like?

We would start with a warm up of course. This is where joint mobility will be explored and any tight areas worked on.

Then we begin lifting, several light sets building up to a level above our training weight for this session. This allows us time to wok on technical nuances, dial in the mindset and ensure we are in good shape to do the work sets. The work sets. These vary in duration and intensity. Some days may be strength focused, some working on lactate tolerance, some more aerobic in nature. Sessions could be very technical in nature or focussed on the grind. But technique must NEVER take a back sea no matter what the aim if the training session might be.

And we finish with assistance work specific to the athlete. This is commonly leg and core strength, as well as specific flexibility work.

All kettlebell sport athletes are also encouraged to get out on their own time to run or perform a cardio session of choice. All at a light pace, a conversation pace, somewhere between 130 – 150BPM if we are measuring heart rate.

It’s a tough and demanding sport, but if you take a long term view and train with a holistic focus to develop strength, mobility and endurance in equal measure.

I think you’ll find it rewarding.

Currently I have one beginners Kettlebell Sport program available for purchase, you can see that here

While it may be called “beginner” it is a great program that will keep you developing for a long time to come. Perhaps “fundamental” would have been a better title than “beginner”

Or if you’re in Dublin and you want coaching, you know where to come.


Dave Hedges

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