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Light ≠ Easy

 I stepped onto the training floor the other day where my advanced group were milling about getting ready to begin. Ray, one of my top lads pipes up “Eoghan’s just back from holiday, so he asked if we could do a light session today” I had planned to do heavy front squats to a low box, but how could I refuse such a request.

We kept it light the whole session opening up with bodyweight squats, static squats, push ups, hindu push ups, alligator holds (hold the bottom of a push up). We continued with a relatively light double Kettlebell clean and jerk set, for 5 minutes. This was followed by one arm clean & jerk for 2 min per arm only slightly heavier. Back to the lighter doubles then for Sissy squats x 50 and single leg Romanian deadlifts x 25 each leg.

We had time to spare so I took the gang through a light conditioning session: 5 reps each of Swing, Burpee and Hindu Push Up. We did this on the top of the minute for 10 minutes. Nothing heavy, just bodyweight drills and swings.

By the end of the session they were all cursing Eoghan, of course it wasn’t his fault, Ray was just blaming him. But the point remains, just because you’re not lifting huge amounts of Iron, it doesn’t mean you’re not working hard. Static strength, as in the squat and alligators, is a skill often ignored, but very challenging to practice and essential to contact sports. Kettle bell lifts, even with light bells, are taxing due to the explosive nature, the fact that every lift is done at maximal speed. And then there’s that finisher, only 5 reps of each? Bodyweight? I know 5 swings, 5 burpees and 5 hindu push us is hardly a challenge. But try to do them as fast as possible so you get the longest rest, then do it again, and again. The last set as the buzzer goes off signalling the 10th minute is a killer.

As usual the gang pushed and worked extremely hard. Everyone put in a huge effort. A light workout certainly did not equal an easy workout. Perhaps Ray will choose his words more carefully next time….

We also held the Level 3 Kettlebell Workshop over the weekend. Level 3 is the most detailed of all the workshops as it covers the classical lifts, Snatch and Jerk. I wish to thank all participants for not only taking part but also for their insights, questions and comments. Every time I teach a workshop I learn something from the attendees, this time was no different. And judging from the feedback at then end of the workshop, the group all learned something as well. The Snatch and Jerk are two lifts that take a long time to master (I’ve been snatching for over  6 years now and it’s still not perfect!)  so a two hour workshop is only enough time to get the framework, now the guys have to go away and perform hundreds, even thousands of repetitions before mastery of these two incredible lifts can be gained.

If you wish to learn the art of kettlebell lifting, for home use, for increasing your knowledge as an instructor or just for interest, have a look at the side bar for upcoming dates. I’m also available to come to your gym and run a bespoke kettlebell workshop specific to the needs of your group. Give me a shout for further details.

Till next time


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