This is a bit of a backtrack, but compete in kettlebell sport. Called Girevoy Sport in its homeland of Mother Russia, I pickup it up a few years ago from a friend I worked with. So to backtrack even more…I bought my first kettlebell years ago at an MMA conference. I had little to no knowledge how to use it other than what to guy selling them showed me. So I carried that heavy little bastard home and started experimenting. I practiced the swing, press and snatch with decent proficiency but little to no efficiency. It started gathering dust after a while until i got a job as a personal trainer at a swanky gym in Santa Monica. There I was surrounded with new fitness minded friends who loved to work out. One of those friends encouraged me to get a certification, which I did, and then went on to get a REAL certification with IKFF, the International Kettlebell and Fitness Federation. This was the real shit, they taught competition style! It was all about efficiency, endurance, mental toughness and grace. Though the shit is hard, you gotta make it look easy and keep your calm. I loved it. Soon after I joined a group with my friend and we got together once a week to work out and go over form. I ate it up. I practiced often and eventually signed up for a competition in Michigan. Unfortunately things happened and I had to cancel the trip, leaving me off the competition platform for a few years.
Fast forward to 2011, I entered my first official competition. I toughed out injuries and worked very very hard for that comp and did well. I set personal records (PR’s) and made some new friends. Since then I have participated in a couple informal and fun comps put on my friends but this past Saturday was my first REAL DEAL comp. Competitors came from all over the country and even a few from Canada. It was an amazing experience. I miss competition so much! Everyone cheered for one another and encouraged eachother to go for it. There were plenty of lifters who were on the platform for the first time and that was amazing to see. There were also plenty of experienced lifters there as well, including Denis Vasilev, one of the best lifters in the world. I was lucky enough to talk to him a bit and get some very helpful tips.
Besides meeting Denis some of my highlights were meeting new friends, making “small world” connections, setting PR’s, seeing a newcomer complete an entire 10 min set with 1 arm, seeing my friend galya kick ass in the jerk, watching a new american record get set, and just getting to compete again.
After the weekend I revamped my workout program and will be starting new, looking forward to the next comp in August. This time I’m going to do what I should have done all along and start slow, master my form and get my reps up with lighter weights instead of jumping right up to the heaviest ones like the predicable meathead i am.