The OKC (Orange Kettlebell Club) First annual California Open Kettlebell Championships

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. 

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This years Goals

This can be considered a new years resolution but that was to train hard for my last competition.
So here are a few of the strength and conditioning goals that I have for the year

Short term

100 consecutive jerks with double 16kg kettlebells

100 consecutive snatches per hand with 16kg bell (per hand)

Start my grip training again

work on my corrective exercises

Get my core strong again

Long Term 6+ months

300lb bench press

600lb deadlift

500 back squat

Achieve the Rank Candidate for Master of Sport in Kettlebells with 24kg bells in biathlon.

Close the #3 CoC gripper from Ironmind.

Do a single pullup with my own bodyweight attached (if i weigh 200 lbs I’ll attach 200 extra lbs to me)

One armed pullup.

My training will focus on the heavy stuff and I will use the light weight kettlebells for cardio, conditioning and grip training at the end of my workouts.

Everyone should create goals like this, both short and long term.  Some of them should be lofty like my 600 lb deadlift.  I’ll get started today!