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Are you a Negative Nancy? Lets spread kettlebell sport positively!

I am writing this because I have been bothered by some of the comments floating around regarding a couple of videos on Instagram from Sara Sigmundsdottir and then several others followed her workout and posted videos of it including athlete Becca Day. The workout was  a double kettlebell complex of snatches, cleans, swings, double press and then single press. Now, even I left a comment on Sara Sigmund’s video suggesting she keep her lockout closer to her head and her elbows in on the clean, just my two cents for better form, but in no way negative. But many others went much farther and left some pretty negative comments, and others shared her video on IG and Facebook stating how terrible her form was. At the same time, the positive people, the glass is half full people, they saw her strength and they saw her using kettlebells in a great way and shared her video and left her comments with positivity.

Here is Sara Sigmundsdottir’s video from Instagram…


Here is Becca Day’s video…


Crossfit and crossfit athletes get a lot of flack for their kettlebell work. The debate has raged on for years as to why crossfit does the American overhead swing, why they continue to do it even though many articles and opinion pieces have been written trying to prove it is the “wrong way”. I am not going to get into that argument here, but I will send you to this article that explains why Crossfit uses the American overhead swing and why they will never change…

Regardless of your feelings and opinions on the crossfit kettlebell swing or their use of kettlebells, with the addition of the GRID League and other crossfit style competitions popping up all over the world, kettlebells are being used more and more and we are seeing more videos and workouts involving kettlebells with snatches, cleans, jerks, in both single arm and two arm doubles fashion as well as walking lunges with two bells overhead and squats with one bell overhead. Some of these videos show some amazing strength, and even though the technique of the athlete in the video may not be the best, they are trying and some of them, like Sara Sigmundsdottir, are pushing some serious weight. While I may make a comment here or there to give them some tips on how to do better or be more efficient or prevent injury, I for one am happy to see kettlebells getting used more and I will always be positive in my comments and tips and never tell them they suck, or they are terrible, or wretched, or any of the other mean spirited snobby comments I have read from others. And I am asking those with negative comments to stop, stop being a fucking snob, yes we are kettlebell sport athletes and we specialize in kettlebells and we are more efficient and graceful and smoother and we make it look easy and our lockout and fixation are great. We know that. We specialize, we are good at it because it is all we do. When I see Sara Sigmundsdottir pushing a set of 24’s I’m thinking “holy shit that’s impressive! And thanks to a crossfit athlete for showing the world that kettlebells are great tools for strength and stamina and muscle endurance and vo2 max training!”. Yes I see she could get her form better, but seriously, she does barbell work all the time, her lockout with two bells is not going to look like mine, she doesn’t do this everyday like I do. I would love to see the kettlebell elitist who were writing negative comments go head to head with Sara Sigmundsdottir in an overhead squat workout or rowing-burpee-rope climb workout, good luck!

So, I am asking all the kettlebell sport people to be patient with the crossfit people, give them positive messages and useful tips, not demeaning or condescending attitude. You are going to see a lot more kettlebell work in the crossfit community and their workouts and I am hoping that they come to people like me and other kettlebell sport athletes for help. They are not going to ask you for help when you are being an asshole. They are going to ask coaches and athletes for help when they see that person is positive and patient and welcoming and they feel safe asking for help and they feel that your coaching and advice and tips will actually help them. Yes the argument can be made that using heavy bells without proper coaching or progression with lighter bells first can lead to injury, but these are top athletes who throw around their body weight on the barbell, overhead and in many complex workouts, routinely. They are strong and they are confident in their strength.

To prove my point, I am going to share this awesome video of one of the greatest Olympic lifters in history, Dmitry Klokov, working with the greatest kettlebell sport athlete in history, to get better with kettlebell technique and form so he can perform better in his crossfit and GRID League competitions. In this video this amazing athlete, who is stronger than 99% of the people reading this article, you will see how much he struggles with his lockout, with fixation, with holding rack, with pronation, and with the bells in general. This man can outlift all of us, but he struggles with the bells because he works on the barbell all the time. He even tells Ivan that even though he is strong, when he lifted kettlebells he could tell he was not doing it right, so he came to the best and asked for help. Wouldn’t it be awesome if a top crossfit athlete came to you for help? Yeah they aren’t going to if they think you’re an elitist asshole.

I am going to leave you with this; we are all in the fitness world, as coaches and gym owners and athletes, to get fitter and stronger and faster and live healhtier lives and to inspire and help others to do the same, so please be positive in your comments and your sharing of videos on social media, words do hurt and they can leave a lasting impression as to your character. Please help others in a positive way, help grow our sport, and help show the world how amazing kettlebells are as a tool for strength and speed and endurance. And to Sara Sigmundsdottir and Becca Day, if you read this, you rock, you’re strong as shit, and if you want to get super efficient with the bells give me a shout, I would be more than happy to help you out!

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