Well, this was our second kettlebell competition and we loved this one just as much as our first one! The only thing that upset me was not as a lifter but as a coach; we were suppose to have a team of 4 people going and we ended up only having two, Lindsay and I. One of our lifters could not get out of work and the other did not sign up by the deadline. Hopefully we have more than 4 people at the next competition!
I have two goals now; one as a lifter and one as a coach, the first is to keep beating my personal records, to lift faster, and my second goal as a coach is to get more people to compete.
Why do I want more people to compete? Because in this gym I can name half a dozen people who could have and should have competed at this competition, they have the ability, both mentally and physically to compete and to actually do very well. But in order to compete you have to train your ass off, stay focused and you have to be ready to step on to the platform. I believe in you, you know who are, but now you have to believe in yourself!
As far as my personal goals of getting my rep counts higher, it just means I have to keep training my ass off and pushing the intensity. My PR in the gym was 40 reps and I hit 45 at the comp. Once I knew I was going to make 40 (which qualified me for Rank 3 in the AKA) I started shooting for 50 (which would have gotten me Rank 2), but my grip started failing on the clean due to a very sweaty left hand and with 15 seconds left in my set I put the kettlebells down, happy I made 45, a PR and Rank 3, but a little upset I didn’t get those 5 extra reps for the next rank. I really paced myself at the beginning of my set so I did not die off at minute 5 to 8, what I like to call “the dead zone”, where I have failed many times and where many other lifters fail. In the dead zone, it is like no mans land, you’ve already put in half a set, so you are far from the beginning, but you can’t see your destination yet, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. At minute 8 I know I kind make the next 2 minutes and I start pushing a little harder being on that high of knowing you’re going to finish. With one minute to go I really push as hard and as fast as I can go, when you know you only have 60 seconds you can do anything, you can walk across hot coals. With that being said, you can push harder and faster, until your grip fails completely and then you’re done, sometimes this happens very suddenly.
I am happy with my results from this comp, and I am especially happy with Lindsay for smoking her PR and getting Rank 2 and a first place trophy. As you will read below in Lindsay’s review, we met some friends that we made at our first comp and we made some new friends. While the competition is a group of people competing for ranks and trophies, it really comes down to you versus you. Lifting comps are more about being the best lifter you can be, hitting a PR, soaking in all the cheers and applause and then cheering on all the other lifters. Since there are so many weight classes, there is usually only a small number of people in your weight class, so cheering on the other lifters is perfectly normal and an amazing thing to see and experience. Kettlebell lifting truly is a friendly competition, I have yet to meet one negative person or someone with an ego too big for their body or their skills. Kettlebells will humble you, because in the end they will break you down and cause you agonizing pain, but pushing through it is what competing is all about.
Lindsay and I have found another venue to compete in and we are happy we found it! Unlike fighting, there is little to no risk of massive trauma or injury. We all walked away happy. After the comp a large group of lifters and friends, family and supporters had lunch and later that night another group all had dinner together. It was a great experience to hang out with so many hard working and dedicated people to talk about training, the competition itself and to just talk about life in general.
We truly hope that some of you will become more interested in competing and will join us in our next competition! Stay tuned for an announcement on when and where the next comp will be!
Lindsay’s review of the competition:
Doug and I competed in our second kettlebell competition a couple weeks ago. I’m here to give you the low down on a competition, and maybe divulge some secrets…
First off of, competitions are great! In a competition, especially if you are my size, it’s mostly about besting YOUR previous score and has nothing to do with the other lifters. In that respect, it’s not even a competition so much as it is a gathering of people who like to lift kettlebells for 10 minutes at a time and then cheer everyone else on. I was very in tune with what Doug was saying and what my judge was saying, but I could hear people in the crowd cheering me on…and I had no idea who they were. You start to struggle, they yell for you even louder. You get towards the end of your set and everyone is on their feet for you and the other lifters in your flight. It’s like that for every single flight.
Secondly, we saw some of the same people this past weekend who we met previously at the competition in May. They’re like long lost friends. You’re thinking, “we’ve only met twice, but man, it feels like we’ve known each other longer than that.” There’s no cattiness, no one-uppers, it’s the most relaxed competition ever.
Third, the people we didn’t know before and met at the meet were awesome. Everyone is nice. And I mean everyone. Everyone wants you to succeed, everyone congratulates you at the end, and it’s awesome. After a fight, people will come up and shake your hand and say “great fight”, but you know they don’t always mean it. After your kettlebell set, people come up smiling, high five you and say “great work! that was awesome!”, and you can tell they mean it.
So, the secret you ask? Kettlebell competitions are fun. Seriously fun. If you relax and kinda keep yourself semi-competitive-but-not-out-for-blood-competitive, you’ll have a blast! There are some high level lifters who’ve been doing kettlebell sport for years, and some people who have just picked up a bell recently and are mainly trying to prove to themselves that they can handle a cannonball with a handle on it for 10 minutes, but mostly it’s people like you and me and Doug. People who work with kettlebells but do other stuff too. So, what are you afraid of exactly? Failing? There were people there who moved up to a heavier bell (different organization, different rules) and were happy to get X number of reps or XX amount of time. Some people lost the bell and ended up dropping it, not on purpose either, and no one cared except that person.
Seriously, we would love more people to go to the next competition we go to. If a 57 year old man can do it, a 12 and a 15 year old can do it, AND a girl with one arm in a cast can do it, what’s your excuse?