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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Iron Bell Competition 2016

With a big personal event happening later this year I am restricted to picking one or two Kettlebell Sport events. I picked the NJ IronBell Kettlebell competition, June 25th. Since the beginning of 2016 I decided I wanted to compete in both Biathlon and Long Cycle. This was my first comp of 2016 so I decided to go big, I lifted 24kg in both events.
My mindset going into this was to hit a respectable number in Biathlon and get a huge number in Long cycle. Oh how things change when you're on the platform. Biathlon goals were 90 jerks and 150 snatches (75/75) and then 70+ in Long Cycle. My results from the day were

24+24kg Kettlebell Jerk

24kg Kettlebell Snatch

And this is where things changed. I was thinking 70+ reps when I drove to the location in the morning. That changed after completing snatch to 60 reps. After the break and stepping onto the platform I decided to get Rank 1 numbers.

Kettlebell Longcycle

Everything changes when you are tired and your body starts to feel exhausted. Thats what happened. I respect every lifter that trains and competes in both Biathlon and Long cycle. Its tough on the body and the mind. I can't wait to do it again.
Right now my focus is on building reps and speed. The faster I go, the more reps I can get in done in 10 minutes. So from now till next competition, don't know when that will be, I will continue to wokr on all 3 lifts and build up these numbers!!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Hello Long Cycle!!

After the World Championships in Dublin, I noticed that there were a few athletes that competed in both Biathlon and Long Cycle. This happened in the professional as well as amateurs. A couple well known lifters are known to compete in both one of them being Ivan Denisov.
As a goal for myself in 2016, I would like to be proficient in all lifts of competition. Eventually be able to lift 32s in both biathlon and long cycle with good results in both. Why? This makes training interesting :) Also one lift correlates with the others. Training Jerk and Snatch help with Long cycle and vice versa. Example: training Jerk helps with rack and fixation, while long cycle helps with cardio allowing you to lift at a higher rpm in jerk and snatch.
Here is one long cycle session from last week. I'm also starting to do more band work and this is helping with jerk and fixating much quicker. (more on that later)

Sunday, December 13, 2015

World Championships 2015 Dublin, Ireland: Re-cap

It's been a little over two week from the World Championships in Dublin, Ireland. Over 36 countries and 560+ athletes. The USA team brought over 50 athletes to compete this year. Almost all professional weight classes were filled up and there were more than 2 lifters in certain weight classes for the amateurs. Some even went against each other in flights. That helped to make things more exciting for the USA team. The competition went on for 4 full days (26th-29th). These were long days as amateurs started the day and the professionals finished it. The schedule for the competition: 26th Nov, Biathlon and Women's Snatch- Men- 63kg, 68kg, 73kg and 78kg, Women- 58kg and 63kg; 27th Nov, Biathlon and Women's Snatch- Men- 85kg, 95kg, +95kg, Women- 68kg and +68kg; 28th Nov, Long Cycle- All weight classes- Amateur, Professional and Veterans, 29th Nov, Veterans Men's Biathlon and Women's Snatch.

First part of the trip and competition was a bit hard but not difficult. It was the task of registering and weighing in. Since we had a lot of members it took longer than we thought. Thank you to Judi and Rhonda for doing their best to keep this part organized and running smoothly. i was a bit frustrating seeing other teams go in, pay and weigh in before we had a chance to even start. Eventually we finally got to weigh in. I weighed in at 67.3kg (148.06 lbs) which was 1.54 lbs under my weight class. It felt good to come in strong and feeling good (although a bit dehydrated from the 3 hour wait). I had till the following day to rehydrate and eat a hardy meal.

Competition day: I got there early with some of the team. Amateurs were up first so it gave the professional lifters some time to relax and enjoy the amateur lifters put up some great performances. Eric Hayes and Carter Berry both had some great performances; Eric 117 reps in Jerk, Carter 156 reps in Jerk. The rest of the team also put up some really good numbers stepping up on the international platform. Some of the judging was strict and some of it wasn't. It's all subjective to the judge(s) watching the lifters.
I came up around 3pm Ireland time. First up was Jerk. Not my best lift but it was something I had worked on for the last 3 months to improve. Here is my set.

I thought I felt good but nerves probably got the best of me. I got stopped after my 32nd rep for a shoulder infraction. I though I was okay resetting my rack position but it was viewed as illegal rest. There is nothing I could do after putting the bells down. Now I know what I can't do and will have that as a focus during my training going forward. Next up was Snatch.

Snatch is my stronger of the two lifts because there is no real rest position besides the lockout. I hit a personal best of 85 reps (5 better than in Aug). I'm proud to represent the USA in World competition and I hope to do it again. Thank you to all who supported me during this journey!!

Please check out some of the other great lifters from the USA: Juan Pellot and Rick Martins in Long cycle, Chris Doenlen, Aaron Guyett, JT Netterville, John Lesko, and some women Melissa Swanson (141 reps in Snatch!!), Brittany VS, Erin Mercadante, Ryle Reeves and can't forget my FL sister Cayla and Teri!!

When I made the decision to lift at the 68kg weight class I knew what could happen with regards to strength and endurance. My improvement to my endurance was definitely noticeable as I hit new PRs when I ran long distances. It also effected my strength possibly more than I thought. Going forward I will stay at the 73kg weight class but keep my weight around 70-72kg. During the weight loss process when I reached this area I felt really good.

Now back to the basics to really work on my technique and find what works best for me. It's kind of what everyone says when you experience something bad. It was an eye opener but this time around there is more work to do. I have plenty of more reps and great sets ahead of me. More competitions to come and another World Championship in the future. I'm back up to 163lbs and ready to get back to work.
Time to lift and lose some pounds ;) Excited for the road ahead!!

Happy Holidays Everyone!!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Meanwhile in Russia.... Russian National Team selected!!

The Russian National Team that'll be competing in the World Championships in Dublin, Ireland has been selected. Some of our favorite lifters will be competing and some that we don't know much about will be there as well. In any case this team is well respected. They have been leading the sport for many years. It'll be a great experience to see them all lift!!

Here is the link Russian Girevoy Sport National Team
photo cred: Sergei Merkulin

The composition of the Russian national team to participate in World Championship
Men's Professional Biathlon: 
63kg Johnny Benidze, St. Petersburg 
68kg Vladimir Beavers, Tyumen

73kg Alexander Khvostov, St. Petersburg 
78kg Mikhail Sverdlovsk Kvashnin, St. Petersburg 
85kg Anton Anasenko,  Omsk 
95kg Vladimir Gurov, Kaluga  
+95kg Ivanov Denis, Chelyabinsk 

Men's Professional Long Cycle: 
63kg Alex Ryabkov, Tyumen  
68kg Alexander Usoltsev, Tyumen  
73kg Ivan Belyaev, Belgorod region 
78kg Lapshin Nikolai, St. Petersburg 
85kg Denis Vasilyev, St. Petersburg 
95kg Edward Opelender, Omsk  
+95kg Nikolai Kichimaev, St. Petersburg 

Women's Professional  Snatch: 
58kg Olga Yaremenko, Omsk  
63kg Natalya Gorbunova, Omsk  
68kg Xenia (Ksenia) Dedyukhina, Chelyabinsk  
+68kg Anlina Vaskina, Smolensk 

I'm excited to see all the other countries and their participants. Some countries are finishing up their championships to select their athletes. Good Luck to all and see you in Dublin!!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Road to Dublin: Training Update 1

As of right now I'm 5 weeks into my training for World Championships. After having the chance to meet with Ivan Denisov, I have a few things to work on. Biggest thing is to get my numbers up for jerk. So the last few weeks I've been training hard focusing on improving technique and endurance in the lift. The other biggest challenge I face again is the weight loss. I'm going from 165lbs down to 149.6lbs (75kg to 68kg). Its probably the toughest part of my training.
How will I be making the transition from one weight class to another: caloric tracking (intake and usage). I use My Fitness Pal to track calories and Polar Heart Rate monitor to track how much I burn during my workouts and runs. These two applications help make the weight loss easier to handle. I can see exactly what it is I can have and how much food I can eat. Also If I want to have a cheat meal or food I can make sure it works into my daily caloric intake.
As far as training has been going things are working. I'm definitely getting pushed. My technique is getting better in Kettlebell Jerk. Two weeks ago (Sept 26th) I performed some test sets to see where my training is taking me. I was excited with the results. Here is the video:

One big thing in Kettlebell Jerk technique that I'm working on is my balance. I still have a horizontal sway back and forth. It's something I was doing to generate power to get the bells up. What I need to do is remain still until it is time for a rep. Then start the lift without the rocking forward. More on that later.
I'll try to update more often leading up to World Championships. With only 5 weeks left of training until competition things will get more intense.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Training Day with Ivan Denisov

A few weeks after the USA Nationals, a small group of us had a chance to work with Ivan while on his way back from Mexico. Thank you Chris and Yuri for setting that up for us!! The group consisted of Duffey, Aaron L, Cara, Judi and myself. All disciplines of lifting were there, so we were in for some good information.
I won't give everything away but if you get a chance to work with him you'll find out a lot about yourself and where you are. Some of the key points that I will mention, that you have access to, which Ivan went over was being balanced during all movements in jerk and long cycle, and learning to be relaxed in all lifts. He told me some specifics to improve my numbers in Jerk. Kettlebell Jerk is one area where a lot of people know is not my strong lift compared to Kettlebell Snatch. Ivan was able to change the way we thought about the lifts. Same principles just a different thought of how to execute the them correctly. 
I wrote notes and videoed a lot which is something you need to do because there is a lot to go over and over once you are done. 

Big key points- Use your legs not your arms to lift the bells, be relaxed, be balanced and breath. It was a fun afternoon and very informative. Thank you Ivan, Chris and Yuri. 

I will begin to post my Road to Dublin training updates this week. So far re-learning these techniques has been a bit rough but I like where its going!!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Congratulations Team USA Members 2015

In case you missed it, today was the final announcement of all the Team USA Kettlebell Sport athlete who will be competing in Dublin, Ireland this November. Congratulations to all. I wish you all the best in training leading up to the event! It will be the first time for me traveling across the Atlantic for competition. I'm excited for the experience!!