Girevoy Sport

Girevik Gameness

Gameness is a term that comes from the canine breeding world that refers to the quality of certain dogs to show eagerness despite the threat or reality of injury or resistance.  This term is often applied in the dog-fighting world, which is something I’m entirely ethically opposed to, but I think the concept of gameness applies to humans as well.

Oftentimes we have to push ourselves to our absolute limits and beyond to accomplish a goal that is absolutely important to us.  This kind of gameness and drive isn’t healthy if pushing yourself to or past your limits becomes ANY sort of a habit, but occasionally pushing yourself into that zone where you know you’re at your absolute limit is important.  In a real world situation where you are at your physical limit or during competition you can think to yourself, “No big deal…I’ve been to this place before…I’m comfortable here.”

I stumbled across the video I’ve linked below on the Caestus Palestra blog (linked in my blogroll) and was absolutely floored by the gameness and drive displayed by this Girevik.  Please note I’m not advocating pushing yourself until you pass out…lets say he’s at 10 and most of us would be healthier and happier at about a 7, haha.

Here’s MY thing though…doesn’t he have to wake up and do snatches now???  How is THAT going to work?


8 thoughts on “Girevik Gameness

  1. Nice blog man, Just discovered it from a link of of Keith Norris’ site.

    And in answer to your questions, in girevoy sport you either do Jerks and then snatches, OR long cycle clean and jerks (as seen in that video). The Long Cycle Clean and Jerk is typically done as a single event.


  2. You’re right! I’m in a biathlon mindset. Have you competed in GS before?

    Thanks for the compliment, by the way. I draw a lot of inspiration from Keith’s site. He has lots of great quality info on his site and I hope someday people will say the same of mine.


  3. Hey Jerry,

    No I’ve never competed in GS, but I used to train in a pretty exclusively GS style for a while. A few goals I had wanted to accomplish were RKC requirements (snatch a 24kg bell, gs style for 64 total reps which was tough). I also used to focus a great deal on Kenneth Jay’s VO2 max snatch protocol.

    My training has changed pretty dramatically since then, but I still retain enormous respect for anyone who ponies up to compete in GS. The thought of snatching a 32kg bell for 10 minutes makes me think “That must be what hell is like.”

    If and when I bring girevoy lifts back into focus in my training, I’ll certainly keep you posted!


  4. They’ve since changed the format of the RKC test so that it requires 100 snatches with the 24kg bell in 5 minutes regardless of your bodyweight.

    I weigh in at roughly 135 lbs, so banging out that many reps is going to be tough, but I hope to do it eventually.

    • Huh,

      Can you switch hands multiple times, or drop it, or must it be done GS style. All reps one side, one swing to switch, than all snatches other side?

      Sounds tough either way.

      • You can switch hands as often as you want, so grip strength/cumulative muscle fatigue is a bit less of a problem, however you have to maintain a breakneck 20 reps/minute and it’s probably tougher to do it using the AKC corkscrew-style snatch.

        I DON”T think you’re allowed to actually drop the bell though, either way to be honest its WELL outside of my current capabilities ;). I’ll need to spend some time on it for sure.

  5. I found this link to the new standards. Check it out.

    So you’d have to do 12 snatches per minute to achieve the required 61 snatches for your bodyweight (1 snatch per kg) and you can set the bell down as many times as you like.

    This is definitely easier in my opinion, but then again I have a great many snatches under my belt with the 24kg bell, and I’m a lot bigger than you (180lbs). Still, the grip fatigue is devastating when you have to do all your snatches without dropping the bell or making only one grip change.

    Good luck man, you can do it!

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