Girevoy Sport

Girevoy Sport Update + Six Sigma in GS

We are officially six days out from the competition, and I’ve completed another workout and taken another step closer to my goals.

Jerks:  32 reps w/ 30 lbs KBs in 6.5 minutes

Snatches:  40+23 reps w/ 30 lbs KB in 5-6 minutes

You’ll note the failure to match my left hand performance in the Snatch…my dog managed to turn off my timer with his nose in the middle of the set, throwing me completely off of my rhythm.  I bullied through to 40 reps on the left side with no concern for proper cadence and just had no intensity for the right side.  I decided to call it a day and not do any of the supplemental work, and in fact may forgo supplemental work from now until the actual competition in an attempt to avoid overdoing it.

The snatch numbers remain worrisome, but I think if I can remain focused and concentrate on finding rest in the locked out position of the snatch I should be okay, especially since the bell I’ll be using is both lighter and better equipped for long sets of snatches.  The jerks seem to be coming along well…I concentrated on resting in the rack position, leading to a 5 rep increase and a 30 second increase in total time.  I wasn’t at my absolute limit and could have pushed through a bit longer.

Six Sigma in the Girevoy Sport

A popular initiative in Corporate America is Six Sigma.  This is a system of process improvement aimed at eliminating waste and then reducing variation in a given process.  If your goal were to walk from Point A to Point B, for instance, Six Sigma would have you walk directly there without any unnecessary stops or detours, and would further demand that you take the exact same steps each time you made the walk.  I’ve always found this approach fascinating, because I imagine applying it to all of the mundane and monotonous aspects of life.  Imagine if all the things one is obliged to do were done using such refined processes that we had tons more time to do those things we want to do?  How much can those unpleasant tasks be compressed?  If it takes you 60 minutes to do your laundry, what if you could squeeze it down to 20 minutes?  40 more minutes for a pleasant walk in the park, right?

The Girevoy Sport is an excellent example of Six Sigma being utilized naturally.  The sport involves a single set of 10 minutes for each lift you compete in, and the most work must be accomplished within that boundary without placing the bell/bells down.  Since we know the maximum amount of time we have and we know the process to be completed (the lift itself), the goal of the girevik (kettlebell man) is to perform that task as efficiently as possible.  An efficient Snatch, Jerk, or Long Cycle is one in which absolutely no movement or energy is wasted…once this perfect technique is identified, variation must be eliminated so that each and every repetition looks the same.

We have the following “perfect” Jerk/Long Cycle to work from:

The trick then becomes training our bodies to perform this movement exactly, without compromising form due to fatigue, or to learn the technique incorrectly in the first place.  The Girevoy Sport therefore involves a very Zen-like focus in which panic and fatigue must be controlled while perfect technique is maintained in order for us to meet our goals.

Take a look at the video below.  This is a young Valery Fedorenko at the age of 19 performing 130 jerks with 32 KG Kettlebells.  Note how smoothly efficient each snatch is, and how each one is just like the one before.


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