Kettlebell Sport Classic draws competitors from around the globe
on February 12, 2013
On Saturday, 39 competitors from around the world competed at Richmond’s Ice Chamber to see who could lift cannonball-like weights over their heads the most times in the Bay Area’s first-ever Kettlebell Sport Classic.
For 12-year-old Rylee Reeves, lifting a 22-pound weight over her head 94 times with her right arm, and 85 times with her left arm wasn’t a problem. The trick was doing it nonstop for 10 minutes. “It really didn’t get hard until the third minute,” said the North American Junior Division record holder about her 10-minute performance. “That’s when you get really tired and you realize you’re weightlifting.”
The competition featured Kettlebell Sport World Champions Misty Shearer of Canada, Svitlana Krechyk of the Ukraine, and Jessica DiBiase of California. Contestants ranged in ages from 12-60 years old, while the kettlebells themselves weighed anywhere from 17-70 pounds.
The sport originated in Russia and incorporates lower body strength with cardiovascular fitness. There are three basic moves: “The clean” swings the kettlebell through one’s legs, coming to rest on the shoulder area; “the snatch” also swings the kettlebell through the legs, but one has to stabilize the weight over their head with a stiff arm; and “the jerk” takes the kettlebell from a resting position near the shoulder area and explodes it over one’s head with a stiff arm.
Steven Khuong, co-founder of Ice Chamber, said people like kettlebell because they can establish strength without developing a lot of bulk.
Peter Fabian said he loved weightlifting, but after his hip replacement in 2008 he wasn’t sure he could still do it. So he decided to pick up something light like kettlebell. “You can do a lot with this exercise,” he said after his first round of competition. “And you can vary it for all different kinds of people. I’m in my 60s. You just got to be able to slowly progress with it.”
For more information about kettlebell training, or competition, click here.
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