Courtesy Boris from Irongarm, continuous snatch tests came to my attention. Again, that is, as I used to do them some years ago, though in a somewhat different format. Boris the Monster mentioned in the goals thread that he wants to snatch 24 kg for an hour non-stop. I sort of spaced this out at the time, but then the topic came up again, and I decided to give it a go.
As I said, I used to do them years ago (more than ten years ago), simply switching hands every ten reps. My best at the time was 230 reps. Boris gave me the idea of cadence. He said he snatches at 10 reps per minute, switching every ten reps. I tried, and after the first session I am hooked.
I am currently working on my aerobic base by jogging MAF style. This was triggered by an unpleasant arrhythmia episode followed by a coronary angio at the end of October. There is some plague, non-obstructive, nothing too bad. Still, improving the endurance base wouldn't hurt. I turned 58 at the beginning of November, and so my working HR is around 122/min. I am a shit runner, and so first few sessions were a mix of jogging and walking, as my HR was easily shooting over 135 - 140. Dammit, my wife walks faster than I jog, but what can I do... At least I can now jog for an hour non-stop.
One day it was too hot outside, so I grabbed a 10 kg kettlebell, put on my Polar strap (the one you put on the chest) and set up the GymBoss app to beep every six seconds. Switching hands every ten reps. Later, as the hear rate was climbing over the MAF level I would switch hands every five reps.
Surprisingly, this felt pretty incredible. First session with the measly 10 kg felt like a proper jog. I stopped after 30 minutes when my HR was persistently over 140. Next session - 45 minutes, this time I hit 140 right at the end.
Next workout was interesting. I decided to snatch 2 kg, and for about 5 minutes my HR was hovering under 110. I stopped and took my wife's HR monitor - same result. Soon after starting the session I tore couple of calluses and so I stopped. Next time - 30 minutes with 12 kg no problem. Next workout will be with 16 kg.
I think this is a cool substitute for jogging. I can see a few advantages and a few problems with this training.
1. Involvement of different muscles. Good for overall development and may be advantageous for certain sports. For example, endurance of lower limb muscles in BJJ is not a big plus, but endurance of upper limbs and the trunk muscles is. To which degree muscles involved in snatch will be engaged in BJJ - anybody's guess, but variety will probably be beneficial.
2. Change of scenery. Joggin' in the rain or in the heat is not fun, so the ability to do aerobics indoors is useful.
3. Useful for Girevoy Sport training. I could change my HR by adjusting the technique of snatch: deflecting the torso back on the way down, delaying the pull on the way up, rotating the arm in at the top. ALl this improves economy, which is a plus for GS.
1. Hard on the hands. Like any other training that involves lots of snatches.
2. A little hard on lower back, at least for me. Because of that I decided to limit the sets to 30 minutes.
Lastly, I can see several ways to progress.
1. Duration to weight. Start with light KB, snatch at a chosen cadence. You stop the workout when HR hits a pre-determined level (or does not descend below that level after switching hands). Eventually you reach the desired duration of the set. Then increase the weight.
2. Duration to cadence. Reach the desired duration of the set at a given HR, then increase the cadence.
3. Cadence to weight. Builds on No.2. After reaching the desired cadence increase the weight.
I am not sure if it is possible to reach the level of extreme fitness, but so far I like it. Opinions will be appreciated.