Next sets with 24 kg, to try and build volume with heavier weight. Video of the first set below.
24kg jerk:1 min sets x 3: 5 reps - 1 min rest, 5 reps - 2 min rest, 5 reps - 2 min rest, 5 reps.
24 kg snatches: 1 min sets: 12 left - 1 min rest, 12 right - 2 min rest, 12 left - 2 min rest,
Right after the workout - sauna session, the Russian way, with steam and wiskers. Sauna is one thing North America is missing out on, Russians, Finns and their neighbours will understand ;-)
I had a look at your jerk. What can I say. Overall, for the beginner not so bad, but plenty of errors.
First, well done, you are resting with the bells on your chest. However, right before starting the jerk you strain the chest muscles and because of that the elbows come off a little. I would recommend doing “imitations”, acceleration of kettlebells off the rack position without following up.
Next. Why is the first dip so “greedy”? It looks like you don’t weigh much, why such small dip? Work on it and do jumps with the barbell from the middle squat.
Second dip is almost absent; all that's left of it is the stomping of the heels! Second dip must be much deeper. You have to squat so deep that elbows “switch on” sharply. In other words you get the arms straightened and then stand up. Also, you are strained in the overhead position. You have to look for ways to be more relaxed there.
Another thing. In order to achieve endurance you have to run. You are all short of breath on your videos [that implies other posters on that tread]. I am preparing for an important competition and run around 50 km a week. (!) Breathing also gets better from running.
For someone who trains at home DIY style these comments are incredibly valuable. They also remind me, once again, that GS in the West is a very young sport, and there is lack of athletes of serious level and coaches who trained them. I think it would be a good idea to work out the way how to use the knowledge and experience of bogatyrs from the East Shore.
Anyway, look at my video and read the comments of the Master. You might avoid making the same mistakes.
24 kg Jerk, 2 min/10 reps. The video below.
16 kg Jerk, 5 sets of 2 min. The video of the first set below.
Total reps - 75. Progressing.
Snatch 24 kg: 10 Left/10Right. Rest. 1 min left/1min right
Comments. 24 kg jerks feel a bit better. On the other hand, 16 kg jerks feel way better: crispier, sharper, faster. Today I observed a side-effect of large(r) volume: in the third set I did not feel the usual tension in my pecs and delts. It looks like the body subconsciously adjusts to high number of reps and the economy of movement improves automatically. It doesn't hurt to keep attention on the technique though, and I was really watching those elbows all the time.
I asked this question on couple of Russian GS forums, time or reps. The answer - not surprisingly - the solution is in the middle. Do long sets with lighter bells, shorter sets for high reps with light giryas and short sets with competition kettlebells competition tempo. Sometimes train for reps, sometimes train for time. One poster, MS, said that if you compete with 32 kg, it is not a bad idea to do 15 minutes with 24s and 12 minutes with 26 kgs. Another guy said that he sometimes does 10 minutes with 35 kg bells at 2 - 3 reps per minute - technically this is more of an assistance drill, static hold with occasional shakeup.
In short, all schemes of training may be done either with reps or with time, and it is probably best to alternate. I personally wouldn't go for time too often, because I don't like them (the reason to actually do them?). The most important in GS though, just like in any other sport, is planning of training. There must be at least very basic idea about (bi)weekly, monthly, quarterly etc. cycles as well as some variety. Go for reps, time, switch to assistance exercises as main part of training from time to time. This is the only way to keep training interesting and avoid injury.
According to the system there are five sets of jerks in a session. Sets are performed with giryas of descending weight which decreases by a designated amount - called "the nominal" - each set. Typical “nominal” is 2 kg. Each microcycle consists of 5 to 8 session. The number of reps in the main sets (see below) increases exponentially during the cycle. Example of the sequence: 12, 17, 25, 36, 50 and 67. The difference between the reps in each session - 5, 8, 11, 14 and 17 - increases by the same coefficient, 3. The increase is not linear, and this way the athlete approaches the last, peak session of the microcycle full of strength, not fatigued, physically and mentally. In other words, one in five to eight sessions is very intensive. Here is how the sets are organized.
First, power set, is done with special emphasis on static holds in the rack as well as the top position. It allows to quickly develop basic muscles, improves the stance, teaches him to rest in rack position. Doing this set the athlete is learning the most important skill in any sport, the ability to switch between maximal relaxation and maximal contraction. When planning the load for this set it important to keep in mind that the rest of the session is still ahead, including the main sets which cannot be sacrificed for whatever purpose. The set is performed doing "breathing" reps. For example, if the table states 3:7 it means that you perform 3 reps with 7 breaths in between. You can breathe with the bells either in rack or top position, alternating from session to session of from microcycle to microcycle may be a good idea too.
Second, also power set, is performed with the bells one "nominal" lighter, and the speed is selected according to the table. The number of reps in this set is double that of the first set. The rest before this set is 3 - 5 minutes. According to Ryabchenko this set is the easiest. Its goal is to prepare the athlete to fast work, adapt the body to jerks with competition weight and to prepare the body for the next microcycle.
Third and fourth are main sets and are performed with giryas another "nominal" lower than the second set. Rest before the third set is 3 to 6 minutes and the break between these sets should be between 30 seconds and 2 minutes. It is very important that the second main set is done before adequate recovery from the previous load. This way the endurance – the key component of GS - will progress.
Fifth set - volume with bells that are another "nominal" lighter. The number of repetitions is half to two thirds of the sum of the main sets. Rest before this set should be 3 to 8 minutes. It is important that there is still some reserve left after this set. The goals of this set are gradual preparation of the athlete to faster work with heavier bells, develop volume, and stimulate additional blood flow through the muscles working during jerk.
If you are working with the 32s, in the last microcycle the first set would be performed with the 30 kg bell, second with 28, third and fourth with 26 and fifth with 24 kg. Previous microcycle would be one “nominal” lower in each set, one before that another “nominal” lower and so on. The number of microcycles in a larger cycle depends on training level, timing of competition etc. I believe one can stay with the same weights and only tweak the reps.
Ryabchenko is absolutely convinced that it is not necessary to perform main sets with competition weight. First, it leads to unnecessary load on the joints. Second, it mentally wears off the athlete. In his article he quotes several examples of his trainees. For all of them the average number of reps during the main sets (set three plus set four divided by two) done with lighter bells was never higher that 50 – 60% of the competition result with heavier bells. It sort of makes sense. First two set serve as pre-fatigue. The third and the fourth sets are, in essence, one set with a little break in the middle. The fifth set is the finisher with lighter weight.
The number of reps is calculated using the special formulas. In short, there is two variables, the step (S), the difference between the reps in main sets between first and second sessions in the microcycle, and coefficient (K), the increment of the increase. In the example earlier in this post S = 5 and K = 3. Weight of the bells and the "nominal" are chosen from the table and depend on the microcycle.
As you can see, the most important are the main sets, third and fourth. At the peak session of the microcycle the load and the duration of the sets are significant. If you have to do 70 reps at 12 per minute, the set will last about 6 minutes. Then, after a short rest - up to 2 minutes, you have to repeat the same number of reps plus 2.
The system follows fundamental principles of periodization. The number of reps in the first session of the cycle is laughable, 10 - 15 reps, but increases sharply towards the last. Also, in the last two sessions in the microcycle the first set is done not in “breathing” manner but according to the speed table and the fifth set is omitted. This way overtraining is avoided.
Here it is, the mysterious "Ryabchenko". Its main disadvantage is that it requires lots of paired giryas of different weight, from 10 to 32 kg. Using adjustable kettlebells is one option, of course, but most of us who train at home don't have them. Another way is to tweak the program while following the principles. It will not be Ryabchenko’s method anymore, but I believe it may still be productive. One can work with a barbell and do push presses instead of jerks. Push presses (for some reason called schwoongs) are popular among Russian athletes and are done for numbers, in the spirit of GS.
I will alternate jerk and snatch days and will try increase the volume. Training will consist of cycles, five session each, where the load will increase gradually from day one to day five. Each jerk session will start with "breathig reps" with 24 kg bells as per Ryabchenko's method, which I will discuss in the future posts.
My nearest goal is to complete 10 sets of 1 minute with 1 minute rest interval in between. I will keep the record of my progress (or lack thereof).
Mistake 1. The grip is too deep. It leads to the excessive strain of the muscles of forearm, quick fatigue of the grip and excessive formation of calluses.
- Weak forearm flexors
- Slippery handle of the kettlebell
- Exercises with a gripper
- Static holds of kettlebells or a barbell
- Swings with heavy bell of varying amplitude
- Swings with a light bell held on fingertips
Mistake 2. Bending the elbow during the lifting phase. In this case when the bell changes direction during lowering in the lowest point the elbow straightens and absorbs the shock of the falling weight. The power and the crispiness of the reversal phase is lost, and the arm gets fatigued quickly.
- Athlete’s inability to snatch with maximally relaxed muscles of the arm
- Weak arm muscles
- Static holds of heavy bell at various levels – lower leg, knee, upper leg – up to 15 seconds
- Swings at various amplitudes
Mistake 3. Rounded back during the lifting phase and before the second dip. It leads to the early fatigue of the muscles of the trunk and impairs the muscular coordination.
- Weak muscles of the back
- Incorrect technique
- There are two main recommended exercises for teaching the correct back position.
First. Stand holding the bell in one hand. Keeping the back straight, bend the knees, push your pelvis back and hold this position for several seconds. Straighten the legs and the hips without changing the curvature of the back.
Second. One arm swings. They must be first done from the high stance while paying attention to the curvature of the back. Once this error is corrected, the swings are performed from lower stance.
Other exercises for strengthening the back – good mornings, deadlifts, squats, hyperextensions etc.
Mistake 4. After the reversal the kettlebell is traveling too far forward. This completely impairs muscle coordination and the technique. The breathing and the trunk get fatigued.
- Excessive swinging of the bell – swinging it too far behind the legs
- Weak back muscles
- Perform swings, snatches and high pulls from high stance. The elbow must touch the body during the reversal phase.
- Strengthen back muscles (above)
Mistake 5. Attempt to reverse the bell at the bottom too early. In this case the most important phase of the snacth is performed in suboptimal position. The power and crispiness of the snatch is lost.
During snatch, before straightening the body it is important to advance the hips and the pelvis slightly forward. Then the hips and the body are sharply straightened in one continuous movement.
- Static holds of one bell while standing on tip toes and shoulders elevated (shrugged)
- Slow pulls of kettlebell from high, medium and low stance with simultaneous plantar flexion of the feet (getting onto the tip toes) and lifting the shoulder
- High pulls with plantar flexion of the feet
- Kettlebell cleans in high stance.
Mistake 6. Incomplete straightening of the legs and body during the lifting phase. The athlete is “not opening up”, the bell is not getting high enough, and the second dip has to be deeper. It leads to fatiguing of the legs.
There may be many: bad coordination, incorrect learning of various phases of shatch.
- Perform exercises such as clean, jerk and swing with the special emphasis on getting the heels off the ground – almost jumping.
- Snatch light kettlebell without the second dip.
Mistake 7. The reversal phase is completed mostly by the muscles of the back. As the consequence these muscles will fatigue fast.
- The pelvis and the knees are not advanced slightly forward, and the legs are not engaged in the movement.
- Assistance exercises directed to developing of coordination of the muscles of the back, trunk, legs an shoulders.
Mistake 8. The wrist is not advanced into the handle deep enough at the top. As the result the muscles flexing the fingers are constantly strained. The grip and the wrist give up quickly. It also leads to excessive calluses.
- The bell must be at the level of the head or higher just before the wrist is pushed into the handle.
- As follows from the causes above, get the bell high before fixation at the top.
Mistake 9. Flipping the bell over the wrist during fixation at the top and lowering. Difficult to push the wrist through the bell. The bell hits the forearm. Muscles get tired quicker.
- During the lifting phase the angle of the bell’s handle must be turned forward and up. Just before the fixation of the bell on the top the contact of the hand with the handle must be minimal, almost lost. You must push the hand/wrist through the handle and not flip the bell over the wrist.
- At the beginning of the lowering of the bell it must wrap around the forearm instead of flipping over the wrist.
Learining the correct technique.
Mistake 9. Pushing the wrist through the handle is performed too late. Athlete is trying to “punch through” when the bell has lost the upward momentum. It must be done during the last moment, just befor the bell has lost its upward inertia.
Mistake 10. Late change of grip during lowering. When the bell is lowered one should use the corkscrew type change of grip. In this case the handle of the bell is making sort of a jump from the heel of the hand to the fingers. If it is done too late, when the bell is at the waist level, it jerks the arm down. The coordination of the snatch is impaired, the forearm and the back fatigue quickly.
- Incorrect timing of the corkscrew.
- The flexion in the hips (bending the body forward) starts too early during lowering phase.
Mistake 11. Early flexion of the hips/bending of the body forward.
- High pulls to various eight while paying careful attention to the position of the trunk, legs and shoulder during the beginning of the lowering phase and beginning of bending of the body.
Snatch is highly technical movement, and learning the correct technique during all of its phases is important for getting high number of repetitions. There are vaious assistance exercises that help learning the technique of this lift. I will address these exercises in the future posts.
I did the following.
- 1 set of jerks with 24s, 2 minutes/10 reps.
- 7 sets of 16 kg jerks in interval fashion: one minute on - one minute off.
I managed 61 reps. (Was hoping to get 100. Not even close!)
I am going to return to the prescribed format at the next session, but I think this, today's way is quite usefull too. I managed to squeeze almost 50% more reps in a session. Also, as the load is more spaced out in time and I am not that tired, most reps were crisp and sharp. Anyway, I wrote the report to Dmitri and will see what he says about it pretty soon.
Because the studies included in the meta-analysis used different terms to describe the aerobic exercise status of their subject groups, the authors classified and analyzed the groups into three categories: 1) endurance-trained, referring to regular performance of vigorous endurance exercise 3 times per week for over one year; 2) active, referring to occasional or irregular performance
of aerobic exercise 2 times per week and 3) sedentary, referring to no performance of any aerobic exercise.
Maximal heart rate was strongly and inversely related to age in both men and women with correlation coefficient of - 0.9. The rate of decline was not different between men and women or among sedentary, active and endurance-trained subjects. Further analysis revealed that age alone explained about 80% of the individual variance in MHR.
The authors derived the new formula: MHR = 209 – 0.7 x age. During the second stage it was tested on 514 healthy subjects and the conclusions from the meta-analysis were confirmed: the formula derived from the experimental data was virtually identical to the one obtained from statistical data and the MHR was mostly determined by age, with standard deviations ranging from 7 to 11 beats per minute.
With the old formula NHR is overestimated in young adults and underestimated in older age. The difference does not seem to be that large, and at age 70 the difference is 10 beats/min. However, as the author commented, considering the wide range of individual subject values for MHR - standard deviation of 10 beats per minute - the underestimation of MHR could be 20 beats/min for some older adults. They also commented that all equations have limitations because of the inter-individual variability, and direct measurement of MHR should be undertaken when possible.
In short, HR decreases with age no matter if you exercise or not. The equation currently used to calculate MHR underestimates it, and if you are older than 45 years old you might be getting less training than you think. To get the best value test your MHR from time to time.
Tanaka H et al. Age-Predicted Maximal Heart Rate Revisited
J. Am. Coll. Cardiol. 2001;37;153-156
1. Stop racking on your heels
2. Keep your elbows on your hips and not on your stomach at all times.They are coming up a little just before your push.
3.During clean the bells are too low. When they get in front of the legs they must be above the knees
4. Get more explosive on your push
5. Try to avoid presses on top: they kill your triceps
6. Keep bells on top for at least two seconds. Learn how to do it and breath freely.
Pretty pathetic but I have to start somewhere. After all, first time I did jerks with 16 kg they killed me. Now, at least at the beginning of my working set, they feel strong and crisp. I should make a video next time.
After jerking 24kgs I did 5 minutes with the 16s and two sets of one arm jerks/push presses (sort of a hybrid) with the 24 kg: 11 per arm first set and 12/arm second.
One set of swings with the 24 - 50 seconds per arm. That's all I was capable of, not even one minute. tthe back was shaking and the grip was dying.
Example of EDT for uninitiated. You want to be able to do 20 pullups but presently can only do 3. EDT schedule could look like this. First week - do 20 single pullups in 20 minutes. Week two - do 2 pullups every minute. Week three - three pullups every minute and so on, until you can do 20 of them non-stop.
Girevoy Sport is a numbers per time game, and dring training there are two distinct goals: one, to be able to complete 10 minute set and two, to get reps for ranking. When I was browsing Russian GS forums asking questions about how to start training I came across a simple method recommended by a GS coach to beginners. It closely resembles EDT and can be used for any lift (even though the Russians never heard of Staley). The sequence of training loads looks like this.
1. One arm jerk 10-20 minutes changing arms every 60 seconds.
2. One arm jerk, 5 min each arm
3. Two arm jerk, 10 sets 1 minute each, rest 1 min
4. Two arm jerk, 6 sets 2 minutes each, rest 2 min
5. Two arm jerk, 4 sets 3 min, rest 3 min, and so on: 3x4min, 2x5min...
6. Two arm jerk, 6,7 and 8 minutes (on different days, of course)
7. Two arm jerk, 24+24kg -1 minute, then 20+20kg - 2 minutes, 16+16 - 3 minutes, no rest
8. Same as above - 2 minutes, three minutes etc., no rest.
Set/rest time combinations can be changed of course. As I understood from posts on these forums jumping from 1 minute set to 2 minutes is difficult, so maybe increments of 30 seconds is a better idea. When you are able to stay for the full 10 minutes you can work on the reps in the same fashion.
One of the problems with EDT that I can see is the potential of overtraining. That's why I think it is important to follow the same training principles with this method. Sessions must alternate between heavy, medium and light by using lighter kettlebells and back off every fourth week or so.
Jerks 16kg - 5min, 43reps. 1st min 9 reps/min, 2nd - 8, 3rd - 9, 4th - 8 and 5th - 9.
Snatch 16kg - alternating 2min/40reps/arm with 3min/54 reps/arm.
Same assistance exercises.
I did it yesterday and today received another modification from Dmitri.
Jerks: 1st set - 24 kg 10reps/2min (5 reps/min), rest and then do jerk with 16 kg 43reps/5min as before.
I finally feel that there is some progress.
My eleven year old daughter started doing swimming about five months ago. I took her to a few sessions and watched how they train. It was interesting to notice that the coach didn’t concentrate much on the technique of swimming during the first couple of months. If it more or less looked like breaststroke – it was ok, and kids did lots of laps. After a while the coach started correcting nuances in the technique. It makes sense to me, and I believe that the best way to learn GS lifts is the same: start doing them, get to some level of strength endurance and then start finessing the technique.
In this post I will discuss common mistakes in jerk as described in the book by Alexander Mikhailovich Gorbov “Girevoy Sport”, which was published in Moscow in 2005. Here we go.
Mistake 1. In starting position and during pushing the bells up the arms are straining excessively and the fingers tightly squeeze the handles. As the result the muscles of the arms get fatigued quickly, never mind how strong they are.
- Incorrect position of the bells on the chest
- Upper arms and elbows are not connected to the body
- Pay more attention to the starting position: find the most comfortable position of the bells on the chest, elbows must be sitting on the body.
- Make sure the grip is correct and the handle is sitting on the heel of the hand. Fingers can be closed but not tensed.
Mistake 2. At the beginning of the pushing the bells fall off the chest. As the result the arms get involved at this stage and get fatigued.
- The upper arms are not properly connected to the body and the bells are not connected to the forearms.
- The chest is positioned too low at the beginning of the jerk.
- For better friction between the arms and the body Russian gireviks train in a wet t-shirt. I never tried it, and the posts on GS forums vary in opinion.
- Timed holds of bells up to 10 seconds in starting position with the pelvis moved forward more than dictated by the technique.
- Half-jerks for high reps
Mistake 3. The legs are not straightened up fully during jerk. As the result the bells get pushed up to insufficient height and deeper dip is necessary, leading to the fatigue of the legs. It may also tip the athlete off balance.
- Weak leg extensors
- The first dip is too low
Improvement of the leg strength with the following exercises.
- Squats, either with a barbell or kettlebells
- Half-jerk with slight dip and getting to the tiptoes
- “Springing” jumps with a barbell or kettlebells, done “softly” (jump squats in AKC lingo)
Mistake 4. The second dip is not low enough. As the result the straightening of the arms and holding the bells in top position is difficult.
- Mistakes during learning the technique
- Insufficient flexibility in elbow and shoulder joints
- Static overhead holds in semi-squatting positions of varying depth
- Same as above but moving forward
- Perform exercises to improve shoulder and elbow flexibility
Mistake 5. In the top position the bells are “pulling forward”. In this case holding this position is very hard.
- In overhead position girevik shifts the center of gravity forward
- Insufficient flexibility of the shoulders and arms
- After the first dip the push is done from the heels. Getting on the tiptoes is done only after the knees are fully straightened. The following exercises are recommended.
- Semi-squats with the bells in the starting position. Pay attention to keeping the center of gravity on the heels.
- Half-jerk from heels, without getting on the tiptoes.
- Semi-squats with the bells in overhead position
Mistake 6. The first dip too low. As the consequence big leg extensors are working excessively and get fatigued. The jerk becomes “soft”.
- Athlete’s inability to utilize the springing properties of the chest, spine and abdominal muscles in order to reduce the load on the legs
- First dip too slow
- Weak leg muscles
- Static holds in starting position with the legs slightly bent, 10 seconds
- Half-jerk doing small first dip, paying attention to the “spring” action of the chest
- Jump squats with a barbell
- Pushing the bells up using the chest, without bending the knee joints
Mistake 7. When fixing the bells overhead the arms are falling to the sides.
The main problem here is the flexibility of the shoulders and elbows. The following exercises may be helpful.
- Semi-squats with the bells overhead and touching
- Walking with the bells overhead and toughing
Mistake 8. When lowering the bells the legs bend excessively when absorbing the shock. The result is the fatigue of the legs.
- Incorrect shock absorbing technique
-Jerk light bells. When lowering, simultaneously get to the tiptoes and shrug the shoulders. As soon as the bells touch the chest. Lower the shoulders, move the pelvis slightly forward and get back onto the heels. Do not bend the knees.