Are you tired of team sports? Are you looking for a sport that will give you a superhuman work capacity and the build of an elite, functional athlete? Are you ready for a sport with camaraderie between athletes rather than cut-throat competition?
If so, keep reading. If not, go grab the latest issue of Men's Health Magazine.
Girevoy Sport or simply GS means 'Kettlebell Sport'. Yes, that's right, kettlebells as a sport!
It is one of the newest, most absolutely brutal sports in the UK. Originating in Cold War-era Russia in 1986, the rules are as brutal as they are simple; you have 10 minutes to perform as many reps as possible without putting the kettlebells down. It is one of the toughest competitive events on the planet. It's also one of the most beneficial endeavors we mortals can undertake as we try to improve our physical and mental wellbeing. Yeah, it's hard!
Unlike the Russian Hardstyle, which is more strength-oriented, to be successful at Girevoy Sport (GS) requires strength, endurance and mental toughness.
GS, being a sport, means there are also rankings up for grabs based on your weight, the size of the kettlebell(s) used and the amount of reps completed in one of two events; the Biathlon and the Long Cycle
This event is made up of two lifts, the jerk and the snatch. Athletes are required to perform the jerk first of all followed by the snatch after a minimum rest period of 30 minutes. Both lifts are done for a maximum of 10 minutes with the total of both lifts added together to make up your overall score. You can view sample clips of my first Biathlon Competition below.
The jerk is done with two kettlebells for men and one kettlebell for women. The kettlebell(s) is pressed over head with two knee dips and arms locked completely straight and fixated/paused at the top whilst waiting for the judge's count before lowering. Women are permitted to change hands only once in 10 minutes. The kettlebell must have proper fixation overhead to be deemed a lift. Improper fixation is termed a "no lift" and is not counted. 3 no lifts in a row result in disqualification.
One kettlebell is swung from between the legs to overhead in a single movement, as with the jerk proper overhead fixation is essential.
The object of this event is for the competitor to clean then jerk the kettlebell as many times as possible in 10 minutes. The only rest the competitor may have is in the rack position. This is where they rest the kettlebell on their arms and elbows on hips.
How does the judging work?
On both events a judge is allocated to each individual competitor. The Judge counts the repetitions performed. The athlete must wait for the judge's count before they proceed to the next rep. The head judge will brief all athletes on the rules at the beginning of the competition.
What are rankings?
Many athletes may wish to achieve "a rank". These are tiered ranking systems, based on the weight you compete at, the weight of the kettlebells you used and finally the amount of reps you performed of each lift.
There are two lifts in which ranks are awarded, the Biathlon and the Long Cycle. The RGSF (click here), IKFF (click here), European Girevoy Sport Association (click here) and the World Kettlebell Club (click here) all have their own ranking systems.
Think you're tough? Give GS a try!