I had an incredible time at the Arnolds. Everything from the training leading up to the event to cutting weight the day/morning before, going carb-less and surviving on water, apple cider vinegar (for my sore throat, soon to become cold >_<) and protein, feeling totally thirsty/hungry on the day of the weigh in (i shed 2kg in a day! and weighed in at 66kg), drinking gallons of water, eating spicy beef & veggies over couscous at a Greek restaurant the night before the comp only to have a stomach ache at 5am, seeing a ton of bodybuilders and very muscular women trying to sell me supplements, getting used as a human kettlebell (video to come soon), watching little kids with mad skills and athleticism do martial arts, restaurant hopping, meeting a famous Japanese bodybuilder who randomly recognized me from Facebook, meeting a bunch of wrestlers at my hotel who mistook me for an Olympian, but best of all, winning the GOLD medal for the 12kg one arm long cycle with 122 reps in the 68kg weight category! Funny thing is, there were not enough gold medals on hand, so I will be getting mine in the mail. A big thank you goes out to Ken Blackburn and the IKFF team who did a great job organizing the event and ensuring that everything ran as smoothly and efficiently as possible. This whole experience has been nothing short of amazing and I enjoyed every bit of it!
9:10am marked the start of the kettlebell competition. I had a quite a long wait ahead of me as there were 11 flights and I was in the 10th. I stayed very calm and relaxed throughout and spent most of my time watching friends and fellow competitors compete. There were some great performances and it was really nice to see the comradery displayed between competitors. I was among friends and definitely in good company. People helping, cheering, and filming each others performances was a common sight. I did a quick Indian club workout to warm up and loosen any kinks I may have had in my shoulders and practiced a few reps of long cycle with the 16kg and 20kg bells. Every weight I lifted felt surprisingly light and I was feeling really confident about doing my set.
By the time it was my turn, it just flowed. I got into a good rhythm. The whole set just felt like another workout except with an audience and a few cameras rolling. I was relaxed, in the zone, didn’t really get tired and just kept on lifting. One minute soon became 5 minutes then before I knew it, the time was up!
At the end of the set, I had hit 122 reps in 10 minutes (63 reps right side, 59 reps left side), which won me the GOLD medal in 12kg long cycle in the 68kg weight class and I achieved Rank III status in the IKFF kettlebell sport ranking system. AWESOMENESS!!
Not bad at all for my first time, considering I trained mostly on my own and had very little coaching. I would’ve liked to have done better, like hitting my goal of 130 reps. But hey, there’s always next time. With my first Arnold experience behind me, things can only get better and I can only get stronger and improve from here on out. It was a good learning experience. Now I’m hooked and want to work on improving efficiency and perfecting my technique so that I can kick ass in the next competition I attend.