This past Saturday, I competed at the First Annual Agatsu Kettlebell Competition, hosted by Academy of Lions (www.crossfitgyms.ca) in Toronto on July 17, 2010. This was the first, and probably one of many kettlebell competitions to be held in Canada. It’s great to see the sport gain popularity and it was nice not having to travel several miles via bus or plane to get to the venue. Always a big plus!
The event was a lot of fun. Everything went very smoothly and efficiently and was extremely well organized by my friends Boris Terzic, Eric St-Onge, and Shawn Mozen. There were a total of 15 competitors of varying skill levels going head to head, testing their strength and endurance at the event, including a few competitors who came up from the US. The events included Biathlon (jerk, snatch), long cycle (clean, jerk), and heavy jerks.
This was my second time competing in kettlebell sport. I’ve been training in the shadows and working up to doing long cycle with the 16kg kettlebell for the IKFF Nationals in September. Up until 1 week before the meet, I had never done a 10 minute set with the 16kg, as most of my training involved doing several short sets. Regardless, I wanted to challenge myself at this event and just compete for the fun of it. A few days before the comp, I did couple of test sets with the 16kg kettlebell to see where I was at. Both times I had trouble going the full 10 minutes. Yikes! GS is hard work! Hopefully I perform better the next time.
I made sure I had a good nights sleep the night before. I arrived at the gym around 9:30 to weigh in. I came in at about 143.8lbs. Since I was competing in long cycle, I had a good 2 hour buffer zone before my set. I warmed up with a few body weight movements, did some Indian clubs to loosen the shoulders, played with some of the unconventional training toys at the gym, and watched my friends compete while I waited.
By the time my turn came around, I was very relaxed, loose, and ready to go.
And so the countdown began….3, 2, 1. Lift off!
I went at a pace of 10 to 12 reps per minute. The right side (clearly, my dominant side) went very well. I was going a steady pace of 12rpm, getting 60 reps total. After the hand switch, my pace dropped a bit. With 2 minutes left on the clock, the bell began to feel real heavy and beads of sweat were running down my face, but I kept going. It was a real struggle towards the end on the left arm and unfortunately I had a few no counts along the way. With only a few seconds left on the clock, I did my best to fit in more reps, getting a total of 44. After the set, I was sweating, happy to put the bell down, ecstatic about the fact that I went the full 10mins, and pumped that I did better than I expected to. I got a total of 104 reps.
After I was done, I watched fellow competitors compete in the heavy jerk event, where men used a 40kg bell while women used 24kg. That looked like fun, and made me wish I had signed myself up. Next time for sure! As always, it was very impressive to see Eric’s feat of strength of jerking TWO 40kg kettlebells 60 times overhead in 5 minutes!
Next up, was the award presentation. I won FIRST place for 16kg long cycle and to my surprise, was also the TOP female lifter at the meet!! AWESOMENESS!!!! Thank you Boris and Eric for making this whole event such a great experience. I’ll be back for more next time!