Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The real secret to success in kettlebell lifting

A few years ago Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming, a world renowned master of the Chinese martial arts, was in South Africa to teach some seminars. The attendees were, as is often the case when in the presence of a real master, totally in awe of his abilities. During an informal Q&A session someone asked doctor Yang whether he would be willing to share his secret with them. The student really wanted him to share his secret, inner knowledge about what makes him as skillful as he is. Dr. Yang, after a brief pause, said: “Practice.” That was it. There was no strange explanations involving secret inner energies, facing in a certain direction or only training during certain cycles of the moon.

When it comes to kettlebell lifting the hype surrounding it often causes us to forget this simple rule. So I guess if we want to get good at lifting the bells we need to practice. In my mind it really only requires three steps:

1. Find a good teacher:

For me this entails someone who can not only display skill, but also some kind of longevity. Someone who has been training with the bells for a few weeks is not (in my mind) a real teacher (this includes me, which is why I have no plans of teaching anytime soon). Longevity also implies someone who has been doing this for a long time and is still healthy, strong and injury free. Naturally a good teacher also needs to have the ability to share his or her skills with students.

2. Practice

Yes, practice. Keep lifting the bells and adding up the reps over an extended period of time. Train often, train right, don’t push too hard and see this as a skill you are honing, not a way of kicking your own ass or burning so many calories per second.

3. Drop the ego

I’m not going to explain this one. It really is a secret, inner, for closed-door disciples only kind of teaching.

Enjoy your lifting!

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