Sunday, April 18, 2010

4-17-10 Kettlebell Jerks

Lately, the past month or so, I've been doing speedier kettlebell jerks in my training. Honestly, a lot of the time, I'm just trying to get my reps in and be done with it - not because I'm not enjoying the process or trying to hurry it, but because I usually train late and I like to unwind before I go to bed. ...and sometimes you just do better with a change in tempo.

Adam Glass had a post about his long cycle progress and wrote that:
...pacing is basically standing around with the weights racked. I believe this practice is unsound. I certainly do not need more tissue changes moving me towards a weird posture. All that standing around counts for something…except for more reps, or more muscle, or better cardio. I note the best LC athletes in the world do not rest in the rack for extended periods of time. So my opinion on standing around in the rack is that it’s a fucking waste of time.

Now, I  don't agree with Adam all the time, but I think most people who've seen anyone agonizing through 10:00 of jerks with terrible, terrible form would agree that if training resembles that, on even a rare occasion, then that is TOO OFTEN. Unless, you are just training to suck, then beyond pain tolerance, there isn't much you are "practicing" when form is allowed to deteriorate so dramatically.

Now, I've said it before, I believe there are a lot of lessons to be learned in the rack and through "rep expansion", rather than constantly striving for density. On the other hand, there's no reason to vilify speed.


Boris Terzic said...

Boris I have mixed opinions on Adam's comments. If you're going to be competing in Gs you need to spend plenty of time in the Rack, you need to learn how to get comfortable.

That being said there should also be little deviation in the form from the 1st to the last rep. If there is a drastic change that is a sign of the fact that the lifter hasn't put in the proper training.

Boris said...

I agree w. you Boris.

Alexander said...

The 'rack' was the first point ever where I did not agree with my favorite lifter Adam :-).

The ability to stand in rack, I think, reveals if the rack is technically good in a relative beginner (flexibility, elbow/hip contact etc). I mean 'good' from a GS-perspective.

But, rack is only one step in the process of befriending the jerk (in GS). It is not a goal. A good rack can be followed by a bad jerk and vice versa.

People can do 10min sets with bad form, but I think it is just as common that people do shorter sets with bad form.
The video - nice lifting! Awesome work capacity!

童紫勳 said...
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Boris said...

Hi Alexander,
The question is, imho, whether a relative beginner (or anyone else) needs a lot of time suffering in the rack to develop flexibility, hip contact, etc. OR if you might develop those qualities by just doing more jerks with good form and a faster pace. I don't have answers here, just questioning - it seems a lot of GS people INTENTIONALLY sacrifice reps for rack time and form deterioration. For a test every three months or so, a little form loss is fine, but not on any regular basis.
Again, I'm not making statements of fact, just thoughts, but if the goal is a better rack, then stand in the rack. If the goal is better jerks, then jerk.

Maybe I'm way off with all of this and what I describe is not what anyone is doing, just what I see on YouTube, but I don't know.

Boris Terzic said...

Boris, I personally feel that people sacrifice form for time. There is a notion that you NEED to go for 10min no matter when. Do you need to go the full 10min? Yes but when you're actually capable of it. If form begins to go and reps stop counting then it is time to call it a day.

That being said there is still need for time in the rack. You need to become comfortable and get better at it, the rack position in itself is a skill. A skill that needs to be practised. If the goal is not competing or putting up max numbers in 10min then it is something that doesn't need to be focused on.

Boris said...

I agree there is a need for time in the rack - to provide a solid structurally sound launching pad for jerks, and to catch a short breather. If your rack is bad and it is hindering you, then you need to spend time w. it.

But, if you are relatively new to the sport, and if you can't have a "meaning-full" 3 or 4 minutes of jerks, then what is the point of stretching that out into "meaning-less" 10?

It just seems like there are more than a few gs-minded people who forget it's still about how many reps, not how long you can stand with the bells or maintain an even cadence.

I don't know where I'm going with this other than circle back to things I've already said - I don't understand sacrificing reps for time and poor form, and although 'patience' is a virtue I don't believe that means there's necessarily huge dividends to sacrificing weight (and reps w. said weights) for time and reps (w. a lesser weight).

I've heard that there are Russians who train differently (w. drop sets, density training, etc.) - it seems like the GS contingent here does not agree w. that method of training however. I just question why that is.

Alexander said...
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Alexander said...

Hi both Boris!
RX-Boris, I understand and agree with your point. Actually, I wrote that in my comment but deleted it as it became so long and rambling :-).
Yes, I think that in (esp in the US?) there has been a less productive "cult" of 10min sets. Prizes for 10min at some comps? Maybe there was a place for it back when few people had trained for 10m sets. If one generally prioritzes in training "to go as many minutes as possible" instead of reps or form - it's probably not good.