Anvil or Hammer

You ask

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on April 9, 2008

I deliver

24K Kettlebell Snatch
10:00 155 reps

Each time you see the word down, it means I set the bell down. You can’t do that in a real SSST. I made it to 100, 120 was probably as far as I could go without setting it down. From a competition snatch test, you only change hands once, so I would have gotten 50, I imagine could go to 60 or 75 total, if I had to. No where near even the lowest AKC ranking standard. Someday though.

Still not bad considering my last kettlebell snatch was February 6th. October 30th appears to have been my last snatch test attempt, the kind with no set downs and it was pathetic. October 22nd appears to have been my last “serious” attempt and I only got 159. That’s surprising. Dang, I could have pushed to 160, shoulda, woulda, coulda, I did pretty decent in my book.

The biggest surprise for me this summer is how much my grip strength has come up. I have no idea why. I did diddly over the winter, that’s gonna take some figuring. Anyway, this test was another example to me of this. I’m happy about that too.

Last, I recorded the whole thing. I haven’t decided if I care to upload it. If you care to see it let me know… I probably will anyway.

Oh, really last, that’s all I did, there isn’t much left in the tank after that.

EDIT: Video

9 Responses to 'You ask'

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  1. Elliot Sands said,

    i just checked on dragondoor (, and it says your allowed to put the bell down, am i wrong?

  2. Mike said,

    You are correct, or at least that is what I see as well.
    I’m not sure where I got it into my head some time ago that it was one hand switch no set down.

  3. Chris Rice said,

    The AKC rules for Grivory Sport competitions only allow one hand switch and no set downs. WOW Mike, that’s a great workout – way beyond anything I can do at this point. My best is 134 in 10 minutes of total elapsed time with the 16s – no set downs but multiple hand switches. I’d love to see the video and see what I can learn – besides the fact you’re stronger and in better shape than I am hehe!

    Are you counting the time as 10 minutes total including the “downs” or time actually snatching?

  4. Mike said,

    I don’t know that there is anything you can learn from me but the video is up and the link is in the main post. Other than practice, the only thing that helped me was doing longer sets.

    If I recall, you can do a lot more jerks than I can. Considering size and age, I’m basically using an equivalent bell to you if I’m not mistaken.

    Oh and the time included snatches and rest.

  5. Chris Rice said,

    Nice video – but I forgot to count your reps, sorry. Question, how are your hands, you kept looking at them, have you sanded down your handle any? Comments – you have a different approach to the 10 minute workout (test) than I do right now. You’re overall endurance is enough better than mine that you just go until you can’t, recover quickly, then go again, seemingly more by reps than time. I’ve been trying to do what Andrew recommended to me, which is work towards completing the whole ten minutes at a slower pace, resting with the bell over my head, and minimizing hand switches, then at that point add reps per minute and try for ten again. It kind of goes against what I would have done on my own but seems to be working – it’s their game so I’m going to try it their way. You averaged 15.5 reps per minute even with your stops and switches – which is too fast for me to keep going very long right now. I can maintain 11/12 RPM and do 3-3-1-1-1-1 minute (6) switches or 2-2-2-2-2 (5 switches) and not set the bell down. You appear to have gotten to 100 reps or so before the oxygen debt and fatigue started to kick in, very impressive, and a real gutsy performance keeping going as fast as you did afterwards – very nicely done! Your conditioning work has paid off.

  6. Mike said,

    Thanks Chris, I haven’t really watched it yet. I just cut the ends off and threw it onto youTube :-).

    I haven’t sanded the handle one bit, in fact, there is a bit of a nasty bur on one side that I have to make sure I work around. I need to file that down. I have noticed from watching my videos that I tend to look at my hands a lot. At the time I do it, it’s because they are sore. I wonder if it isn’t some kind of subconscious stalling technique. But, yeah, they were sore and red and I was waiting to see where they would open up first. It’s very rare for me to pull one of these off with out busting open calluses. I took them all off a week or two ago though and they haven’t come back yet.

    Andrew’s advice sounds like the normal advice I have heard. I think it’s probably good advice, it was just always a hard way for me to go. When I was first trying to do a ten minute test I found that I could do more reps quicker. I probably should have done it the usual way for exactly that reason but it seemed counter intuitive. Instead I got what I could and rested, trying to shorten my rest periods and extend my sets. It’s probably a weightlifter’s approach to kettlebells rather than a grivoy’s (sp?).

    I do count reps rather than watch time. There’s a couple reasons; I’ve never done this consistently in a place with a clock and I prefer to not where a watch for these and after a few goes I figured out how many reps it took for the bell to go ballistic and endanger the lives of those around me. The grip strength was my limiting criteria on that for, well, until now.

    I’ve never really done the math on my reps per minute or anything. I guess I figured I would worry about that when I stopped resting during the test. I guess I always figured that when I could do 2 sets of 50/50, I would be in a place where I could worry about speed but that I would also be as far as I cared to go with it.

    The conditioning on the rower (your suggestion originally) has been very beneficial. Although, just like every other lift, there is nothing better than the real thing. I don’t recall how many times I did this last spring and summer but just trying to beat my last score each time was helpful. I guess I also got to a point where I just decided that there was nothing fun about doing 10 minute tests other than being done but I needed to do them. I think that realization was as beneficial to my other training as it was to itself.

    What was it you said on farmstrength? Something like “It’s like fun, except completely different.” That’s exactly right.

  7. Scott Styles said,

    155 snatches in 10 minutes with no specialization is quite good.

    It’s worth your time to sand down the handles. I use a bastard round file to get the burrs and some coarse sand paper to smooth the paint out. The supplies are about ten bucks.

  8. Mike said,

    Thanks Scott. I don’t know if I can claim no specialization but it has been a while. Then again, Stever Cotter sat down on a rower for the first time ever and, as I recall it, knocked out 5,000 meters in like 18 minutes or something ridiculous like that. There was a blog or forum post from him somewhere that read about it. I guess cross training works. That dude is trained.

    You know, when I first started playing with kettlebells, modifications were right out. No changes should be made. Then Anthony and the boys a Punch gym brought in painting but even he said not to touch the handles.

    Now, people tune their bells considerably. I think it’s awesome, I just haven’t gotten my act together. I’ll do that this week.

  9. Scott Styles said,

    Steve Cotter is elite. I figure take his best, cut the results in half, and that’s a good lifetime goal for me 😉

    Anthony is running a workshop at the Perform Better seminar on Friday. I am looking forward to it. Somehow I think we will have the matte black Perform Better kettlebells instead of the awesome Punch gym ones.

    You really have no choice with the Power Max kettlebells but to sand them down. The handles as delivered are a mess.

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