Ladies Long Cycle Took The Spotlight
February 28th, 2016 was an epic day for the ladies long cycle. Last year, the Orange Kettlebell Club made an announcement that they would no longer have a 10 minute, single bell long cycle or jerk option for women. They decided to take the plunge and open the platform up for women to do double long cycle and jerk, just like the men! This stirred up quite the controversy, but as I’ve mentioned before – it’s been going very well. I was excited to see so many women show up to the Cali Open ready to compete with two bells for their first time!
Before this event, I considered myself a snatcher. I was never interested in single bell long cycle or jerk – mostly because the unilateral movement made my hip very angry. Instead, I spent all of last year obsessively training 16k snatch for the World Championship (which also made my hip angry). Once I made it there, I had the worst set of my life (read more about that here). When I came home in December, I decided I needed something different. I picked up two bells and found out the symmetry of the movement actually felt more balanced – the rest is history!
The Cali Open was my first time doing a 10 minute long cycle set with two 16kg bells. I was uncertain of how it would go. I told myself I wouldn’t drop below 8 reps per minute. After 6 minutes into my set, it was a battle to keep moving at that same pace. Every time the kettlebells made it back into the rack position I wanted to stay there and rest. I heard the crowd cheering. My teammates were yelling my name. I gazed out over the bells to see Coach Britt pointing up. They had to go up. I had to keep moving.
Here’s the video of my set. It’s all about the same until the last 2 minutes or so. Feel free to fast forward to the end – you won’t miss anything. Check out team mate EK Killa on platform 1 killin’ her set as well!
I ended my first 16k long cycle set with 83 reps. This earned me a gold medal and Candidate for Master of Sport rank (the highest rank in this weight category). I also filled an empty slot on the world record board for the 73k weight class. I don’t anticipate that record staying there long, but it’s mine for now! I guess that means I’ll be doing this again.
I can honestly say this was one of the hardest races I’ve ever done in my athletic career – and one of the most rewarding!
After my set, I got to watch the last flight of the day. It gave me goosebumps. These ladies lifted some serious weight (Double 24k’s and 28k’s). The crowd’s response was spectacular!
Thank you Orange Kettlebell Club for making this statement and giving us ladies an opportunity to show what we are capable of. I’m glad to be part of this movement and the future of this sport!
Side note: Not trying to ignore the fact that the men had some incredible performances as well. Thank you for allowing the ladies to have their time in the spotlight. Your support in this venture has been truly amazing!
If anyone is looking to get into Kettlebell Sport lifting, we have a team for you! Contact me at Kristen@mykorstrength.com and we’ll help you get started!