I’m guessing that readers who are not into kettlebells might be curious as to what kettlebell long cycle is. It is a combination of two lifts; a clean and a jerk. Though it is slightly different from the olympic lifting barbell clean and jerk, that’s not a bad starting point!
Kettlebell long cycle has only one lockout position, overhead from the jerk, though the clean needs has to be distinct from the jerk. The clean and jerk (combined) are repeated for a period of time. In standard competition this is ten minutes, or as long as the lifter can manage up to that limit. Women lift with one kettlebell and allowed only one hand change. Men have to use two kettlebells. A judge will count each lift, and award no-counts if they are not happy with the technique. The total count across both hands is the score for the competition.
The other traditional competition event is the biathlon (a pentathlon exists but is newer, and has a long cycle press which is a clean followed by a push press). This consists of ten minutes of jerks, and then ten minutes of snatch, though usually with at least an hour between the two events.
All girevoy sport competitions use competition kettlebells which differ from the cast iron ones. They are uniform in size and shape and differ only in weight. Most (if not all) pictures of kettlebells I’ve uploaded to the blog will be of competition kettlebells as I train exclusively with them.
I compete in kettlebell long cycle rather than biathlon as I prefer it. It’s my favourite lift. I have done a pentathlon (clean, long cycle press, jerk, half snatch, push press) but really don’t enjoy long cycle press. Given I do so much “proper” long cycle with the jerk I find it very hard to do a strict press and find it interrupts my rhythm.
This video shows a good demonstration of the long cycle technique by Sergey Rudnev – who I’ve been lucky enough to have an hours coaching with 🙂
There is also a great page on technique from Kettlebell Sport, including more videos, and common problems and solutions. I probably should go back and read that last section 😉