Secrets to success of AKA's newest Master of Sport
What is your athletic background? I played a few sports in high school, nothing intensely, and then after college, I joined a gym to take group fitness classes, which led to strength and conditioning workouts, which led to Kettlebell Sport.
When/how did you start Kettlebell Sport? When did you start competing? I started Kettlebell Sport in 2013 after a few beginner training sessions with Eric Reyelt at our gym. He decided he wanted to build a team, so a few of us got together and said, "If you do it, I'll do it!" My first competition was our annual Holiday Sport Competition in New Jersey. I competed in 16kg OALC and got a Rank 1 and 2nd overall, which was very exciting.
How often do you train? When I am training for a competition, I train 3x a week doing kettlebell sets written by Eric. Along with that I may throw in a circuit with high rep squats, grip training, and sustained cardio like running or rowing. I like to keep my focus on my end goal, which for the last competition was Long Cycle Master of Sport. I don't worry about other things like the weight of my max back squat, or how fast I can climb a rope. If it's not perfecting my technique or improving my Long Cycle numbers, I stay away from it until the competition is over.
You are the most recent female athlete to achieve AKA Master of Sport in 24kg Long Cycle with 100 repetitions. What is the first thought that came into your head after you finished that set? I was so grateful it was over! So thankful that I was able to achieve my goal number. I needed 92 for MS, but I really wanted to hit 100 reps. It was awesome to have my team cheering me on throughout the set. We have a great team, and it makes the competitions so much fun!
You are the AKA national record holder in 20kg Long Cycle. You completed 131 repetitions at USA Nationals in 2014, a number which I would define as really exhibiting mastery of the lift with that kettlebell weight. However, many athletes in OALC progress to the next weight as soon as they hit 100-110 repetitions. Do you think mastering the 20kg contributed to you achieving Master of Sport with the 24kg less than a year later? Do you have certain benchmark numbers to hit before you progress to the next kettlebell weight? I absolutely think that mastering the 20kg allowed me to achieve MS the following year. Knowing how fast I could move the 20kg, it was easier for me to wrap my head around moving the heavier bell a little slower. However, our team doesn't have benchmark numbers to hit before moving on to the next weight because everyone is an individual and competes for a different reason.
What mental tactics do you use to get through a 10 minute set? So much goes through my head during my set, whether in a competition or during training. I think my judge that day, Sherry Murphy, said it best when she wrote on my Facebook wall, "Platform judges aren't supposed to laugh... but I bet, by now, you've seen yourself on video shaking your head 'no' a few times... and then doing it anyway!!! I was highly amused!". It's not always easy to convince yourself to keep going, but when you see your team, your coach, and your family there cheering you on, you quickly realize it's not about you anymore, and then it's a little easier.
What is your next competition goal? What are your long term goals? Next I will work towards snatching the 16kg and competing at our Holiday Sport Competition. I hope to slowly but surely work my way through the bells focusing on the rank numbers needed.
Do you coach Kettlebell Sport? If so, how many athletes do you coach and have any of them replicated your results? Eric Reyelt is the coach for the Qkettlebell Team. He writes everyone's training programs, and I help them work on technique when they attend the classes I teach. The results I achieved are absolutely reproducible if there is true commitment to the training program written. With Eric's coaching, my husband and I both made the AKA National Record chart that you put together.
What is your training philosophy? As with everything else, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. I hit my goal numbers in competition because I am so dedicated to my training. I am very competitive with myself, and if I set a goal, I am going to do what I need to do to make it happen... or die trying.
What is your favorite part of Kettlebell Sport? Hands down, my favorite part is the team I train with. Our team is growing every year, and we sweat hard together and play hard when it's all over! My second favorite part is the structure of the training. Eric's program keeps me focused, working hard, and aiming to do my best with every set. No excuses! And that's how I need to train.
Who are your Kettlebell Sport role models? There are so many amazing and talented Kettlebell Sport athletes. I love watching Lorna Kleidman lift. Her technique is awesome and I can always learn something from watching her. Also, I met Christian Goldberg at my first competition, and after watching her Long Cycle there, I continued to follow her and set some of my goals based off of her and her amazing Long Cycle numbers.