equipment

Hellz Bellz

Being in Chicago for Nationals almost 2 weeks ago was an experience. Every competition is. The positive aspects, negatives, or both, I always learn something- or else, why go? Besides getting to share the platform with some amazing lifters, and new friends, politics and tension were also very, very present. Generally speaking there is little of either (but never none). Why were panties twisted and attitudes negative? Because of the actual pieces of metal that we were lifting. The bells that were at the competition were the newest designs produced by Vulcan Strength Systems (who are a sponsor of the AKA). I would like to say that I think that most of us Girevoy Sport lifters do not train with these bells. Vulcan bells have a larger window and the angle on the handle where most lifters grip is much sharper. This, however is not where controversy lies. These newly designed bells had a much larger handle. This larger handle created a lot of disparity, and unless  you train with them, you were at a disadvantage. Generally speaking the competition sport bells used in the USA today have a 33mm handle, and these bells had a 35mm handle.  This changed the game for a lot of people, including myself. I was very nervous about these bells, and I know it affected my performance. I think all the way around, people did not hit the numbers that they generally are comfortable with as well as  A LOT of ripped hands (the most I have seen). I do not think it was well communicated to lifters by the AKA, and this is an issue. While I do think that standardization is a great ‘ideal’ I do not think being sneaky is a good way to set standards. I do not have large hands, so holding on to the bell for a full 10 minutes was no easy task. I also noticed the bells did not hold chalk, and it hit on a new place on my forearm, making going the distance much more difficult. I wanted you to see the difference in the handles. I pulled the Vulcan picture off of their website- I also noted there were no specs offered with this product- Hmmmmmmm…..   VCKB20a-2T 5931L                 Everyone in the KB Sport community had something to say about specs, rules, rankings, competitions, validity….. I do agree if these bells will be a standard, then the ranking tables will need a re-evaluation, as well as competition bell manufacturing regulation, or at least recommendations. Apparently bells produced in China are sub-par. Speaking of sub-par I should mention that during John Lesko’s jerk portion of his set something FELL OUT OF THE BOTTOM OF ONE OF HIS BELLS!!!!!  I think it is very unreasonable to have put lifters in this position. I saved a very large  thread from Facebook that got into a lot of detail, with some of the sports most prominent lifters/promoters/coaches. I posted it here in PDF format. Something else that is a really great read. I thought the coach of Ice Chamber did a really nice job articulating what ‘Bell-Gate’ means to the sport, at least in the US. And of course Fedorenko had something to say about it (I did a screen shot of this on my phone): Screenshot_2015-08-10-16-19-37_resized Of course he thinks he is still the King of the sport, but he has done a great job of alienating himself from the rest of the community (he used to have strong ties with Ice Chamber)- and that’s just no way to get kettlebell sport in the Olympic Games. So all, in all, another valuable lesson learned in the every growing and changing kettlebell world. I wonder what the IKFF, KET Academy and IKSFA think of all of this?? I guess all you can fall back on is to keep an open mind and always do your best. Happy training, Cindy 8.10.15

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