5 Traits of a Successful Millennial Kettlebell Lifter

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Whether you are a novice lifter or destined to be a champion, it’s important to understand the level of commitment involved in kettlebell sport. Being an active competitor today is a unique lifestyle that can easily become all-consuming.  However, this is your opportunity not to take your kettlbell too seriously in order to keep things in perspective. Smile. Relax… we’ve got the Top 5 ingredients to becoming a leader of the pack in the modern world figured out.  Drama-free!


1.  Love of the Sport
Nothing can sustain an athlete more than pure love for the sport. For kettlebell sport, this comprises of a variety of factors – technique and ease of movement, level of challenge, culture and community, personal growth & development — sometimes it’s even fun.

Most lifters who truly love it borderline on being obsessed, the “honeymoon” period with their kettlebell never ended. Champion lifters today spend hours learning as much as they can from all channels – social media, books in foreign languages, coaches on Skype, sport camps translated from Russian into broken English, and certifications galore. Their love for learning new details and improving their game–in conjunction with their FOMO (fear of missing out on Facebook)–keeps these lifters connected to their beloved community.

NOLIM_gallery22.  Discipline is Freedom
Discipline and consistency will free any lifter, no joke. Top lifters train from 12 to 30 hours a week, depending on whether they are professional athletes. Outside of Russia, the rest of the 99% of unpaid kettlebell lifters need to also put in significant time towards their livelihood, commute, family responsibilities, Netflix Original Series’, and other personal pursuits.

Today kettlebell sport competitors have to insert real life into their strictly regimented training schedule. It usually means wearing chalked-up crusty compression tights to run errands, illegally texting at intersections, finishing sets either elated or devastated even though there’s no financial loss or gain involved, coping with the ache of smartphone-neck from following Russian Girevoy YouTube channels, neglecting rest & recovery, and occasionally smelling like a goat bathed in a moldy troth.

True millennial gireviks don’t care!  They fit in their training regardless of, well, just about anything. This consistency in their training is what builds incremental technical improvements and mental toughness, their most prized attributes.

champion3.  Love to Win
Having a winning attitude is often more advantageous than physical preparedness.  Millennial gireviks today share an undeniable passion for the value of one repetition in front of a judge and on screen for their YouTube videos.buy-youtube-views

Earning the most points possible, even without an opponent in their weight class, is more precious to them than the seductive temptation to rest. Under pain or ease, good or bad, they accept that public scrutiny is a part of the process and keep track of comments, likes and views for days and weeks afterward.

4.  Focused and Present on the Platform
Have you ever been an emotional mess right before a competition? So have successful kettlebell athletes! The difference between the good vs. the great is the ability to maintain focus on the platform while channeling the right level of anxiety so that it becomes beneficial for performance.
Also, the most popular kettlebell meets these days include live DJs blasting techno/hard rock/hip-hop, glaring lights, and a sea of camera phone paparazzi capturing every move. Consider all of the sensory integration required!  Yet, it’s easy to spot the perfect green zone of a great lifter on a platform; the eye gaze is fixed and distant; the body is alert and in-sync with the pattern of movement; the breath is rhythmic. The room sometimes quiets along with the lifters, it’s always intense.


5.  Supportive Family and Friends
Every area of a millennial lifters’ life is affected by the time and energy dedicated to their training, but unlike ghostly gireviks of the past, kettlebell hipsters aren’t lone wolves. In addition to their FOMO friends, they have a secret weapon: support from real family and friends. They have a mini crew in their corner who celebrate their triumphs and provide strength and encouragement during times of doubt. A successful support team also understands the continuos rigidity and frustration around dietary matters, especially while traveling, and the agony of cutting weight before a competition; they know how to forgive. These amazing unsung heros are the backbone of kettlebell sport today and that is no joke.



1 Comment

  1. Lynn

    November 1, 2014 at 3:05 am

    Thank you for this. It’s so true. I needed this! It will be my bible.