by Marty Farrell
Valery Fedorenko is a World Champion kettlebell athlete from the former USSR who has records still standing after more than 20 years. A subject of early Soviet Sports Science study, Valery was the first Kettlebell Expert to reveal his methods of super-fitness to the public. Even though he does not compete today, he stays in top condition using his own form of Strength and Conditioning by way of the Kettlebell, and has dedicated his life to bringing that information to other athletes as well as those looking for a simple form of fitness that promotes health and well-being – and at the same time produces results.
March 22, 1973 (age 41)
Ok. This is something that I find fascinating. When I went to Moscow I talked about how the technique was “different” then when I saw Valery Fedoranko in San Diego I thought that understood what I thought good technique was. I was wrong.
Looking at VF during his competitive days I saw a similarity to the Moscow competitors that I didn’t see in the current VF so I asked “What’s going on?”
As we train ourselves we develop our muscles to being sharper at the activity. For Example, the Jerk tends to have a sharper movement with a competitive athlete (who trains professionally) then someone who trains for fitness or for cross training. They simply have more refinement due to higher levels of training.
I remember one of the certs; VF said the last time he did a set was the cert prior. That said his leg muscles though strong are not what his competition legs were in terms of quality of muscle. Therefore his dip in the jerk would be shorter when he was professional. His legs were stronger.
Take a look at this competitive video
Now look at a video here
Both techniques are correct but one looks sharper than the other. More refined. That is simply a training effect. I’m stronger therefore need less ROM to initiate the same amount of power for jerk.
When I understood what aspects of technique were important I realized what was correct and what wasn’t.
Sometimes something that looks different does not mean that it is wrong. In this case, it simply means the athlete’s muscles are more honed to perform the Jerk. It is a crisper or sharper looking movement if you will.
– Proper alignment, proper kettlebell position for safety on the wrist etc.
– Where the hand resides in the kettlebells.
– What constitutes a good rep where safety is equally important as performance
– What the main points are assistance exercises are for, i.e. swings, Jerks etc.
In the beginning it can be overwhelming to learn all these points but the beginners are at an advantage. I’ve seen this in the hundreds of people I have helped certify and in myself.
It is better to learn it right the first time then to change something. When you work with professional weights(32kg) already it becomes much harder to improve your technique. That is why beginners have the advantage.
In 2 months their technique will be much improved. I don’t expect overnight experts.
That is why we train. We learn through repetition and coaching hence the title “the never ending process” of learning.
I have many witnesses that can vouch that it took me about a year to improve my snatch technique to the point where I felt confident about it. I had to relearn what I was doing and it had been frustrating because I had already worked myself to a certain level.
And while hard work is good, hard work with the best technique is better and 1200+ hours in the gym helped me to understand that. Its why I got stuck at 80 snatches but I’m good now for over 100. And soon when I get better the numbers will go up significantly.
(Image courtesy of Livestrong.com)