What Are The Top Kettlebell Marathon

Bob Roberts
• Friday, 06 November, 2020
• 18 min read

All that aside, kettle bell workouts also just didn’t seem necessary since I have dumbbells and resistance bands to cover lots of fitness routines. However, given the inherent difficulty of attending gyms right now with a face mask and the potential risk of exposure, I decided to shake things up and took the plunge: I ordered a kettle bell.

(Source: www.ikmf-world.com)


If you’re likewise looking for the best kettle bells to buy, you’ll quickly find lots of options and some might seem very similar to others. I’ve found a lot of value in even basic exercises, which challenged my body in gym-worthy ways, an especially significant value in workout gear as we head into winter.

It’s easy to use and ultimately gives you unrivaled flexibility with what weight size you want in your kettle bell given you have the appropriate dumbbells to match with it. Heidi Pocono, a personal trainer and manager of training at GYMGUYZ, recommends a vinyl coated cast iron kettle bell.

‘This is great for the quads, hamstrings, glutes, abs and lower back,’ says Gillespie-Eyles. Only go as low as is comfortable; remember to control the movement up and down, don't feel like you have to rush your squats.

Core specific moves require a lighter weight, especially in the early days. If you try to jackknife or leg raise with a weight that's too heavy, you'll end up recruiting muscles in your back and neck.

Full body moves will bring you to a middle ground at the weights rack. This is because, you can call on your core stabilizer muscles to keep you strong while working lower and upper body together.

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To lift as an elite athlete you need to achieve a minimum of CMS rank level. Please check the IMF Ranking tables to establish your CMS requirements.

This was developed by Kim Henning and is run by the IMF annually. There are 3 rounds each year and you can compete in any of the 4 lifts, all of them if you are feeling brave enough.

These are sometimes carried out at dedicated UGC events or if these aren’t available in your area, a video submission to your countries representative is acceptable. The IMF hold European and World Championships annually as well as National competitions which are organized and hosted by that particular countries representative.

Read on to learn how can use kettle bells to avoid injuries and improve your performance, all without having to go to a gym! In 2014, a large meta-analysis showed that strength training reduces injuries far more effectively than other interventions such as stretching.

Strength training has also been shown to increase running economy by about 8% (Jung 2003). Improving your running economy means that you can go faster for the same energy expenditure.

marathon kettlebell federation ikmf scandinavian within run popular international events very they
(Source: www.englishkettlebells.org)

To put that into context, an 8% improvement on a 4-hour marathon time would be around 19 minutes. So if you’re interested in knocking almost 20 minutes off your marathon time, you might want to consider adding some strength work to your training.

In that article, I discuss a ‘bare bones’ routine to get runners who don’t do any strength training going. I’ve chosen these five exercises to create a whole body workout that would take about 20-30 minutes and could be included 1-2 times a week.

With this routine you could benefit from a 5% improvement in running economy and 60% reduction in injury week. The rear lunge will strengthen the calves, hamstring, glutes, quads, lateral core and shoulder girdle.

Be sure to touch the floor, that will make you control the movement so you don’t bang your knee. If runners were only going to do two exercises, they should be the rear lunge and the single leg dead lift.

The half kneeling shoulder press is a great way to get maximum back for your buck with an arm strengthening exercise. Kettle bell swings are a fantastic way to introduce some plyometric type, fast, power building work into your strength routine.

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The kettle bell swings target the same muscles as the single leg dead lift but have the added benefit of speed. Including this faster strengthening work helps build power in your muscles and increased resilience in your hamstring tendons.

Structured correctly, you can also use the kettle bell swing to sneak in some high intensity interval training. Position 2 is standing up straight holding the kettle bell out in front of you at 90 degrees.

By far the most complicated and the most fun, a lifetime spent perfecting only the Turkish Get Up would not be wasted. In contrast to the speed/power work of the kettle bell swing, the Turkish get up is all about slow endurance strength and control.

If you are having trouble with the technique for the single leg dead lift and the kettle bell swing you are not alone. The hip hinge is very tricky to master, these two videos will show you how to work on it.

To make the most of this program, it is essential you know how to perform the foundation kettle bell and barbell exercises. The 12-week plan tracker makes is easy to follow the program and see the results.

kettlebell marathon
(Source: kettlebellmarathon.com)

The exercises are designed to strengthen the muscles groups you need to handle heavier clubs, improve your cardiovascular fitness, and build your skills to learn more complex moves. A PDF download of each circuit is available for quick reference, so that you won’t need to watch the videos after you have learned the exercises.

Switch Hip hinge movement Back swing Base of the kettle bell visible behind the legs Taco Fleur Russian Gregory Sport Institute Kettle bell Coach, Caveman training Certified, IFF Certified Kettle bell Teacher, Kettle bell Sport Rank 2, HardstyleFit Kettle bell Level 1 Instructor., CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, CrossFit Judges Certificate, CrossFit Lesson Planning Certificate, Kettle bells Level 2 Trainer, Kettle bell Science and Application, MMA Fitness Level 2, MMA Conditioning Level 1, BJJ Purple Belt and more.

Until 2010, it was considered more of a personal challenge than a competitive sport. Today the popularity of kettle bell marathons is increasing around the world, and the IMF is leading the way in standardizing rules and promoting competitions. Since 2020, IMF has been open to other disciplines such as IMF games (created by Stéphane Diverge, IMF founder president) and pentathlon (created by Valery Fedorenko) in order to reach out t a wider audience.

I’ve noticed a shift in the kettle bell sport world that is worth acknowledgment, and it appears to be paralleling the art of running vast distances. Just like human beings are pushing the limits of their physical abilities in ultramarathon events such as the Western States 100, Hard rock 100, Seville 100, and the Moab 240, kettle bell sport athletes are doing the same and lifting kettle bells for longer periods of time and pushing the limits of human potential.

Ultra marathon runner Courtney Daughter, finished the Moab 240 (yes, there is a 238 mile or 383 km race) in 2 days, 9 hours, and 59 minutes. As women lead the charge in ultramarathon races, there appears to be a similar theme building in kettle bell sport.

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In September 2019, I attended the IFF Northwest Championships in Seattle, Washington, and I marveled at the number of individuals that embraced the challenge of kettle bell sport marathon lifts; most of them were women. Kettle bell sport athlete Katie Pollock completed a 12 kg two arm long cycle lift for 30 minutes and achieved over 260 perfect repetitions and then turned around and did a 30-minute snatch set.

Witnessing this feat of strength, grit and tenacity left me in awe of the courage, mental fortitude, and perseverance that is required in the hearts of these athletes. The terms grit, determination, and perseverance fall short of grasping the energy reserves and mental fortitude required to step on the platform and lift competition kettle bells for 5, 10, 30, 60, 120 or even 180 minutes.

Thus began my search for a construct that attempts to eloquently narrate this spirit of strength, and I was pleased to find that I did not have to look far. Astoria, Oregon is a unique place where the mighty Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean merge, and it is known for its beautiful landscapes, big sky, and dynamic history.

Astoria is home to a rich Finnish culture that has left a fingerprint on the architecture of this old city. Sis was further embraced and defined after the Winter War in 1939 when the Soviet Union invaded Finland and the Finnish people, being wildly outnumbered, took a stoically determined stance against the invasion.

Finland knew it had no chance of repulsing the Soviet invasion, but hoped to put up such a fight and hold out for such a long time, that they would convince the Western world to come to its aid or that Stalin would ultimately give up the idea of occupying the country. It is the internal place where perseverance and grit end and the individual finds a way to keep going despite all odds.

marathon ikmf championship 2nd european kettlebell
(Source: athenskettlebellmarathon.wordpress.com)

Amelia Last, a Finnish researcher, public speaker, ultramarathon runner, social activist, and domestic violence survivor has challenged and inspired many to focus on reprogramming their brains through the intentional choice of changing one’s individual narrative. The words we use “to give story” to our lives can feed a positive outlook and mindset despite our circumstances.

Similarly, negative self-talk can spiral our lives into a clogged and hopeless mindset, driving the proverbial train of our life right off the tracks. Last has used Sis to empower a whole generation of survivors to find the silver lining in their circumstances and has ignited a movement of individuals that refuse to quit.

Last states, “Our biologically programmed tendency to preserve energy can lead to a bias for stability at the expense of exploring opportunities to develop ourselves and expand our action repertoire. Sis gives rise to what I call an action mindset; a courageous attitude that contributes to how we approach challenges.

Kettle bell sport is structured in a way that there can be a shiny new goal at the inception of each training cycle. Goals may consist of earning a rank, reaching certain numbers, graduating to different weights (colors), breaking records, or simply going the distance.

Kettle bell sport marathon lifting has grown in appeal to me because of the unique obstacles that it presents to an athlete. Kettle bell sport is a relatively small community and the individuals that have chosen the discipline of marathon lifting specifically have a lot of interesting and similar characteristics.

kettlebell half snatch workouts crossfit wod alt marathon caveman kettlebells routines cavemantraining
(Source: www.cavemantraining.com)

Extended time under the bells challenges me to forge a mindset that ultimately empowers my daily life. I have raised four boys which require mental toughness, and kettle bell sport is a training routine for the body and the mind.

I’ve learned that if I can step on the platform and overcome a long cycle set, then other challenges seem less daunting. Sometimes in training, it is about focusing on one breath at a time and this, in turn, has helped me in how I navigate my daily life.

In the future, I am thinking about completing an Talc marathon set (1 hour) with the 20 kg bell.” I train lots of longer sets with time working at my targeted pace of six to eight reps per minute.

My goal will be to keep my heart rate in a certain range for the whole training session regardless of the lift or bell weight. In between sets, I focus more on active recovery and will spend time rowing or riding the stationary bike.

I chose to train for a 60-minute two arm long cycle set because I delivered my first baby boy in June of this year and took 8 weeks off of lifting. While my set went well (49 reps, CMS rank), I learned that my core and back were probably not recovered enough to train with the 16 kg bells.

training health weight exercises strength suitcase kettlebell half fitness marathon runners corbett tom zoom magazine
(Source: www.health.com)

I don’t enjoy Talc training much as it tends to tweak my low back, so I settled on 12 kg TALC. I love the mental strength component of the sport, and that hard work and determination reaps one extra rep at a time and a slow incremental increase in weight.

These qualities are not always rewarded in all sports, and that is reflected in the camaraderie that you can feel and the equality of experience you see in fellow competitors on the platform, regardless of weight, age, or ability. I’m relatively new to kettle bell sport (less than one year), but the intensity, length, and yes, pain of a marathon set is a really attractive challenge for me.

I have Ulcerative Colitis (Pancolitis-the entire colon), an autoimmune disorder where the body sees its own cells as a foreign and wages war on them. One year ago, in October, I joined Astoria Kettle bell Club at the urging of Chris Hoover (the kindest soul I have ever met).

It was the kind of focus I needed to get through trying times with different medication trials that led to a couple of bad reactions and limited options for me. I need to know I can fight to the end and push past the everyday pain and nausea to make it to the other side.

The challenges I face when training for a marathon set are usually fatigue, pain, and nausea from the colitis. “I was pretty successful as a high school athlete and learned a lot from my coach about what we are physically capable of if our mind is in the right place.

training kettlebell runners benefits kettlebells workout runnersconnect tips
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I had one particular race my senior year that I ran so hard, I hit what was referred to as oxygen debt. Fast-forward through running in college, spending a number of years snowboarding, and hiking some beautiful, intense mountains, I found myself back in my hometown with my newborn daughter.

I laid on the floor and reminded myself to breathe for over five hours because I knew I needed to live, so I could be there for my daughter. On a physiologic level, endurance sports work our body in a way that brings oxygen and blood flow consistently to our tissues, including our heart and brain.

So the fact that most endurance work is done at a lower steady heart rate without becoming anaerobic is something that is shown in studies to help us regenerate tissues and neural pathways. It’s difficult to explain to people the way you can feel after a long session under a heavy set of kettle bells.

Your mind feels clear and calm, and learning this valuable skill can help us achieve great things in all aspects of our lives. Physical movement, in my opinion, is something that should be getting more attention in helping us figure out how to heal from these things.

Putting your body at a physical deficit for an extended period of time is only achievable with a strong mind. Now, if your mind is cluttered with past unresolved trauma or negative thoughts, this whole process will go awry very quickly.

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We must figure out how to clear our minds so that we can take care of the daunting physical task at hand. It is during this time under this physically demanding task, that we are forced to face those demons that we’ve previously just tried to shut out or ignore.

The event will also serve as a fundraiser for a local nonprofit that provides coaching and CrossFit to individuals in recovery from substance use disorders. This event and these concepts are intended to strengthen the ties that bind our friendships within the sport and promote a perspective that is more focused on encouragement and finishing the race, than about the tenets of winning and losing.

Empirical evidence suggests that humans function as the best versions of themselves when they engage in a regular practice of a specific activity that keeps one present at the moment (ex. When our minds fixate on the unknown saga of the future, our brains revert to primal distress.

He is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor III with the State of Oregon, and he chooses to work in law enforcement as a parole and probation officer where he feels he can make the greatest positive impact on people in need. You will often see him farmer carrying and lifting kettle bells in places outside the gym, in his office, or in nature.

Traditional GS rules mean that performing a swing between reps or placing the kettle bells on the shoulders or ground ends the set.) For events from 2 hours and up, some prohibitions are lifted to ensure the athletes safety.

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Tape (and gymnastic grips) for hand protection is allowed, but no gloves. The athlete may rest in a static hang position, perform low amplitudes swings between reps without having to change sides or even place the kettle bell on the shoulder.

The athlete may also use 2 hands on the kettle bell while resting elbows on the knees in all disciplines. The athlete must have a CMS (marathon) rank at the minimum to qualify for such an event.

These programs do not crush the volume, so they can be performed alongside a regular running routine. I only follow the A+A principle, and enjoy the benefits of long-time cumulative effect.

Maintaining strength had been critical to my previous performance and relatively easy recovery, not just after the race but throughout the preparation. Distance running requires good movement and endurance.

How could a strength program lead to half- marathon success after only 5 training runs? Almost all of my “running” is at MAF pace, but I do throw in strides about once a week.

runners kettlebell exercises
(Source: blog.alexandrasports.com)

This summer, my strength work is a basic push/pull hinge squat. On Monday I usually do pull-ups/push-ups, box step-ups, reverse lunges and a few heavy, powerful swings.

I also try to throw in some TGU's, either for warp-ups or as a finishing exercise, at some point through the week. I am running 50 miles this weekend, and depending on how that goes, I may sign up for a 24-hour race in November.

You will not make huge strength, or endurance gains, but ya won't get out of shape, either. Almost all of my “running” is at MAF pace, but I do throw in strides about once a week.

On Monday I usually do pull-ups/push-ups, box step-ups, reverse lunges and a few heavy, powerful swings. I also try to throw in some TGU's, either for warp-ups or as a finishing exercise, at some point through the week.

I am running 50 miles this weekend, and depending on how that goes, I may sign up for a 24-hour race in November. You will not make huge strength, or endurance gains, but ya won't get out of shape, either.

kettlebell workout circuit runners beginner leagendersfitness training fitness beginners
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On the other side I like to follow a strength routine for the many benefits that I experimented in many years of SAS. I could go on with SAS for all my lifetime, but I was interested to hear other experiences and all these answers are opening my eyes.

I am very intrigued from A+A Snatch, it seems a way to develop great strength and also seems to be flexible and a good combination with running. I believe this is Al Amapá's brainchild, and his website is: Once again, tons of good info. A + A is something I plan on pursuing at some point.

I was in the best shape of my life when I did the Top and ran on variety days. I was in the best shape of my life when I did the Top and ran on variety days.

Hello, +1 @vegpedlr I used Top to prep for an OCR and it worked super well. Top can be interesting for running and rucking, but up to a point it gets taxing because it remains a “peak program”.

For maintenance, I tend to think that SAS with TGU and press on alternate may be a better Hello, +1 @vegpedlr I used Top to prep for an OCR and it worked super well.

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1 en.wikipedia.org - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kettlebell
2 parade.com - https://parade.com/1137500/korinmiller/best-kettlebells/