Simple Strength Snap shot…
When I met with Steve Cotter at the recent IKFF CKT certification at DMC Fitness in Glasgow, Steve was keen to tell me about the recent appointment. World Champion and Record Holder Arseny Zhernakov is heading up the IKFF’s latest training initiative, Modern Kettlebell Sport.
The Modern Kettlebell Sport seminar will be hands on (plenty of time working with the k-bells) and everybody will receive customized recommendations to make their movements and style more efficient. Arseny will cover all the competition events – biathlon (Jerk and Snatch) and Long Cycle. He will follow a systematic and organized structure in presenting the following -
• The history and modern state of kettlebell sport and it’s unique place in not only sport, but overall fitness, wellness and lifestyle philosophy
• The physiology of kettlebell sport. Arseny will discuss various physiological measures and attributes needed to achieve safe progressions and high level performance
• Those new to kettlebells will get an outlined structure of the unique facets of kettlebells as one the best existing tools for increasing their overall power and stamina.
• Experienced lifters in these two days will have plenty of opportunities to discuss with Arseny their current results, future goals, ranking systems, etc
• Movement analysis, proper alignment and kettlebell trajectory in each lift
• Various breathing patterns and how they apply to different loading, pacing etc.
• GPP (General Physical Preparedness) and assistance work for each lift and how it varies according to the individual’s goals, skills, conditioning etc.
• Personal record attempts for students (not for ranking, just for those interested in doing a test set with Arseny’s coaching/feedback)
Steve had this to say – “As Founder of IKFF, I am very clear with our mission and purpose. We promote the highest possible education worldwide, with regards to health, wellness, fitness and kettlebell training as a component of those. We have always been and always will be devoted to increasing our own knowledge and promoting that to our students around the world.
Since our founding in 2008, we have had a tremendous impact, particularly in the area of Kettlebell Training for GPP (General Physical Preparation). In recent years, however, a growing interest has emerged in the area of Kettlebell Training as SPP (Specialized Physical Preparation) which is the competitive Kettlebell Sport component of kettlebell training. With this rapidly growing interest, coupled with the trust and goodwill IKFF has earned around the globe, I am very proud to announce Modern Kettlebell Sport, a new division of IKFF devoted to High Level Kettlebell Sport development.
Having traveled the world several times over and met all the major players, both in Kettlebell for GPP and Kettlebell for SPP, we were not satisfied to have just anyone head our new KB Sport program. We were patient to allow things develop in proper time. We needed a coach who not only had the highest level of KB Sport athletic skills, but also had the the people skills and communication expertise to teach these important concepts clearly. Further, he needed to be able to communicate in English fluently, as that is the most common language that is found around the world in our various seminars and courses.
There was only one person who met and exceeded all of these important qualities and I can say without hesitation that the newest IKFF Coach is truly the Best of the Best.
Aresny Zhernakov, an all-time World Champion and a champion person, who will be leading our new Modern Kettlebel Sport programs and will be working with myself, Ken Blackburn and our team of IKFF leaders around the world to bring this valuable information in a hands on course to all who wish to learn “
Now, over to Arseny -
SS – How did your own training start, were you always interested in fitness and health or was there a particular event that set you on the path?
AK - I want to say hello to all the fans of KB sport in the UK. I thrilled they found the KB sport. It has a unique effect on human body and mind and I am looking forward to that can bringing all fans of KB there all information I can about Modern Kettlebell Sport.
I started my sport career very early in 1983 when I was eight at an Olympic sport school in Odessa city( now Ukraine). I was a member of swimming and track and field athletic section. I was so happy to see elite athletes in the flesh and to get to train with our local Olympic champions from Odessa Nadezhda Olizarenko (2 Golds - Moscow-80) Gennady Avdeenko (Gold Seoul – 88) and other great sportsmen. It totally changed my sporting life and inspired me to try and to reach such great heights.
When you are young – one doesn’t use such categories like “sport”, “fitness” or have a deep understanding of these words. I think at this stage the role of family is very important involving children in sport and encouraging them until sport becomes an integral part of child’s life.
How did your early experiences influence or impact on how you train?
AK - As I said, I started my sport career at an early age. And now I have strong opinion that the “basis” of your early years has the greatest effect on your future results in sports. Alpine skiing, tennis and many sports can start at 5-6 years. Every year the probability of becoming a great champion decreases. Swimming, track and field can start at 8-9 years and so on. It is very important when your body is growing to transform it progressively in the direction of special sport qualities.
But if you are training for fitness and healthy life – no matter when you start – just start! Around the world I see people of all ages taking up Kettlebells. The IKFF is focused on these people – to help them live strong, enduring and long! The IKFF teaches these people to reach these targets and carries the great work out.
As for my life’s path – I had the strongest dream to become a Navy officer because I spent many years in Naval bases and the Navy was in our family through many generations. I entered Naval school in 1990 and Naval academy in 1992. Of course there were no pro swimming or track and field teams there – only the sports for a military way of life. The best section in academy was KB sport section and in 1994 I started my pro KB lifting.
At that stage my only dream was just to get the rank Master of Sport. But I have fallen so deeply in love in kettlebells and found (and am still finding) so many new and interesting aspects that I can’t stop. With my foundation in sports I reached MS in 1995 in Biathlon.
Your discipline is Kettlebell Sport. This is growing very steadily in the UK and beyond. Over the last few years we have seen various organisations crop up each with their own guidelines. How does someone new to the sport get an understanding of how to train, develop and progress?
AK - This evolution is a natural process. That the interest is growing and Kettlebells are becoming more popular around the world and this is great news for all us!
The advice for novices is simple – choose the best and proven teachers and methods. We are all do great job involving encouraging new participants every day from New Zealand to Canada.
I think the IKFF is the only team who integrate all the facets of Kettlebells form Beginners Level up to Pro Level, from fitness to sports specific training. IKFF has very successful CKT courses which lead people step by step in to the world of Kettlebells. I really appreciate the work of my friends Steve Cotter and Ken Blackburn in sharing the power of the kettlebell.
You are going to be delivering the new Modern Kettlebell Sport seminars on behalf of the IKFF. Can you tell us a little bit about what you will be teaching and who these seminars are aimed at?
AK - We offer programs to all groups of people. From those who just want to get an understanding of the concepts of kettlebells training, to those who want to achieve high sport ranks or to win the competitions and significantly increase such important stamina measures like VO2 max. Training process for these groups of people differs substantially.
The goal of IKFF is to offer the best teaching and coaching to any group of people and sportsmen according their goals and level. We understand that it is necessary to modify our methods because many of those people who visited courses of IKFF leader Steve Cotter and remarkable Ken Blackburn, who made first steps into Kettlebells now want to continue their growth and to enter the world of KB sport in meaning “true sport”.
The uniqueness of IKFF is in total coverage from the first steps through to heavy endurance sport training. I am amazed at programs offered by Steve and Ken and I hope my contribution will add to that.
But what is a Modern Kettlebell Sport? Where it goes to? How it affect people? What are the secrets of endurance development? The best way to get the answers is to visit this seminar. I belong to the glorious generation of champions who were winning in the KB’s golden era at the beginning of the Century. I think our work and records have formed modern KB sport in its up-to-date form and we continue to move forth.
The main goals of MKS seminar are to give people a concept of strength endurance because the Kettlebell is the highest embodiment of this. We will discuss physiology, competitions training, technique, planning and more. Also I plan to set the time for Q&A for people to address their own issues.
The biggest goal of IKFF is to show that KB is not just Jerk and Snatch but much more, that it is a great tool, for training, for health, that it is a kind of philosophy. It sounds maybe a little grand we know people will get it.
How has your training changed and developed over the years? Are there key concepts that define what you now do?
AK - Good question. It is great that training changes, over time modern training processes and new techniques come in. I should say that training processes, concepts or styles exist. Of course I have my own. I cannot fully describe it here. In brief – I use such concepts as “volume”, “load”, “energy systems”.
Ten years ago we trained 3 or 4 very hard intensive sessions per week. Now the paradigm has changed to 5-6 sessions per week at the competition level. Every session is a testing lab where I check my ideas on more effective result and growth.
Whilst there probably isn’t anything like an average week, can you tell me if you have a particular focus or approach to your current training?
AK - Today I can hardly name any week as an average week. But when results are the first target I have such weeks and of course I will plan such weeks for students. The average week means a special sequence consisting of three-four training days with variety of KBs weights, loads and volume. The sequence of such “average” weeks in reality has shown itself a very effective tool in obtaining results. The biggest problem is to keep the tempo of these weeks. It seems very simple but there are many different things which draw people away from training process.
In my experience, recovery is the most overlooked aspect of the whole training process. What key strategies do you use when it comes to recovery?
AK - True words! All secrets of recovery are still not found. You have to observe your body to get this info and to know how it reacts to loading. In turn it means that you have carefully plan and observe. It is not easy.
Of course it varies a lot if you are on a fitness level or on a pro level. There is a simple answer for fitness, when you feel yourself very tired or motivation decrease – contact a specialist or trainer.
Who have been your biggest influences over the years?
AK - I can’t point one or two names. I always admired those people who changed others lives. Mostly it goes to people of science and culture. People who most influence me make our life better.
It is easier to talk about sport influences because I am involved for so many years in the world of sport. If you see that somebody set great record or obtained number of victories – do it yourself and become equal!
For more information on forthcoming seminars go to IKFF.net
If you are interested Arseny’s forthcoming UK seminar feel free to drop me a line rannoch at simplestrength.com