Thursday, February 6, 2014

Team TracyRif

This time last year I had no idea what was about to happen.  All I remember really was sitting around our computers one evening when Mark looked over at me and asked me how many 12kg snatches did I think I could do in 5 minutes.  What?  Well, it didn't take me long to answer, basically my answer was, how many could be done in 5 minutes?  Well, that's pretty much how many I could do!  Snatching the 12kg, for 5 minutes, was not that much of a challenge so why was he asking me this question?  It seems as if there was going to be an opportunity to test my snatch reps during an actual competition!  I still was not completely understanding.

I was familiar with Girya Sport....enough to know how freaking hard it is to snatch (jerk) for 10 minutes while only one hand switch.  I knew the difficulty because for a couple of years prior I had played around with it, but not knowing anything about the sport and technique I failed miserably!  I was intrigued, but not enough to give up my regular Hardstyle training.  So now Mark was telling me that I could snatch Hardstyle, for 5 minutes, switching hands as many times as I wanted to, in a competition?  Hmnn...I had never snatched for 5 minutes for reps, instead I commonly stopped at 100 reps, which takes under 5 minutes.  No need to "test" beyond 100 because no more was ever asked for in my SFG (formerly rkc) world.  But the 12kg, even a competition sized bell, would not really be a test....more like an exhibition, and certainly it could be fun.  But the 16kg for 5 minutes, now that would be a many reps could I complete?  I had no idea!

Knowing I could do 100 in about 4 minutes, if I pushed it, that computes to 25 rpm, would I be able to keep that pace for another minute, AND 2 more transfer swings?  (each and every time you transfer swing it take time away!)  Oh, and one more thing...a competition bell does not travel the same speed of a smaller, more compact cast iron bell.  Now this was going to be challenging!

Although I prided myself (and still do) along with most of my fellow SFG Instructors about being able to throw down a 100 rep snatch test any day of the week, now I HAD to do it, but better!  I was going to do a set that opened me up to competition.  Who would step forward and complete more reps?  It's totally possible, of course!  I mean I'm practically an old woman!  Any younger stronger whippersnapper can come along and smoke me!

My strategy was 24 rpm (12 reps every 30 seconds).  At the time I routinely trained switching every 10 reps, but I knew every transfer swing would cost me time/reps, and possibly risk dropping the bell, so I decided to switch every 30 seconds....and I was more than 100% successful, and managed an extra rep at the end for a total of 121 reps in 5 minutes. A personal record for me, and one I haven't actually tried again...maybe I should?

Or maybe YOU should?  Now is your chance!  If you are in the So Cal area I highly recommend you look into coming over to the OKC's California Open Championship to test yourself, your students, your clients, or together as a team!  You all train on a regular basis so why not come and see what kind of payoff your hard work and commitment will bring?

There is something about competing, about stepping up to the plate (or in this case, the platform!). It was an amazing opportunity to do something I loved to do, something I knew I was good at, but yet still the chance of failure would always be looming under the control of other circumstances.

A different bell than I was used to.
A day and time that I wouldn't normally train.
Little time to prepare as I was invited to try only weeks before hand...and remember, this was for highest possible reps!
Weigh in (argh!)
Oh, and a huge audience that could easily out lift me in so many ways!

That last one is probably the one I was most fearful of.  I know the rules of GS and I was being "allowed" to compete by different rules.....would my way be respected as much as I respected theirs?

Open arms!  The Orange Kettlebell Club not only invited me, and other Hardstyle kettlebell athletes like me, but they celebrated what my skills were....and then they treated me to a show of theirs!  At the end of the day we all like to train, we all like to grow our practice and sport, and we all have that same ball of iron, or steel, with a handle that challenges us to be our best.

Our best may be more reps, more weight, or simply showing up 2-3 times a week to keep or increase our health, fitness and strength.  And being able to, being welcome to, validate our hard work and commitment through competition was so much freaking fun!  Which is why from that moment of completing my 121st rep in 5 minutes with the 16kg I knew I would share the experience with my own students/training partners, and anybody who read my blog or facebook page.

I'm thrilled to have had 7 of my own personal students compete at the last OKC competition in Berkeley this past August.  Three of them tested their 5 minute snatch, three of them their 10 minute snatch, and one biathlon (Meg of course, lol).  I also had another woman I had met in Modesto (at Full Force PT), Stacey Whitney, read about last years competition and inspired her to compete two lifts and earn her rank 2!

If you are interested in finding our more information about this and other events at the OKC California Open Championships please go to their website, or email/facebook message me or John Wild Buckley.  There may be a special rate for the 5 minute snatch event registration and/or a special rate if you bring YOUR TEAM!

Even if you don't or you are not ready, will you come and cheer us on, cheer me on?  In addition you will also be treated to watching World Class Girya Sport lifters compete on the same platforms as us mere mortals!  If you love kettlebells, whether it's hardstyle of Kettlebell sport, it's an event that should not be missed.!california-open-kettlebell-cha/c1ok1

photo at top is Team TracyRif, and here were the results from OKC's August meet, 6 months after my own very first competition;

Andrea Reyna, 8kg, 5 minute snatch 122 reps, 1st place
Maribel Medina, 12kg 10 minute snatch 185 reps, 2nd place
Deepika Goyal, 12kg 5 minute snatch 94 reps, 3rd place
James Mac Neil 16kg 10 minute snatch, 187 reps, 1st place
Brenda Tierney 16kg 5 minute snatch, 113 reps, 1st place
Meg Lloyd, 12kg biathlon, 158 jerk, 164 snatch, 240 points, rank 1, 1st place
Stacy Whitney, 12kg 5 min snatch, 131 reps, 1st place, 12kg 10 min jerk 114 reps, rank 2, 1st place
Melisa Mac Neil, 8 kg 10 min snatch, 192 reps, 1st place
Tracy Reifkind, me! 16kg biathlon, 71 jerk, 187 snatch, 164.5 points, 1st place rank 1

What's crazy is that all this happened because of one little itty bitty 5 minute snatch test! 


John Wild Buckley said...

What a great Post Tracy! You are such a leader and an inspiration to so many lifters. You know I'll be there cheering my heart out for you!

Meg Lloyd said...

Someday you'll learn how to spell my name.... :-)

Tracy Reifkind said...


Good God! I copied those results from back in the day that I didn't! Now I do, so I'm editing it!

Sorry....that's what you get for out jerking me! lol

Tracy Reifkind said...


I just wish I could have promoted this sooner :)

BUT, I am bringing a brand new lifter to the platform! And I'm soooo excited about it! I'll register her tomorrow!