What is HardStyle?

The HardSTYLE of Kettlebell Lifting Defined:

In the face of the kettlebell's growing popularity, Russian Kettlebell Challenge certified instructors [RKCs] hold down the fort as the original kettlebell certification in this country. Whereas the kettlebell is used primarily for high repetition jerks and snatches in it's native Russia, Pavel Tsatsouline has designed a program of weight training that uses the kettlebell as a means to enhance certain aspects of weight lifting, rather than as a goal for high numbers in Kettlebell Sport. Focusing on the high muscular tension techniques used by power lifters to lift massive amounts of weight, and the martial disciplines [kung-fu, etc.] use of power and relaxation to develop power endurance, Pavel has given the present ranks of kettlebell lifters an understanding of the premier tool for strength, strength endurance, flexible strength, and mental toughness. 'Intestinal fortitude' may have been a cute term the first time I heard the Philadelphia Flyer's color commentator belt it out to describe Ron Hextall, yet it oversimplifies Hard Style Kettlebell training and prevents the reader from delineating 'guts' from 'grit'. Having 'the guts' to bang out 5 more reps of a 185 pound bench press with despicable form while your buddy stands over you chanting 'Rocky' quotes will make you sore as heck the next day, but having the grit to set the weight down, retool your form, and hammer out another perfect set after some perfect sets have already been counted is what defines the reputation of a Hard Styler for their grit and common sense. Steve Baccari [Massachusets] RKC has said that 'more is not better, more is just more', please allow with me to break that down.

Hard Style kettlebell training employs the repeated use of power, a near maximal effort of max tension in minimum time, over everything else, including efficiency [David Whitley MasterRKC]. Russian kettlebell sport requires that 70 and/or 88 pound kettlebells be hoisted for maximum repetitions in ten minutes for series of both the snatch and the two kettlebell jerk. In order to put up comparable numbers to today's sport kettlebellers, you have no choice but to apply tactics and techniques which liken you, in spirit and in body, to a marathon runner or a triathlete. Glorious in their arena, yet far from the body that exudes strength through posture, peaceful composure, and muscular definition that can freeze and entire dance floor. Using the 'extended squeeze' techniques of power lifters, the breathing and relaxation match of a martial artist, and the operating smarts of a Force Reconnaissance Marine, you and your kettlebell will live happily ever after with hard muscles and a heart of elastic steel [Kenneth Jay]. A program which focuses on movements rather than muslce groups, and skill training as opposed to sets/reps, the Russian Kettlebell Challenge, the Hard Style of kettlebell training, uses pulling and pressing movements as well as grinding lifts and quick lifts, to balance out the athlete's control of thier muslces. Muscles move bones, bones form joints, joint angle changes and load transfers develop strength, which may then become your power, your wind, and your grit. Train the movements, not the muscle groups.