What is Kettlebell Pentathlon?
Originally developed by Valery Fedorenko as a diagnostic test of human work capacity, fitness and athleticism, the WKC (World Kettlebell Club) Strength & Conditioning Quotient is a now a new sport in its own right.
The military, police and rescue, as well as coaches of numerous athletes and sports teams have used kettlebell pentathlon to evaluate the effectiveness of their training. The exercises are simple to learn and are easy to implement with a wide variety of people.
The Test Is:
• 5 different kettlebell exercises
• 6 minute set for each exercise
• 5 minutes recovery between each exercise
• Unlimited switching of hands
• You choose the weight in increments of 4kg from 8kg to 72kg
• Score is a factor multiplied by reps
With each exercise there are a limited amount of reps that are allowed to be completed each minute. Have you ever been in a gym and watched someone perform an exercise and thought it was a shocking demonstration of what it should look like? That is the reason for the limited number of reps per minute. If they are all performed perfectly then ‘X’ amount is the number possible. Everyone is therefore on a level playing field.
Each exercise is performed for six minutes and during that six minutes the bell is not allowed to be put down once. There can be as many hand changes as desired but it must stay off the ground. For many of you reading this you will be shocked by the fact that the bell is not allowed to go down for that length of time. Given the amount of time Average Joe spends performing a dumbbell exercise in the gym (approximately 30 seconds) it will appear nigh on impossible. The answer simply lies in structured, disciplined, progressive training.
The nice part: after each six minute set there is a rest period of five minutes!
The test is performed with one kettlebell. The kettlebell can be changed for each exercise so for example – cleans with 12kg, long cycle with 8kg but the one bell cannot be changed in the chosen exercise until the set is over. The bell can be switched from hand to hand as often as you wish but two hands are never allowed to touch the bell at once. The general approach is to change hands every minute. This helps to give an all over balance in strength and fitness too.
Your score is achieved by multiplying the total reps by a factor. For example, a 12kg bell is 1.5 points and a 16kg bell is 2 points. If you make 80 reps @ 16kg it is 80 x 2 = 160 points. Your final score is the scores of 5 exercises added together.
The kettlebell pentathlon, which as mentioned, is a sport and competitions are being held all over the world. A very different bonus aside from competing though is that this is a very measurable, self monitoring fitness test. You can perform this on your own and providing you are strict to yourself with your judging, you can keep a record of your scores. There are apps on your smart phones to help with the counts, particularly ‘Fixometer’ which will tell you not only how many reps you have done per minute but whether your rep is clean or not.
Please feel free to contact me regarding this amazing fitness test if you want to learn the exercises and how to perform them. I have taken many people through the coaching process and for me, the most satisfying outcome is watching non conditioned individuals go from struggling to pick a dead weight up to lifting it 120 times per minute for 6 minutes. The health & well being benefits from this are immense as there is an incredible fusion between resistance training and high intensity aerobic work.