Tag Archives: Katarina Helcmanovska


Internal Dialogue of a Female Kettlebell Lifter: Part 2

Kettlebell Sport is an endurance sport more than anything else – not just of the body, but of the mind. Lifters push through an immense amount of discomfort to get through the mental and physical battle of a 10 minute set.”What were you thinking while you were lifting?” is a common question from spectators, and as an athlete you often wonder whether everyone else on the platform next to you is struggling as much as you are. This series of posts is a chance to get a glimpse into the mind of a wide variety of lifters of all nationalities while completing a 10 minute set – male, female, beginner, elite, Bolt style, Girevoy Sport style, etc. 

– KB Fit Britt

“So there I was… 140. My heart rate anticipating the countdown. Holy crap it was just 110 half an hour ago when I was playing with my kid. 50 reps. Five reps per minute is the plan. Every twelve seconds. 60, 48, 36, 24, 12. 60, 48, 36, 24, 12. I keep repeating the count. The goal has always been 50 reps. 165. My heart rate spikes 25 beats per minute as I grab hold of the bells. The thought of competition. The possibility of failing is serious for me. Is it healthy that it weighs so heavy? 3-2-1-go! The first minute is an all-out fight with myself not to rush to the finish. It takes all my power to wait out the first 12 seconds without moving the bells. That first rep always has way too much power behind it and I feel like I am going to fly off the platform. 175. Minute three and my nerves are settled. Now doubt enters my mind. Am I on pace to hit the numbers? Will I make the full ten minutes? Am I breathing too fast? How is my heart rate? Am I going to pee my pants? Oh crap, time for another rep. The urge to put the bells down is the strongest in the first three minutes. 180. Just past half way. Now it is a matter of will and conditioning. Attention is all on the count. 60. Go. 48. Go. 36. Go. And so on. My coach says this is the pace. Until I die. 188. Ninety seconds left. It is all heart at this point. The last three minutes is when I am mentally the strongest. Those minutes my brain is the bully on the school bus, and my body is way too scared to even think of putting the bells down. Then it’s all over and the bells hit the platform.”

Kimberly Fox, Kansas
World Record Holder in 2x24kg Long Cycle
Great Plains Kettlebell Club

“By now , I’ve done quite a lot of 10 minute sets (or even  longer) in two arm long cycle and this is what goes on  in my mind during the 10 minutes:

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