Home Strength Training How I Became a World Record Holder

How I Became a World Record Holder

17 min read

Training for a world file requires grit. Many might method the problem preparation by frequently pushing for extra “burn.” But there may be one other efficient, sustainable, and arguably superior approach. Training to keep away from (or at the least delay) the unfavourable inner circumstances that result in failure or decreased efficiency. And it doesn’t simply work to interrupt information.

In April 2017 I had a loopy concept. I was going to aim to beat the Guinness World Record for ‘Heaviest Weight Lifted by Kettlebell Swing in One Hour’ by a girl.

I was organising a charity occasion to boost cash for the MS Society, as my dad suffers severely from the sickness, and thought a world file try would assist with fundraising. After all, “strength has a greater purpose.”

The guidelines specified by Guinness had been easy: solely two-arm swings had been acceptable, with hips and knees totally prolonged at lockout and arms at the least parallel to the ground. On the downswing, the kettlebell “must go beyond the participant’s knees when they reach the squat position.” Clearly, their guidelines are totally different than at StrongFirst, however our standard-meeting swing would meet their necessities. The present feminine file stood at 20,816kg.

Since I used swings in lots of my training classes, I thought-about myself to be well-conditioned. While I knew it could be difficult, I felt assured that I might beat the present file. My perception was rapidly examined when I started training.

Setting Goals and Making Decisions

My try would happen in July 2017; I had three months and many selections to make. I determined to make use of the identical dimension bell during the try. Swinging a 32kg bell was regular for me, however I figured my grip would fatigue after a number of sets. Instead, I opted for 24kg as this was my ‘comfortable’ bell.

I would purpose for 1,000 hardstyle
swings within the hour (24,000kg in whole). I knew this could be a problem however
appeared achievable with constant training. Swinging 20 reps every minute on the
minute (EMOTM) for 50 of the minutes would get me 1,000 swings. Nearer the time
I would determine how I was going to make use of the remaining 10 minutes’ relaxation.

I started by testing the place I was at: I managed 15 swings with 24kg on the minute for 25 minutes (375 swings; 9,000kg). It was robust—a lot tougher than I thought it could be, particularly on my grip. By the tip, I struggled to carry on to the kettlebell. It abruptly turned obvious simply how a lot apply I must do and the way neatly I would wish to train.


To succeed, I wanted to give attention to enhancing three areas: my endurance, my energy, and my grip. After my baseline session, I additionally realised how a lot of a psychological problem this was going to be. So I determined to maintain training easy and focussed on the objective.

Plan and Perform: Endurance and Power

I programmed three classes per week, focussing on both endurance or energy utilizing Strong Endurance™ anti-glycolytic ideas: “to train to avoid (or at least delay) the unfavourable internal conditions that lead to failure or reduced performance.”

The key level when following one of these training is it shouldn’t be strenuous. While that may sound counterintuitive, it is not uncommon all through Russian applications (which have produced numerous champions). Each rep needs to be a repeat of the primary sturdy, highly effective rep. If you’re training and start to lose energy or type, lose the flexibility to breathe usually and get better in relaxation intervals, or start to really feel “the burn,” you need to cease. This will not be negotiable.

Those indicators point out you’re building up metabolic waste quicker than you possibly can cope with it. Anti-glycolytic ideas recommend avoiding this as a lot as attainable in an effort to goal the oxidative system, which has far better endurance than our short-term power sources. My objective was to spend as a lot of the file try avoiding energy debt, so my energy output didn’t drop.

I based mostly my increased quantity endurance classes
round utilizing a lighter bell, both 18kg or 20kg, aiming for 15–20 reps EMOTM,
beginning with 25 minutes.

I additionally included some one-arm swings as half
of my endurance training. Although I couldn’t use them throughout my file
try, I knew they might strengthen my grip. I had initially included
farmer’s walks in this system however quickly discovered the one-arm swings had been truly
extra helpful.

For my energy classes, I used a heavier bell, both 28kg or 32kg. I aimed for 10–15 minutes to start with, capped at a most of 10 reps EMOTM.


To get the training adaptation I wanted, I
was positive to observe Strong Endurance™
ideas throughout each endurance and energy classes. If I couldn’t carry out reps
following these tips, I stopped.

Assess and Adjust

By June, training had gone properly: my
baseline endurance improved and I started to make use of the 24kg for my endurance
classes. My fitness felt good and I wasn’t dropping energy regardless of the weight
improve. However, I rapidly turned conscious that I wasn’t going to have the ability to do
20 swings on the minute for a extended interval with the 24kg. My grip nonetheless
wasn’t sturdy sufficient to carry the kettlebell for that many reps over a longer
time frame and I was starting to battle after round 20 minutes. My
forearms started to burn—a large no-no.

So I went again to the drafting board to check totally different rep ranges. 10 swings each 30 seconds labored finest. This approach I was nonetheless hitting 20 reps per minute, however the 15 seconds or so between sets was permitting my grip to get better. Mid-June, I carried out 700 swings (16,800kg) in 35 minutes pretty simply following this construction.

My ultimate training session earlier than the file
try lasted 50 minutes. I wished to duplicate the time I’d be swinging for
however with decreased rep quantity. I did a very simple 15 swings EMOTM utilizing the 24kg
bell and with out ripping my palms (one thing I’d been very cautious to keep away from
all through training).

Mind Games

In phrases of overcoming the psychological
problem, each night time earlier than I went to sleep I spent 10 minutes visualising
the final 10 minutes of the file try. How would I be feeling bodily in
these final 10 minutes? What would I be pondering? How painful might my palms be?

One large factor to take from that is: when you consider you possibly can, then you possibly can. In the instances I felt like giving up, what stored me going most was the data that I was capable of even try one thing like this when many different individuals—like my dad—would give something simply to have the ability to stroll. I was fortunate sufficient to have a sturdy, healthy body. I was going to make use of it.

The Big Day

I was extraordinarily nervous, however as we had
already raised over £4,000 (roughly US$5,000) for the MS Society, I was
decided to beat the file. I felt bodily and mentally ready and, in
my thoughts, there was no approach I was going to fail.


The first 45 minutes weren’t so unhealthy and every part was going to plan. Then, with 15 minutes to go, my proper hand tore badly—I nonetheless have the scar. That didn’t cease me and I stored going to the tip. I now know the true definition of blood, sweat, and tears.

In whole, I carried out 1,012 swings within the hour, of which 989 had been adjudged to satisfy Guinness requirements. The bell I used was formally weighed at 24.1kg, giving me a whole of 23,834.9kg. I had crushed the prevailing file by over 3,000kg!


There was nothing sophisticated about my program and I’m not particular. The keys to my success had been clever and sustainable programming, exhausting work, consistency, and the dedication that comes from realizing “strength has a greater purpose.”

Megan Kelly


Megan has skilled with kettlebells for over six years and attended her first SFG in 2016. Since then, she has assisted at kettlebell certifications and programs and earned her SFL. She has continued to develop her teaching data by attending StrongFirst’s Strong Endurance, Plan Strong, Second Wind, and StrongFirst Resilient.

She is a private coach based mostly in Hebden Bridge, United Kingdom, and makes use of StrongFirst ideas in her personal training and with everybody she teaches. She works with a huge vary of individuals of all ages and talents for enhancing normal strength and likewise specialises in strength rehabilitation via higher motion.

She coaches on a 1-2-1 foundation and likewise runs small group kettlebell courses the place the main focus is all the time on good motion as a stable base to construct strength.

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