GS is the more traditional form of kettlebell sport. All lifts are 10 minutes in duration and consist of single and double bell events. Competitions are numerous here in the UK with the Girevoy Sport Union (GSU) and the English Kettlebell Association (EKA) jointly hosting events right across the calendar year. These take place in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
Biathlon: This consists of 2 lifts, the jerk and the snatch.
Jerk: 1 or 2 bells are lifted from rack to overhead position as many times as possible in 10 minutes. If a single bell is used, only one hand change is permitted.
Snatch: A single bell is swung between the legs before being lifted to an overhead position in one fluid movement. As this is a single bell only, just the one hand switch is permissible.
There is usually a period of at least 1 hour between a competitors jerk and snatch sets to allow for recovery.
Long cycle: In long cycle, there is just the one lift. With a single or double bells, you swing the bell(s) back between the legs after each jerk. Therefore it’s a 2 stage movement, a clean and a jerk.
In UK National competitions, men may choose 16, 20, 24, 28 or 32 kg bells.
Women may choose, 8, 12,16, 20, 24 or 28 kg bells.
Men generally use doubles for jerks and long cycle whilst women may choose between single or double bells for these 2 movements.
At internationals, the weight choices are somewhat more limited.
Men may choose between 16, 24 and 32 kg bells whilst for women the choice may vary slightly with 12, 16, 20 and 24 kg bells.
Body Weight Categories
Within the GSU/EKA competitions, the body weight categories are as follows:
Men: up to 73 kg, up to 78 kg, up to 85 kg, up to 95 kg and 95 kg plus
Women: up to 58 kg, up to 63 kg, up to 68 kg, and 68 kg plus
For international competitions, this may vary depending on the federation organising the competition so please check for these details on the event pages.
Nationally, the GSU and EKA run events in the UK.
Internationally, we have the WKSF (World Kettlebell Sport Federation), the IUKL (International Union of Kettlebell Lifting) and the IGSF (International Girevoy Sport Federation). These all host European and Worlds Championships annually.
To compete nationally with your country, you would have to meet certain requirements. These are normally in the form of ranks which you would need to achieve and these need to be met at National competitions.
Many will find 10 minutes too difficult initially. This is why the Grassroots Kettlebell League was introduced to encourage and nurture new lifters into the sport.