OCS People of the Year

I’ve been remiss in blogging recently. As 2008 draws to a close, I’ve reflected back on my own year of kettlebell lifting (topic for another blog) but I’ve also admired the efforts of others. We all know that hard work, simplicity, and consistency pay off. The Office of Common Sense wants to recognize two individuals in the community of North American kettlebell lifting that demonstrated these virtues in 2008. I will call these two individuals the OCS People of the Year.

Like all North American kettlebell lifters, both of these individuals work full time. They are both fathers of young sons. And, in 2008, both of these men demonstrated that hard work, simplicity, and consistency will yield results.

The first 2008 OCS Person of the Year hails from northern British Columbia. I don’t know him personally, but I know of him from the American Kettlebell Club coaching community. If you have access to the AKC Coaches Forum, look for a thread called “Finding a Starting Point” and read it all the way through. In January of this year, Scott was able to snatch 16kg 100 times a side in 10:00 with one hand switch, which is quite respectable. Scott stepped back in February and found a formula that worked for him. Consistent hard work paid off big time, as Scott was able to achieve amateur rank with the 24kgs – 200 snatches and 20+ jerks. Check out Scott’s inspiring snatch effort here, complete with commentary from his two boys, and check out his jerk effort here. Scott’s achieved his results with a simple program of snatches and jerks, consistently applied.

Another Scott can also call himself the 2008 OCS Person of the Year. I know Scott Helsley from the 2007 World Kettlebell Club meet in Miami, and I hope to connect with him and his lovely wife again in Chicago at the end of August for the 2009 World Kettlebell Club Championships. Scott is probably the hardest working (and funniest) kettlebell lifter I know. Juggling the busy demands of being a father and a doctor frequently on-call, Dr. Helsley was able to achieve Master of Sport by completing at least 54 long cycle clean and jerks with the 32kgs. Scott writes about kettlebell lifting and other topics at RFP, and all of it is worthwhile reading. How did Scott get to Master of Sport? Hard work, consistency, and a simple program of long cycle clean and jerks and a moderate bit of assistance work five days a week.

What lessons can we as kettlebell lifters draw from Scott and Scott?
1. Consistency, good technique, and the mental fortitude to pick up the bells on days when you’d rather not.
2. There is no substitute for hard work.
3. Although there may be other ways and means to high amateur rank or Master of Sport, a simple program seems to work pretty well. If you want to get good at jerks, it looks like you need to jerk. Same with snatches and long cycle. Both of these individuals worked for time, and it doesn’t look like there was a great deal of complex set or repetition routines in either of the Scott’s programming.
4. Just lift. When combined with a sensible diet and rest, the coincident benefits of good health and a sound physique should result from consistent lifting.

Here’s to both of you, Scott, and keep up the hard work.


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