Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Day I Became a Man

or "How I Passed the SSST"

One of my goals for 2009 was to complete 200 snatches with the 16 kg (35 lb) kettlebell, also known as the SSST or USST. Pavel Tsatsouline says you are a "man among men" when you can accomplish this feat. Of course, men have to complete the test with a larger kb - 32 kg (70 lb) if I'm not mistaken.

Honestly, I didn't think I would meet the goal this soon. I have other goals that I've been working toward with more vigilance. Wednesdays were my "death snatch" days where I knew I would have 15 minutes or so of hard snatching along with heavy TGUs. I've been steadily adding more reps to each minute of training.

Last week, I did 9 L, 9 R on the top of the minute for 10 minutes and then did another 5 L, 5 R for 5 minutes. I had to put in a short set after 6 minutes because I was winded. I ended up doing 172 snatches in the first 10 minutes. When I opened my email from Brad Nelson with this week's training schedule, I was stunned to see he planned on 10 L, 10 R for 10 minutes for me today.

I had to go for it. How could I not? I couldn't let my fear stop me. I'm in the best shape of my life. I had to believe in myself. To make sure I wouldn't wuss out, I posted my intention on my facebook page. I needed accountability. Many folks gave me encouragement. I couldn't let them down! I wouldn't let myself down.

The first 5 minutes went easy. I was leaving myself with 20-25 seconds to rest after the 20 reps. By minute 7, I was down to 15 seconds. At the start of the 9th minute, I had to rest a little longer. I finished that minute with 10 seconds left. I rested for 20. That left me with 50 seconds to do 20 snatches. I had to do four sets of five because my grip was giving out. I finished the 200th rep right as the Gymboss beeped. To the wire!

I don't care, though. I did it. This feels almost as good as completing the grad workout at the RKC weekend. Almost. Nothing so far compares to receiving that RKC certification. So far. I have so much more I want to do. But, I want to savor this moment for a little while.

In case you're wondering, my hands are fabulous. No tearing or blisters. Oh, and I didn't puke, but I came close!


Kinetic Edge Fitness & Performance said...


You gave yourself permission to get it done and then some.

I am proud of you!

Crank it!

Amy Jurrens, RKC said...

Thanks Brad! Your tough love and killer training sessions prepared me well. You will have mail this weekend with my interview questions and updated info.