What is Russian Girya?
Girya (Гиря) is Russian for Kettlebell, a training tool made of cast iron in the shape of a cannonball with a handle attached to it. Even though kettlebells were around since the time of ancient Greek Olympic games, today girya is strongly associated with Russia, a country with a strong reputation in the world of strength sports.
Kettlebell training is broad and offers improvement in mobility, flexibility, endurance, speed, power output and strength. As a Certified Russian Kettlebell Coach I am happy to teach you the basics of kettlebell and introduce you to other forms of unconventional training in a world class facility “Commando Tempe” in South East London.
The earliest findings resembling kettlebells can be traced to archaic Greece, kettlebells of that time were made of circular stones. Ancient Slavs used the same stones and later metal made kettlebells to demonstrate their strength at public gatherings. These kettlebells served as a training tool to build strength for military purposes and fistfights which were and remain a part of Slavic combat tradition.
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19th century is the time when giri (plural of girya) gained massive popularity. Many circus strongman performers started using them in their performances, lifting them overhead, performing get-ups and juggling with heavy bells. To find out what a regular training day of a Russian girevik looked like - read a translated article about Petr Krylov from Russian strength magazine "Hercules". Traditional Russian Kettlebells are the 1 pood (pood - Russian unit of mass), 1.5 pood and 2 pood size bells - equivalent to 16, 24 and 32 kgs. There are heavier kettlebells in existence, such as a 48 kg girya known also as the Beast. Kettlebell training has become a sport in Russia - and is known as Girevoy Sport. The main lifts in the Girevoy Sport are Snatch, Jerk, and Long Cycle: two kettlebells (or one) are cleaned from knee level to chest level, then jerked to above the head.
Hardstyle kettlebell training is another form of using kettlebells to get strong and fit, but is quite different from sport style, as much as sprinting is different from marathon running.
Mission statement of RussianGirya.co.uk is to popularize the use of Russian kettlebells in the UK and help kettlebell enthusiasts improve their training. The main person behind this project is Alex Strimbanu, Russian Kettlebell Certified instructor and a personal trainer based at the Commando Temple training facility in South-east London. To get in touch with Alex and book an initial consultation, please use the contact form.