How to Prepare for the RKC Kettlebell Snatch Test

You need different weights to prep for your snatch test.

You need different weights to prep for your snatch test.

The RKC Snatch test challenges your endurance and strength, requiring 100 snatches in five minutes, though it allows for unlimited hand switches and rest time, if you need it. You can set the test as a personal goal or as part of RKC -- Russian Kettlebell Challenge -- instructor certification. Women under age 50 have to work with a 12-kilogram kettlebell if they weigh up to 115 pounds, a 16-kilogram one if they weigh more than 136 pounds and a 14-kilogram KB if in between.

Draw up a training plan to start about four months before your test date and line up the needed equipment. “Assemble three different kettlebell weights to train with -- one that you’ll test with, one that’s 2 kilograms lighter and one that’s 2 kilograms heavier,” advises New York-based kettlebells trainer Lorna Kleidman.

Practice your snatch technique, including breathing, hand position and focus, as you lift the KB from between your ankles to above your head, lower it and repeat. Set a timer for at least the five minutes required of the test and ideally seven minutes so you are sure to succeed. “You should go into your RKC knowing that you own the snatch test,” writes Andrew Read of Dragon Door Australia, advising that you practice an extra two minutes over the basic five so you can ace the challenge. Work with your lighter bell for longer sessions and your test-weight bell for five-minute sessions.

Add a strength-training component to improve your hip drive, pulling, overhead stability grip and abs, performed three times a week after your snatch sets, Kleidman advises. Work on your KB swing, the clean and press, the clean and front squat, the Turkish getup and similar exercises, adding the heavier KB for strength work.

Perform moderate to intense cardio for 20 to 30 minutes, three times per week. Spin and Zumba classes run a little long, typically at 45 minutes to an hour, so tailor your own stationary bike, running or outdoor running program or swimming to this time frame.

Items you will need

  • Protective wristbands
  • Timer

Tip

  • Protect your wrists as you practice by maintaining perfect form and wearing kettlebell-specific wristbands.
 

About the Author

An award-winning writer and editor, Rogue Parrish has worked at the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun and at newspapers from England to Alaska. This world adventurer and travel book author, who graduates summa cum laude in journalism from the University of Maryland, specializes in travel and food -- as well as sports and fitness. She's also a property manager and writes on DIY projects.

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