Kettlebell pentathlon

In case you hadn’t noticed, I quite enjoy kettlebell lifting.  I’m also interested in kettlebell sport, so I have a lot of respect for a man called Valery Fedorenko – he’s a so-called Master of Sport, and has been winning competitions since he was a teenager.  Now in his 40s he is the founder of the World Kettlebell Club and an authority on kettlebell sport, which is the discipline of lifting really heavy things for a really long time (10 minute sets with the bell changing hands only once).

So imagine my delight when Fedorenko posted a video explaining something called kettlebell pentathlon.  He describes it as a game, and challenges the viewer to see what they can achieve.  Hell yeah!

The rules are as follows: perform each exercise for 6 minutes, changing hands as many times as you like.  Rest for 5 minutes in between exercises.  Choose whichever bell you like for each exercise, or pick one and use it all the way through – it’s up to you.  These are 1-arm exercises – there are no doubles.  The maximum rep range is indicated below in brackets – if you can exceed this number, you need to lift heavier.  The exercises are:

  • Clean (x120)
  • Longcycle press (x60) – this is a military press; no knee involvement.
  • Jerk (x120)
  • Half snatch (x108)
  • Push press (x120) – heels must not leave the floor during this exercise.
Make sure to either count your reps (or have someone with you to count them), because this isn’t just about doing the movements, it’s about keeping score too.  At the end the running total of all the exercises is added up to give you your total, and then multiplied by a number that depends on the kettlebell you used:
  • 8kg – multiply by 1.0
  • 12kg – x1.5
  • 16kg – x2.0
  • 20kg – x2.5
  • 24kg – x3.0
  • 28kg – x3.5
  • 32kg – x4.0
And so on.  Fedorenko kindly says that you may use up to a 72kg kettlebell, although the very thought makes me feel…woozy.
I attempted all of this for the first time this evening, and to be honest I’m just kind of glad to have made it to the end without having to stop or ripping my hand open!  My reps were as follows:
  • Clean – 110 (very happy with this)
  • Longcycle press – 60 (and this)
  • Jerk – 84 (reasonably happy with this, but could do better)
  • Half snatch – 82 (fatigue really kicking in now)
  • Push press – 88 (just happy to get these done without falling over or swearing)
So that’s a total of 424 reps, with a 12kg bell throughout for a multiplier of 1.5 = 636 points.  I’m rather happy with that for a first time, but will definitely be aiming to improve it.
And soon, too 🙂
Note: Click here for more about kettlebell pentathlon!

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Pentathlon rankings « Love, life, and kettlebells
  2. Adam Hazelwood
    Jan 11, 2012 @ 15:41:23

    I did my best penthatlon to date earlier today and couldn’t remeber the way it works with the weighting. I googled pentathalon scoring and came up with this blog. I am a virtual member of the AKC Fitness gym in New York even though I live in London. I met Valery and Ivan at a workshop there in November.

    Clean 306
    LC PP 198
    Jerk 306
    HS 198
    PP 306
    TOTAL 1,314

    Nice knowing you!



    • Nancy K
      Jan 12, 2012 @ 12:49:47

      Great numbers, Adam! How many reps/what weight were you using?

      My latest attempt was after being ill for a few weeks and had gone somewhat backwards, but we’ve scheduled a monthly pentathlon now as a kind of progress check. I hope to get back to updating the blog much more regularly, and will be sure to include my scores 🙂


      • Adam Hazelwood
        Jan 12, 2012 @ 17:10:55


        I used a 24KG bell for all 5 sets.

        I had a virus some time back and had to take a few weeks off. It does hurt on return but equally it will only be a few work-outs before you are back posting PB’s all over the place – good luck!


  3. Matt Coe
    Mar 09, 2012 @ 07:46:13

    Just got 1524 on first attempt. Absolutely loved the workout! Exhilarating and brutal at the same time! Totally addictive! My stats were;

    Clean 28kg 120 reps (maxed out) Q3.5
    LC Press 24kg 60 reps (maxed out) Q3
    Jerk 20kg 120 reps (maxed out) Q2.5
    Half Snatch 24kg 108 reps (maxed out) Q3
    Push Press 20kg 120 reps (maxed out) Q2.5


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