The Wonderful, Awful RKC Snatch Test
By: Igor “Bobby” Karpov
Igor “Bobby” Karpov is a professional powerlifter from Russia. He holds the world record in the snatch (1st place) and clean & jerk (2nd place).
His name was widely known after he won the World Championship title in 2004. He is also a coach at Powerlifting Academy.
Karpov’s nickname is “the Russian Rocket”. According to him, it means that he does everything with great speed and energy.
When asked what kind of training regimen he follows, Karpov says that it consists of high intensity work followed by recovery periods. He adds that he uses the same routine every time – but changes things up according to his needs.
In general, Karpov likes to train three times per week. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday he performs heavy weights; on Saturday and Sunday he trains lighter weights.
For the snatch he usually works out between 80% and 90%. The rest of the days are used for recovery.
As far as the russian kettlebell test is concerned, Karpov says that it’s not very complicated. There are only two exercises: the snatch and the clean & jerk.
They are designed to measure your strength, power and endurance.
In 2008, at a bodyweight of 102 kg (225 lb), he snatched 12 kg (26 lbs) and was able to jerk 20 kg (44 lbs). In 2012, at a bodyweight of 90.2 kg (198.5 lb), he snatched 16 kg (35 lbs) and was able to jerk 24 kg (53 lbs).
Karpov says that a successful russian kettlebell challenge is all about consistency. As long as you are able to increase your results every year, you should be proud of your results.
Karpov mentions that if you can snatch your own body weight and jerk double, you are doing better than most athletes.
Karpov says that the best thing about this test is that you don’t need to go to the gym or buy expensive machines in order to do it. All you need is a pair of good quality kettlebells.
The kettlebells are available in various weights so you can perform the exercises with perfect technique at any age. Karpov says that the main thing is to have fun and don’t push yourself too hard.
The RKC Snatch Test Explained
The RKC snatch test is a kettlebell exercise that will measure your strength, power and endurance. It involves one-arm snatches.
This exercise makes use of the strength and power that you have developed through the “Constant Tension” and “Long Tension” kettlebell exercises.
The major difference between this and conventional weightlifting is how you accelerate the bell. In weightlifting, you start the lift from a dead stop with an explosive first pull.
With the snatch, however, you begin by rocking the weight back and then snapping it forward.
The RKC snatch test is a two-part exercise. You must be able to perform both the one-arm snatch and then the one-arm jerk in order to pass the test.
The snatch is an explosive movement, while the jerk is slower and more controlled.
Performing the Snatch
Stand with your feet wider than shoulder width, pointing straight ahead. Hinge at the waist and grasp the kettlebell handle with your right hand.
Let the bell hang down in front of your leg. In one movement, pull the kettlebell up past your knee and then quickly flip it over your head. As the weight flips over your head you will want to crouch a little and thrust your hips forward making a fluid movement. The bell should end up over your shoulder and your left arm extended out behind you. At this point, you are ready to squat under the weight and jerk it upward.
The RKC Snatch Test
You must be able to perform not only one-arm snatches but also one-arm jerks in order to pass the test. The entire process should be seamless and performed as if it were one fluid movement.
Your goal is to become so strong and powerful that the weights seem light in your hands. This will allow you to focus on perfecting the technique rather than struggling to complete the exercise.
Sources & references used in this article:
How to Smooth Out the Kettlebell Snatch by N Mike
Official blog of the RKC kettlebell swing by M Beecroft, RKC Master, M Bos, A Du Cane, A Gala… – rkcblog.dragondoor.com
From Russia with Tough Love: Pavel’s Kettlebell Workout for a Femme Fatale by M Beecroft, RKC Master, M Bos, A Du Cane, A Gala… – rkcblog.dragondoor.com
Official blog of the RKC kettlebell tutorial by P Tsatsouline – 2002 – books.google.com
The Estancia News, 05-14-1909 by M Beecroft, RKC Master, M Bos, A Du Cane, A Gala… – rkcblog.dragondoor.com
by Bret Contreras| 09/18/12 by PA Speckmann – 1909 – core.ac.uk
The Contreras Files: Volume II by HHD Swings, S Speed – t-nation.com