Russian Kettlebell Sport™

RKS™ In A Nutshell

The Events

The athlete chooses to compete in one – or both – of the following events:


  • Double Jerk. Two kettlebells are taken from rack position on the chest to an overhead lockout position, simultaneously and in one continuous motion.
  • Snatch. A kettlebell is moved from below the waist to the overhead lockout position in one continuous motion – normally using a swing/pendulum movement.

Double Clean and Jerk

Double Clean and Jerk is a two part movement. The first portion is a double clean where the kettlebells are taken to chest height in one motion to the rack lockout position. Then the second movement can take place and the lifter performs a Double jerk.

The Equipment

The athlete chooses a kettlebell weight to use to complete each of the lifts during a timed set (10 minutes in championships)  Competition kettlebells are recommended. In some instances, when competition kettlebells are unavailable, cast iron kettlebells are permitted.

The Scoring

The lifter chooses which weight to use in each lift. In a multi-lift event such as the Biathlon, the lifter may use different weight(s) for each lift. For example, s/he may perform Double Jerk with 24 kg and Snatch with 32 kg.

The score is calculated in kilograms. To do this, multiply the total number of repetitions completed by the total kettlebell weight lifted per repetition. For example, if an athlete uses 16 kg kettlebells to perform her Double Jerk set and completes 100 repetitions, the score is calculated as follows:

Load x repetitions = Score

32 x 100 = 3,200 kg.

About Russian Kettlebell Sport™ 

The International Kettlebell Lifting Federation team has created a new competition event  inspired by traditional Russian Girevoy sport. In this sport, a lifter can compete in two distinctive events; Biathlon (comprised of two lifts – Double Jerk and Snatch) and Double Clean and Jerk (also called Long Cycle). 

Unlike BOLT, when competing in the Russian tradition, the lifter ends the set if she/he places the kettlebells on the platform and only one hand switch is allowed on the Snatch. Some lifters find this competition event format more challenging and feel a greater sense of accomplishment upon completing a set. Traditionally men would compete in the Biathlon event and the Long Cycle with 24kg or 32kg kettlebells, and women would compete Snatch only, with 16kg or 24kg. Scoring is determined by weight/total repetitions completed.

Taking on this idea, we organized an IKLF championship using the core idea of two events, no hand-switch and no set downs. In our competitions, the scoring is handled differently, our lifters choose the weight they will be using for each lift and score in total kilograms lifted. In addition, both women and men are eligible to compete for the same events. This is something we introduced in 2009 – first federation to officially do so – since it is more in line with our cultural values of gender equality. Happily,  this is now becoming the new norm across federations.

Because there are some key differences between our new competition event and standard Girevoy sport, we’ve named it Russian Kettlebell Sport™ to differentiate the two.