In his book, the Russian Kettlebell Challenge, Pavel Tsatsouline discussed several populations that have used kettlebells as a part of their training. Among those discussed were Russian Olympic Weightlifters. Since Olympic Weightlifting is a serious hobby of mine I was very interested in which kettlebell lifts and set and rep schemes the Russians might have used.
Pavel didn't go into great detail in RKC about what exercises the Russians used, but he did mention the great Russian weightlifting coach Medvedev recommended 24 shoulder and arm exercises and 29 leg and torso exercises as well as the contributions of other great Weightlifting coaches and sports scientists. Although I plan a more thorough treatment (one in which I hope to combine Medvedev's, Rodionov's, Verkoshanksy and Vorobyev's kettlebell recommendations with current American Weightlifting training methods) here is brief summary from A.S. Medvedev's chapter from the 1986 textbook Weightlifting and It's Teaching Methodology. Part 2 will cover additional exercises.
Shoulders and Arms
1) Double KB Clean, 10-12 reps, medium tempo
2) Double KB Clean + press, 6-8 reps, medium tempo
3) Double KB Press, 8-10 reps, medium tempo
4) Double KB Curls, 5-7 reps, slow tempo
5) Double KB High Pulls, 5-7 reps, medium tempo
6) Double KB Upright Row, 4-6 reps, slow tempo
7) One arm press from shoulder, 3-5 reps, medium tempo
8) One hand x 2KB press (overlap handles) 3-5 reps, medium tempo
9) See Saw Press, 3-5 reps each side, comfortable tempo
10) Bent over row, two hands x 1 KB, 6-8 reps, comfortable tempo, relax/stretch at bottom
11) Double KB Bent over row, 4-6 reps, comfortable tempo, relax/stretch at bottom
12) Double KB Alternating Bent over row, 4-6 reps each arm , comfortable tempo, relax/stretch at bottom
13) Double KB Shrug, arms to side, 8-10 reps, slow tempo, relax/stretch at bottom position
14) Shrug, One Arm, 8-10 reps then switch sides, slow tempo, relax/stretch at bottom position
15) Shrug, 2 Hands x One KB, bell in front, 9-11 reps, slow tempo
16) Double KB Circular Shrugs, arms to sides, 5-7 reps forward, the 5-7 reverse, slow tempo
17) Floor Press, 1KB, legs spread apart, 6-8 reps, medium tempo
18) Double KB Floor Presses, legs spread apart, elbows tight to body, 6-8 reps, medium tempo
19) Alternating Floor press, 2KB, legs spread apart, elbows tight to body, 5-7 reps each side, medium tempo
20) Pullovers, reclining, 1 KB 2 hands, legs spread apart, 5-7 reps, easy tempo
21) Reclining Shoulder Girdle "Twists", 1 KB 2 hands, legs spread apart, set kettlebell on each side 5-7 reps, easy tempo
22) Pullovers + Reclining Shoulder Girdle "Twists", 1 KB 2 hands, legs spread apart, 5-7 reps each side (pullover set KB to one side, then pullover set KB to the other side) easy tempo
23) High Bench Rows, (lying on stomach) 2 KBS, 6-8 reps easy tempo
24) High Bench Alternating Rows, (lying on stomach) 2 KBS, 6-8 reps easy tempo
Medvedev's instructions for beginners is to begin with the 16kg bells and afer 4-6 weeks move up to the 24kg bells. "Later" move up to the 32kg bells. No more than 3 "lessons" a week for beginners and no more than 30 minutes per lesson. Lessons should be at the same time each day. Beginners should also start with a conservative set and rep scheme: 3 sets x 3 reps per exercise. As strength improves over the 4-6 weeks, beginners should have worked up to 5-6 sets of 3-4 reps. The recommended rep ranges for the above exercises are for more advanced athletes.
Much thanks to Vladimir Garbovsky for his patient help translating the text and to Pavel for taking time out of his busy schedule to provide it. Vladimir is of Ukrainian descent and speaks Russian fluently. Even though he is no stranger to the weight room (he plays defensive end for West Chester University football team) much of the translation was nonetheless difficult. There were no pictures, and the exercises were rarely named, just descriptions so we had to use "translators license" quite a bit and no small amount of pantomime which, I assure you, raised some eyebrows (and snickers) from the students in the Library trying to get some studying done.