Monday, February 16, 2015

400 swings, 15 min

Yesterday's 400 swing reps in 15 min (or less), all done 10 R/10 L;
40 reps x 1 set
20 reps x 8 sets, all 15 sec rest between sets ( I was able to complete 200 one hand swings in 7 minutes)
100 reps x 1 set
20 x 5 sets
14 minutes in total
I'm not a fan of the word "challenge", I prefer "invitation". Here are the rules to this "invitation" if you so choose to accept:
* 3 bells of moderately heavy to heavy required
* 15 min time limit
* 100 swing reps per bell size required
* Two hand OR one hand swings allowed
* Any length of rep set allowed, any length of rest allowed as long as all 400 swing reps are completed within time limit

The Swing, workout #9, and video demo of "Swing / Transfers"

I posted this last week on Youtube and haven't made the time to post it here until this morning, and then I realized that I never posted the short demo video on "Swing/Transfers"! So here it is in case you haven't tried them yet, or if you just want a short practice, or do it a couple times for a workout in itself!

5/5 x 2 sets
6 sw/tr x 1 set
8 sw/tr x 1 set
10 sw tr x 1 set

54 swing reps

Now, onto Workout #9.  The first 10 minutes is the same as #8, and then as the swing combinations are combined into one set we find ourselves swinging for an entire minute, 40 rep sets!  The good news is that we get to rest for an entire minute after each of these sets!  There are less and less two hand swings as the workouts progress from this point on, and I'll comment more about that as I post the next few workouts.  In the mean time, if you haven't already, enjoy the fact that you've practiced well and now are capable of longer and longer work sets....because it's going to start getting fun now!

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Swing Workout #8, and 400 swings in 15 min?

This week I'll be taping last four workouts from The Swing book so practicing and working my way up to more and more workloads is key to being able to increase my strength and endurance.  Still working in sets of 10 and 20 reps at a time that will soon change after workout #9.  To be able to go the distance without the forearm fatigue of too many two hand swings, and practice the skill of transferring the bell from one hand to the other is the focus of the next two swing workouts.....enjoy :)

You will find workout #8 on page 140.

Sunday morning is the longest kettlebell workout of my week.  We start at 7:15 with presses and squats, many times using double bells.  We switch up to our GS (Sport practice) sets, jerks and snatches with one hand switch for the next 45 minutes until 8:45, finishing often with 15-20 of Max Vo2 based Hardstyle snatches and a solid 20-30 minutes of swings.

Each week I've been testing out some kind of short kettlebell workout / challenges that potentially could be used during future Instructor Certification courses, not only using the swing, but all of the other true kettlebell movements in combinations.  Yesterday it was just the swing for a "finisher".  The idea was to complete 400 swing reps in 15 minutes, using 3 different sizes of kettlebells, starting with a moderately heavy bell (16kg), moderately heavier bell (20kg), and then a fairly heavy bell (24kg).  The only other "rule" was that each kettlebell must be used for a minimum of 100 swing reps (300 total), leaving the remaining 100 swings for the athlete to decide how to execute.

* 3 bells of moderately heavy to heavy required
* 15 min time limit
* 100 swing reps per bell size required
* Two hand OR one hand swings allowed
* Any length of rep set allowed, any length of rest allowed as long as all 400 swing reps are completed within time limit.

This template, like all of my workouts, has many options that you can use to challenge yourself and not just as a "finisher".  You easily could change the weight of the three bells, OR using the same weights change the number of reps you do with each bell size.  For instance I choose to do my first 200 reps in sets of 40 w/24kg, I then switched to sets of 20 with the 20kg, and ended with one set each, 10, 20, 30, 40 with the 16kg.

I could have started with the lighter bell, ended heavy.  I could have alternated all bell sizes throughout the 15 minutes, say 20-25 reps at a time either laddering up or laddering down the weights.  I could have done longer sets, shorter sets, one hand, two hand, or a combination of both, OR I could have tried to complete them in the fastest time possible (10 min), which I deliberately chose not to do.

My strategy for this workout was to start heavy and get my heart rate up as soon as possible.  I decided to test my "progressive rest ladder" workout I first introduced in August of 2011 w/24kg and to knock out the first 200 reps.  I have used it plenty of times with the 16kg, but never with any bell heavier!  Here is the link to my past blog post about that method;  The last rest period, between 160-200 swings is an entire minute, which in all honesty was hard for me to take (I forced myself!), but it was more important to me to test out my own method using progressive rest with the 24kg than it was to hurry through a workout I know I will get the chance to do many more times :)  My heart rate was already elevated with short rest intervals in the first couple sets, so no rush to kill myself.  That and the fact that I wanted a 15 min workout, not a 10 or 12 minute workout!

Next I knew I was going to ladder down to the 20kg....gosh, how much more difficult would have been to go down to the 16kg, and then back up to the 20kg?  Well, good thing I'll do it again (many times), that's the fun of testing!  I had no idea how I was going to break it up, but I knew I had taken a total of 2.5 minutes rest, and using half of my allotted 15 minutes.  I decided to do sets of 20 reps/30 sec work with only 15 sec rest for the next 5 sets to equal my 100 required reps w/20kg.  This totaled 2.5 min work, 1.25 min rest, totaling 3.75 min. leaving me with the remaining 3.75 min to complete the last 100 reps.....but in actuality it took 4.25 min because I forgot about the 15 seconds between the last set w/24kg and the first set w/20kg, AND for some crazy reason I decided to take almost 30 seconds after my last set w/20kg before I realized I might not have left myself enough I had to pick up that bel quick!

First set of 10 (15/15), second set of 20 (30/15), third set of 30 (45/15), barely being able to make up but completing my last set of 40 reps (1 min) when the time buzzer goes off!

Using the "heaviest" bell I can swing was not the challenge....this time!  I always like to start with a baseline.  Baseline tests are done with moderate to heavy because for me the fun of testing data is as much fun as in the actual training.  There are many more variations I'll try, and each will have their own challenges and difficulties.  Will you give it a go?  Please share you data with me :)  What was your experience and how will you change it for next time....and the next?

400 swings in 15 min, using three different size bells and completing at least 100 reps per bell are the only requirements.  (you can use a double bells option too!  ouch!)

PS if you do a blog search for "Progressive Rest" you will find many other workouts I did in the past using this template :)  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Lack of Motivation? Yep, Me Too :)

First of all let me start by saying I had an absolute blast on my Winter Tour that I have much more to write and share about it!  But as I've been thawing out a bit since getting home last Friday I just haven't been motivated to blog much or even take pictures or video tape workouts, and it's been ages since I've felt any kind of motivation to write about eating and food (yes, "dieting").  In my opinion motivation is usually fueled with some kind of "pay off"....hmmn....

It seems like forever since I posted a 10 x 10 Thursday, in fact I think the last one was way back in December when I posted ten of them while I was in Sweden.  As I started taping today my motivation was just to express some of the feelings I was having and the traditional 10 x 10 rest intervals were not going to give me the time (or breath) to say some things I wanted to say.

I think I'm going to switch up Thursday workouts to On The Minute (OTM) 10-20 swing rep workouts.  That way if there is something on my mind that I want to talk about then I'll get the chance to share some thoughts and train at the same time.  That being said if you want to train along with me for 6 minutes, either as a warm up, a cool down, or a short and sweet session please feel free to complete any rep count that is challenging or comfortable for you.  I set the Gym Boss in the background every 30 seconds so you can hear when it's time start and to stop swinging ;).

The subject that I wanted to talk about this morning was that when it comes to exercising regularly we all have to find our way doing the training and practice that motivates us individually.  Motivation is fueled with a pay off, whether that pay off is seeing the changes in our physical bodies, feeling the change in our work capacity and overall strength and health, or maybe it's just fun!  Maybe it's the group or friends we look forward to exercising with, or maybe it's wearing cute workout clothes!  Whatever movement / workout motivates you to never miss your practice is the right one for you.

I found the right one for me.  Training kettlebells does so many of the things I listed, if not all of them!  But that's just me :)  It may not be for you.

Swings may not be for you, but I believe that you must choose some way to move your body, if you can, because as we get older, fatter, and weaker, our choices get fewer.  You may not have the same beliefs as I do, but I've been on both sides of the fence. I've been extremely overweight and out of shape, and I'm currently a much better body weight and I think I'm pretty fit and strong and there is no way in hell I'm going back.  Every part of my life is better, even on my worst days.  Motivation to workout is not what's lacking, motivation to try and motivate others is.

Maybe that's not my job.  I'll shut up now.

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Swing Workout #7! And The Swing Quest 2015!

Probably my favorite workout from The Swing!  For weeks now I've been practicing this exact workout as well as designing new and fun variations of it for my Thursday swing workouts and in my group classes.  80% of workout #7 is done in sets of 20 reps, and once you are familiar with, and know my other one hand swing progressions practicing your own variations of this workout provides so many possibilities.

Details for workout #7 on on page 139 of The Swing Book.


This Thursday, January 1st, 7:00am-9:00am will be the very first SQ event of the year, which means one more swing rep than last year :)  lol  But in fact I've got all NEW swing workouts designed for 2015 in anticipation of teaching my own Swing Instructor Certification Course I hope to launch in 2015!  Yep, you heard it here first!  If you are interested in becoming an Instructor and learning how to teach and lead Kettlebell Swing group classes then stay tuned for more information over the next few weeks/months.  I'm currently organizing all of my methods and techniques from my Programming the Kettlebell Swing Workshop, Mastering the Hardstyle Kettlebell Swing DVD, and of course, The Swing book/Quest into a weekend long Certification Course!

Taking a weekend long Swing Instructor Course takes some consistent training to build the kind of conditioning it will take to practice thousands of swing reps over those two days that it'll make The Swing Quest look like a warm up :)  But seriously, like the rest of my workouts all of my routines are easily scaled to help you go the distance, and that's part of what you will learn from my Certification!  Everybody has to start somewhere and that "somewhere" is the very first workouts, #1-#4 in The Swing book.  That's how The Swing Quest starts and builds from there.  In fact if you can complete today's workout, #7, then you are more than capable to quickly build the capacity to double, even quadruple the work load for an event like the SQ.

The Swing Quest 2015
Noxcuses Personal Fitness Studio
2741 Middlefield Rd suite 102 (next to Starbucks)
Palo Alto 
7:00am-9:00am, Jan 1, 2015
$40 per person

Reserve your spot by emailing me at  Space and bells are extremely limited so I cannot accommodate any drop-ins.

Swings will start on time at 7:00am.  We will swing for 25 minutes with a 5 minute break x 4 rounds.  You can join in or leave at any half hour increment as long as I'm aware of your schedule.  

If I don't see you at The Swing Quest maybe I'll see you next week in St Paul, or Milwaukee!  Winter tour here I come.....but will there be snow?  Fingers crossed!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

"12/25" Christmas Morning Workout, and some details about The Swing Quest 2015 and my Winter Tour

Quite unusual for me this morning is that our workout was snatch based with the fewest number of swings I've ever done in a workout!  I've been neglecting my Hardstyle snatch practice so I'll be dedicating at least one workout a week to building up those high volume reps again.

Warm Up

1 sw, 1 sn, 1 tr x 12 (1 min work, 30 sec rest)
1 sn, 1 tr x 8 x 2 sets (30 work/30 rest)
5/5 sn x 2 sets (30 work/30 rest)
12 sn R/L x 1 set (1 min/1 min)
7.5 min
60 snatches

Work Sets 
1 med weight (14kg) for all 12/12 sets
1 light bell (12kg) for all 25/25 sets

12 R/ 12 L x 1 set (1 min work/30 sec rest) 24 snatch reps
25 R/25 L x 1 set (2 min work/1 min rest) 50 snatch reps

12 R/ 12 L x 2 sets (1 min work/30 sec rest) 48 snatch reps
25 R/25 L x 2 x 1 set (4 min work/1 min rest) 100 snatch reps

12 R/ 12 L x 3 sets (1 min work/30 sec rest) 72 snatch reps
25 R/25 L x 3 x 1 set (6 min work/1 min rest) 150 snatch reps

12 R/ 12 L x 4 sets (1 min work/30 sec rest) 96 snatch reps
25 R/25 L x 4 x 1 set (8 min work) 200 snatch reps

34.5 min
240 14kg snatches
500 12kg snatches

total 42 minutes
740 snatch reps, 9,360kg moved = 20,592lbs :)
(yikes I just realized I made a calculation error, but it's fixed now!)

The last part of today's "12/25" Christmas Morning training ended with 12 sets of 25 reps w/24kg started at the top of each minute.

25 2 hd sw x 12 sets (25 reps takes about 38 seconds, leaving 22 seconds rest)
300 24kg swings, 7,200 kg moved = 15,840lbs.

I've mostly been doing swing workouts from my book (The Swing) and haven't done a themed workout since my birthday month, which was all "51" based, but check out blog posts from previous years for more Christmas workout ideas.  Most of you still have time!

Mark and I will be taking a training walk together later this morning since we won't be with any other family.  Gabe and Lilly came over yesterday for turkey and stuffing and we won't see our other kids and granddaughter until the weekend.  I'll be starting another pot of coffee here quick and enjoy the quiet time of the day off.  I hope everybody else is having lovely times :) :) :)


One week from today I will be leading a Swing Quest on January 1, 2015 at Noxcuses in Palo Alto.  The event starts at 7:00am and will go until 9:00am.  2015 swing reps to start off the new year.  If you live in or near the San Francisco Bay Area and want to join us please email me at  You can come and join all or part of the fun.  Space and bells are very limited and you must preregister via email.  Cost is $40 for the entire 2 hours of training, but workouts will start every 30 minutes, 25 minutes of swings with a 5 minute break so you can stay as long as you can, or join in anytime every half hour. I'll be repeating this information over the next week with more details as needed.  I haven't made a big deal about it but I am proud to say that it will be my 10th event!  It's never too late to make it YOUR New Years Day tradition because it's been one of mine for four years now and you can count on me to always show up and swing!

Two weeks from today I will be in the midwest leading One Hour Swing classes in both St Paul and Milwaukee.  Again, space and number of kettlebells is extremely limited and I know we are close to capacity for the evening class times on Monday (Jan 5) and Thursday (Jan 8) so don't wait too much longer to register!  (use the links on the left sidebar)

Friday, December 19, 2014

The last 10 x 10 of 2014 with Anna Bogdanova

Time is flying by for sure.  With the new 10 x 10 weekend challenge being born in December it's turning out to be a 10 x 10 themed month!  I've posted ten 10 x 10 video workout options in the first week of the month and I've continued a similar practice in my own weekly swing workouts so don't think there weren't any Thursday versions.  That being said I'm working on revamping 2015's Swing Quest routines starting first and and ending last with 500 swing reps done in 10 x 10 progressions :)  But here is the very last one of 2014!  I taped this 10 x 10 in Denmark a few weeks ago with Anna Bogdanova, author of "Sky High Metabolism", enjoy!

10 2 hd swing x 2 sets
5 2 hd sw + 5 R
5 2 hd sw + 5 L
5 R/5 L x 2 sets
10 transfer swings x 2 sets
10 2 hd sw x 2 sets (thanks Gwen!)

And yes, the first Swing Quest marathon event for 2015 is scheduled for Thursday morning January 1st, exact time and location still to be determined (probably 7:30-9:30am).  Depending on how many commitments I get from my students I may decide to hold it here in our garage gym and have a small breakfast on my back patio (weather permitting).  The Swing Quest 2015 takes just under 2 hours to complete and for me I can't think of a better way to start off the New Year!  I love it!

Speaking of New Year swings....less than one week later I may be in your neighborhood!  Another reminder that it's not too late to register for my Winter Tour, One Hour Swing Class events in St Paul MN, Monday Jan 5th, and Milwaukee WI, Thursday Jan 8.  One hour of swings is around 1000 reps, but I promise to take care of each and everyone and help you scale the workout to your own personal level of skill and conditioning.  To swing with a group for one hour, no matter what your exact rep count is a ton of fun, especially when it's over!  Don't miss it, I have no idea when I'll make it back to the Midwest :)

Space and number of bells is limited in both locations so please if you are thinking about coming to swing with me reserve a spot now!  You can find the links to preregister right here, on my blog, in the left sidebar.