Monday, September 24, 2012

1000 swings "Progressive Rest" strikes again

Warning!  This blog post has too much training information!  Just sayin'

I did not take any video of Saturdays workout because it was the same old boring stuff...well, boring to anybody watching, not boring to anybody doing!  I posted "Sinister" last week, and to my delight and surprise a few people actually jumped on the Sinister bandwagon and took their own challenges.  Some big ole heavy bells came out to play!

I post my routines so other people, if interested, can see how much fun and variety there is using this one single movement of the swing.  One routine can be changed up in infinite ways as you have seen in many of my workouts/posts, and as you will see as I post 2 other Sinister variations this week.  But for now I want to share how a Sinister workout done by Karen Rossler, using the 32kg, inspired this weekends 1000 swing workout! (Sept. 20 post on The Swing FB page if you want to watch her video!)

As I mentioned, I don't post my workouts/routines as a challenge to anybody, but if someone gets inspired to challenge themselves that is a great compliment to me.  After Karen did Sinister with the 32kg I didn't feel challenged, but I did feel inspired, and that's really what training, consistent, life long training, should be about, in my opinion.  Constantly trying to look for, or tackle "PR challenges" weekly should not be the goal.  Your regular training is your "study", your homework!  "Challenges" are tests!  Do your homework first!

On to my workout....  Karen did 200 swing reps, 4 rotations of Sinister (50 reps each).  Sure, I was thinking that I would just get to the gym Sat, do my 200 32 kg swings and go on to the rest of my training.  But I wasn't feelin' it!  I had taped multiple Sinister variations last week, all of them heavy, the most grueling (aka, fun) with double bells, I was tired!  Well, I was tired of moving tons of heavy weights, but I was inspired with this "200" rep idea.

First thoughts were of course, since I swung heavy and low reps, I would train 200 swing rep sets, but talk about boring!  How should I design this?  Well, I really didn't know how it would turn out, but what I did know was the first set was going to be 200 reps (5 min), and the rest would come to me as we went along....yep "we" and my 3 training partners!  My instruction to them was simply that the first set was going to be 200 reps, done in any kind of swing combination, or combinations they wanted to, and my suggestion was to switch combinations every 40 reps (every  min), that was my original plan. (10/10, 5/5/, 2/1, 1/1, 2 hd)  But knowing all 2 hd swings would be the most challenging I chose to do all two hand swings.  Oh, and I used the 14kg.

I used the 14kg, even though I'm pretty sure I could have done it with the 16kg because as I just wrote, the point is not to test yourself every workout.  When you do something for the first time especially, it should be to get a baseline idea of where your strength and conditioning stands. Not to pound your body into the ground, and risk injury or burn out/over train. (also, we just finished 40 minutes of dble press training)

During the first set of 200 it came to me out of the suggestion to switch up swing combinations every 40 reps.  We would swing 5 sets of 40 rep sets ("200"!), after the first set, with progressive rest periods.  After the first set of 200, which is 5 sets of 40 without any rest, the next rotation of 5 sets of 40 would have only 15 sec rest in between, with one minute rest period before the next 5 sets of 40.  The third rotation of 5 sets of 40 would have 30 sec rest in between sets, with another minute of rest before the next rotation.  The forth rotation of 5 sets of 40 would have, yes, you guessed it, 45 seconds between each set....and the last?  Well, I'm betting you are not going to guess!

During the fourth rotation of 5 sets of 40 w/45 sec rest I realized this was a very luxurious break!  Sure the original intent was to take 1 min rest between the last 5 sets of 40, keeping with the order of longer and longer rest periods....and this was the end of the workout, a great time to "cool down". but I know my girls!  (and if you are inspired to try this workout/method, then by all means, start with the original intent!  1 minute rest periods at the end)

Last rotation of 5 sets of 40 I went back to PRP, 15/30/45/1 min!  I was also really digging the fact that the rep count of this workout was easy to count/journal.  5 sets of 40 = 200 reps.  200 reps x 5 = 1000.  Couldn't be any easier.  Here it is written out.

200 2 hd sw w/14kg, 5 min/1 min rest (6 min.)

(200 reps) 40 reps x 5 sets, 1 min/15 sec, x 4 with 1 min rest after the last set(7 min)

(200 reps) 40 reps x 5 sets 1 min/30 sec x 4, 1 min rest after the last set (8 min)

(200 reps) 40 reps x 5 sets, 1 min/45 sec x 4 with 1 min rest after last set (9 min)

last rotation, progressive rest ladder

(200 reps) 40 reps x 5 sets, 1 min/15-30-45-1 min rest (7.5 min)


37.5 min.

Really?  It took us that long?  Didn't seem like it!  1000 reps done at EWR calculated out to 50 minutes.  So shaving 12.5 minutes off is pretty good work!  Basically we did it in 3/4 of the time.

A couple of side notes;  This workout follows many of this past months routines I designed around my method of using progressive rest periods.  Here is the link to the original
I ended up training all two hand swings!  My form and technique changed quite a bit from the first set to the last!  I definitely had to give myself (the bell) more "floating time".  It had nothing to do with my cardio, it had to do with back fatique of the two hand swings.  Not grip or forearm fatigue.  Also, maybe if Meg reads this she will chime in which bells she used.  I'm pretty sure she used the 16kg for part of this and maybe even the 18 or 20kg, not sure.  Also, Maribel and Deepika found their own way through, and maybe they will offer up what their strategy was as well!


Jay Nordstrom said...

I appreciate all the information you put out.
I got my HKC in may and started teaching. I am planning on getting my RKC next year.
I have used pieces of your workouts in my classes.
I personally did your 760 swings in 33 minutes twice last week with a16kg bell with you on you tube last week. Killer!
I read everything you put out.
Thanks for all you do.
Jay Nordstrom

Toad said...

Tracy, you bring joy to my practice, I can tell you that!

Tracy Reifkind said...


That is so nice to hear! Really, it is! I have held back a lot over the past 3 years especially because, to be honest, I was tired of hearing negative things about my style of training. And although I've continued a private journal, I've decided that it's time to just write it all down and put it on record.

I have a blast!

Tracy Reifkind said...


you are making me tear up! I'm about to go get my yoga joy! After a bit of Primal Move with Mark!

Maribel said...

1,000??? I didn't even put it all together to realize that's how much we did. Wow!!

I used the 12k the first 200 continuous. For the sets I used a 14k. I tried the 16k for one set, but knew I couldn't do it the whole time without losing form and went back to the 14k. On the last rotation, I started to bring in 1 hand swings with a 12k.

Awesome, as usual.

guy said...

WoW! that lady did sinister w/ a 32kg! I wimped out then doing it w/a 24kg :(. That's something for me to shoot for though, 3 min 32kg sets...Hmmm.

Tracy Reifkind said...


you guys are on a "need to know basis", lol! And you don't need to know, just do!

Remember less that 1 year ago when we did 2012 reps? That included snatches, but the swings aren't very far behind! that will make 2013 a walk in the park!

I liked this one! we'll do it again soon! (but harder, of course!)

Tracy Reifkind said...


I know! Impressive for sure! Can you imagine how her husband feels? lol

Anyway, yes, it is something to shoot for! Let me know when you get it done! Me? yep, I'll be doing it myself soon (I'll let you know!)

Meg Lloyd, RKC said...

Here I am, chiming in....

I used the 14kg for the 200 and the 15 second rest sets. Then (once I detected the pattern) I used the 16kg for the rest of the sets.

Meg Lloyd, RKC said...

Here I am, chiming in....

I used the 14kg for the 200 and the 15 second rest sets. Then (once I detected the pattern) I used the 16kg for the rest of the sets.

Tracy Reifkind said...


Nice! I liked this workout a lot, this one is a "do over" for sure!