Thursday, August 29, 2013

New Heavy Swing Strength Cycle

What is a heavy swing strength cycle you ask?  Let's start with what a "cycle" is.  As my brilliant husband Mark explains, "A cycle is a period of training that has a beginning, middle, and end, with a specific goal in mind.  The weights and loads vary up and down, the idea being to reach a personal best or a specific number at the end of a cycle.  Cycles vary from 6-12 weeks long."

Although I've been designing "cycles" of progressive rep workouts over the past 7 years it wasn't until this past year, the months preceding my SFG in March, when I knew I was going to be required to use double 16kg's all weekend, that I hunkered down and about 7-8 weeks prior (6 weeks of training 2 weeks of back off) that I incorporated some really heavy swing training!  Using double 16kg's (dbl 24kg's are the male equivalent) for a workout is one thing, but having to use them for three days, morning noon and night is, you know, something I don't normally do.  And it wasn't really the training for three days that I was worried about, it was the testing to pass Certification that I wanted to make sure I prepared for.

About the same time David Whitley MSFG had contacted Mark about some training he was doing with the beast, which makes the 32kg the female equivalent, and was curious to how many reps the Queen of Swing (that would be me) might be able to do in a 30 minute time (I forgot the number, something like 520, but my training partner Meg out swung me, ridiculously outswung me, like 670....that's another post for another time!).  Before this I had not ever, regularly, included using such a heavy bell, in any kind of way, for weekly workouts, or for any single workouts.  It was not my goal to swing super heavy bells because I had no reason to.  BUT, double 16kg's equals a single 32kg, but different.  Long story short....since then I've designed three previous "heavy swing strength cycles" because, for me, it serves a purpose other than general conditioning, cardio endurance and fat loss.  The purpose it serves is to train strength, back off, test strength, and start all over again!

I probably started to post and publicly journal the last three cycles, one of them I used my Sinister protocol, but to be honest, it's difficult to keep up with all I do!  Part of the difficulty has been to sit down at the computer and rewrite (re-live!) it all.  But I thought it would be interesting if anybody was willing to follow along, to post the exact cycle, using weights appropriate to where they are, not neccessarily the same weights as I'm using (if you are male then they would obviously be heavier).  The idea of using the "right" weight for you is that YOU see progress, and you have a goal....the goal is to complete the "cycle" finishing stronger than when you started.  So you may want to test your 5 minute snatch in the days before, and then test it in the days after to see if there was a carry over and if you performed it easier, completing more reps, or maybe with the next bell size up.  For me, now that my SFG weekend and testing is done I now have Kettlebell Sport set/rep goals to reach, so this is a tremendous motivator.

I'm not sure whether this program will be 5 or 6 weeks, I've still got to map it out.  I also have to map out some other personal KB goals on my schedule.  Workshops, Swing Quests, and Kettlebell Sport competitions.  So when I get it all together, I promise, you will be the first to know!

Today's first workout in this next cycle included double bells, and a weight ladder consisting of 4 progressively heavier bells, ending at the 32kg.  In these heavy strength cycles, with Sinister being the only exception, rep counts were limited to up to only 10.  In this one however the rep count may go up to 15, but no higher.  (and there is a reason for that. explanation to come)  double 16kg's, 20 kg, 24kg, 28kg and 32kg were the bells me and my training partner Brenda used.  Maribel used double 12kg's, 16kg, 18kg, 20kg and 24kg.

I hope to start journaling the progressions next Thursday.


Maribel said...

I love the method to your madness. Training for a goal is a big motivator. I love our Thursday sets. They're hard as heck, but I feel so accomplished after.

Diana said...

I wish you lived in WI~
I can do the work, it's the programming I suck at.

Tracy Reifkind said...


Thursdays are hhhhaaaarrrrdddd! And when I say hard, I mean? Yep, Fffffuuunnnn!

I really meant what I said when I thank you and Brenda for showing up!

Tracy Reifkind said...


I wish I could clone myself because having all this fun with only two people to share it with seems like such a shame!

I hope to post a lot more that time has allowed me to these past few months. BUT today/tomorrow I will be posting The New 50 #2 using, yep, you guessed it, the 24kg! Join me over the long weekend!

Hanelle said...

Ooooh, can't wait to see the write up for this type of workout! Getting started on heavy swings myself now. :)