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.

THE SWING QUEST 2015

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 tracyrif@yahoo.com  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
12kg

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.

OTM
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 tracyrif@yahoo.com.  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.



Saturday, December 6, 2014

Seriously Hard....I mean fun!

Okay...so the whole idea of the "all day long" part of the 10 x 10 x 10 challenge was because I'm here in Tel Aviv, Israel, while Mark is teaching the SFG Certification Course over a three day period and while I've had the chance to lead a couple of very short swing workouts I'm not officially assisting or participating.  BUT I thought because the SFG candidates have to practice and train over the course of three entire days it would be fair to challenge myself to something similar!

Friday I lead my short "Power-Ful Swing" workout and did some regular snatch practice for about 40 minutes and then went shopping and site seeing with a dear friend of mine.  Saturday I knew I was going to be at the Cert all day long, first leading a private swing practice class for an hour (which turned into two hours!) starting at 9:00am.  I finished that around 11:30 and knew I had the rest of the day, until 5:00pm to do my ten rounds of 10 x 10 w/24kg.  Oh boy.....11:40am 1st round.  12:00pm 2nd round, 12:30 3rd round, 1:00....or maybe I should refer to it as 13:00?  4th round.  It was my plan to get it done in about 3 hours completing one round every 20-30 minutes.

My hands and fingers were "crispy" from all of the swinging and snatching I had already done, but mostly from the chalk, as it dries out the skin very quickly so in all honesty ever single round, starting with the first one was more painful because of my hands mostly, but uncomfortable nonetheless.  It was probably the hardest thing I've done in a very, very, very long time.

Completely stopping for 20-40 minutes, and then having to start again, with a tired body and crispy hands was the biggest challenge I've felt in long time.  Going through my own SFG Certification course for three days two years ago felt easier than yesterday! Mostly, I think, because although it's more training in total it's continuous and because you are learning and practicing you never really stop, AND someone else is telling you when and what to do as opposed to having to tell yourself to when to start/stop.

More than once I contemplated quitting.  More than once I contemplated giving up and just not posting anything about it and maybe giving it another go on a different weekend before the end of the year.  And every time I contemplated it I just couldn't let myself give up.  Feeling accountable for presenting a challenge and not following through with it myself would just be too hypocritical.

I was able to do round 8 with the SFG candidates for part of their practice, finishing the last one around 4:30pm.

Now looking back at yesterday I'm happy, of course! It's over and to be honest my body felt great last night (besides a bit stiff and sore).  I'm off in a couple of hours to finish the second part of my challenge, 10 x 10 x 10 continuous, and because there is no 14kg available I will be doing all two hand swings w/16kg.  A walk on the beach this afternoon and dinner at a wine bar tonight!

One more day in Israel and I'll be back home on Wednesday :)

Here is a short workout I did with Tzvia Ben Shimon, who earned her SFG Certification last year.  My I Pad ran out of room to finish the video and it was cut short by 1 1/2 20 rep sets, but here is the complete One Hand Swing Practice workout...will you join us? Or maybe you are working on the challenge this weekend?  :)



5 2 hd sw + 5 R
5 2 hd sw + 5 L
5 2 hd sw + 5 R/5 L + 5 2 hd sw
4 2 hd sw + 6 R/6 L + 4 2 hd sw
3 2 hd sw + 7 R/7 L + 3 2 hd sw
2 2 hd sw + 8 R/8 L + 2 2 hd sw
1 2 hd sw + 9 R/9 L + 1 2 hd sw
10 R/10 L (this is where the video ends)
20 2 hd swings
7 min, 140 swing reps

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tracy Reifkind's Ten 10 x 10 Challenge

Ah yes....so the story goes.  Last year around this time I created my 10 x 10 workouts designed just to get your hands on the bell, work up a little sweat and get back into feeling your body and out of your head.  Over the last 12 months I've posted well over 100 workouts, close to 200 I'm sure (I stopped counting) so now I have a challenge for you during this busy holiday season to help you maintain your strength, health and fitness and hit the ground swinging strong on the first of the year. In fact it's a great way to get ready for The Swing Quest, which I will lead/host here in the SF Bay Area on January 1st (Thursday morning), and my Winter Tour Classes I'll be leading in St Paul and Milwaukee right afterwards, on January 5th and 8th!

The challenge is this.  Over 1 weekend before Xmas complete ten rounds of 10 x 10's twice.  Once over the course of an entire day (8 hours at least), and once done is consecutive sets.  If you are advanced/intermediate level you should be able to complete the consecutive set challenge within an hour, if you are a beginner do it using "On the Minute" sets of up to 10 reps for 50 minutes, rep count is irrelevant. You can do either way first but do them both one day after the next.....I'll be doing mine this weekend at the Israel SFG, most likely Saturday and Sunday.

You may choose this weekend (like me), or it may be one of the next three, but complete it at least one full week before January 1st.  Here are the ten consecutive sets I did in Sweden on Monday morning but please use any variation of 10 swings, with any variation of bell sizes.  Please share your results here in the comments section!  We all want to know how you did!  Thank you :)






















PS And remember to register for my Winter Tour Classes here on by blog by December 10th to get a special gift form me :)  (links on the left)  and on Face Book you'll find the Milwaukee event here;

https://www.facebook.com/events/386980618133398/


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Winter Tour 2015, Come Swing With Me! I can't do it for you, but I'll do it with you!


Last January I spent a few days in Milwaukee Wisconsin with my friend Diana lured with the promise of snowshoeing!  I grew up in California rarely leaving the state for most of my life, and yes, it's true, we do have snow in CA, but it's a 4 hour drive from where I am, and it's cold when it snows!  Besides, Diana's not here!  I had so much fun that this year I decided to lengthen the trip and include a quick stop in St Paul Minnesota to spend some time with my bestie Fawn Friday.  And since I'm going to be away from home for so long I need to swing on the road.....Winter Swing Tour 2015 was born :)  Funny story....when I called Fawn to ask if I could come, in January, she said, "You know it's going to be cold!"  But what better way to generate some heat than to swing?


Lucky me once "word" got out that I was planning on visiting Milwaukee again and wanting to find a place to teach a Swing Class, good old Facebook comes to the rescue!  Ryan Toshner of TNT Performance opened up his gym for me to offer a 1 hour Swing Class! (http://tntperformancetraining.com/) (or find them on Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/tnt.performance.training).  But Milwaukee is my second stop after St Paul, so I'll also be leading two swing classes at Fawn Friday Kettlebell Studio (http://fawnfriday.com/, or find Fawn on FB; https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fawn-Friday-Kettlebell-Training/113326875432787)


Monday January 5th Fawn Friday Kettlebell Training
9:30-10:30am
6:30-7:30pm

Thursday January 8th TNT Performance
6:30-7:30pm

Cost is $30 per person
Register by December 10th for a special surprise....almost as special as over 1000 swing reps!  lol

You will find links to sign up here on my blog (on the left sidebar) via Paypal.




If you live close enough to trek through the snow to come and swing with me I'd love to have you.....and there is no better way to kick off the New Year, and in fact kick off the New Year starting NOW, because you better start training for it!  I think it could be a great goal for anybody to stick to, or start, a regular swing practice during a time when typically people slack off, eat more and move less!


The class will be scalable to all levels, the only requirement is that you already know a proper and safe kettlebell swing.  This is not a class that I will teach the movement to new students, but I'll be leading beginning-advanced students through choreographed interval swing routines, TracyStyle!  If you need to learn how to swing then now is the time to contact Ryan or Fawn and get some practice in so you can join the fun!  Seriously, now's the time :)


And speaking of "Now's the Time"  This past week I celebrated one year of my 10 x 10 video posts.  It didn't start out all that pretty!  In fact I was motivated by a couple of friends that had contacted me for help because they had fallen off the wagon....the swing wagon!  So I'm sharing again, the very first 10 x 10 workout video I posted last year, AND my most recent 10 x 10....and you can find over 100 more on Youtube!  BUT better yet you an find me in person this January in St Paul and Milwaukee!



Some of you might remember this.....and if you haven't been training then it's perfect time for a reminder!  I can't do it for you....but I will do it with you!



And I'll continue because it not what I do, it's who I am...and I love it.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Thursday 10 x 10 combining sets, and "Man Pie"?

As I posted recently, all of my swing workouts these days are based on The Swing workouts, mostly #7, #8 and #9.  In yesterday's 10 x 10 video I demo how to take two of the sets of 10 reps "combining" them into a longer 20 rep set (longer set = longer rest!), similar to what I've been practicing in my own swing training.



10 x 10

10 2 hd swings x 2 sets
5 R/ 5 L x 2 sets
5/5 + 10 2 hd sw x 2 sets
5/5 x 1 set
10 2 hd sw x 1 set

100 swings, 5 minutes

********************************************

Man Pie?

Over the past couple of weeks I've made a few batches of chutney using the pineapple guavas Meg brought me from her tree.  I've made chutneys in the past, mostly serving them with cheese and crackers, but there are only so much cheese and so many crackers a person can eat!  Chutney freezes well, and I am saving some for another time, but I wanted to figure out more ways of eating/using it.

I can't quite remember now how I came up with the idea of using the chutney in a savory pie, similar to an empanada, using ground beef, and a vegetarian option using sweet potatoes and black beans, but somehow I did!  Like practically every recipe I come up with the process evolves from the original idea.



The original idea was making a top and bottom pastry crust, filling one with ground beef and chutney, and the other with roasted sweet potato, black beans and chutney....but I found a bottom and top crust was too much pastry, and that equals too many calories per serving!  So I started thinking about how to get rid of the bottom crust....ah, sweet potato!  So I ended up combining both versions together.  I layered sliced sweet potato on the bottom, added my browned ground beef (and onion), black beans, then spread the chutney over that, and topped the pie with a pastry crust.  

I wasn't 100% that all of these flavors were just my own crazy tastes so I gave my training partners each a slice to take home and report back!  Everyone said it was pretty good, and it was Deepika that called it "Man Pie"! (maybe because of the meat?)  So there you go, the name sticks!

Man Pie

1 med sweet potato (yam) sliced thin
1 lb ground beef cooked with 1/2 diced onion, drained of fat and cooled
1 c. black beans (if using canned, drain and rinse)
1 c. chutney (you an use store bought Mango chutney)
1 Pillsbury Pie Crust, the one find already made in the refrigerator section that you simply unroll (shhhh, I won't tell if you don't tell!)
1 egg to brush on top of the pastry

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 45-55 minutes until the top crust is golden and crisp.  Enjoy!


PS one of my favorite secret cooking "cheats" is Pillsbury all ready made pie crusts that you unroll out of the package!  I happen to make an awesome homemade pastry but what I lack in time is only second to my lack of counter space to use my rolling pin!  Besides, I promise, no one will ever question if it's a store bought crust because you can still make the edges the way you like and design the top steam holes in your own pattern :)  What's your secret cooking "cheat"?


See!

pps...do I have to remind you to season (salt) each ingredient?  The sweet potato (after you layer it), when you cook the beef, and to the black beans after you rinse them. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Yukon Gold!

Now that I've gotten over my fear of potatoes I forgot how delicious Yukon Gold's were!  I've always made Mark potato salad, you know, the good old fashioned kind with tons of mayonnaise.  For years and years I didn't allow myself to eat it (or much of it) in fear of the extra "carbs" and although I'm not afraid of fats, traditional potato salad has a ton of it.  Having the behavior of overeating in my history I was not to be trusted....isn't this all crazy?  Fast forward.  This post is not about old habits and behaviors of overeating, it's about potato salad! Yukon Gold and Green Bean Salad with a simple Mustard Dressing to be exact.


I was in the market the other day and saw these small gold potatoes.  All of a sudden my mind clicked back to the memory of these buttery yummies and I decided to buy a handful for a small batch of some kind of salad.  Lately I've been steaming most all of my cooked veggies for salads using my pressure cooker.  It takes so little time, literally one minute for green beans and about 10 minutes for potatoes (5 min cook, 5 min rest), but the best thing about steaming as opposed to boiling is that you retain more nutrients in the foods you are cooking.


Most salads need no more than oil and vinegar and this one is no different.  Red wine vinegar, olive oil and a spoonful of grainy mustard was all I used.  Steamed potatoes, green beans and a finely diced shallot, and with only those 6 ingredients, viola.  Super yummy goodness :)  


A few tips for making potato salads (and if you have any other good ones please share!)



#1 Save the potato water you boil or steam the veggies in!  Instead of using more oil or mayonnaise you can use the starchy water to thin out and adjust the consistency of the finished salad without making it heavier, thicker and more calorie dense.


#2 Boil or steam the potatoes unpeeled if you want to save some time, once they cool enough to handle the skin simply slides off.


#3 Once the potatoes are skinned and diced, season with your salt and some vinegar while still warm.  Seasoning the potatoes when they are warm insures greater absorption of flavor. 


Since I really don't count olive oil, vinegar or mustard an "ingredient", these should be fridge and pantry items you always have on hand, this recipe only has three things you need to pick up at the market.  Yukon Gold potatoes, green beans and a shallot.  Speaking of shallot, that poor forgotten onion, a red onion is a fine substitute but I find shallots milder, sweeter and maybe even a hint of garlic taste.







What is your favorite way of preparing potato salad?  Or do you not eat potatoes?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Dive Back In




Sometimes Youtube will not show some of my videos in some countries.  I'm not sure if this is because of copy write laws with the music that plays in the background.  A couple of people let me know that they could not see the latest video I posted on FB of yesterday's GS 14kg snatch set (89R/95L) so I'm going to give it a go, here on my blog.

I'll be posting more about my recent dive back into GS Sport.


Friday, November 7, 2014

Why an OTM workout replacement for Thursday 10 x 10?



Every Thursday is a heavy swing day.  Nothing super heavy these days, but after 20-30 solid minutes w/16kg I'll throw in another 10-20 minutes with heavy double bells and or single 24kg and higher.  What I mean by 10-20 minutes is that I train in 4-6 week "cycles".  A cycle is when you start out one week with a baseline of weights/reps/time, nothing too difficult, but nothing easy either, and add a certain percentage of difficulty week by week, leading up to a really challenging workout.  Then you back off, lighten the loading for a couple weeks and start all over again, but with a slightly different goal.  The goal is always to increase the loading over the cycle, but slightly differently using a variety of swings, say for instance two hand swings versus one hand swings, or short double bell sets versus long single bell sets, etc.

Yesterdays workout I decided to go really heavy (for me) and had to dial back the routine to my basic "OTM" baseline starting point.  I haven't swung the 28kg for a while so I had no idea how many reps I could do solidly and cleanly before I broke form.  I knew for sure I could do 10 otm and so I started with 12.  12 was fairly easy so I jumped right up to 14.  At this point I thought it smart to only jump one rep at a time, the eventual goal is 20 (equal work to rest).  The goal is not the rep count, the goal is to do up to 20 reps per 30 second work/rest intervals with solid strength, form and power.  The goal is not to suffer through 20 reps with weaker and weaker reps!  

I have three weeks before I leave for my next trip and therefore over the next few workouts I will increase my rep counts accordingly. Here were my rep counts alternating a single 28kg and double 14kg's;

12 x 2 (one set w/28kg, one set w/dbl 14kg's)
14 x 2
15 x 2
16 x 2
17 x 2 this is where I felt the beginning of the loss of power so I backed down one rep
16 x 2 I felt I  needed to back down again
15 x 2 this is where I felt solid again so I stayed here until the end
15 x 6 more sets

total of 20 sets done OTM
300 swings x 28kg = 8,400kg moved

Next week's workout's goal is to increase the total amount of weight moved by around 8-10%, which equals about 24-30 reps.

Now you know what inspired Thursday's 10 x 10 replacement to demonstrate that no matter where your starting point is, going back to a basic OTM workout is always a good place to begin!  I've been training the swing since 2005 and here I am again using this method.  It's always relevant :)  

Where's your starting point?  Using the demo video above, swing with me, taking note (mentally and literally) when your strength, form, and technique start to give way, and then work your way up from here.

ps I've been cooking up a storm so a food/recipe post is way overdue and coming next :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Swing Workout #6

Yesterday I started out my morning with workout #6 from The Swing and let me tell you....it was awesome!  Just before I left for Croatia I had to make the decision to drop my Tuesday morning class so I've been training on my own, here in the garage gym for weeks now....and you know what workouts I'm doing?  Yep, all of The Swing workouts!  What I like about them is that I don't have to think! They are all written down, in order of progression and I've simply been following along :)  



Workout #6 is the beginning of learning, and learning how to train, the one hand swing.  Here is a Demo Workout that you can practice along with!  I call it a Demo "Workout" because it's 15 min long, whew!  Practice it as many times as you feel you need to before moving on to #6.




As I mentioned, I swing on my own Tuesday morning, on Thursdays I swing with Maribel, and Saturday mornings I swing with my 8:30 class.  I've been doing The Swing Workouts, as written exactly on Tuesdays, then on Thursday I repeat it using a heavier bell, and making slight adjustments just to add some variety, and then I repeat it one last time with my class on the weekend using a lighter bell because I have a doubles/heavy press, GS practice and squat workout on Sunday that I don't want to pre overtrain for.  And speaking of some of my other training....



After my awesome trip to Vancouver I came home and looked at my schedule to see if competing again in the near future was possible.  It appears that I have a couple of gaps in my travel schedule that will allow me to train for an early February and late April Kettlebell Sport comp, so that's what I'm going to do.  As tempted as I am to train for snatch only event I have some unfinished business with the 16kg biathlon!  



I've got about 4 weeks before Mark and I leave for Sweden, Denmark and Israel, just enough time to build back to 10 minute sets in both the 16kg snatch and jerk.  Not sure what kind of numbers I'll get, but it's the 10 min duration that is my first goal. When I return in December then I'll concentrate on increasing my numbers.  So during the next few months The Swing workouts will be invaluable to me by allowing me to get the bulk of my conditioning done and letting me concentrate on a different goal.  It's going to be good!


Friday, October 24, 2014

Thursday 10 x 10 and Vancouver Highlights


This week's 10 x 10 still includes some longer rest periods, but ladders up "equal work/rest" sets quickly before backing off slightly to end the workout.



Still working up to equal work / rest sets

10 (15/45)
10 x 2 (15/15 15/45)
10 x 4 (15/15 15/15 15/15 15/45)
10 x 3 (15/15 15/15 15/ done!)

6.5 min, 100 swings

If you are just getting used to the shorthand I use for writing down workouts you may not be familiar with what the numbers are that I refer to in parenthesis.  These are the "seconds of work and the seconds of rest".  So, 15/15 means 15 seconds of work it takes to do 10 reps, and 15 seconds of rest you take before the next set.  "15/45" means 10 reps takes 15 seconds of work, then you get 45 seconds to rest before the next set.  The first number is always how long the work interval is, the second set of numbers is always the rest you take after. Does this help anybody?  I hope so.  One of the things I love about my workouts is that I can always figure out how long a workout lasts based on these calculations!



I just got home from a fabulous weekend in Vancouver!  What a city, huh?  My dear friend Tricia Dong invited me to participate in a Kettlebell Sport Charity known as the "One Hour Long Cycle".  This event happens once a year and chooses a different charity to lift for, this year it was "Kettlebells for Autism".  If you would like more information about either one, please leave a comment here, or email me tracyrif@yahoo.com


I invited one of my students, Deepika, to come with me to also lift, but mostly to attend a technique workshop with me the next day.  We had a blast being challenged with the continuous hour of clean and jerks, but it was the workshop that Tricia organized that was the real draw for us. I haven't given up on competing, or teaching/coaching GS, Kettlebell Sport, and I'm always interested in learning as much as I can about kettlebell training in general.  Hanging out with other athletes and coaches in such a beautiful city like Vancouver was an amazing opportunity!  Here are some of the highlights;




Arriving Friday afternoon shopping was first on the list....and one of the first things I see downtown?  Yep, a gap toothed girl painting!  











I got up super early the next morning and took a one hour walk down Robson Street, passing what seemed like a dozen Starbuck coffee shops in and amongst the high rise office and apartment buildings, to find this beauty at the end....    Next time I'll spend more time walking along the park/water.









Back in time to shower and get ready for the One Hour LC., Deepika and Tom helping to unload and move competition bells.









Deepika used an 8kg and I used a 12kg.  We used caution mostly because we were conserving our hands as well as our energy for the workshop scheduled the next day.  Next year I think we will do the relay.  It will allow us to lift faster and heavier....anybody else want to be on our team?


Here I am with coaches Tom Corrigan and Misha Marchak.  





The workshop the next day simply ended too soon!  Deepika and I caught the last flight home Sunday, at 4:00, otherwise we would have stayed much longer!


Everybody after the workshop....I wish I would have taken the opportunity to meet everybody and learn their names.....you know sometimes I can be shy (it's true!)


Tricia was an amazing tour guide!  She drove us around all day after moving and unloading bells, organizing the entire event and then lifting on a relay team herself!







Vancouver is one of those city's that has gorgeous parks that promote living an active and healthy lifestyle!  










I also got to meet gym owner Sheila Hamilton (below) of It's Time Fitness Results (http://itstimefitnessresults.com/who graciously donated her facility to the charity event and workshop.  



It's Time Fitness is truly one of the nicest studios I've ever been in, and seriously, if you live in, or are visiting, the North Vancouver area you MUST check it out.  Sheila and her staff are top notch, all SFG Certified and the most knowledgable and welcoming Instructors you will ever come across!  Highly recommended!






It was at It's Time that I met another fabulous lady, Yvonne, who got a little lecturing about weight loss from yours truly!  Yvonne recently lost 75lbs and completely changed her life, using kettlebell training to make incredible strength and health gains with Sheila as her trainer, but had the last nagging 35lbs still eluding her.....hopefully I gave her some gentle reminders to what could be the cause (overeating healthy foods maybe?  hint, hint!)




Good friends,, good times, and a well earned lunch!






French fries with cheese and gravy!  It HAD to be done!



And finally it had to be good bye.....or maybe just "see you later"?  Fingers crossed I'll see Vancouver again :) 



Thursday, October 16, 2014

Easing back into routine again.

You know sometimes we "fall off the wagon"...not that I have or anything!  The important thing is that we get back on!  Be easy on ourselves...but not too easy!  



This is the simplest 10 sets of 10 reps, done with all two hand swings.  The rest period starts out generous with a 45 second break before moving onto the next set where the rest interval is decreased to only 30 seconds, followed by yet another rest decrease of 15 seconds (equal work/rest.)  It starts again with a long rest, shorter and then the shortest, three times repeated before ending the 10 x 10 with the last set done with a 15 sec break.  Here is the workout written out:

10 reps, 15 work, 45 sec rest (1 min)
10 reps, 15 sec work, 30 sec rest (45 sec)
10 reps, 15 sec work, 15 sec rest (30 sec)
repeat x 3 = 9 sets +
10 reps, 15/15

100 swing reps total 7 min (not including the last 15 sec rest interval)





Gosh, it's been so long since Mark and I traveled to Croatia and back I almost forgot we went!  But that's only because as soon as I got back I lead The Swing Quest in Monterey at Iron Republic and took my mom Nancy, who was visiting from Denver, and my sister Donna on a weekend road trip to Big Sur!  Busy busy.






Here are some highlights....oh, that's after you do the workout!






Having lunch at Nepenthe Restaurant in Big Sur.....it was about 100 degrees outside!  The fries weren't mine btw!  But truth be told I ate a ton of potatoes/fries during my trip to Croatia, as pictures above!














And now I'm off to Vancouver in the morning to participate in a charity one hour long Clean and Jerk for Kettlebells for Autism hosted by my good friend Tricia dong.  I'm going with one of my training partners, Deepika, to lift on Saturday and take a workshop in Sunday on Kettlebell Sport technique and practice.  I hope to come back with a ton of pictures, but it's almost 8:00pm and I'm not packed.  Yikes.  7:00am flight and I still can't decide what to wear!  High quality problems.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Swing, The Workouts! #1-#5

HERE THEY ARE!  I've posted a ton of follow along beginning swing workouts for years now, in fact many similar to the ones in my book The Swing, but here are the exact workouts in their entirety from 15 minutes to a full 25 minutes, starting with the first five! 



In Workouts #1 and #2 I guide you through establishing the right amount of work and rest FOR YOU!  Keep a journal, repeat either workout as many times as you feel comfortable before adding more reps per set and more sets per workout.....those are coming next!  Congratulations for taking the first steps toward a healthier and more fit body!



Workout #3 adds 5 more minutes, again taking care to pay attention whether you are ready to add more reps per set, and please don't be intimidated and think you must always add reps!  Back down one or two reps, stay at any particular rep count that is right for you, or go back and start at 10 reps again.  Every workout will be different so keep that journal!



Workouts #4 and #5 move up to 20 reps per minute more quickly, and in fact by the time you complete these two workouts you might start each workout with 20 reps per minute, or as you will next practice in the following workouts, 10 reps per 30 second intervals!

If you are not swinging yet, or maybe you already train regularly but have a family member or friend that wants to start but doesn't know where or how, I do every single rep with you (the viewer), or I coach you through each and every swing rep for complete 15-25 minute workouts!  You will find the written workouts and journals in my book The Swing, if you don't own it yet here is where you can get your copy:

http://www.amazon.com/Swing-Lose-Revolutionary-Kettlebell-Program-ebook/dp/B005LBYRV6/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&qid=1410789160&sr=8-15&keywords=the+swing+book

Enjoy.  Enjoy the book, enjoy the workouts, but mostly, enjoy your strong, healthy and fit life!



ps I chose to not have music in the background so you can listen to what you like!

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Mother of All "51" workouts! A complete 40 minutes of swings



On Saturday we taped this special "51" swing workout designed for me by Meg.  This is not the exact original version of it, which we did on my actual birthday on August 5th, but that one will be repeated at some point! As I was reviewing the pattern, 3 sets of 17 reps every 45 sec interval, followed by one set of 51 reps done in a 2 minute interval I was inspired by the possibilities of the many options that I might be playing with this one for a while!  Leave it to Meg to come up with this crazy rep count pattern!

What I like most about this rep count pattern is that...well, first of all, how brilliant is it that 3 sets of 17 = 51?  I would have never thought of it!  17 reps done every 45 seconds comes out to about 25 seconds of work, to 20 seconds of rest, just slightly more work and I think it's a great way for beginners to push themselves just a tad.  And the set of 51 can easily be reduced to only 40 reps giving an equal work/rest option for anybody that needs it. What kind of swings you do can add to the difficulty for sure, and I'll write about that in a sec.

Here is the workout:

15 2 2 hd sw + 2 R (15 R/ 2 L)
17 2 hd sw
2 L + 15 2 hd sw (2 R/ 15 L)
2.25 min per three sets of 17

15 2 2 hd sw + 2 R  + 17 2 hd sw + 2 L + 15 2 hd sw = 51 reps (10 R/10 L x 2 = 40 reps)
2 min per each set of 51
4.25 min per round


13 2 hd sw + 4 R (13 R/ 4 L)
17 2 hd sw
4 L + 13 2 hd sw (4 R/ 13 L)

13 2 hd sw + 4 R + 17 2 hd sw + 4 L + 13 2 hd sw (5 R/5 L x 4 = 40 reps)

11 2 hd sw + 6 R (11 R/ 6 L)
17 2 hd sw 
6 L + 11 2 hd sw (6 R/ 11 L)

11 2 hd sw + 6 R + 17 2 hd sw + 6 L + 11 2 hd sw (1 sw 1 tr x 20 = 40 reps)

9 2 hd sw + 8 R (9 R/ 8 L)
17 2 hd sw
8 L + 9 2 hd sw (8 R/ 9 L)

9 2 hd sw + 8 R + 17 2 hd sw + 8 L + 9 2 hd sw (40 tr = 40 reps)

7 2 hd sw + 10 R (7 R/ 10 L)
17 2 hd sw
10 L + 7 2 hd sw (10 R/ 7 L)

7 2 hd sw + 10 R + 17 2 hd sw + 10 L + 7 2 hd sw (40 2 hd sw = 40 reps)

now reverse and go back up hill:

9 2 hd sw + 8 R (9 R/ 8 L)
17 2 hd sw
8 L + 9 2 hd sw (8 R/ 9 L)

9 2 hd sw + 8 R + 17 2 hd sw + 8 L + 9 2 hd sw (40 tr = 40 reps)

11 2 hd sw + 6 R (11 R/ 6 L)
17 2 hd sw 
6 L + 11 2 hd sw (6 R/ 11 L)

11 2 hd sw + 6 R + 17 2 hd sw + 6 L + 11 2 hd sw (1 sw 1 tr x 20 = 40 reps)


13 2 hd sw + 4 R  (13 R/ 4 L)
17 2 hd sw
4 L + 13 2 hd sw (4 R/ 13 L)

13 2 hd sw + 4 R + 17 2 hd sw + 4 L + 13 2 hd sw (5 R/5 L x 4 = 40 reps)

15 2 2 hd sw + 2 R (15 R/ 2 L)
17 2 hd sw
2 L + 15 2 hd sw (2 R/ 15 L)

15 2 2 hd sw + 2 R  + 17 2 hd sw + 2 L + 15 2 hd sw = 51 reps (10 R/10 L x 2 = 40 reps)


end with one last set of 51

17 R + 17 2 hd sw + 17 L

OR 

51 2 hd swings!

Just shy of an entire 40 minutes, 869 swing reps

Oh gosh, now I've got to do the math....

Meg and my version, 100 one hand swings (50 R/50 L) and 769 two hand swings!

Susie's version, 819 swings total, 632 one hand swing (316 R/ 316 L), and 187 two hand swings

Whew!  I did not check the math, but at the end of the day it's not a big deal!  Susie's workout is posted in the parentheses in pink.

Who's Susie you might ask, lol!  Susie Grossman is an HKC from Indiana that contacted me about coming in for a private session while here in CA on vacation with her husband.  They hiked Yosemite for a week and then drove up here to the Bay Area.  Susie and I worked together on some SFG prep training and she stayed for my class.  I keep warning you all if you come for a visit to my group training you are likely to end up in a swing video!

Susie's "51" workout was done with mostly one hand swings.  Meg and I did two hand to one hand swing sets, while Susie demonstrated R to L one hand swing sets in the first and third sets of 17.   Also, while Meg and I did 51 reps (the three sets of 17 strung together) Susie did a set of 40 using my progressive swing combinations.  The kind of swings you do is up to you, it's your workout.  Personally, for me, I find the more two hand swings I do adds to my difficulty.

Thank you Susie for demonstrating the one hand swing reps options, especially since she had to count them on her own while I was counting our crazy rep pattern!  She did a much better job than I did keeping it right :)

ps: This was the first time we did this version and although we were using a "cheat sheet" I did manage to screw up a few sets! Oh, and you may notice that on the very first round Susie did in fact follow our lead, but finished the rest of the workout using those one hand swing options.








Saturday, August 30, 2014

Some Seriously Hot Stuff! Pickled Jalapeno Relish



I've been making my own pickled jalapenos for a while now.  What got me interested in doing so in the first place was a jar of hot pickled "dilly beans" my Wisconsin bff Diana sent me that her husband Jeff made.  The bean were delish, but it was the vinegar they were canned in that was even more amazing!  I needed more hot vinegar so I had to start making my own!

I started with this basic recipe I found online; http://allrecipes.com/recipe/quick-pickled-jalapeno-rings/, it also comes with a video.  The only difference I make is that I use fresh dill instead of oregano.


In my opinion the vinegar is the most valuable IF you like hot foods!  Hot pepper vinegar in salad dressings is amazing, but one of my absolute favorite things to do with the vinegar is to submerge boiled eggs in it and brine them in the spicy liquid! I got that idea from a facebook friend of mine, I believe it came from Jon Gibson.  I make my eggs in the PC (pressure cooker) and peel them when they are still warm, then quickly get them into the pickle vinegar, usually six at a time.  When I pack them for lunch I cut them into quarters and arrange a big crunchy jalapeno ring on top with a pinch of kosher salt!  If I only need a snack I'll pack two, if it's a meal I'll pack three.

I use the spicy vinegar in all kinds of salads and deviled eggs, even soups!  Jalapeno rings are rather large and I often end up dicing them to add to egg or tuna salad, so this time I decided to make a kind of relish and do all of the dicing first.  I added red bell and carrot because, why not?



As many times as I've diced jalapenos I still don't wear gloves and this batch of peppers were especially HOT!  My fingers are burning as I type this post!  I've got to be careful and not touch my face....or maybe start wearing gloves?  lol

I can't wait to try this batch out!  Do you pickle?  

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Indian Spiced Glazed Carrot Soup


I never think to make carrot soup.  Who makes carrot soup?  As I mentioned in a previous blog post, carrots used to be a vegetable I was afraid of because I kind of placed them in the same category at potatoes, a starchy root full of sugar.  I got in the habit of only buying two or three carrots a week, at most, mainly to use in mirepoix or maybe to shred one in a salad.  So imagine my surprise, when taking inventory in my fridge looking for possible ingredients for a batch of soup or stew, I looked at the four large carrots I had in a different light.

I had made carrot soup a couple of times but it has been years (due to the fact I was afraid of them, lol), and in fact I wrote two blog posts about it;
 http://tracysfoodandthought.blogspot.com/2008/06/homeruncarrot-soup-and-roasted.html, and http://tracysfoodandthought.blogspot.com/2011/07/carrot-soup-w-apple-and-ginger.html.
This time I was curious about someone else's take on carrot soup so I took out my favorite cookbook, "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian" by Mark Bittman, and found "Glazed Carrot Soup".  Well, I knew how to glaze carrots, it's one of my Xmas dinner side dishes, and I knew how to make soup, and yes, it was simply combining the two methods together!  Glaze the carrots first, and then continue on and make soup!



Since I wanted a deeper more substantial meal I knew I wanted to add red lentils, just about 1/2 c. and I also decided to give it a bit of an Indian spice twist using garam masala and red curry paste (1 tbl each). Mark's recipe suggests sugar, honey or maple syrup as the sweetener for the glaze, and I thought honey would be the appropriate way to go, given the rest of the ingredients.  I did use my pressure cooker, but this could easily be done without, and only taking about 15 minutes longer.

Indian Spiced Glazed Carrot Soup

1 tbl each, olive oil and butter
1-2 tbl sugar, honey, or maple syrup
4 lg carrots
1/2-3/4 c. water

combine all ingredients in a sauce pan, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook until carrots are slightly tender, about 5 min.  Take cover off, increase heat to med high and cook until the liquid reduces to a thick glaze, about 5-10 min.  Add

1 tbl garam masala
1 tbl red curry paste

Stir to coat carrots and cook until fragrant.  Add

1/2 red lentils (rinsed if you like)
4-6 c. water

or if you want to make more it decadent

1 can coconut milk, either full fat or "lite", and water totaling 4-6 c.

I thought about doing this version, but I really wanted to taste the merit of the soup without the flavor and fat of coconut milk, not to mention the calories!

Bring back to a boil and cook until lentils are done, about 25 minutes, OR if using a PC, Lock the lid on, bring pressure to high, lower heat and cook 8-10 min.  (let pressure come down naturally or release pressure, how much time you have to finish the soup is the only factor)

Red lentils do not hold their shape and will dissolve into the soup, which is fine because this is a blended soup anyway.  An immersion blender is the easiest and fastest way to make smooth, but if you have to use a traditional blender you need to let the soup cool down a bit, but still be careful when blending hot or warm soups.


This soup was sooooo good the only thing wrong with it is that it only made three servings!  (2 c. each, 200 calories per serving approx.)  I can't wait to make it again, I think the spice measurements were perfect, no changes need to be made at all.  Of course you can make it without any spices and still have "Glazed Carrot Soup"!  Give it a go and let me know what you think!  Enjoy!

Monday, August 25, 2014

This Month Everybody's "51"!



I've been doing "51" workouts all month and so far I'm loving it!  (until we get to Meg's "51" workout, lol).  In fact I've been digging it so much I'm thinking about redesigning the next Swing Quest into "51" themed workouts!  OR maybe continuing on all year with "51" swing workouts!  But before I get all crazy with it let's just do the next one together, shall we?  These video demos are two "double rounds" of five total. A double round has two sets of 51 reps.  Here is the order of reps and sets:

10 reps x 4 sets
11 reps x 1 set
20 reps x 1 set
31 reps x 1 set

You can do all sets with only two hand swings which is what we did in our first and last double rounds, or you can apply any of my one hand swing progressions to the the rep counts.  We practiced them in order starting with 5/5:

5/5 x 4 sets
5/5 + 1 rep x 1 set
5/5 + 5/5 x 1 set
5/5 + 5/5 + 5/5 + 1 rep x 1 set

In the first video we demonstrate the next progression, which are my one hand swing ladders:

2/1 sw ld x 4 sets
2/1 sw ld + 1 rep x 1 set
4-1 sw ld x 1 set
5-1 sw ld + 1 rep x 1 set

The third double round we did transfer swings:

10 tr x 4 sets
10 tr + 1 rep x 1 set
20 tr x 1 set
30 tr + 1 rep x 1 set



The fifth and final round we went back to two hand swings only, but increased the bell to a 24kg (from a 14kg)

10 reps x 4 sets
11 reps x 1 set
20 reps x 1 set
31 reps x 1 set

510 swing reps, 25 minutes

Maribel and I start out our 5:30am workout with a 30 minute heavy double clean/double swing workout that I've posted on Youtube but have yet to post it here on my blog.  I recently started my own Youtube channel (separate from Markrif's channel) so if you are interested in checking out all of my videos you will find them here: 


The next few "51"'s are already up on my channel, but I'll be back to post the details in the next blog post.  Until then, enjoy this one!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Belated Birthday Workout (s)



I have no idea how many workouts I can design based on the number 51, but I've got an entire month to have fun with it!  My first idea was to do simple 10 x 10's adding one extra rep onto the 5th and 10th sets of ten, and that's fine, in fact I like it a lot! But at a certain point doing all sets of 10 reps is...well, hard!  This first workout, part #1, starts out with four rounds of 51 reps done 10 x 4 sets + 11 x 1 set.

2 hd swings
5/5
tr swings
2 hd swings

204 swings, 10 minutes



I wanted to do a full 25 minutes of swings, 10 rounds of 51 (510 reps), but I got to the studio 5 minutes too late!  Class starts at 6:00am but I managed to swing every minute I could for a total of 459 swing reps in 9 rounds of 51.  I wanted to post the 22.5 min workout uninterrupted, but Youtube wouldn't let me, so here is part two.  Four rounds of 51, done 20 x 2 sets + 11 x 1 set, and ending with one more round of 10 x 4 + 11 x 1.

The last two rounds ladder up and down my swing progressions so have fun with it because there is much harder workouts coming soon...really soon!

Enjoy!

20 2 hd sw x 2 sets + 11 2 hd sw x 1 set
5/5 + 5/5 x 2 sets + 5/5 + 1 x 1 set
20 tr sw x 2 sets + 10 tr sw + 1 x 1 set

10 2 hd sw + 5/5
10 tr sw + 5/5
11 2 hd sw

10 2 hd sw
5/5
10 tr
5/5 
11 2 hd sw

255 swings, 12.5 min




Speaking of much harder workouts....  In last week's 10 x 10 if you haven't been introduced to my "1/2 swing ladder"  and my "2/1 swing ladder" here you go!  It's what I consider an Intermediate/Advanced swing progression only because of the added concentration it takes to complete the ladder perfectly.  1/2 is the uphill progression while 2/1 is the down hill, and since I always teach downhill first you will find only practice that one it in this short workout.  Please repeat it as often as you want to (need to) as this morning's workout builds on this one and the 4-1 swing ladder I posted last week.



My special treat on my birthday last Tuesday was Meg leading me through a "51" workout she designed and lead the entire group through, and let me tell you....it was hard!  It was soooo hard that over the next couple weeks left in my birthday month I'm going to post a few more workouts that lead up to the last day, the 31st, in which Meg and I will repeat her workout again to post for you all to join us!  Super hard, that's all I gotta say!  One little hint...it has tons of my favorite swing.....ouch.



Friday, August 1, 2014

It's My Birthday Month! And the theme is Fifty One! (10 x 10 transfer swing practice videos)




Before we get to the more complicated stuff...last week's 10 x 10 was about making sure we keep our abdominal muscles contracted and tight at the top of the transfer swing.  I've demonstrated this before way back when we started two hand swings, but it's much more important with the one hand swing and all of it's variations.  More torque is created through the midsection while having to stabilize a moving weight on only one side of our body and if not practiced correctly with the two hand swing it can be much more difficult to master when graduating to one hand swings.

Like the demo I did the week before about finishing the glute / hip contraction during a transfer swing, it's easier to forget, or to lose the tension, while the kettlebell is "floating" from hand to hand.  Of most importance, keeping our midsection tight helps to protect the lower back and is a skill we must always practice in proper kettlebell swings.



Yesterday's 10 x 10 I take you through 5 of my swing combinations; 2 hd sw (two hand swings) 10 R (one hand swings right hand), 10 L (one hand swings left hand), 5/5 (one hand swings right and left, switching on reps 5), and tr sw (transfer, or hand to hand swings).

Transfer swings are taught last as you get used to anticipating moving the bell from one hand to the other progressively.  First you must be comfortable starting with two hands, then dropping one of them and continuing on with only one hand on the bell.  We practiced these combinations (both R and L) in the weeks after the second Swing Quest (April-June).  We then strengthened our one hand swings by starting to practice them 5 at a time not using two hands at all and  touching the handle at the top of each rep to anticipate the transfer swing.  Ten one hand swing reps without any switching from R to L further strengthened our skill and stability of one hand swings.

Now we have strong two hand swing AND strong one hand swings so it's time to have some fun!  That's where transfer swings and swing rep ladders come in! And just in time for my birthday month workouts!  Before you try the new swing rep ladder at the end of this post, quickly review the five swing combinations we have learned during this year's 10 x 10's!



I've posted these swing rep ladder sets before, but it's been a while.  This set of 20 swings fits into my progressions in between 5/5 + 5/5 and "swing/transfers" or "transfer swings".  So the downhill swing progression would be:

10 R/10 L
5/5 + 5/5
4-1 sw ld (swing ladder)
10 sw tr ( swing transfers)
10 tr sw (transfer swings)

In this video I only demonstrate 5/5 + 5/5, then introduce my 4-1 swing ladder.

switch hands on the 4th rep R/L
switch hands on the 3rd rep R/L
switch hands on the 2nd rep R/L
switch hands on rep 1 R/L

This set equals 20 reps total!  This swing ladder set is worth practicing because you will be seeing it again during my birthday month workouts.  Since I'll be 51 years old on Tuesday, the 5th of August, the theme of my workouts will be "51".  Fifty one swing reps is quite a lot, in fact it's just over 1 min 15 seconds of continuous swing reps if done in one set...which I will be doing.  But I hope to come up with some other creative ways to keep the theme of 51 so stay tuned!