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 :)


Diana said...

I love "OTM" workouts. They are the best to start with AND to start over with when it's been awhile! that sassy short hair!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Exactly :)

I'm feeling a bit more sassy with the short hair! But my ears are going to freeze off my head when I see you in January! Brrrr

Diana said...

Don't you worry about those ears! We'll keep you warm!

Pam Stefanik said...

What does OTM stand for? Sorry -- new to this.

Pam Stefanik said...

I like the short hair on you Tracy -- but you look awesome no matter what hairstyle!

Pam Stefanik said...

I'm reading "THE SWING" now -- and my kettebells are being delivered today I'm so anxious! I need to loose about 130 lbs or so. Your book is WONDERFUL!