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.