Friday, March 13, 2015

Thursday On The Minute Workout, a progression to the Strength Matters Swing Test

Every Thursday I video tape a short OTM 6-10 min workout and post it on my Youtube channel (you can also find them on my FB page as well as here on my blog).  Yesterday morning I decided to add to last week's theme of building strength for one hand swings, whether it's strength to do them with your two hand swing weight, or with an even heavier bell.  This was all inspired by the Strength Matters Swing Test requirement for Instructor Certification.  You can find the official rules here;

The goal of OTM training is to progressively work towards "equal work to equal rest", completing 20 swing reps in 30 seconds, allowing a 30 sec rest period before the next set of 20 swings.  Once you successfully build the strength and cardio endurance then continuing on with an "equal work to rest" workload ability you can either lengthen or shorten the rep count.  For instance, if you complete 40 continuous reps you will earn a minute rest break, or if you complete 10 reps you will only allow yourself 15 seconds to rest before your next set.  All variations of training has benefits and you could/should train all of them depending on the effect (s) and result (s) you want to achieve through your swing training.

In this week's OTM workout I start to shorten those minute training intervals into 30 second intervals for both work and rest.  There is a big difference between training for 1 minute completing one continuous set of 20 reps (30 sec/30 sec) and two sets of 10, working and resting every 15 seconds (15/15 x 2).  The more minutes you break up those sets of 20 into two sets of 10 also require you to put the bell down and pick it back up twice as many times.  200 reps done 10 sets of 20 is much different than 20 sets of 10....which is much different than 5 sets of 40, which is much different than 4 sets of 50...2 sets of 100, etc.  "Different" doesn't always mean harder, just different!  Same with one hand swings versus two hand swings.  100 continuous two hand swings has a much different training effect than say one hand swings switching every 10 reps, which is different than switching every 5 reps, and is crazy different if you chose to switch every single rep!  Trust me :)

Okay, enough talking, let's do!  This workout starts to shorten the OTM sets while simultaneously, and progressively increasing the one hand swings reps.  There are many, many, if not hundreds of ways to train for this "test" or challenge, this was just how I chose to continue on from last week's practice, and in the next few week's I'll post more progressions.

But at the end of the day it's all just practice and training.  No need to have grand plans, just living life a little bit stronger, healthier and more fit.

5 2 hd sw + 5 R (OTM, 15/45)
5 2 hd sw + 5 L (OTM, 15/45)
5 2 hd sw + 5 R (OT 30 sec 15/15 sec)
5 2 hd sw + 5 L (OTM 15/45)
5 2 hd sw + 5 R (OT 30 sec, 15/15sec)
5 2 hd sw + 5 L (OTM 15/45)
10 R (OTM)
10 L (OTM)
10 R (OT 30 sec, 15/15)
10 L (OTM 15/45)
10 R (OT 30 15/15)
10 L (OTM 15/45)

120 swings 8 min

oh, I totally forgot until I reviewed the video that I did it with the 20kg, which is my SMC test weight, you might want to do the same :)

And speaking of swing practice and training.....I'm going to be in San Diego next Friday/ Saturday, March 20-21 and have the opportunity to use my friend Franz Snideman's studio, Revolution Fitness to lead a Friday night One Hour Swing class from 6:30-7:30pm!  If you live in the area or are going to be down for the Strength Matters Summit and want to swing with me you will find the Paypal registration button here on my blog (top left).  The cost is $40 and I need to cut off registration by this Tuesday March 17th for an accurate head count so don't wait, sign up now!  


Hanneke Schiffleger said...

I did the swing test with the 16 K yesterday. Not too bad. I have not been swinging very high weights for a while so I did not want to try the 20K right away.

I'll follow your progressions and work back into the 20 K

Tracy Reifkind said...


The 16kg is the first step so good for you! For women the heavier one hand swings usually put higher stress on the lower back as we carry our strength in our legs, not our upper bodies like men. Progressively strengthening those stabilizing lower back muscles is a smarter way to train, rather than just "going for it" with a weight you've not tried before, or haven't swung for a while.