Monday, March 23, 2015

The Swing, Workout #11, just the workout for now, but more about the level of difficultly coming.....

Ta da! Congratulations for getting this far in The Swing, The Workouts!  If you are meeting me here then you've put in some serious practice time and that's a good thing because, in my opinion, this workout, #11, is one of the most difficult!  Difficult because it includes hundreds of transfer swings which I will explain more about why they are so difficult when I have more time to write later today, so come back after you give it a go if you are training it today!

I wanted to get this workout up and posted a.s.a.p. as requested by a few of you so here it is. If you follow along you will find some changes I had to make while adjusting the one written in The Swing Book so keep a pen or pencil ready to make notes.  Enjoy :)


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!  

Monday, March 9, 2015

Transfer Swing Practice + Workout #10! And Spring Asparagus Salad

Before some of us get to workout #10 we need to practice our transfer swings (tr).  Transferring from one hand to the other straight away without touching the handle for practice first.  Here is a short 5 minute practice using combinations we already know how to do that progressively lead you straight to transfer swings.

10 2 hd sw
5 R/ 5 L
1 sw, 1 tr x 10
1 sw, 1 tr x 6 + 6 transfer swings (18 reps total)
1 sw, 1 tr x 4 + 8 tr (16 reps)
1 sw, 1 tr x 2 + 10 tr (14 reps)

88 swing reps in about 5 minutes.  Practice it as many times as you need to get comfortable with transferring the kettlebell back and forth from R to L, use it as a workout in itself, or use it as a quick warm up to any of the workouts in The Swing!  Enjoy :)

Well, well, we are at workout #10!

And it's got a little tricky bit about 3/4 of the way through....  This is the first workout were you practice a set of 10 swings, get only 15 sec break before the next set of 40 reps, which means you have to swing for an entire minute before getting more rest!  This is also the first workout that uses straight "transfer swings", so if you need a little practice here's a short video:

You will find the complete written #10 workout on page 141 of The Swing book.

Morning time is my cooking and food prep time starting, pretty much, as soon as I get up around 4:00am.  Today it's super early because we lost an hour over the weekend, but I managed to fall out of bed close to my regular time and organize the kitchen before continuing on.  Not a whole lot to do actually.  I steamed some broccoli for a souffle later tonight, pressure cooked some black beans to add to some sweet potatoes for lunch, brought some carrots back to life that I never got around to using last week, and made a quick raw asparagus salad.

There are a handful on "non" ingredients that all home cooks have on hand 99% of the time, which is why I call them "non" ingredients.  Fats/dairy; cream (1/2 & 1/2 or milk) butter and Olive oil (and other cooking and salad oils) eggs, acids; lemon and vinegars, seasoning; salt/pepper, garlic, and base veggies; onions, celery, carrot, sweetners, natural and otherwise; sugar, honey, maple syrup.  There are a handful of others depending on background and culture of course, but for the most part if you cook on a regular basis you almost always have these non ingredients on hand.

That being said I only really needed two "real" ingredients for this salad; asparagus and parmesan cheese (which is also a non ingredient in my fridge). No cooking or steaming of spring fresh thin stalked asparagus so this salad goes together quickly.

1 bunch asparagus sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
1/4-1/2 c shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 c. red wine vinegar or lemon, or a combination of both
2-4 tbl olive oil
salt and pepper

Use the absolute best ingredients you can afford for the freshest and truest flavors.  This is a salad I spend a little extra on true Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and my highest quality olive oil and vinegar that I would never use to cook with!

I did save off about 30% of the asparagus bunch for some risotto maybe tomorrow since I have a salmon fillet in the freezer.  Is asparagus showing up in your markets yet?  And what's a "non" ingredient in your kitchen?

You can find Anne Burrell's original recipe here:

Friday, March 6, 2015

OTM "Swing Sandwich", and details on the next "Flash" 1 Hour Swing Class in La Jolla CA!

I really really like today's OTM workout!  It's 8 minutes in length so feel free to double it for an awesome workout in about 15 minutes!  Here's the progression, but you'll have to watch and listen to the video for the reasons why I choose them :) :

10 2 hd swings
15 2 hd swings
5 2 hd + 5 R + 5 2 hd (15 reps)
5 2 hd + 5 L + 5 2 hd (15 reps)
5 2 hd + 5 R + 10 2 hd (20 reps)
5 2 hd + 5 L + 10 2 hd (20 reps)
5 2 hd + 10 R + 5 2 hd (20 reps)
5 2 hd + 10 L + 5 2 hd (20 reps)

This is a perfect progression for not only learning and practicing the skill of one hand swings, but if you want to start increasing the weight of your one hand swings then give this a go with a bell you normally would use with only two hands.  You will find more of these types of "two hand swing/ one hand swing" combinations as I train myself and my students and clients to pass the new Strength Matters Swing Test, 200 one hand swings in 10 minutes.  For the complete guidelines you can find them here; 

So, now that you've been practicing on a regular basis who in the San Diego area wants to come swing with me for an entire hour?  

At the last minute I decided to contact my friend Franz Snideman at Revolution Fitness in La Jolla and organize a "Flash" One Hour Swing Class, Friday March 20 6:30pm! ( Mark and I will be down in San Diego that weekend for the Strength Matters Summit where Mark will be lecturing on Saturday.  Of course you are invited for the entire weekend (, and if you are already coming to the SMS and you want to come swing, or if you live in or around the area please come and get one of the best swing workouts ever, I promise!

The cost is $40 per person and you will find the registration and Paypal link on the top of the left hand column here on my blog.  Space and bells are always limited so reserve your spot now! It's been two years since I've been down to Southern CA and I have no idea when I'll make it back, so let's not waste this opportunity to swing together!