Day Four: 500 Swings, 30 Double Bell 18kg Presses, and a Not So Winter Wonderland…

Today I was struggling… I felt like I didn’t get enough sleep or that I am getting sick or maybe both?  And my fingertips hated me today… they were not enjoying the sets of 50 swings.  Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I started my day by having to shovel out my car from under 6 inches of snow before 6 a.m. this morning.  I opened my door and looked for the shovel and this ice-covered beauty is what I found:



Then I looked to my car and this is the work I had to do…


Even more awesome.

Fortunately Eric had gone outside last night before dinner to shovel around my car and clean it off but it was still snowing at that hour, so there was plenty left for me this morning.

I will admit, when I’m inside Iron Body Studios and I look outside at the snow and think, “it looks pretty”. Still not my preferred season, but it looks pretty, even if it’s just a fleeting thought.  However, when I have to shovel my car out before 6 a.m., not so pretty.  Oh and make sure that I put orange cones in my parking spot after I pull out so that no one takes my spot.  Not pretty.  Welcome to a not so winter wonderland living in the city…

From last winter…


I’m looking forward to the 5-day warm up that we are getting ready to have with temperatures ranging from 42-54.  It will be like a heat wave.  Bring on the melting!!!


Now onto what’s important.  Training and kettlebell swings…

After I arrived at the gym this morning I was talking to one of my clients about the importance of consistency and patience with training.  She brought up a quote from Mark Reifkind, “Consistency before intensity.” ; such meaningful words in such a small, succinct package.

The header on Mark Reifkind’s blog is:

“And in those simple beautiful movements I remembered what was really important in training; that consistency trumps intensity; all the time. That intensity is born from consistency. That one cannot force it, one has to lay in wait for it, patiently, instinctively, calmly and be ready to grab it when Grace lays it down in front of you.”

He wrote this quote in his very poignant post  “The Beauty of Simplicity”

This thought of consistency trumps intensity applies to the concept of working through a movement and with a certain weight until you absolutely own it before advancing the movement or moving onto the next weight.  Many people don’t have the patience to appreciate the time it takes to truly OWN a movement or a weight.

At the same time it applies to an appreciation for the basics.  If you are a master of a movement, and of a weight, you train the basics like a pro and you don’t need all the bells and whistles.  The basics are enough.

This thought also applies to the simple concept of just being consistent with your training and the fruits of your labor will show themselves someday.  Like an “Ah ha!” or a “What the heck??” moment.  For example, when I was training for the Iron Maiden Challenge this past year, back in March, a few people suggested that I clean the 28kg (~62lbs) to help the 24kg (~53lbs) feel light when I go to clean and press it.  I tried, and I could not clean the 28kg at that time.  After that I didn’t touch the 28kg except for maybe two-handed swings and suitcase carries.  In August I went to clean it and it floated right up no problem.  I didn’t have to clean the 28kg in order to clean the 28kg.  I just continued on with all of my other training and by being consistent, and by being patient, I became strong enough to clean it.  You don’t have to clean the 28kg in order to clean the 28kg and this doesn’t just apply to cleaning the 28kg.  It applies to everything in training.  Get it?

How does this apply to 10,000 Swings in 28-days?  If followed properly, this program forces you to be consistent with your training and to repeat the same movements, therefore allowing you to delve deeper into your swing and any of the strength movements you’ve chosen.  The volume of the swings forces you to choose a lighter weight than you would probably choose for your two handed swings so you truly have to work on the form of your swing.

Some of you have mentioned that you have had to break up the sets of 50 reps; I guarantee that with consistency and patience training this program that before the 28-days is over you will no longer have to break up your sets of swings.

Again today I layered up for my training because it’s been working well to stay warm like that.  I had to dive deep for mental motivation today because of how I was feeling.  Today was Day 4 of 10,000 swings in 28-days and I trained 18kg swings and double 18kg overhead presses (~80lbs).  To put this into perspective I’m 5 foot 1 inch tall (on a tall day) and I weigh on average 117lbs; so an 80lbs press is about 70% of my bodyweight.  I can press double 18kgs for multiple sets of 5 reps.  I wish I could use double 20kgs (88lbs – 76% of my bodyweight) for this program but the max that I can press the double 20kgs is for multiple sets of 2 reps.  Maybe by the end of this program I’ll be strong enough to do that.

I warmed up with 3 sets racked carries, get-ups, moderate dead-lifts, and body saw with sliders on the turf.  Then I went on to train the following:

 5 Rounds of:

10 2H Swings with 18kg

1 Double Bell Press with 18kgs

15 2H Swings with 18kg

2 Double Bell Press with 18kgs

25 2H Swings with 18kg

3 Double Bell Press with 18kgs

50 2H Swings with 18kg

2 min rest (I stretched and breathed during this time)

Total: 500 swings and 30 Double Bell Press with 18kgs

I found the sets of 50 swings the most challenging today because I was tired and my fingertips were on FIYAAHHH! (Translation: Fire).  I played with mental tactics to count swings in order to occupy my mind during the sets of 50 reps.  In the past two training sessions I found that counting up to 30 and then down from 20 worked best for me.  Today I played with counting 5 sets of 10 reps for the 50 reps.  Anything to take my mind off the fingers on FIYAH!  In the end I went back to counting up to 30 and then down from 20.  For some reason that seemed to work best for me.

Here is set number 5 from today, both swings and presses.  It’s incredibly boring (big snore!) but I figured if you’re training this program along with me and you’re struggling one day maybe it will give you the motivation to push through because today I was struggling and I found the mental strength to get it done.

If you’re following along with this program please keep me updated on how it’s going and please share with me,  What mental tactics do YOU use to get through your sets of 50 swings?

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