Days 5, 6, and 9: Swing-aholics Anonymous
Hi, my name is Artemis and I’m a swing-aholic… I enjoy lifting heavy things and crushing kettlebell swings. Friday was Day 6 of the 10,000 Swings in 28-Days program for me. On Day 6 I trained just swings, no strength movement. I decided to swing the 20kg (44lbs) for my swings because after a week of using the 18kg (~40lbs) for my swings it was becoming manageable and I was pretty sure that I could successfully complete the sets of 50 two handed swings with 20kg; I won’t lie though, I was scared. However, as I finished set 3, I was a little less scared about the remaining two sets of 50 two-handed swings with 20kg.
The Day before on Day 5 I trained double 18kg (80lbs) Front Squats with my swings so I wasn’t sure how my legs would feel on Day 6, but I wasn’t sore at all. Below is a round of the double kettlebell font squats. I quite enjoy my wardrobe choice of a purple top and red, white, and black striped fleece socks…
Double 18kg (80lbs) Front Squats
So what is so scary about sets of 50 two-handed swings? Well let’s briefly discuss the difference between one-handed swings and two-handed swings. I could do 100 (or more) consecutive swings if they were one-handed using both right and left hands or other varying grips (right and left handed, hand to hand, and two-handed). With consecutive two-handed swings it’s not the endurance challenge, or even the challenge of the weight (20kg is a light two-handed swing size bell for me as usually I swing anywhere from 24kg (53lbs) to 32kg (70lbs) for two-handed swings on a regular basis) but rather the grip challenge of holding onto the kettlebell with both hands for one minute and fifteen seconds as you complete the 50 reps; if you don’t know what I’m talking about, then give it a try.
Before I started my sets of swings I warmed up with racked carries, get-ups, heavy singles for pull-ups (there is no way I am doing pull-ups just once a week for 28 days!), light dead-lifts, handstand push-up progressions, and standing ab wheel rollouts.
I trained 10 heavy singles for pull-ups before I started my swings, 18kg (40lbs), 20kg (44lbs), 22kg (50lbs), 24kg (53lbs), then the remaining 6 sets with 22kg. My plan was to finish with 6 more sets of singles of the 24kg but it didn’t feel great on Friday. I completed the rep but it wasn’t the best 24kg pull-up I had ever done. So I dropped the weight to 22kg because those were feeling much better.
Here are sets 7 through 10…
22kg (50lbs) Pull-up Singles
After that I moved onto my 500 swings… As I moved through the sets of 50 two-handed swings with 20kg my grip held up just fine but I found that I was getting a bit gassed and my legs were getting tired towards the last 10 swings or so. Surprisingly I finished the swings in 30 minutes and 30 seconds and I even took longer rest periods after sets three and four of the 50 swings. Longer rest meaning an extra 30 seconds to 1 minute on top of the 2 minutes I had planned. However, I found that too much rest is not good for me; that extra 30 seconds to a minute did me more harm then good because my heart rate recovered too much, and my body temperature dropped. I remembered that for Sunday’s and yesterday’s training and kept the rest after 50 swings to anywhere from 1 to 2 minutes.
I’ve found that listening to the right music for me is key during the sets of 50 swings. Trance/Electronic music tends to work well for me because it has a steady, calm beat that keeps me focused and moving. On Friday some of the songs on my playlist were:
- Wake Up Club Mix [feat. Naan], Adam K
- I Remember, deadmau5 & Kaskade
- Raining (dance.love Edit) [feat Sunsun], Kaskade & Adam K
- Save the World, Swedish House Mafia [Extended Mix]
- Together Alright [Martijn ten Velden 2010 club Mix], Martijn ten Velden & Red Carpet
- Spectrum [feat. Matthew Koma], Zedd
- Thinking About You [feat. Ayah Marar], Calvin Harris
I know this music isn’t everyone’s favorite but it works for me when I need to zone out and just do the work.
Below are sets 2 and 5 of the 50 two-handed swing sets with 20kg. I miscounted on set number 2 and did only 49 swings, but I’m sure I made up for it the day before because I’m fairly confident I an extra set of 15 swings and two double front squats.
WARNING: The following video is EXTREMELY boring.
2okg (44lbs) Two Handed Swings – Sets of 50 Repetitions
After I finished my swings I was talking to Eric and he told me that for his last set of 50 two handed swings that day he did a set of 100 two-handed swings. I said to him “You’re crazy.” He finished week four of his program that day with the 24kg (53lbs), so it makes sense. He should be able to do that at this point in the program. He is training four days per week for five days. So this week is his last week. For me, I’d rather go up a bell size for my swings then do more swings with a lighter bell, but that’s me. He and I have our differences when it comes to training. I hope that by the end of the 28-days I can do a day of 500 two-handed swings with 24kg. We’ll see how the next few weeks go with the 20kg.
The sets of swings with 20kg have been going well, even paired with a strength movement these past few days. Yesterday I trained weighted pull-ups with my swings. Last week I used 14kg (30lbs) and it was really manageable and I did not get sore in the days after that training session to today I decided to raise my weighed pull-up weight to 16kg (35lbs). Yesterday I trained 30 weighted pull-ups with 16kg and 500 two-handed swings with 20kg. It went really well and surprisingly was not that hard. Maybe because I was expecting the change in both the swing weight AND the pull-up weight to crush me and my grip, but it was very manageable.
This a video of rounds two and five of weighted pull-ups. Clearly between my legwarmers and my socks I couldn’t care less about matching or looking fashionable while I train haha! Well, at least I was warm! 🙂
30 16kg (35lbs) Weighted Pull-ups – Rounds 2 and 5
Today is usually an “active recovery” day for me and normally I go to hot vinyasa yoga. However, because of the Christmas Holiday tomorrow, on which I plan to do absolutely nothing except lounge in my sweats and watch movies, I am training my swings and double bell presses today so that I can enjoy my “off” day tomorrow.
If you are also doing this program, are you seeing any strength gains or body changes? I know it’s only been 9 days, but it’s possible!