I remember the day I wrote the workouts in The Swing. Writing workouts #1-#5 were easy as these routines were the exact progressions I used in every beginners class I taught (and still teach today). For weeks after I first learned the two hand swing (8kg) I did nothing other than swing the kettlebell, mostly because I wasn’t interested in learning anything else….mostly because I didn’t think it would “do anything”. And by that I meant I was highly skeptical and very resistant to giving this weird looking iron ball with a handle credit to produce any kind of results! But swing away I did!
Some, many, would think doing only swings would be boring! But not me 🙂 I was fine and quickly found ways to entertain myself. One of the first things I did was to time my reps and sets. I noticed that it took me exactly 15 seconds to complete 10 swing repetitions. It was at this point that I started playing with the clock and interval swing training took over my workouts. If 10 reps took 15 seconds, then 20 reps would take 30, and 40 reps would take 1 minute….let’s see…. Let’s try it again…..and again…and again…. I became lost in a trance of timing my swing reps! And lucky for me that I did! Little did I know at the time that The Swing, and now SwingLean was born! I am the first and only Instructor that has built a practice and a business training and teaching “swing only” workouts!
When I attended my first Instructor Certification in April of 2006 (RKC, Russian Kettlebell Challenge, or Certification) I remember Steve Maxwell taking all of us candidates into the gym and telling us he was going to have us swing for 30 seconds at a time. You should have heard all the moans and groans! It was hilarious to me because 95% of the candidates were guys, supposed to be hard core, rough and tough fighters, some former military, personal trainers/coaches, etc., and I knew 30 seconds of swings was a mere 20 reps! So, I grabbed my bell and dutifully started swinging, in my head counting 1-2-3-4…..20, exactly! No surprise to me, and since I had been training the swing specifically, swinging for 30 seconds and longer was easy 🙂
Wow how far we’ve come! Not only in terms of work capacity, but at many Certification Courses here in the US I’d guess close to 50% of candidates are female!
Both Mark and I have credited our own transformations in large part to the kettlebell, specifically the swing. Mark has since dubbed the kettlebell swing as “the center of the Kettlebell Universe” and slightly adjusting one of Steve Maxwell’s phrases to reflect his experience both personal and as a top level Instructor and coach:
“The kettlebell swing is the best strength and conditioning exercise for 99% of all people!”-Steve Maxwell
“The kettlebell swing is the best strength and conditioning exercise for 100% of all people, 99% of the time!”-Mark Reifkind
Many of my original routines made their way into The Swing and every single workout is as relevant today as it was when I first did them. Each one can be used as a template for unlimited workouts. Proving this, the last two months I’ve recorded a weekly version of #6 and #8 for my Gumroad subscription members. I’ll share one with you, and another super advanced version I did during one of my own Thursday morning workouts 🙂 (never before published)
10 2 hd swings x 5 sets
5 R/ 5 L one hand swings x 5 sets
5 R/ 5 L + 5 R/ 5 L x 2 sets
1 swing, 1 transfer swing x 10 (20 reps)
20 2 hand swings 5 sets (options to add reps)
alternate the next 3 sets x 5 (options to add reps)
20 2 hd swings
5 R/ 5 L + 5 R/ 5 L x 5 sets
1 sw, 1 tr x 10
600 swings, 30 minutes.
Be warned that this next workout is not for beginners and is HARD….and when I say “hard”, I mean “fun”! The bulk of this routine is sets of 80 reps, alternated with sets of 40 reps, with 50% less rest between sets. The good news is that before each set of 80 (2 minutes of consecutive swings) there is a full minute to recover from the previous set. A method I call “reverse rest”. This routine was inspired by workout #8…and if you haven’t guessed, the theme is “swing transfers” 🙂
20 2 hand swing (30/30)
1 sw, 1 tr x 10 (30/30)
40 2 hand swings (1 min, 30 sec)
1 sw, 1 tr x 20 (1 min/1 min)
10R/10L x 4 (80 reps, 2 min work/30 sec rest)
40 2 hand swings (1 min work, 1 min rest)
8R/ 8L x 10 (2 min/30 sec)
40 2 hd sw (1 min/1 min)
5 R/5L x 8 (2 min/30 sec)
40 2 hd sw (1 min/1min)
4R/4L x 20 (2 min/30 sec)
40 2 hd sw (1 min/1 min)
1 sw, 1 tr x 40 (2 min/30 sec)
40 2 hd sw (1 min/30 sec)
1 sw, 1 tr x 20 (1 min/30 sec)
20 2 hd sw (30/30
1 sw, 1 tr x 10.…done!
800 swings…I think, 30 min. 30 sec.
Maribel and I had some fun in the beginning, before it got hard and I joked about how we were turning into quite the team, our rapport reminded me of Dan and Bryan, two hosts of a podcast I did a couple of months ago! So, Dan, if you read this, I challenge you to give this workout a go!
If you liked these workouts and you live in the Long Island, NY area you need to come swing with me in person!!! I’m bringing SwingLean to the East Coast! Woo hoo! I’m so excited about the weekend of events I have booked for April 22 and 23 at Elite Girya in Deer Park NY. You can find all of the details in the links I provided as early bird prices are offered now until March 31 only! Not kidding! Buy your tickets and reserve your spot! Here is all the information listed below, just click on each link for details and tickets.
Saturday morning, 4/22, 8:00-9:00am I’m teaching and leading a One Hour SwingLean class for Intermediate and advanced kettlebellers. $39, after 3/31 – $45
This class is followed with a 60 minute lecture about Permanent Weight Loss, book signing that is included in the morning’s events (9:00-10:00am).
Starting at 10:00am, 4/22, right after the lecture we will invite people brand new to The Swing, and training kettlebells, to participate in a Learn The Swing. Click on this link for tickets and more information. $39, after 3/31 – $45
On Sunday, 4/23, I will teach a 4 hour workshop, Programming The Swing, Kettlebell Workshop, starting at 8:00am-12:00pm. This will be a crazy, crazy amount of swings and information about how to train the swing for clients, if you are an Instructor, or on your own, if you are a “serious exerciser”! You will NOT want to miss this workshop to learn how you can design your own hard, I mean fun, swing ONLY routines! $149, after 3/31 – $199
See you there?