I took a little break from my "regular" workouts to take up Dan John's "10,000 Swing Kettlebell Workout Challenge". The program was designed to cut bodyfat and increase work capacity. I started 11-05-13 and ended yesterday ( 12-05-13). I did my workouts 5 days per week, in a two-on, 1 off pattern as recommended. 4 days included a strength exercise as described below, and one day was swings only.
The format: women are to use a 35 lb. kettlebell for 2-handed swings ( men minimum 50 lbs.). There are 4 sets of swings moving from set 1- 10 swings, set 2- 15 swings, set 3- 25 swings, set 4- 50 swings. In sets 1-3, the swings are followed by a low-volume strength exercise a 30-60 second rest interval(RI).
Using a 5RM weight for each strength exercise, the set looks like this:
1. 10 swings, 1 rep strength exercise, RI
2. 15 swings, 2 reps strength, RI
3. 25 swings, 3 reps strength, RI
4. 50 swings, RI of up to 180 seconds
This set is repeated 4 more times for a total of 5 rounds. Total rounds take between 35-45 minutes.
The strength moves included uni DB overhead press, weighted pushups, front squats, pullups, and one leg squats.
How did I fair? Well, I feel like my work capacity improved, but empirically, my total workout times stayed constant. I lost 4 pounds, but I was also doing 60 minutes of daily semi-fasted cardio. I didn't measure my bodyfat, which I should have done.
My first workout was 37:58 with 32.5 lb. unilateral DB overhead press.
My last workout was 36:32 with narrow grip pullups. That's only a 4% overall improvement. Hmmm.
My swings-only days improved from 34:03 to 32:29. 5% improvement.
I did enjoy the challenge, but I think my lack of better results was a result of being what Dan John calls being "underbelled." I might have needed to go with a 45 lb. or heavier kettlebell.
Why don't you give "swingin'" a try and let me know how you fare? It's not as much fun as eating chocolate pie, but it's sure better for your body.
Her brother was on the sofa, eatin' chocolate pie,
her Mama was in the kitchen cuttin' chicken up to fry.
Her daddy was in the backyard rollin' up a garden hose,
I was on the porch with Charlotte, feelin' love down to my toes...
and we were Swingin', yes we were Swingin'...
Little Charlotte she's as pretty as the angels when they sing,
I can't believe I'm out here on her front porch in this swing,
(Swingin", John Anderson)