Can you swing a kettlebell 10,000 times in one month?

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As the new year looms many people will decide that 2017 is the year they are going to get fit meaning that gym memberships across the country sky rocket in January. However, by the 2nd week of February around 80% of the new year influx of people have stopped going.

Clearly, the public taking an active interest in revamping their lifestyle and trying to make themselves healthier is not something to be frowned upon. However, the massive increase in people using the gym, attending classes and using the facilities does have an impact on current gym-goers training regimes. The 10,000 Swing Kettlebell Workout was suggested to me by my old personal trainer and we decided to attempt the challenge together. After completing it myself and seeing the results I am keen to suggest this workout to people, who like me, reached a plateau in their training and were beginning to lose interest.

One of the main reasons for people to lose interest or focus at the gym is because of boredom – they have been training in the same way for too long. The body becomes used to the exercise and it is therefore not challenging. This workout will certainly change all of that.

At a first glance this seems totally unrealistic! The prospect of swinging a moderately heavy kettlebell 10,000 times in one month does seem daunting and rightly so! Yet this high intensity, short and challenging workout gets results quickly and has been proven to greatly improve strength, power and all round fitness.

The 10,000 kettle bell swing challenge was created by Dan John and is designed to be completed within four weeks. The workout requires minimal equipment –  a kettlebell, clearly – and one other piece of equipment (depending on what workout you are doing). The plan suggest that you work out five times a week doing 500 swings per session. So within one week you have already completed 2,500 swings and by the end of the 4th week the 10,000 swings have been accomplished. Women are recommended to use a 16kg kettlebell whereas men are advised to up the intensity and use a 24kg bell. The swings are combined with a few core strength moves, which could include; pull up’s, goblet squats, military presses and tricep dips. These exercises are included to increase whole body power however the main move of the work out is the swing. Detailed description of how the daily sessions are broken down into sets can be found here.

I completed this workout in January this year and intend to do it at the start 2017. It’s something that works really well during the “new year’s resolution period” as the sessions take roughly around 25-40 minutes to complete, require minimal equipment and barely any space. These are just a few examples of how I benefitted from the challenge:

  • I dropped a dress size and my waist was noticeably smaller
  • My glutes became noticeably stronger (and bigger!) I noticed I could squat around 20kg more than my previous 1rm
  • I had increases stamina and strength for the classes I was regularly attending before – I was scared I was going to have to drop my weights right down after not going to BodyPump for a month yet I was able to add more weight on to my previous personal best
  • The muscles on my upper back and shoulder were much more clearly defined and were stronger
  • My grip strength had improved
  • My strength in core movements and lifts had improved

The kettlebell swing is obviously the fundamental movement in this work out and nailing the perfect technique for that will really maximise your results. The key to perfect swing is to; keep the back straight, bend the knees slightly – but not too much, keep knees soft the whole time, keep the kettlebell at shoulder height when it’s at the top of the swing, generate the power from the butt and hips by thrusting the hips forwards on every single swing and not using the arms to lift the kettlebell, keep the shoulders back and pinch the shoulder blades slightly together and keep the majority of the weight in the heels – this activates and engages the whole of the posterior chain (all the muscles down the back of the body) and is the secret to getting a great butt!

 

This workout is designed make you push yourself and is only intended for people who already have a substantial degree of strength through their posterior chain. No other training is necessary when completing the kettlebell challenge and if you feel you can do any other kind of exercise whilst doing it either the weights aren’t heavy enough, the resting periods between sets are too long or you’re not committing 100% effort. It is a really worthwhile training programme and the I was genuinely proud to say at the end of four weeks I had swung a kettlebell ten thousand times!

Good luck and happy swinging!

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