10,000 Swings... But... Why...?

10,000 swings in a month: how and why...

In the month of July, we, as a gym community are embarking on the 10, 000 swing challenge.  This essentially means that as a group, we are striving to hit 400-500 swings, five days per week, for four to five weeks.  It also means that as a group, we are hoping to crest over a total of five million kilograms moved for the month (Barry, that’s almost 400 double decker buses).

To a certain extent, the venerable Dan John explains both in this T-Nation article (https://www.t-nation.com/workouts/10000-swing-kettlebell-workout). Essentially, as outlined above, 500 swings Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, for four weeks.  Although, for us, we’re employing a little more grace, and while many of us are aiming to be complete within the four weeks, we are tacking on a fifth week for people to do what they can, because life happens.

The why is a little more interesting.  Our typical training methodology avoids anything that deteriorates our power or form for our swings, and this is also not optimal for improving the function of our mitochondria or really our energy systems.  So why on earth are we doing it?  Anyone who has read Pavel’s work closely will have seen that he recommends occasional heat checks and periods of harder work.  These serve multiple purposes with two of the main ones being to test and improve your mentality, and to stimulate responses that are beneficial only periodically that improve our bodies tolerance to intense exercise.  For us, it also serves as an opportunity to build our community and work towards a common goal.

Which brings me to today...

Today is Thursday, from Monday to Wednesday this week, I had the dubious pleasure of performing 1500 swings and then waddling around the neighbourhood with some significant hamstring tightness.  Here are some of the things that I’ve learned so far:
  1. Epsom salt baths alleviate discomfort greatly
  2. Coming into 10 000 swings without having done a lot of ballistics recently is a terrible idea
  3. My clients are great, and given a target to strive for, are willing to work hard and push their limits.
  4. 50 swings are not going to happen with good form at the end of 500 swings, and breaking them up for most people is a necessity.
  5. Adding some single hand swings (a la Tracy Reifkind) into longer sets increases quality and decreases the mental energy required for the longer sets.
  6. Hard work is way more fun with great people around

Across this month, I’m going to touch base with my clients, and let people know how we’re going towards our group target of 400 double-decker buses moved, and how everything is going for me in particular (because everyone obviously wants to know... right?), and just generally touch base around what we’re doing.

We’ll probably do this next July as well, and hopefully next time we can make our community that much larger as we all strive to do this together with people as a group both in and outside the gym.
qkbPiers Kwan