That, coupled with the new existential threats of daily existence under the pandemic, meant I was eating a lot of takes out, and food became a distraction from the casual terror of everyday life. Dan John's 10,000 Kettle bell Swing Workout has earned a reputation as a simple, brutal fitness challenge.
The swings are supplemented with squats, presses, or dips for four of the weekly training sessions. John claims that people who have taken on the challenge dropped fat while adding muscle, saw noticeable improvements in posture and body composition, and made significant gains in overall strength.
I wanted a program that didn't require regular gym access while still offering big results to combat my pandemic pounds and general malaise. By the time the challenge was finished four weeks later, I had dropped nearly all the pandemic weight and a quarter of my body fat.
Week 1 of the 10,000 Kettle bell Swing Challenge There are thousands of trainers on the internet insisting their programs are the absolute best way for people to lose weight. You need to expel more energy than you're putting in (this is called a caloric deficit).
That can happen through careful focus on diet, exercise, or most effectively, some combination of the two. To keep me accountable and make sure I actually finished the 10,000 swings, I asked longtime friend and collaborator Diego Lopez, a comedian and model in Brooklyn, to complete the challenge with me.
During the pandemic that's meant coaching clients through Zoom and training sessions in the park. For people looking to improve their fitness with minimal equipment, Lopez has been a strong advocate for kettle bells.
“The kettle bell swing is a phenomenal pattern to strengthen the upright human being,” said Lopez. The first day of training Lopez completed his 500 swings with a 70-pound bell, but struggled with his grip.
The first day of swings (I used a 54-pound bell, as prescribed in John's workout design) and presses took me 38 minutes to complete. By the end of the last set I looked like I’d just stepped out of the shower and every part of my body felt sore.
One of the hardest things about hitting 500 reps in a workout was maintaining good form. Focusing on the hip hinge and being consistent with the swings can get exhausting, but that's kind of the point.
Part of the reason I had gained so much weight over the course of the pandemic lockdown—aside from the obvious stress eating—was because I stopped doing things consciously. I'd slam back a fourth park drink because they were far cheaper than what I'd pay in a bar.
Logging the calories and doing more or less the same workout each day wasn’t sexy, but it did give me a sense of control. With the beauty of hindsight I can understand what a success dropping three pounds in a week is, but it didn't feel that way at the time.
These feelings had more to do with the fact that a big assignment was ramping up at my day job than anything to do with diet or kettlebellswings. I had a huge project due that required late nights and multiple meetings.
The shame of explaining that I'd quit or missed a workout seemed worse than actually doing the swings. Lopez even shared a story about a late night message from a lady friend he left unheeded—he turned down the booty call to finish his swings.
My face looked noticeably thinner and clothes that had been feeling tight fit again. Getting a decent workout in at under half an hour was incredibly satisfying, even if I continued to look like Swamp Thing after I was finished.
He cut his record for completing 500 swings to an impressive 17 minutes, and dropped 10 pounds without tweaking his diet. My buddy, Diego Lopez, showing off his results from the program. I dropped 16 pounds in four weeks, going from 210 to 194.
While the 10,000 swing kettle bell challenge didn't leave me with visible abs or a superhero body, it did leave me in a significantly better body composition than when I started, which serves as proof of concept for Dan John's program. I kept hoping to come up with some kind of life changing revelation when I discussed the challenge with friends, but nothing profound came to mind.
If you make a plan, put in hard work, and remain consistent, you'll get results. So really, I think the challenge shows that you don't need a gym or personal trainer to get noticeable results from your workouts.
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. In this article, you will find the factors which will influence how many swings you should do, guidance on how to form fitness goals and finally some templates with advice on what to pick.
Based on your level you will do somewhere between 100 – 500 swings with a very high probability of coming in at the low end of 10×10 sets which is plenty. The question of how many kettle bell swings you should do lacks context as it depends on who you are and where you want to go in your fitness journey.
Based on this you can decide on the number of swings to make you grow and reach your goals. You want to be like a precise marksman, not a terrified rabbit running from a fox when you do the kettle bell swing.
If you are majorly interested in performance, specifically strength performance, the swing is a good tool to improve your hip hinge to address the dead lift lockout or develop more explosiveness on the second pull for the Olympic lifts. If absolute strength in the midsection is your main challenge you might be better off with good mornings or hip thrusts using a barbell.
You will see that the kettle bell front squat is easier on your wrists but a lot harder on the legs. In terms of health, it is good advice to stick close with what your physiotherapist says on exercise and how much load you can take.
If you are a bit advanced in age and want to do kettle bells to stay fit apply common sense that you might have to get used to the new movements longer than 30 years ago. Generally, the younger you are the quicker you grow, adapt and recover from and to different types of stress.
When picking your amount of swings keeps this in mind in correlation with all other factors to stay injury free and have fun with kettle bells. If you are chronically ill, especially when it comes to matters of the heart and lung, be mindful about the all-out sets for time.
If you have problems with your knees the kettle bell swing can be an excellent alternative to the squat as you do not go below parallel. If you have shoulder issues stay away from the American swing which brings the weight overhead.
Even if two people have the same age, height, weight and medical record it does not necessarily mean that they have the same fitness level. Some people are apt at picking up movement patterns while others are better at grinding through lifting a heavy load.
If your diet was always on spot and you avoided alcohol most of your life it is easier to condition your body than one which has been treated like a trash can. For this, the three areas outlined for you in this post of performance, health and weight loss are usually too broad.
You are more likely to achieve your goal by making it SMART, which means specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. To further support this goal I will exercise three times a week to build muscle mass doing 100 swings and ten Turkish get-ups with 16 kg.
The kettle bell is one tool you can use and include in your plan while there are other options like dumbbells, barbells, runs and rowing machines which can get you where you want to be. The process of planning includes looking at these and find the optimum way for you personally to reach the goal.
The more aggressive the goal is the more detailed the plan has to be successful as your margin for error shrinks. So if you want to lose 10 kg in a week you better plan all the meals, calorie intake and gym sessions in advance to have the slightest chance of getting there.
If however, you want to lose the same amount of weight in half a year, the plan does not need to be as airtight and you can focus more on monthly or quarterly milestones than daily activities. I do 100 swings and 10 Turkish get-ups a day to support my goals of a 200 kg back squat and 230 kg dead lift.
When you start out you might want to increase weight on a monthly basis until progress slows down to quarterly and half-yearly. Be aware that this is an approach which should only be done by individuals who are already a lot fitter than the average population, while the 100 swing routine can be done by anyone who does not have any major health issues to consider.
Women usually should pick somewhere between 8 kg to 16 kg while men will start with 12 kg to 24 kg depending on fitness level, age, weight, and goals. Women tend to underestimate themselves when picking their first kettle bell, well men have a tendency to overestimate what they can use.
If you are already a beast and squat 200 kg+ for repetitions, be my guest and pick the heaviest load you can find and do 500 a day. In brief, it is a very efficient way to burn fat, and you do not get the same effect from traditional “cardio” efforts, as we’ve come to know.
Secondarily, the swing is a marvelous and mighty movement for toughening and shaping the ass, limbering the hamstrings, and strengthening the low back. Instead, chunk it down into sets of ten, twenty, or maybe even fifty, and work them sporadically throughout the waking hours.
If I may venture an idea, do simply leave your kettle bell in a highest area of traffic in your house, say, the kitchen, and each time you encounter the cumbrous thing, work a set of swings to whatever number delights you. For an added bonus knock a set or two off right before you feed and right after, too, to ensure whatever gourd you take aboard is shuttled off preferentially to the hungry muscle flesh and not promptly converted and deposited where it might come off as unappealing.
I said the program is 300 kettlebellswings a day, and that premise, I believe, is plain enough to avoid any further elaborations. This 300 swings a day protocol is simply a splash of hot sauce, which can decorate nearly any dish and do it one better.