As I await another coach to
visit with for my work on a Friday evening, this seems like the best time if
any to start up a little blog for the end of the month.
January is coming to a close soon and it feels like it’s blown by – at times it literally has between wind chill advisories and blizzard like conditions we have encountered throughout this winter in 2013-14. If you’re in the area of northwestern
I’ve never been a big advocate for resolutions at the beginning of the year. I’m more of the “let’s set a goal and accomplish it in a certain amount of time” no matter what time of year it happens to be. Setting your mind to that goal, figuring out what you need to do in order to get it done, then actually going out and doing it.
One thing started in 2014 was a twenty-five week challenge that incorporates one of the best workouts I’ve ever tried: kettle bells. I've been told they’re worthless, much like I've been told the shoes I wear are stupid. Opinions are a great thing and I’m glad people do use their freedom to speak their mind. To me, it’s in one ear and out the other. I hear it, but I don’t let it sink in. I know what kettle bells do for me, much like I know the numerous benefits the Vibrams have done for me since using them. All I can say is, that I’m glad Scheels was out of Nike Free’s when I was shopping for them that evening and just so happened to have my size in these freakishly strange looking “toe shoes”.
This little note is not about shoes or about bells, nor is it about my own opinion regarding anything fitness. This is about setting a goal and working to accomplish it.
I found on the internet
something called the “50,000 Kettle Bell Swing Challenge”. I wish I could incorporate music with the
title on this blog – I don’t know what it would sound like or which song I
would use, but boy would it be awesome!
50,000. That’s a big number when it comes to a goal. 50,000 reps in a twenty-five week period. That’s 2,000 reps a week. Break it down, that’s less than three hundred a day. I guess that’s still quite a few, isn't it? Now I should tell you that you only do it four days a week. Two days on, one off, two on. Repeat that measure and keep it rolling for twenty-five weeks of pure fun and excitement. That makes for easy math - four days a week equals five hundred swings a day when you're on a workout day.
50,000 swings. Have you ever seen a kettle bell swing done before? If you haven’t, you should ask my friend Jason about them. Ask my fiancé Sara about them. Ask anyone that’s tried them for a first time to see what they thought of them. Most new comers, including myself at the time a few years ago, will refer to them as “those f*%$^ing kettle bells”. Not all will use an asterisk, percent sign, dollar sign or the up sign, but they’d probably put something up if you asked them how they liked them after the first week!
Kettle bell swings are generally simple. The motion is very easy. It’s just the matter of hanging on to it with both hands, using your arms as a lever to let it swing (hence the name, kettle bell swing) back and forth using a thrusting motion with your hips as you snap it back like hiking a football, almost smacking your buttocks. How can that be such a good workout? Use a twenty pound bell and try it sometime. Maybe start out with a ten pounder, just to be safe! Do three rounds of thirty. If that seems easy, try another round. No more than two minutes of rest between the repetitions. A third round would be final for you if you can handle it.
50,000 swings. How is it done?
I adjusted it to make it just swinging with different breaks. I like to be original every once in a while.
Fifty swings, quick rest (15-20 seconds), fifty more, long rest (90 seconds to two minutes). Fifty swings, quick rest, fifty swings, long rest.
Plain and simple: Ten rounds of fifty swings, the only thing different is the rest time.
The first time I did this, I was burnt by the fourth round. Now after two weeks of steady repetition and keeping on track (for the most part) I don’t get burnt so bad until the sixth round or so. Depending on how I feel that day.
My goal? Not just to reach 50,000 swings in twenty-five weeks, but to be able to make it through the entire workout without that same burn I felt the first couple weeks of training. I think that is everyone’s main goal, to hope things get easier as you go, because you’re putting in the time to make it happen.
As you can see from my experience, it is happening. You do get stronger, you do get less tired, but it does take time and it won’t happen in huge chunks. You’ll take your spills you’ll feel the pain, even after a couple weeks or three of doing them after you've started to get into a groove. You’ll have bad days; you’ll have great days. No matter what the day is like, just remember this: KEEP GOING. Don’t quit because the week sucked! Be happy your body is responding to you and telling you to quit. Mental strength is just as important (in my mind, much more important) as physical strength! You need to know the difference between pain and hurt, and keep moving if it’s just pain. Pain, soreness, tight muscles, they’re all part of a good workout. There’s plenty of ways to alleviate the soreness & pain directly after a workout and days after if needed, but the thing you can’t alleviate is regret. Saying you will and then you don’t will hurt you more in the long run than the pain you feel after a good physical session of getting out and being active.
50,000. Much like your age, it’s just a number. 50,000 is achievable. Not in one day unless you’re nuts. But it is achievable if you MAKE IT ACHIEVABLE. Set realistic goals that last no less than a couple months. Consistency is the key. If you need help, get it. There will be someone out there who would be willing to step in and assist you with your goals.
If you’re way up nortski, I wish you happy training, warmth and frozen sweat!
You’re working to a goal – make it happen!
One step at a time, you will
do it and you will be glad you did. In the mean time, since you're on a computer or your cellular device, check out kettle bells - google them. YouTube them. Use what ever engine you want to check them out and see if you want to join me in the craziness.
Posted by Kurt Philion.