I’m sure that’s one of the questions that probably runs
through your mind sometimes reading my newsletters.
Quite frankly, I wouldn’t blame you for asking that.
The truth is I DO HATE swings, but not for the reason you
might think. (More on that in a minute…)
Swings are an excellent KB exercise – one that every single
person using a KB should spend some time – a fair amount
of time – doing.
How much time and how many swings?
Well you should plan on doing at LEAST 10,000 or more
just to get a feel for the “hinge” – after all, the Swing is
THE foundational KB movement.
Here’s the deal:
If all you EVER do is swings, then you’re missing out.
(Unless of course you have shoulders that don’t go over
your head, then that’s another thought for another day.)
– You’re missing out on the upper body strength and muscularity
that comes from the Press (or the Clean + Press).
– You’re missing out on the hip mobility and strengthening
of your pelvic floor and the rest of your core musculature from
the Goblet Squat, not to mention the strength that comes
from the regular front squat.
– You’re missing out on the sheer brute power and “android-
like” work capacity that results from heavy Snatches.
– And you’re definitely missing out on the total body strength,
muscle, and conditioning built from the double KB exercises –
which are another animal altogether.
So why limit yourself?
You’re not a monk are you?
(If you are, and have taken a vow of “swings-only” then
please ignore the rest of this email.)
Why miss out on all the wonderful benefits the KB has to
If using dumbbells in your training is like eating a sundae,
then using KBs for all the traditional movements – like
Presses, Squats, Cleans and Snatches is like putting
extra whipped cream on your sundae –
It’s just makes training – your workouts – so much tastier.
In fact, I would even go so far as to say, the “average” person –
[SIDE NOTE: What a “crock” – the “average” person
doesn’t even work out – at least not intelligently – that is -
with KBs training “our” way.]
I would go so far as to say – you, me, those of us who
use KBs – would derive the absolute most benefit from our
strength training if we spent most of our time training with
KBs, instead of other tools like the barbell.
(Bodyweight is always a good idea too.)
What’s the “best” plan then for using KBs?
Of course it all depends on your goals.
For the most part, mixing up your single KB workouts with
double KB workouts throughout the year will yield the
best results for most people.
And I don’t just mean random haphazard workouts either.
I’m talking about blocks of time.
6 weeks of singles work followed by 12-16 weeks of
You can use the singles to help correct imbalances you
And the doubles will serve as a “check” to see how well
you did with your corrections and of course, they will just
get you all over strong.
Then come back and double-check to make sure you’re
still “even” with the singles.
Rinse and repeat.
Singles. Doubles. Singles. Doubles.
Doubles however are more challenging than singles and
offer less “wiggle room” in the technique and movement
Make durn sure you know – KNOW – not “guess” how to do
the double KB techniques correctly.
Practice, practice, practice your technique using the videos
and then follow the programs inside to get as strong as you
want to be.
And just to show you I really do like Swings – they are the
go-to exercise of choice for the “One” program – the
conditioning program that’s a part of the “Kettlebell STRONG!”
Now go have a strong rest of the day.
P.S. I almost forgot to tell you why I hate Swings:
Yeah, yeah, I know – I’m the guy who preaches against
entertaining yourself with your workouts.
I’m also the guy who is used to HEAVY explosive
lifting – the barbell Snatch and the barbell Clean +
And higher rep swings just don’t compare in my book
to the Olympic lifts.
That doesn’t mean I don’t or won’t do them.
I recognize their value and will force myself to do
them for their myriad of benefits – not the least of
which is that when I was seriously Olympic lifting
they raised my work capacity for my sport – that is –
they allowed me to recover faster so I could lift
SO – Unless you have 10+ years of heavy Olympic
lifting training under your belt (and no, I don’t wear a
belt while training), then I suggest you take the time
to build the foundation for all your KB training on
Ignore this advice at your own risk.
If you’ve done your Swings and are looking to go
to the next level – it’s right here.