Dan John’s 10,000 Kettlebell Swing Challenge – Day 3

So Day 3 of the 10,000 Kettlebell swing challenge came around awful fast. Yesterday my back was in pieces, not because I think my technique lets me down, but because of the volume through the hamstrings and glutes, they have tightened up causing imbalances elsewhere.

Anyway, a massage yesterday helped, and this morning, the tightness had faded.

Today's strength move was dips. The workout looked like this:

10 kettlebell swings

2 dips

15 kettlebell swings

3 dips

25 kettlebell swings

5 dips

50 kettlebell swings

Repeat 5 times.

two barbells in a power rack set up for dipping

Although my hands were not in a good way this was the best workout so far. My grip strength is noticeably extended, and having greased the groove of the movement, it just seemed to go quicker/easier

Time for the work is now down to 47 mins including the standardised 3 mins rest I take between sets. I think I'll knock that down to 2 mins soon though as its more than adequate. Pull ups tomorrow then back to the front squats on Sunday after a rest day.

8,500 to go...

Dan John’s 10,000 Kettlebell Swing Challenge – Day 2 and Rest Day

Yesterday was Day 2 in the 10,000 kettlebell swing challenge, today is a rest day. Instead of squats, I performed a strict overhead barbell press with my 5RM. So it went like this:

10 kettlebell swings

1 OH press

15 kettlebell swings

2 OH press

25 kettlebell swings

3 OH press

50 kettlebell swings

Rest and repeat 4 more times.

On picking up the kettlebell for the first time it felt like a 32.....but after the cobwebs were blasted away, the workout was more manageable than yesterday. The experience of having done it before helped, but I'm not sure the overhead press requires quite as much from you as a front squat. I got through yesterday slightly quicker than Day 1, pacing myself better and requiring less rest before heading into the presses.

Image of hand with callusts and tape
If only skin was made of zinc oxide tape

The destruction of my hands continues, but a days rest will (might) do them the world of good. Although I try to take my time to be strict on form when under fatigue, the fact that my hamstrings and glutes have gone on strike from the sheer volume of swings, this has caused some subsequent tightness in my lower back. I'm off to get a massage to ease things out today. Based on how tight I feel, this could be worse than the workout!

I'm glad its tough, and although I know there is far more discomfort to come, I'm strangely looking forward to it!

1,000 swings down - 9,000 to go.

Dan John’s 10,000 Kettlebell Swing Challenge – Day 1

Today I started Dan John's 10,000 kettlebell swing challenge.

I'd been recently looking for something to kickstart my training, and although I'd read about this when the article above was published, it was reading Intervention (also by Dan John) that got me thinking about it again. Lately, my training has been very unstructured, but I've found myself with increasing motivation to do something that I can really give my all to.

Because of other commitments, I'll only be averaging 4 sessions a week over the next 5 (not 4) weeks to get it done. As a compromise I'm planning to do the strength movements every session (even on the weeks I do hit 5 sessions). I'm not fussed that its over 5 weeks, as 10,000 swings is 10,000 swings - I am under no illusion it will be easy either way!

And so today I started...

Image of 24kg kettlebell on mat with drips of sweat
My nemesis....

For an indication of what that looked like, todays session was:

10 kettlebell swings

1 front squat

15 kettlebell swings

2 front squat

25 kettlebell swings

3 front squat

50 kettlebell swings

Rest and repeat 4 more times.

It was a bit of a baptism of fire. I'm not particularly well conditioned and the whole 5 sets with a 24kg kettlebell and 50kg front squat took me 53 mins to grind through! The first set was done in 5 mins....the last one took nearly 11!

The weights will stay the same across the 20 workouts, and the other movements I have selected are overhead press, dips and pull ups. Hopefully as my fitness and strength improve, the time will come down.

But today was carnage. I've already ripped a sizeable portion of  skin off one finger, and so I'm looking forward to another 500 swings on that tomorrow. 50 consecutive swings was just too much after that first set, and so I soon started to break it down as best I could to retain form. It got ugly. But it got done. Only 9,500 swings to go.....

Image of calluses and tape on hands
I have a feeling this might be the best they look for a while...

That's all for now folks, but stay posted for more updates on my progress.

Meeting of the Minds Conference 2015 – A Summary

Meeting of the Minds 2015 is one of a few strength and conditioning conferences establishing itself in the UK. Now that I've had a chance to review and digest the events, I thought I would expand a little on my thoughts of the conference format and content.

The format

This is the second time I’ve had a change to tune in to the online conferences run by @sandceducation and in many ways they work really well. The ability to gain access to professionals from across the globe is a big draw. I like my tech, and I am always thinking how might I be able to utilise technology to improve what I do and this is a great example. To be anywhere and have the ability to tune into such a breadth of speakers within this industry is just something that would not be possible without great expense or impracticality. Technology is moving at such a rate, I think I’ve even started to take the idea of a virtual conference for granted. I have already started to look into developing my own online material using similar technologies to interact with clients and engage with them in different ways.

Using reasonably novel communication techniques such as a webinar is of course a double edged sword. While I was able to tether my tablet to my mobile and watch at work in the evenings (very smugly too), the gotowebinar app on android is not entirely bug free. I was literally plunged back into the dark ages when I ended up having to dial in to a section of Nick Winkelman’s talk from my mobile – oh the horror!

I would urge speakers not to include too much video, unless they know they have a lightning fast connection and system. Obviously if a picture can be worth a thousand words etc, then a video….etc. But a lagging disjointed video can also completely disengage the viewer. What a webinar gains in global connectivity, it loses in closeness and rapport development. There is certainly a fine line to be trod, and I think the format is one that would test even the most experienced of speakers when it comes to delivering a truly engaging talk. I am happy to say that most of the speakers were however pretty much there or thereabouts in this regard.

The content

Over the past week I have been mulling over how I would summarise my thoughts of the conference. One theme that I felt appeared again and again, was that of integration. Whether it is seamlessly integrating the role as an S&C coach into the broader environment, or the knowledge of others into one’s everyday practice, it is clearly something that as an S&C coach one needs to be aware of. So in that vein, I’ve made a rough and ready attempt to integrate the themes and topics of the talk into one place. To do this I’ve tested out (and integrated into my own skill set) coggle, a free piece of software I came across during the talks, used by Mladen Jovanovic. Hopefully it will summarise some of the over-arching themes covered by the speakers, and show some of the similarities in their philosophies, thoughts and processes. It’s by no means exhaustive and obviously specific to my perspective, but hopefully it still presents a more engaging piece of content than you would get from me blithering on for a few more paragraphs. Please enjoy and share!

Meeting of the Minds International Online Conference 2015 – A Summary

First of all, may I congratulate and thank Brendan (and all the quality speakers) on another great online strength and conditioning conference - Meeting of the Minds 2015. I tuned in last year and it really is an innovative idea that seems to work very well.

For those that didn't catch it all, I've included a Storify timeline of some of the main tweets throughout this year's Meeting of the Minds online conference. Over the next week, I will put together a post with some more detailed thoughts.

In the mean time, share, tweet and enjoy!