Week of 12/2/19: Workouts, December Kettlebell Swing Challenge; Wed/Th/Saturday workouts

Hi Folks,

Updated 12/6/19: I am cancelling SATURDAY HR / XTraining / Loaded Carries due Friday through Saturday rains.

update 12/3/19: Possible rain delays. If raining, Th morning during TRACK and Saturday HR /Cross Training may be cancelled. I will update Wednesday night and Friday day for those workouts.

It’s to be a wet week which means those doing the December Swing Challenge ( see below) will have it easier getting in a daily indoor workout. The Challenge begins with minimal reps and sets; you have to find your “doable” volume from which to continue with consistency. If it’s heavy rain on Thursday we’ll skip the workout and have you simply get in a four mile run: two miles easy followed by two miles tempo.

12/4/19 WEDNESDAY 8 am start MADISON AV GYM workout with Kees at Warren’s. Come in to start your mobility warm-up at 7:50 with halos, hip bridges, some goblet squats; then we do the 100 Swings/mobility exercises, followed by two rounds of the Circuit with deadlifts as finishers.

12/5/19 THURSDAY 8 am start for TRACK at COM. After the brief warm-up run, 6 x 20 meters, 2 x 10 (100):

4 x 200 (200), 4 x 400 (3′), 1 x 800.

12/7/19 SATURDAY 8 am ( Cancelled due to Friday night – Saturday rain)..HILL REPEATS/CROSS TRAINING/ Loaded carries & pickups at Olivett Seminary College off Seminary Drive. Get in your warm-up run prior to the 8 am start, plus a few warm-up exercises; then it’s four sets of exercises interspersed with 4 x 5 hill repeats. Others who need leg speed can do my other workout on the flat consisting of 30 meter pickup runs alternated with Loaded Carries.

Let me know if you will be attending by Friday day at the latest.

SATURDAY ‘s Workout:

  1. R/L Torso Rotations x 6 / R/L Top half Get Ups x 5 then; 3 x Spring – Short – Long
  2. DB Burpee & Press x 8; Short – 1/2 A – Sprint – 2 x Short;
  3. DGB or DB Thrusters x 10 / DGB Situp & Reach x 15; Short – 1/2 A – Short – 2 x Sprint
  4. DGB/KB 1-arm Swings x 12 / DGB Russian Twists & R/L x 8; 3 x Sprint – 2 x Short

This is followed by Loaded Carries interspersed with 30 meter pickup runs – and Trap Bar Deadlifts.


Your DECEMBER CHALLENGE:  Complete five days per week of  kettlebell swings (KBS) during all of December. Complete with sets of 10 reps beginning with 2,3,4,5 sets; the eventual goal is 10 x 10 reps; starting each set on the minute, , five days per week. AND we’ll keep it to one Turkish Get Up on the right and left side with a 10#, 15#, 20# or 25# kettlebell

You’ll be going through a gradual process of adaptation to a growing number of reps. You may need to stay with 2 x 10 for a time, then 3 x 10 and so forth; don’t rush it, but come away from the session energized not “wiped out.” Increase the number of sets and reps gradually so that you hardly notice the increase in volume. But you will notice backside, hamstrings, grip and cardiovascular fitness improve!

Kettlebell Weight:   For  our group workouts, women begin with a 12 kg (25 lb); you’ll gradually work to swinging a 16 kg (35 lb) kettlebell after you complete 10 x 10 reps. The men shall begin with a 35 lb kettlebell and gradually work up to 20 Kg (44 lb). No hurry! Being consistent with what you can handle with control. ( See below the weights used for KBS for the Simple and Sinister tests); a goal much further down the line).

 I picked December , the busy time of year  when trying to fit in a short workout becomes a challenge. Some folks say they will “Start with the New Year”; if it isn’t one thing it’s another,  but I’m having you schedule it during December: Stick with it successfully during this month and your next twelve months will be easier. 

If you don’t have a 12 kg and 35 lb kettlebells, buy one of each. You can obtain a discount from 360 Fitness Superstore along E. Francisco Blvd near Litchfields. 

Tell them you are with Kees’s group – should get a discount. Get the Appollo brand, so the measurements for wrist is comfortable and correct when in rack position: try it out. Smooth handle for Swings and when in rack position..There are all kinds kettlebell brands so test them. They vary in price; go with what fits on your arm..They only take up a tiny bit of space at home. Place them where you can see them so they are a reminder to get in the reps! Should take 15 minutes or less. 

Warm-up:  Halos, few Goblet Squats, Hip Bridges, shoulder dislocates ( with stretchable strap), and you’re good to go. Some pros will even simply get in a set of 8 reps  of Overhead Squats with a light barbell, broomstick or PVC 5’ piece; the emphasis is on mobility and core strength with that simple exercise. 

During Nov. just get in reps on a daily basis to acclimate for December  Challenge, The workout can be just 25, 30 reps for a number of weeks and see how your body responds.  Adjust as necessary, but get the reps in without overdoing any single day: you have the next day to complete. Could be 20 or 30 reps per day; after three days take a break day, then pick it up again. It’s a gradual process of adaptation. 

During Dec. get in daily sets working up to 50 reps total or your age in reps. Trick is to select the weight  so that you can carry out the reps without strain; what we call “Easy Strength.” You have the next day to deal with,  so it will take practice to see what you can maintain day after the day. Give the body time to adapt to the training: yes,  it will adapt and grow stronger. If done gradually enough you can adapt to most any workload. Note that it’s during the rest time that your body goes through changes so you become stronger and fitter to handle the workload. It’s what I call “hurry up slowly.” it’s not a contest, so progress at your pace. 

You can include an exercise between a few of the sets – or not. For example: x 10 swings / left torso rotation; x 10 swings / right torso rotation; x 10 swings / just rest until the top of the minute; x 10 swings / x 3 goblet squats; x 10 swings / x 8 push-ups. . Rest one minute and then complete one left and right side Turkish Get Ups. 

The first stage goal for our group  is to work up to 100 reps with 16 kg ( 35 lbs)  with a 10 x 10 format. . Most of you are comfortable with 12 kg kettlebell, you’re going to gradually work up to 35# ( 16 kg) during 2020.  Future articles will go over the progression. I will also go over the benefits – they are far more than you think, but you have to do the work and feel the changes. You will be fitter and stronger  with a strong “posterior chain” by just working the swings it’s been measured and confirmed in practice and the lab. 

Looking way ahead: The Simple  and then Sinister Challenge: (just the Swing portion of it for now; the Turkish Get Up is the other half of the test): 

To see how impressive heavy swings can be taken, check the StrongFirst.com site and look up Simple and Sinister Challenge requirements for one-handed swings.

 ‘Simple” test:  Women : complete 100 one-handed kettlebell  swings (KBS) within five minutes with a  24 kg (53 lb) kettlebell. For the men it’s a 32 kg (70 lb) kettlebell. A tough test for both men and women. I’ve seen pictures of women runners, regular fitness buffs and strength enthusiasts complete this test and their physiques are lean and strong.  There are no weight classes for this test. “Sinister” test:  Women: 32 kg (70#),    Men: 48 Kg ( 106 #).  What a test of strength and fitness. Note, that after completing the 5’ test of swings; you must complete five  reps on the left and five on right in ten minutes of Turkish Get Ups (TGU).