Week of 11/29/21: Workouts this week; Kettlebell Swings Christmas Challenge. Saturday HR/XT are on for this week.

Hi Folks,

Holiday indulging is over; you’re back on track this week! So let’s tackle the workouts, made easier with the dry and clear weather that we’ll have this week. For the circuit workout of the week ( posted for Wednesday) I will also provide a shorter home workout.

I was also reminded to post the KETTLEBELL SWINGS CHRISTMAS CHALLENGE for 2021. I’ll be posting it this week but start with the modest number of swings – on a daily basis through the entire month of December. See below.

11/30/21 TUESDAY. TEMPO day. After the warm-up mile:

15′ tempo (5′ easy) – 10′ T (3′ easy) – 8′ T and finish with run at regular pace.

12/1/21 WEDNESDAY. STRENGTH / FITNESS CIRCUIT and home workout.

Note for #6,#7: Kettlebell is on the ground, clean it to rack position; perform a below parallel squat, then press it. Repeat.

SHORTER WORKOUT: After warm-up of Halos, Strap shoulder dislocates, some Goblet Squats; then: Two rounds of:

(2 x 12 Kettlebell Swings OTM (on the minute); L/R Clean & Press (1,2,3), i.e. 1 rep with left, then right hand; 2 reps L & R; 3 reps R & L sides); 1 x 5 Goblet Squats; 2 x 12 Kettlebell Swing OTM)…..

12/2/21 THURSDAY. SPEED-WORK track session: “800 meter breakdown”. After the mile warm-up, drills and 6 x 30 meters pick-ups: TWO ROUNDS of:

(800 (200) – 600 (200) – 400 (200) – 200 (200)) ….800 & 600 at 5K pace; 400 & 200 at faster than 5K pace. ………Jose A, begin to add the “Macho Mile” after the intervals at 10k pace.

12/4/21 SATURDAY. HILL REPEATS/XT/LOADED CARRIES/SPRINTS. 8 AM. Seminary College, off Seminary Drive; drive up the entry road and park in LOT “C”. Arrive earlier to get in a warm-up run and begin with the first round of exercises. The idea with this workout is to develop leg strength and speed with quality hill work, key exercise stations, walking under load, i.e., Loaded Carries, Sprints, and finish with trap bar deadlifts. Can’t pack much more into a workout that addresses various components of fitness and strength

LMK if you will be attending:


We bring the Swing challenge back again this year with its focus on a single movement, the Kettlebell Swing, which is one of the two exercises that form the basis for “general preparedness.” It is an explosive movement along with the Turkish Get-Up (TGU) or simply, Get-Up which is a deliberate slow movement executed under constant tension that connects the upper and lower body, is one the most productive core movements you can perform; It promotes range of motion (ROM), improves strong shoulder stability, and more to make you more “bullet proof”. They are the Ying and Yang movement of the kettlebell world.

A little background: The idea of building your daily reps of Swings was started by Pavel Tsatsouline, the former Russian Special Forces instructor who introduced kettlebells to the US back in 1992 and eventually established the Strong First organization to train and certify instructors and website http://www.StrongFirst.com. I took my first class with him and his staff around 2002 and learned that this “cannonball with a handle” is a safe helpful training tool for hip power, fitness and easier on the shoulders for pressing than barbells. Shoulder care and stability is a much needed goal for the general public and athletes. Pavel places the first priority on the Swing, Get-Up and Goblet Squat to give his students a solid foundation for strength, muscular balance and fitness.

He has clients gradually work up to 100 Swings and five Get-Ups, five to seven days per week to develop and maintain a solid foundation from which to build on. The Goblet Squat for leg strength, strong butt and hip mobility; a movement that is largely self-correcting. His book, Simple and Sinister focuses on the Swing, Get-up with set and reps schedule to follow, and Goblet Squat. The goal with the Challenge: Complete an increasing number of daily sets and reps with a single exercise, the Kettlebell Swing during the busiest month of the year – December. Your challenge will be to schedule your daily Swings around your work, Holiday Season and family obligations and more. Select the best time of day to get your daily sets of Swings in that works for you when you still have to juggle the rest of life’s demands. Remember we make time for what we want to do. Skipping 15 minutes of TV is one way of finding time to stay on track to meet the Challenge.

You have the option of following the Novice, Intermediate or more Experienced levels. If you’re not sure what level to start with, I’d begin at a modest level; you can always switch to a lower or more demanding level after a week’s time.

It will be different completing daily Swings if you’ve been practicing them only one, two or three days per week: the effort accumulates with the daily Swing sessions and needs to be monitored to avoid over doing the challenge. You’ll be adjusting the number of sets and reps as needed; cut any set short if your form and strong explosive effort begins to falter. You are not simply “getting in the reps”, but performing them with strong effort. You can lower or raise the kettlebell weight as the sessions continue.

If the number of reps on a particular day seem a bit much as you progress through the month you can reduce the weight of the kettlebell, or reduce the number of reps per set from 20 to 15, or 5 with appropriate rests in between sets. For example, if the total is 40 reps you can execute 2 x 20 , 4 x 10, or 8 x 5 reps. This month we are pushing the body to adapt during December so adjust accordingly.

Tips on technique: Execute each Swing with a strong explosive movement finishing with a strong short exhale with tongue behind your teeth as you exhale through pursed lips. Come to a strong “vertical plank” position with knees locked, butt cheeks tight, abs tensed, arms locked straight out at chin level with shoulders down and hands squeezing the kettlebell handle firmly.

, thrust hips backward towards an imaginary wall The kettlebell should pass through at knee height during the downward trajectory, no lower; hike it through until the forearms hit the inside of your thighs; thrust the hips backward towards an imaginary wall while maintaining a strong arched back. Then, at the peak of the hike in a “swimmer’s start’ or “broad jump start ,” tighten the lats ( your brace and protection) and with a strong forward snap of the hips send the kettlebell sailing forward with momentum. ” The Swing is not a Squat, and the Squat in not a Swing.”

Taking a care of your muscles: Need to attend to your backside (posterior chain), stretching hamstrings, back muscles, hips and quads. Follow with foam roller work to smooth/roll out the “hot and tight” spots and be ready for the next day’s workout.


12/1/21 15 15 45

12/2 15 20 45

12/3 15 20 45

12/4 20 20 50

12/5 Sunday 20 25 50

12/6 20 25 55

12/7 25 25 55

12/8 25 25 55

12/9 25 30 60

12/10 30 30 60

12/11 30 30 65

12/12 Sunday 30 35 65

12/13 35 35 70

12/14 35 40 70

12/15 35 40 70

12/16 40 40 75

12/17 40 45 75

12/18 40 45 75

12/19 Sunday 45 50 80

12/20 45 50 80

12/21 45 55 85

12/22 45 55 85

12/23 50 55 85

12/24 50 60 90

12/25 50 60 90 (No, not a day off)

12/26 Sunday 50 65 90

12/27 55 65 90

12/28 55 65 95

12/29 55 70 95

12/30 60 70 95

12/31 60 70 100