10,000 swings

I will admit I was feeling pretty down following my performance in the farmers carry last week. Having all of my family in town kept me really busy, but having them here also shut down any workouts I had planned, and i pretty much took the schedule and turned it into whitespace.

Then, on the evening of 3 July, I came across an article about a workout that caught my attention, and got me excited. The workout is easy to remember, and provided the challenge I was looking for. It was going to be my “reset” button so to speak, and help get me back on track both mentally and physically.

http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/ten_thousand_swings_to_fat_loss

The article is by Craig Weller and James Heathers, and is definitely worth the read.

The article also contains a video link of Bud Jeffries squatting 1,000 lbs from the bottom position as well, that is worth a look too. Bud Jeffries is incredibly strong, and has a wealth of information, and inspiration on his website as well. I started reading his articles several years ago, but for some reason hadn’t look at his site for a while.

http://www.strongerman.com/

From start to finish
I read the article 3July, started 4 July and finished 14 July. Below are my times, and brief notes from the workouts.

Day 1- Time 1:22:16.8, 1000 reps. I used the breathing ladder method from the article as well as experimented with several other rep ranges and set schemes. It felt like it would never end, and my swing technique definitely needed some work. (also did Did 5×5 bech press 135/165/195/225/255 , Got 8 reps with 225 as a finisher
5×5. Chin ups)

Day 2- Time 1:26:22.5, 1000 reps. Breathing ladders to start, then sets of 20-25 reps until complete. Focused on technique, but still felt a little off. ( 5×5 Zottman curls at 45lb dumbells)

Day 3- Time 1:17:24.8 PR*, 1,000 swings. My butt and hamstrings were really sore to start out with, so the faster time was a surprise. (morning PT with the troops was pretty decent, with lots of hitting the tire with the sledgehammer for time.)

Day 4- Morning- 5×5 dips, 5×5 pull ups , Box squats 165×5/ 195×5/ 225×5/ 255×5/ 285×5/ 315×3/ 315×2420 swings with the 28kg bell. Mixed in sets of hand switch 1h swings with the 24kg KB
Swings felt lite following the box squats.
Felt more stable and powerful on the box squats.
Evening – 580 more swings in the garage- Wife made “WTF?” after the evening workout.

Day 5- Did 5×5 bech press 135/165/195/225/255 , Got 10 reps with 225 as a finisher
5×5. Chin ups
1050 swings in 56:08.7 PR**

Day 6- Morning – 440 swings during the morning PT session.
Evening – it took 39:17.6 to complete the remaining 560 swings for the day.

Days 7, and 8- both days were a wash. 17 and 18 hour work days, meals were small and sporadic, and just could not get the time or energy to get the swings in. Very disappointed. I had some great morning PT both days, but no kettle bell work.

Day 9- I felt great, and fully recovered somehow. I had a great morning PT session, and during the course of it hammered out my 1st 1,000 reps for the day. I fit the swings in during the session, and was really pumped up for the evening swing session.
Evening – 1,000 swings in 53:45.2 PR*** I felt great, and the time just flew by.

Day 10- Another long work day. By the time I actually got home I was so mentally exhausted, I just passed out on the couch. My intention was to just take a nap and then finish the swings, but even the wife had a hard time waking me up.

Day 11- working on the weekend is never fun, and it’s only worse when the work takes 4 hours longer than it was expected to. Oh well, as soon as I got home I shoveled food down the gullet, took a nap, made some uber strong- spoon stands up straight in the cup- coffee, and knocked out the last 2,000 swings in 2:08:42.3.

Overall, I feel really good about finishing this challenge. I wish I had been able to keep to the schedule, but life happens, and the missed days made for two very challenging days of 2,000 swings to get caught up. the article is correct in its warning about having good swing technique though. If I had never worked on swings before, my lower back would never had made it. The hips, butt and hamstrings will take a beating the first few days, as will the upper back and grip, but it does get better. All I can say is make sure your swing is in good form before tackling this work load.

My swing technique is much more polished now, and following a back down week, can’t wait to see how fast I can complete some of my other challenge workouts involving the swing.

I needed this workout, and have gained some new confidence in what I can accomplish.

till next time, take care and good lifting,

Tim

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Everyone came to visit

Well, it’s catch up time again. It has been an eventful week and a half and though I am enjoying the silence, and the last of this lazy weekend, I do miss having a full house.

Family visiting
Last Wednesday my son and his girlfriend came down to stay for a week. I don’t get to see him often as I want to, and now that he is going to start college this year, i enjoy every chance I can with him. His girlfriend is awesome and they make a very good pair. She is now i think officially part of the family.

On top of that my mom came down as well and luckily all three of them got to enjoy the Highland Games here in town. After the games, I had one of my Aunt’s come to town, my sister, and my Dad as well. They all stayed thru the 4th of July, and then headed south to do some fishing.

Highland Games
This year I volunteered to help with the setup, and assisting in the judging of the field events. It was alot of work setting everything up, but i learned so much about what goes on behind the scenes and what really goes into what you see game day, it was worth every minute of it. To top things off I got some good pointers on hammer tossing and caber flipping, and i can say I am totally hooked on the Highland Games now, and plan to compete next year. Just have to get a kilt is all. My son even wants to compete next year as well, and we have set plans for training up early next year. Can’t wait.

The athletes are top notch. From the pro’s, amateurs, and the masters, everyone of them is friendly and great people. While measuring distances, and moving weights, I got to see first hand each of the competitors giving pointers, and congrats to each other after every throw. If you have never been to a Highland Games festival, you really need to do so.

My performance in the Farmers Walk (173 pounds per hand) was the only disappointing thing to it all. I managed only 216′ and some change this year. Last year I carried 256′. Not happy about it at all, but i know why it happened, and it was from not training up for it. I had plenty of time to train for it, even started laying the ground work, but the 4weeks leading to the event, I concentrated on stamina and high rep work for PT, and neglected heavy lifting. I guess I let the worry of making the hernia worse prior to the games dictate what I would do, instead of training up smart and showing a better performance. Oh well. Lesson learned.

With all the stuff going on, my schedule for workouts was shot. Add the disappointment from the farmers carry, and wanting to try something drastically different to break up the monotony, I hit the reset button and started fresh with a workout i read about, and now had the motivation and prep work completed to actually do. More on it in the next post…..

As soon as I get the pictures from the games from the family, I’ll post email up.

till next time, take care and good lifting,

Tim