Last night I decided to do something stupid. I decided to do 10,000 hard-style kettlebell swings in the month of November. Ok, so stupid might be debatable, but I think we can all agree it is hard and entirely arbitrary. And while the goal is lofty and foolish, my reasons for doing it are are pretty simple. It’s lofty and foolish.

I have lots big, long term fitness goals. I want to be certified RKC II and compete in the Tactical Strength Challenge in 2011. I want to tame the beast by my 30th birthday. If there is a lift, distance, or exercise out there, I have a plan to get to the top 95% of people who do it. But that leaves a glaring problem: all my goals are big and will take a long time to achieve which means it gets pretty hard to motivate myself day in and day out.

The last few months have been “maintenance months” which is fancy talk for aimless dicking around at the gym. I haven’t really lost strength, but I have put on a few pounds and definitely lost some conditioning. The answer? 10,000 swings.

The kettlebell swing is a damn near perfect movement. Full body, ballistic, and a killer on the cardiovascular system, this 1/2 second movement is easy on the joints and open to lots of variability. That way it’s safe to do in (extremely) high volume and powerful enough to remain taxing from a fat burning stand point. Now it’s not perfect (ask my kettlebell clients how their hands feel after Tabata swing intervals), but I think this 10,000 swing challenge is the perfect personal short-term goal and it meets my #1 criterion for a training program: “Simple, But Never Easy.”

And in the immortal words of a MSgt. I know, “Wish me luck. You may be next.”