What I Learned from Doing 10,000 Swings in 23 Days
by Steven M. Ledbetter
2 minute read
So, I did it. 10,000 swings in 23 days. What’s that look like? I averaged 435 swings per day, but that’s not an insightful statistic. On some days I did none, and on my last two days I swung the bell 2,500 times. The fact is, swings are simple. And once you learn a few tricks, it’s pretty easy to chain them together into insanely high volumes. On my last day I swung a 16kg bell 1,250 times in a row for 30 straight minutes. And like Pavel says, the key is “the same, but different.” Here are some quick insights:
My form sucked. It took me 21 days to learn that I was hyperextending my lower back at the bottom of my swing. Neutral spine is the key, and if you’re stubborn like me, you just have to do the reps to know you’re doing it wrong.
If you’re swinging correctly and filing your calluses regularly, your hands will be fine.
That being said, I went through 4 rolls of athletic tape.
In the beginning I did sets of 20 with the 24kg. This is a killer for grip strength and proved to be valuable for the later High Volume Days.
Every bell size has something to offer. I tried sets of 25 with the 12kg and my heart rate was through the roof!
The larger the bell, the more “dampening” of the transition between up-stroke and down-stroke. When you use a tiny bell, you have to go way faster and the cycles will murder you.
High Volume burns calories, but it feels a lot more like cardio. Once you’re doing swings for more than a minute, the results feel more like low-intensity cardio that the sets of 25 with rest.
High Volume has its place, but it’s different than Hard Style. Obviously I was burning calories the whole time I was swinging, but I doubt it was 1/2 calorie per swing, which is the number thrown about for Hard Style Swings.
Transitions are like mini-breaks because you don’t have to snap as hard on the up-stroke and the down-stroke is gravity.
Snatches break up the monotony, but sap you quick.
Pick a bell and do everything you can with it. Having lots of bells available for a workout just means having lots of reasons to not swing (“Oh! Whatever bell shall I use?”).
**Every time I told myself I could swing more, I could swing more. **