The Secret To Improving Your Kettlebell Swing [2nd Edition]
[Updated 12th September 2016]
In Swing training, your aim is to progress. You are on a journey with your focus firmly on reaching a specific destination.
When you have a definite goal in mind you can plan how to progress to it, and using calculations is a great tool to help you build up the volume of training and keep track of what you’re doing.
Still, I know some people muddle over doing the maths. There’s no need to. Really, it’s quite simple.
You take the weight of the bell, you multiply it times the total amount of repetitions that you do for the workout, and that gives you a set number. For example, as a fitness professional, you may be looking at 100-200 repetitions as the goal for any training session. If you use a 36-pound Kettlebell and work up to 100 repetitions, that’s 3600 pounds of work.
Slowly over time you’ll build that up to 200 repetitions (or 7200 pounds of work) by going from 10 sets of 5 in 5 swings per arm to 10 sets of 10 in 10 swings per arm.
Once you’ve achieved your goal and can do 200 repetitions with a bell in a single workout strongly, then it’s time to move to the next bell.
This is no different than looking at your Swing training as if you were in training to run a marathon. You might start off barely able to run a mile. However, you build on that so that eventually you can run three miles and then, maybe, five.
Once you can do that distance, you might try running a little faster. We’re looking at the volume of training that we’re doing with the swings as the overall goal. Following that, the next stage is to beat the goal up to a heavier bell.
Of course, if you don’t want to go to a heavier bell there are other ways of intensifying your workout. If you’ve reached your goal of achieving 200 repetitions with your 36-pound bell and you can do that in, say, 30 minutes, that’s a certain level of intensity. If you can do that in 25 minutes then that’s more intense, 20 minutes, even more so, and so on and so forth.[bctt tweet=”Use these simple math tricks to increase the intensity of your workload and progress your KB Swing training”]
As a coach working with a client, you can use the calculations to create goals in their workouts. Say you train one version of the Swing each week. You must decide on the goal, do the maths, and slowly increase the workload – either the number of sets or the number repetitions – and then inch your way up to that goal weight and goal number.
Once it’s achieved you can ask yourself, “Does my client need to go back and make those repetitions better, stronger, crisper, or did they do that sufficiently well enough to move on to the next bell and then start over?”
Consistent progression is key. Whether it’s your own training or that of a client’s start off wherever you or they are and add a little bit of work each week. Let your body adapt to the work, increase it, make gains, back off, rest up and get going again.
The key component is to look at your Swing training as it if it is the basic movement pattern that it is. If you were training your Squat to achieve a 200 or 300-pound Squat, you would do a set workout slowly increasing over time.
The Swing is no different. It gives you just as much intensity and workloads as the other basic exercises and deserves to have its own place in the realm of basic fundamental strength and conditioning exercises.
Keeping track of the Kettlebell size, the sets, the repetitions and how long it took you to complete them, will give you all the information you need to really make progress over time.