The No Sweat Swing “Workout” for Super Busy People
In today’s high speed, fast paced, high pressured way of living sometimes it can be hard to find the time to breathe properly, let alone train.
[bctt tweet=””I just don’t have time to train” is a common problem that many of our clients encounter at some time or another.” username=””]
This mindset can be incredibly limiting, leading to feelings of frustration, lack of motivation and ultimately sacrifice of health and fitness.
[bctt tweet=””Having no time to train is just an excuse” is often batted about in the fitness industry by those who arguably find it easier to train than others.” username=””]
However, when it comes to people feeling overwhelmed it doesn’t really help them to move from where they are to a better, more empowered place.
One of the biggest kicks I get out of being a coach is helping the people I work with to find workable solutions that deliver results when times are less than optimal.It was Pavel Tsatsouline who first introduced the unconventional idea of Grease the Groove Training in relation to strength improvement in a chosen lift.
The premise of the program being one of completing low rep sets of a movement spread over an entire day to facilitate a neural adaptation leading to strength gain in a specific skill such as pressing or chin ups. Many of the people I work with have no desire to become supremely strong on a particular skill. Instead they simply wish to move from a place of pain (frustration, lack of time, lack of motivation, lack of confidence, feeling uncomfortable in their own skin) to a place where by they can be happier with their bodies and in their minds through the benefits associated with regular training.
I have found this approach to be very useful in helping clients to both become more used to the idea of training and also that a training session need not take long to be highly effective.
Enter the No Sweat Swing “Workout” for Super Busy People.
It was Mark Reifkind who first coined the phrase – All Day Strong. I love the idea of being able to perform repeated bouts of high intensity “work” for high volume and without degradation in form all day – akin to a day’s manual labor but with more benefits! The idea is simple:
On a piece of paper, draw a grid of some kind with however many boxes you wish to have.
For example – 10 x 10 = 100 boxes.
The exercise of choice is Kettlebell Swings or any of the swing family. Over the course of the day perform sets of swings and/or variants of. Each time a set is completed, record the reps on the grid. The goal is to fill all of the boxes on the grid. Reps can be kept the same throughout or varied. Boxes should be chosen based on fitness level. There is no warm up or cool down.
At various intervals throughout the day, step up to your kettlebell, perform a focused set of swings and then continue to go about your business. It becomes very easy to accumulate a large number of swings over the day and due to the single set nature, it allows for a razor-like focus with high-intensity reps and all without breaking a sweat!
What I love about this practice is that, not only can high volumes of purposeful training be completed (which can be great for aesthetics). But the swing carries so much more of a punch with its powerful effects on hip function, movement consciousness, and total body awesomeness!
I have engaged in this training methodology with some frequency and love its simplicity both for myself and my clients. Depending on the structure of your day you may choose to perform more sets of lower reps or higher reps for fewer sets on super busy days (as many as 50). Or simple freestyle it based on whatever you feel drawn to do.
From a programming perspective, it is very easy to set rep targets and volume in a progressive manner. Or if you are more like me, can use the day as a novelty day of getting in a good volume of training when time is of the essence. For deskbound workers keeping a kettlebell at the side of the desk ready for swing action can be a fantastic way to work against the evils of sitting while obtaining a solid training stimulus.
This also works brilliantly for parents at home who have kids and home life to juggle which for many can be incredibly limiting. Kettlebell size is important. Choose a bell that offers a reasonable level of load, when acting on the body but without leading to over fatigue and potential breakdown in form as the day progresses.
A good starting point is 12-16kg for females and 16 to 24kg for males (training background dependent). So there you have it, nothing revolutionary but none the less a solid work around that has many applications.