Favorite Fifteen: Jonathan’s Go-to Workouts
The next stop on the tour of my go-to workouts is the Double Kettlebell Swing.
200 kettlebell swings for time
How I Do It
After doing a warmup of some deep squats and some pushups, I use a 53# kettlebell.
You may use any sized kettlebell that you can swing for high reps, but the idea is to get your heart rate racing while managing fatigue. If you go too heavy, this becomes a long workout as you’ll fatigue too quickly. Conversely, if you go too light, it’s not a workout. Make sense?
So, I use a 53# bell for this one. I’m not strong enough to use a 70# bell yet. For further comparison, consider that when I do 200 swings with a 70# bell, I generally do a ten-minute countdown, doing 20 reps every minute on the minute for ten minutes. And that’s hard. All the work takes about 9 minutes and 30 seconds. At the end my forearms are really tired as my grip is challenged, but it’s not as much a demand on the heart as it is on the grip, glutes, hamstrings and low back.
When I use the 53# bell and do it for time, my forearms are SCREAMING about a minute after I’m done, and the rest of me is tired. But my grip and my heart are the weakest links. See the difference? Use a heavy weight and it’s a totally different (but equally beneficial) workout…even if your form is consistent.
I’ve done this workout probably 8-10 times. My first time I completed it in around 8 minutes. My best time was 6:05 about two weeks ago, and I was super-encouraged.
Finally, last tip. Manage your rest and you’ll do better. I have tried going “all out” on this, and – as is often the case – fatigue sets in quickly. I can swing a 53# bell over 60 times before needing a break (which is not overly-impressive), but then my next sets drop off very quickly. If I attack it in that way, I’m looking at seven-plus minutes. I’m much better off doing multiple sets of 20-25 with short breaks in between (about 10 seconds). I can net more work in a shorter period of time.
So, this is a simple workout, but with the right weight, it may be all you can handle in a day. Give it a shot and let me know what you think!