“What Do You Think Of This Swing Workout?”

I get a lot of questions each week in my email from subscribers and customers. And do my best to answer all of them.

Here’s one I just got today from Dave. I already answered him but I thought it was a really good question. So, while I’m waiting to be a dad, I thought I’d share it with you…

Q: “do you feel it is alright to do swings 6 days a week.  Sometimes as many as 500 2 handed variety, 20 reps in 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds, repeat.  Some day 400 2 hand reps, one hand swings usually about 100 a side mixed with other exercise like the olympic, 4 rungs five ladders.”

Here’s my answer:

A: “I dunno, Dave.

1. What are you trying to accomplish by doing that?
2. Are you recovering enough between sessions?
3. Does your training match your goals?
4. Are you seeing the results you expect?”

Let’s take a closer look at each part of the answer.

1. What are you trying to accomplish by doing that?

Workouts, or more appropriately described – training sessions – should be based on your goals. What are your goals? If your goal is to build a high level of conditioning and really cement the groove of your Swing, then this might be the ticket to achieving your goals.

2. Are you recovering enough between sessions?

Look, I admitted to you a couple of weeks ago that I like to train every day. But that’s just it – I TRAIN. I move based on my goals. And I do just enough to ensure that I never overextend myself – that I am achieving my goals.

How do I know? Because I’m getting stronger every day. I have a way of measuring my progress. You should too. If you’re not seeing the results you want, you may have a recovery issue.

You see, it’s not how much work you can do – it’s how much work you can recover from. That’s the most important point of training. Recovery. If you can’t recover, then you won’t adapt and you’ve just wasted your time and energy.

3. Does your training match your goals?

On the surface, this appears simple enough. But I got another email the other day from a guy who wanted to burn off his fat. He had bought “Kettlebell Burn” but dragged his feet starting it. Then he wanted to add in a separate run program to decrease his run time. And he also wanted to add in yet another separate program to build his Pull-up strength.

Unfortunately, you just can’t do everything at once. Burning off body fat is a great goal, not just because you look and feel better, but everything becomes easier. Pull-ups become easier because you’re not hauling around excess baggage. Run times decrease because again, you’re not hauling around excess baggage.

It’s really simple, but as Rif or Dan or whoever said, it doesn’t mean it’s easy. Getting distracted by bright shiny things is a sure way to “Frustratedville.” Months have passed you by and you’re still no closer to where you thought you wanted to be. And that’s because you don’t know where you want to be.

So take the time to figure out what YOUR goals are. And then find the program that helps you achieve them.

4. Are you seeing the results you expect?”

This is a BIGGIE. And it follows the other three. Obviously if the other 3 are off, then this will be off.

But the proof of the proverbial pudding is in the eating, right?

On a strength program for your Press? Is your Press getting stronger by some metric? If so, excellent. Your program is working. If not, stop banging your head against the wall. Determination doesn’t necessarily ensure success. It may just ensure a headache.

It’s like I say to my clients – “What’s the best thing about banging your head against a wall? Stopping.”

As I sit here writing this, I’m on the precipice of becoming a father. My wife and I are about to welcome our first child into the world. It’s amazing to think about. It actually blows my mind that we have created another life.

And speaking of life, it is just too short and too precious to waste on doing stuff that doesn’t get you to your goals. So, if your workouts aren’t training sessions, make them so.

I stopped training for Weightlifting because it just wasn’t helping me get to where I wanted to go – this moment – of becoming a dad.

So, TRAIN for something – anything. Just make it YOURS.

Then run down the 4 points we discussed and make sure you follow them for maximum success, which of course I wish you in your endeavors.

Gotta run…

11 comments… add one
  • Billy Meyer Apr 19, 2011 @ 14:14

    What do you say to that except… NOW GO DO IT!!

  • Russ Moon Apr 19, 2011 @ 14:39

    What do I think of this suggested Swing Training – I would have concerns about :
    A) ability to recover/adapt
    B) absence of load waving mentioned
    C) there seems to be a potential conflict in the rep scheme in that I don’t see clearly from the program what the objective is…and I think to at least a small degree I should be able to.
    I’m a minimalist so I’m biased to some degree.
    This doesn’t sound like it is being tabled as a “block”, so ruling that out. I did like the timed portion as it lends itself to densifying but I don’t know if that is their intent.

    Just purchased 2 pairs of jeans with waist size another 2″ smaller so there’s some pudding for dessert.

  • Doug Descant, RKC Apr 19, 2011 @ 15:50

    OMG I’m at the OB-GYN with my wife about to find out if my little girl gets a sister or a brother. Great advice as always, Geoff. Kettlebell Burn fits perfectly with my goals right now. And yes, simple and easy are on two different spectrums when it comes to this program. Time is precious a you will soon rediscover. I’ve got many shoes to fill throughout the week ( father, husband, fire fighter, RKC) and KB Burn covers all of them. I’ve got more energy and mobility to hang with my little girl as she makes new discoveries every day. Accomplishing new goals each time I pick up the bells, is very therapeutic and makes me a better person to be around. My wife appreciates that. It has made me stronger and more conditioned for the job, and it gives me the opportunity to practice my technique so that my students are guaranteed the best instruction possible.

    Why anyone would what to modify it is beyond me. To each his own.

    P.s. I just found out that we’re having another girl…..
    ….any chance of Pavel opening up a HSGC, or Hardstyle Shotgun Certification?

  • Vincent Capuano Apr 19, 2011 @ 17:33

    I greatly enjoy your post. I have learned a lot. I am also happy for you and your wife, and happy that you share your joy and anxiety waiting for your first child.
    Since you have said that you are a believer I will endeavor to make a theological correction: Only God creates life, parents collaborate in the process providing genetic material but it is God who creates every individual soul, and it is the soul that vivifies the body.
    That God creates every individual soul is obvious from the fact that the soul is spiritual and eternal and as such cannot be the product of physical causes. This make the fathering and mothering of a baby even more wonderful (i.e. full of wonder) you are coworkers with the Divine Maker. Wow.

    Wishing you many blessings

    Fr. Vincent Capuano

  • Franz Snideman Apr 19, 2011 @ 23:14

    Geoff, so happy for you and Courtney!!! You will be an amazing Father and she will be an incredible Mommy!!!! Blessings to you all!!!

    Great post brother! Very thought provoking!!

  • Beth Knizer Apr 22, 2011 @ 14:23

    Geoff, Congratulations on the birth of Michael! Give him a few years but I bet he becomes the youngest HKC in Dragon Door history. 🙂


  • Scott Iardella Apr 22, 2011 @ 21:48

    Geoff, Just a quick congrats & Welcome to the “Dad’s Club” officially! It is absolutely amazing and your life will never be the same! Wish you and your family the best.
    Best Regards, Scott Iardella RKC

  • Kylie Apr 26, 2011 @ 2:17

    Hi Geoff,

    Firstly, congratulations on the birth of your son! How very exciting for you and your wife.

    Also, I’ve just finished phase 1 of KB Burn 2.0, and so far it’s ticking all 4 of the elements in the post. The bit about trying to add in extra bits – or FrankenProgramming – hit home because before kettlebells I was always doing that! It’s definitely the difference between ‘working out’ and ‘training’.


  • larry May 5, 2011 @ 0:25

    Congratulation to you and your wife on the birth of you son. And for having the wisdom to manage your time. Before you know it he’ll be asking for the keys to the car. Treasure every moment.

    • GEOFFN May 11, 2011 @ 13:08

      Thanks, Larry. Got 30 minutes of “daddy time” this morning holding him before work…

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