Kettlebell double-arm swing hip hinge style AKA Russian swing
Sub max weight, sub max sets of swings, always followed by a low rep set of 4 pre determined exercises you can chose between.
This kettlebell challenge will:
- teach you how to pace yourself
- help you find your weaknesses
- improve your kettlebell swing
- increase your cardiovascular endurance
- increase your lean muscle mass
- increase your mental toughness
- increase your fat loss
- increase your motivation
- increase your pressing, pushing, squatting and core strength
- and perhaps even teach you how to program more effectively for yourself
This challenge is not for beginners who have only been training with kettlebells for a short while, this challenge is for those who have some kettlebell swing experience and can do high volume swings without getting injured. This challenge is tough, there is no doubt about it.
I’m not going to be a smart ass and tell you how to perform a hip hinge, how not to use the shoulders etc. etc. if you need this information, then stop now, as you should not be doing this challenge, but rather seek out a local kettlebell coach, take an online kettlebell swing course, or read these books and come back here in a couple of months.
If you’re not sure if your technique is up for the challenge, post a short video of you performing the kettlebell swing on our kettlebell.community forum and ask for feedback saying you’re thinking of entering the 28 Day Kettlebell Swing Challenge. Don’t miss the Frequently Asked Questions at the bottom of this page.
In this challenge you will be performing as many swings as possible in each set, but you’ll be stopping before complete fatigue (sub max) or muscle failure sets in, in other words, if you can do 70 repetitions without stopping but then be completely worn out, don’t go there, perform only 55 or 60 repetitions at a time instead.
The weight should be heavy but sub max and adjusted to your capabilities, if you can swing a 40kg kettlebell once or twice, then you probably want to go with a 28kg kettlebell, but only you will know what weight is best for you. Keep in mind that you’re doing high volume swings.
The next thing to think about is the weight you can handle for the pre-determined exercises after each set of swings, since you’ll have to use the same weight for those, you might not be able to press the weight you had in mind for swinging. Of course you can chose not to do the press as one of the exercises after sets of swings and just do push-ups and front squats, in the end it’s a balanced choice you need to make. Maybe you want to improve with your kettlebell press as well? 2 slow sets of presses will certainly help you in that area!
Need some kettlebell motivation?
You can regress to a lighter weight at anytime during the challenge, but the lightest weight you use is the one you should record for the challenge. Choose wisely, as going up while you started the challenge is not allowed, you’ll need to restart the challenge if you want to go up in weight.
Between Each Set
Chose one of the following exercises and perform one slow set each time you put the kettlebell down after swinging a sub max set:
- 2 front squats; or
- 2 front presses; or
- 2 screw press AKA bent press; or
- 2 ‘any’ push-ups (the only exercise done with bodyweight only)
You can chose a different exercise from the list anytime, but use the same weight as you’re swinging. Don’t switch arms with the two reps of kettlebell exercises, change arms on the next set of swings. The push-ups are of course bodyweight push-ups, but change it up between the chest, hybrid and tricep push-up.
Why throw these exercises in between each set? I don’t want you just working the posterior chain muscles for 28 days, the above choice of exercises really turns this into a full-body workout.
Kettlebell Front Press
Screw Press AKA Bent Press
Sign-in to watch a demo of the screw press.
Following is a demonstration of the chest push-up, hybrid push-up and tricep push-up. The chest-up push-up is with the elbows 90° out from the ribs, targeting the chest more, the tricep push-up is with the elbows 0° from the ribs, targeting the triceps more and the hybrid push-up is in between the two, 45° away from the ribs. Hybrid push-up is what I started naming it a while ago so that it’s clear what’s requested.
Also see my video below on the bodyweight squat, pretty much everything caries over.
Rest and Recover
Rest as much as required between sets, you can chose to workout for an hour a day, or you can split it up into 4 times 15 minutes, you can even chose to do 2 hours straight, the duration and rest is up to you, but be smart, this is a 28 day challenge.
Rest days are up to you, each body recovers differently and is in different condition, therefore you should decide what your training schedule is. The important thing is to give it appropriate rest and nutrition to recover.
If you wake up feeling extremely sore, give it a day or two, or even more, be aware about the difference between muscle soreness and pain, if you’re experiencing pain, you should discontinue and discover where you need to improve. Note that rest days are counted towards your 28 days.
Don’t only stretch after your session, but use the time between your sets smart and perform some stretches. Stretch the shoulders, hamstrings, pecs, forearms, glutes, quads etc. Here are some ideas you can use for stretches in between sets and after each session.
If you’re in, you’re in! Commit now, and post on your social profile that you’ve taken on this slightly mad but exciting challenge. And then let the community know by posting “I’m taking on The 28 Day Kettlebell Swing Challenge #28daykettlebellswingchallenge” if you tag @Cavemantraining in it I will personally send you a link to special videos that show you how to warm-up and prepare yourself properly for each day.
28 days, record and post your results each day as shown below on https://www.facebook.com/the.kettlebell.swing/
Day: (#day1 of 28)
Add a photo or link to a video if available. If you swing multiple times during the day, keep your post up-to-date with reps by commenting on the post for that day. Example: if you start the challenge today, you post the above by filling in the blanks and change the day accordingly, record your reps in the comments of that post. Also use the comments to make note on the things you discovered you need to work on. If you want a PDF with all details for the challenge that you can print and use to keep track, post on our Facebook and I’ll send you a copy.
If you also want to record the additional exercises you do, you can use the abbreviations for them as follows:
- Front Squat Right = FSR
- Front Squat Left = FSL
- Front Press Right = FPR
- Front Press Left = FPL
- Screw Press Right = SPR
- Screw Press Left = SPL
- Push-ups = PU (or more detailed PU0°, PU45°, PU90°)
- when you want to grab a drink, change it and go for some swings, have a protein shake afterwards
- when you want to grab a KFC snack, change it and go for some swings, eat a banana afterwards
- when you want to sit in that comfy chair and binge watch a whole season of Game of Thrones, change it and go for some swings, take the family out for a walk afterwards
- why not drag your kids into this? every time they want to sit behind the xbox or playstation for hours, they need to watch you till you finish your sets of swings!
- post your own ideas below or in the group
How many repetitions should you be aiming for? This is your challenge, of course it’s great if you can get to 11,111 —since we already have the 10,000 kettlebell swing challenge—, but no matter what you get out, if you have challenged your capabilities, then you have already won. Set your own record and beat it after a couple of weeks rest, then do the challenge again, beat your reps, beat your weight.
So once again, you want to do 50 or 100 kettlebell swings a day, 200 kettlebell swings a day, or you want to do 200 swings in one set (like I did below), it’s all good.
Why take on the challenge?
- Maybe you want to quit smoking, something to take your mind off smoking
- Maybe you want to stop drinking, something to keep your mind off drinking
- Maybe you want to get to the next level with your training
- Maybe you just need to be part of something big
- And maybe you’re just a nutter like me, and you don’t need a reason to train!
“But a 16kilo kettlebell is heavy for me when doing high volume reps”, well, don’t worry about it, there will always be people going “OMG! are you swinging 16kg? you should be swinging 40kg! I swing 40kg, and I’m 45 years old!”, don’t worry about those people, those are the people that need constant validation, no matter what you swing, they’ll have something to say. This is your challenge, if you swing that thing 100 times today, 200 times tomorrow, and only reach a total of 5,000 reps at the end, that’s still 5,000 reps more than you would have done, had you not joined the challenge.
Q: When does it start?
A: You can start when you’re ready or when your friends are ready. Or you can join our special group which receives added benefits.
Q: Is it for beginners?
A: Yes beginners can participate, but only if we’re talking beginners as in you’ve only been doing the kettlebell swing for 5+ months, not as in you just picked up a kettlebell.
Q: How many reps do I need to do?
A: You do as many reps as you can do, I’m not saying you need to do X reps, but set the bar very high for yourself. Beat your own record the second time around. Or challenge your friends, set a number within your group.
Q: Yeah but how many are you doing?
A: Let’s put it this way, there is already a 10,000 kettlebell swing challenge.
Q: I can’t do some of the exercises, what do I do?
A: As long as there as there are one or two options available for you to chose from after a set of swings, that should be fine.
Q: I can’t do any of the other exercises, what do I do?
A: Stop, get a coach, don’t do challenges.
Q: Can I go up in weight?
A: If you made an incorrect choice of weight and want to go up, yes, but restart the 28 days.
Q: Can I go down in weight?
A: Yes, at any stage during the challenge you can go down in weight, but the lowest weight used is the end weight recorded for the challenge result, if you did 5,000 reps with 30kg and 5,001 with 24kg, then your record is recorded as 10,001 with 24kg.
Q: Can I use a different weight for the exercises after each set?
A: No, use the same weight as you’re using for your swings, if you can’t do that exercise with that weight, leave that exercise out or go down in weight with the kettlebell for the swings. Choose wisely.
Q: Why exactly those four additional exercises?
A: 1# to make the challenge harder; 2# to work the anterior chain muscles; 3# the screw press is such a golden oldie, it needs to be revived, I want to see this exercise make its return in the gym; 4# so you don’t get bored; 5# if you can’t do high volume sets you’ll be doing a whole lot of additional exercises.
Q: Can I do just push-ups after each set one day, and the next day just front squats etc.?
A: Yes, as long as you use what is prescribed it’s all good on how you program for yourself and complete the challenge.
Q: Can you show me an example of how it works?
A: Day 1, you start by posting on Facebook first (otherwise it did not happen), see example above. Begin warming up with bodyweight, do a few light swings to fire everything up, get started with your first set of submax reps at submax weight, you finish your set, you chose an exercise from those listed above and perform two reps, you decide whether you do more sets, which of course you are, because this is a challenge! You do your next set of submax reps, choose an exercise from those above, perform two reps and you continue with this pattern until you had enough. Day 2, you start by posting on Facebook first, repeat the pattern from the previous day. You decide when it’s a rest day, how many reps you do each set, how many sets you do each day, your target goal, you’re in charge, but you’re tough and you set the bar high! Hell, you might even be so motivated that you’re going to film every set you do and post it as a comment on your facebook status with #28daykettlebellswingchallenge – right!? I know I am.
Q: How much did I do?
A: I did 11,111 reps in total, my biggest unbroken set was 200 reps and moved more than 311,108 kilos with a 28 kg kettlebell.
Q: I still need to learn —or learn more— about the kettlebell swing, I got no money, can you help?
A: Yes, I can help if you seriously don’t have money, no problem at all, contact me and lets chat. I especially like to help if you’re doing this challenge for a special reason.
Here I am with Anna on day 3, we took the kettlebells out and combined this challenge with the Get out and show your balls! challenge.