400 Kettlebell Swings and Low Rep Strength Workout

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Kettlebell Swing

You can do this workout even if you aren’t in an alley with a classic car 😉

I didn’t have time to go to the gym yesterday but I wanted a great workout. I wanted to combine strength and metabolic training to reduce the time I spent working out. So, I decided to do a workout inspired by the T-Nation 10,000 Kettlebell Swing Workout. About half way through I was cursing myself for attempting this workout and had started the negative talk that inevitably happens when something is hard…I’m never going to be able to finish this…I’m going to reduce the weight on the last set…maybe I’ll just do half of the last set. But I pushed through and by three quarters of the way though I was determined to finish strong. By the end I had completed everything I set out to do, even if I did have to immediately sit down so I didn’t fall due to Jell-O legs.

The T-Nation workout I linked to above is based on 5 rounds of alternating kettlebell swings and low rep strength movements. Each day you do a different strength movement. Since this was going to be a one-off workout for me I wanted to do a different strength exercise in each round. You can choose different exercises based on your goals, abilities, equipment, and limitations.

If you’re looking for a full body workout that you can do with minimal equipment*, that is fully customizable to your strength level, and that will leave you sweaty and pumped, read on.

*If you don’t have kettlebells, this adjustable kettlebell set is great to get you started. It’s what I have at home and it works very well.

Round 1

  • KB swing: 10 reps
  • Suitcase deadlift*: 1 rep
  • Rest up to 30 seconds as needed
  • KB swing: 15 reps
  • Suitcase deadlift: 2 reps
  • Rest up to 30 seconds as needed
  • KB swing: 25 reps
  • Suitcase deadlift: 3 reps
  • Rest up to 30 seconds as needed
  • KB swing: 50 reps
  • Rest up to 3 minutes before round 2

*Use the deadlift variation that works best for you. I chose this one because I don’t have a barbell at home.

Round 2

  • KB swing: 10 reps
  • Chin up/pull up: 1 rep
  • Rest up to 30 seconds as needed
  • KB swing: 15 reps
  • Chin up/pull up: 2 reps
  • Rest up to 30 seconds as needed
  • KB swing: 25 reps
  • Chin up/pull up: 3 reps
  • Rest up to 30 seconds as needed
  • KB swing: 50 reps
  • Rest up to 3 minutes before round 3

Round 3

  • KB swing: 10 reps
  • Goblet squat**: 1 rep
  • Rest up to 30 seconds as needed
  • KB swing: 15 reps
  • Goblet squat: 2 reps
  • Rest up to 30 seconds as needed
  • KB swing: 25 reps
  • Goblet squat: 3 reps
  • Rest up to 30 seconds as needed
  • KB swing: 50 reps
  • Rest up to 3 minutes before round 3

**Use the squat variation that works best for you.

Round 4

  • KB swing: 10 reps
  • One arm shoulder press/push press: 1 rep
  • Rest up to 30 seconds as needed
  • KB swing: 15 reps
  • One arm shoulder press/push press: 2 reps
  • Rest up to 30 seconds as needed
  • KB swing: 25 reps
  • One arm shoulder press/push press: 3 reps
  • Rest up to 30 seconds as needed
  • KB swing: 50 reps
  • Rest up to 3 minutes before round 3

Note that you’re doing very low reps on the strength movements so you can use heavier weight that you’re used to on higher rep sets. If you know your 5 rep max, use that. At the same time though you’ll be doing a lot of kettlebell swings so you’ll probably want a lighter bell than you’re used to using. Trust me, you don’t want to use a bell that’s too heavy and rise throwing it across the room on a swing because your grip gives out. If you pick a weight that’s not right, adjust mid workout.

If you make this workout part of your regular routine, time yourself so you can see how you’re improving both by being able to move faster and by needing less rest time. Today the whole workout took me 40 minutes which was more than I expected but fit right in the time it takes me to do my regular workouts so I was happy.

You can add weight to both the swings and the lifts as you get stronger.

Try the workout and let me know what you think!

Disclaimer: I am not a trainer or a fitness professional. This workout is simply something I enjoyed and that worked well for me. Consult your doctor before starting any new fitness routine.

Categories: Fitness