The burpee has become one of the best bodyweight exercises to couple with a kettlebell exercise for achieving quick results. Do you want to target cardio, strength, endurance, and more? Simply choose a kettlebell exercise that focuses on vertical movement to pair with the burpee. Last year, I wrote about such a workout designed by Cavemantraining that incorporated a burpee with alternating dead snatches. It sounds simple but is extremely demanding and hence the reason I said it was one of 3 kettlebell workouts I love to hate.
While that workout called the CTCF 100 Challenge tasks you with completing 100 burpees and 200 dead snatches, this new challenge is flexible. Full details can be found here. The basic gist of it is as follows:
You decide what number you will complete every day of the challenge, 20, 30, 40, or 50.
You decide how you break that number up, sets of 5, 10, etc. BUT, your aim is to do it unbroken. That means, if you pick 50, then you want to aim to do 50 unbroken burpees and 50 unbroken swings on each arm.
You’ll want to choose a number that you can realistically accomplish. Aim for higher reps to begin but if it becomes too much, drop that number or break it up into sets. Ideally, you’d want to do this challenge unbroken with little to no rest. However, it shouldn’t feel like a chore but rather a simple workout where you’ll be able to notice a change from Day 1 to Day 28.
How I’m Planning For This Challenge
When I saw the requirements of this challenge posted a few days ago, I felt there was no way I could pass on it. I already have the advantage of being conditioned for doing 100 double-arm kettlebell swings every single day. In fact, today I hit 10,000 swings for my lockdown challenge that started in April. So my only real concern is getting through the burpees beforehand.
My plan is to go for 50 burpees followed by the 100 swings. In my head, 50 burpees seems like a reasonable goal. However, my body knows otherwise. Going from a horizontal position on the floor to vertical and standing up takes a lot of energy. It’s not like doing jumping jacks which takes a fraction of the time and energy to perform. So if the burpees become too much, I figure dropping them down to 25 is definitely sustainable. I’ll still be doing 100 swings regardless.
The Perfect Start Date
August 1st just happens to fall on a Saturday. Why does this matter to me? Because Saturday and Sunday are off days from working out. This is my recovery time aside from continuing my lockdown challenge and doing light activities such as yard work. Currently, I get my swings out of the way followed by a 20-30 minute kettlebell workout during the week. So at least I’ll have a couple of days in the beginning of this challenge to get my body acclimated.
The majority of the time, before even starting my swings, I’ve been doing 50 ab wheel rolls. I’ll be taking a hiatus from that and replacing them with the burpees for the duration of this new challenge. Well, maybe I’ll do a small set here or there but I’m not going to wear myself down too much. The main goal is to go the entire 28 days without skipping a day at all. I also want to preserve as much energy as possible to continue the variety of kettlebell workouts I do during the week.
Resources For Mastering the Swing and Burpee
If you need to brush up on your kettlebell swing or burpee technique, Cavemantraining have put together a heavily discounted package. This includes a guide, hours of video content, a pdf, and even an online course. Whether you’re just starting out with a fitness plan or already have experience with kettlebells, the content from Cavemantraining offers plenty of information you won’t find elsewhere.
It’s also worth checking out the hundreds of videos on the Cavemantraining YouTube Channel that are absolutely free. I really appreciate how they offer variations of popular exercises while other trainers might claim that style is wrong. For instance the debate on how a kettlebell squat swing is an incorrect technique. In my opinion, if you’re moving around getting exercise – that’s a good thing. You just want to make sure it is done safely and responsibly.
Tracking Your Progress and Social Sharing
I’ve made up my mind that I’ll be posting videos each day of myself performing this challenge. It’s probably going to get a bit repetitive for my followers which is why I’ll speed up the playback. While sharing and posting are optional, I’d recommend doing so at least several times throughout this challenge. The kettlebell community is extremely supportive of one another and you may just find the extra motivation needed to persevere.
All you need to do is use the hashtags #cavemantraining and #burpeeswingchallenge on Facebook or Instagram to join with others who are participating. Don’t worry, no one is going to judge you on technique or what size kettlebell you’re using. There are many men and women of all ages and fitness levels who are part of several online kettlebell training groups. I look forward to seeing your and everyone else’s videos during this challenge!