Before I came up with Game of Bells: Swinging to 300, I created another method to do 300 kettlebell swings in a workout session. It doesn’t involve downsizing or switching weights. It should be done with whatever current kettlebell weight you’re comfortable with. For myself, that weight is 35 lbs.
The key to getting to 300 swings is breaking them up into manageable sets. I’ve done 50 and even 100 swings in a set. The first set of each of those isn’t too bad. However, each successive set proved to be a little too much. Sure, I could probably power through it and deal with the exhaustion and fatigue. Instead, I think it is much more realistic to approach the goal of 300 swings in ten 30-count sets. Doing it this way I have no problems getting in 15 swings for each set before muscle fatigue sets in. At that point, I’m halfway through the set and motivated enough to finish.
Now, you could take a break after each set and get them in at various periods throughout the day. Although, who really has time to randomly do 30 swings at various periods? I know I don’t. Some recovery time is needed and that’s where the push-ups and sit-ups come in. They serve as a break or resting point, while still keeping you active. Yes, you’re still using your arms but just in a different manner. This is how the workout breaks down:
300 Kettlebell Swings Workout
- 30 Russian Swings
- 10 Push-ups
- 30 Russian Swings
- 10 Straight-leg Sit-ups
- Repeat 5x
It’s as simple as that. The important part is to keep track of your set and rep counts throughout the workout. The reps are easy enough to count in your head. The most you’ll count up to is 30 which won’t require too much concentration. The sets, on the other hand, are easy to screw up. That’s why I like to use my Stack 52 Kettlebell Exercise Cards to help me.
After shuffling these cards, I place them on a table, desk, or somewhere close by where I’m working out. It’s important to have easy access to them after certain sets. Specifically, I’ll place a card face down after every set of push-ups or sit-ups. So I’ll do the swings and push-ups and then place a card down. Next, it’s 30 more swings, 10 sit-ups, and place another card down. At the end of the workout, a total of 10 cards are faced down. 10×30 = 300 Swings, 5×10 = 50 Push-ups, and 5×10 = 50 Sit-ups. Boom, done!
The amazing part of all this is that it usually takes me around 15 minutes. Since I like to get in a full 20-minute workout, I’ll flip 2-3 cards over to do a set or two of each of the random exercises. This adds a little variety at the end and gives me something to look forward to. Sometimes, I’m a glutton for punishment and end up drawing a card for swings or a variation of push-ups!
Below is an example of my most recent workout using this format:
Kettlebell swings are by far the hardest part of the workout (and also the main reason). Once a set of 30 is completed I’ll immediately drop-down for push-ups or sit-ups, depending on what’s next. The final few sets of swings can be quite a challenge as you’ll definitely start to feel it in your arms. I find that keeping a steady pace and not trying to rush is the best way to approach them.
Ahh, the push-up. The quickest exercise in the workout and one of the most recognized around the world. If only I could sustain such energy as displayed in this gif and do 50 or a 100 in a row. Since the primary objective of this workout is to get to 300 swings, doing 10 push-ups at a time isn’t going to wear you down. In fact, it’ll give just enough recovery time to get back to the swings. The arms are still getting a workout, but of course, the movement and force are completely different.
I have my legs straight while doing sit-ups for a good reason, it’s easier. Having the legs bent requires more effort and will make the sit-ups take longer. I wanted an exercise that is quicker so as to get back to the swings. Again, it’s sort of a break without actually resting. It also helps to break up the monotony if you were to just alternate from swings to push-ups.
Random Exercise #1: Pull Over
This is where I had a brain fart. I actually drew the card for an overhead sit-up. It’s similar to the pull over except you’re sitting up with the kettlebell as you move it over your head. Even though I goofed that’s okay because these exercises are just bonus time in my opinion. It is strange that out of all the cards there is yet another exercise that is performed lying down.
Random Exercise #2: Jackknife
What are the odds? Another exercise that had me on my back. I can’t complain though as it gave my core muscles and abs a nice workout. Both the pull over and jackknife cards called for 10 reps in a set. Since they are on the easier side I did 2 sets for each of the cards. That took me to the 20-minute mark and completed my workout.
The Workout in Progression Form
I posted this workout on Instagram that walks you through each stage. The set showing the swings was sped up a little bit to cut down on time. Overall, this is one of my staple workouts that I typically do at least once a week. Getting in 300 swings is no easy feat. Doing it the way I’ve shown you, makes it tolerable and frees up the rest of your day. I still feel a sense of accomplishment every time I complete this workout and I think you will too! Give it a shot and let me know what you think.