Yes, this is another blog about kettlebell swings. This one is a little different though.

A few weeks ago a Facebook friend of mine and SFG named Matt Mitchell posted a simple, innocent comment.

“Beast swings……Who’s with me?”

Along with a dozen or so other people, I jumped on board. After a little discussion, we arrived at the following criteria:

  • 48kg swings
  • 30 minutes
  • Set it down as often or as little as you need.
  • As many reps as possible.

I was quite proud of my first attempt which ended with 405. Plan was 15 reps per minute, every minute to reach 450. Mike Tyson is credited with saying “everyone has a plan until they get hit in the mouth”.  I got hit in the mouth at about 22:00.

The limiting factor for me was that I pretty well got owned. While I done a lot of swings in the previous months, the vast majority of them were done with weights in the 24kg-32kg range and while I pushed the volume to fairly high numbers, the weights were light to moderate for me.  I was a little sore for a few days after, which surprised me. I hadn’t been sore from swings for a long time, but the heavier weight was obviously a factor, even though the total amount of volume was lower.

Bumping up to 48kg presented an entirely different challenge. With lighter weights, the “screw this” factor doesn’t kick in on me until I am about 350 total reps in, and it goes away after about 500. With the Beast, I got to around 100 and started finding reasons to quit. I wasn’t really tired or fatigued, I just knew that the suck wasn’t going away and I didn’t want to be there.  Having talked about it on Facebook, I knew I either had to keep at it or admit defeat to Tim Shuman. Then of course,  Cap O’Roarke had already told me what kind of beer I had to buy him as his prize for beating me. He ain’t lacking in confidence.  All those folks put up impressive numbers.

So after that initial session, Matt McBryde SFGII, know by many as the Iron Mongoose, made his first attempt and came in at 318 at a bodyweight around 165.  He decided he could break 400, so we got together at Nashville Kettlebell on a Sunday afternoon and gave it a go. He got 405 and I hit a new PR of 425. We were quite happy with ourselves and noticed how UNaffected each of us was in the following days.

I had a few consecutive weeks of weekend travel and while I was flying all over creation, Matt continued his Sunday Swings. Every week he would send me a text with a new, higher number and an affirmation (Usually something like “COME AT ME…”) that it was getting easier to do more work.

He quickly broke  450. The next chance I had to participate in Swinging Sunday was the day we broke 500. I got 504, Matt got 509. Mongoose Power!  I had a few more weeks of travel, each Sunday punctuated by updates.  Each time after that he added on a few more reps and got to 533.

A change in nutrition on his part (more fruits and veggies, no dairy or alcohol) resulted in this text:

“Beast swings. 30 minutes. 590 reps. Come At Me.”

After Thanksgiving, I decided to take advantage of a long stretch without travel to pursue this goal with purpose.

I texted Matt after my first attempt: “465”.

“465? Or 565?” he replied.

“465“ I answered, “like little girl”

Next attempt for me was 4 days later and I hit 515, a new PR, and it was WAY easier than the 465 from a few days earlier.  Matt went for it and texted me “582. I hang my head in shame”

A few days after that, feeling good I got 608 in 30:00.

“Oh snap” said the Mongoose….

Takeaway points for this Phase:

  • It is going to be as hard as you decide it will be.
  • Swings rock, heavy swings rock more.
  • Having a partner helps tremendously.

Be ready, there is more to come in Part two…….