Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The Swing's the thing and Happy Anniversary Girya!

Ah, I had come so close to forgetting. With my obsession with the snatch over the last year reaching epic proportions I had basically forsaken the swing entirely. I rationalized that the snatch was basically a swing with an overhead component and since I was trying to work Bikrams into the schedule as much as possible AND get my 50k snatches in I decided to let the swing go for awhile.

I went too long;now it's time to go back to basics and regroove my groove.Wednesdays has been heavy snatch day but today was all about the swing. Haven't done these as a full workout in so long I've forgotten just how satisfying they are. How simple and basic and safe and powerful they can be.
How there is no where to run, and nowhere to hide in a swing. How's its pure work from start to finish and you can do them from 3 rep sets of 300. Whatever you want it to be.Pure intensity or pure endurance.

Today for me was about regaining some strength and I haven't had my hands on anything heavier than the 24 kg in way too long. MY recent back injury made me even more leery about picking up more weight but the swing mechanics are different than the snatch.So after my 10 minute Russian Style Hot Bath warmup( hey, it DOES get cold here in Cali, I swear it does) Everything felt loose and ready and I knew I would get to play with 32 kg today.

I had to really focus on the techniques though; really make sure to load the hips, connect through the lat, breathe into the lower abs and LOCK in place as I started to transfer the power and build it through out the set.

I choose my all time favorite set and rep scheme -5x5's- as these let me totally concentrate on hardstyle form for each rep, not having that pesky cardio component in the way,messing up my strength.It was nice to have to focus hard but NOT be so scared my spine was going to pop out.
And I could really feel my old groove re-settling back in. My power groove- hips and upper thighs with a great back arch.
Brought back such fond memories of power squats and good mornings.ah the old days of strength.

Here's the workout
One Arm Swings

16 kg x5/5 x 3

worksets: weight ladders
28 kg x5/5

5 rounds of each ladder
50 24 kg swing: 2650 lbs
50 28 kg swings 3150lbs
50 32 kg swings 3600
9400 lbs of swings.

not bad for the first real swing workout back. I'll take it. It's a baseline and that's what I needed. I was conservativbe too with the work leaving a bunch on the table. Oh yeah, back to barefeet( wrestling shoes at the cold gym).

H2H transfers
24 kg x20 reps x 4 sets
4240 lbs

Havent done these either forever and it felt great. these always feel like much more of a pure leg/hip movement and I could use it. It's a far cry from my 85 reps with the 32 kg in one set but again, its a baseline.I ain't done.


12 kg x10/10 x 3 sets

Arm Bar


24kgx5/5 x2

these both are great moves. I trained for the first time in months at stones and it was cool that it was nice to be there again too.My clubs are at Girya but this was good.cold as hell but nice,lol. I need to keep the arm bars in there. It's actually something I'm good at,lol.

Really felt my legs today from the last two yoga workouts and it was a long day today and too little sleep last night.It always amazes me at just how much better I feel after the workout no matter how crappy I feel before it.This is good.Oh yeah, not a snatch to be found anywhere today and I feel fine about it,lol.

And yes, Girya goes into it's 8th year today! We were the first training studio in the country to focus it's training philosophy on the Russian Kettlebell back in 2003 and everyone thought I was crazy.
I am.

Like a fox. Now it's 2010 and the KB is EVERYWHERE! And we've been in the same location, doing our thing, evolving our thing for 7 full years and we are picking up speed. Now with Tracy's swing classes getting ready to bust out with a dvd, book and (s00n) webcast classes, and Jordan on fire on every front things are just going to get even better. This will get it's own post later.



Boris T. said...

Swings can easily be forgotten in training, I recently was reminded of that myself when I did 1,000 swing for X-Mas. Just like with anything that is "basic" we "advance" beyond them. But those who really know how to train know that the "basics" are the foundation and need to be given their due.

Also I think I've said it before but I'll say it again Congrats to Tracy and yourself on 7 years and all the best in your future en devours.

Mark Reifkind said...

Boris many times going forwards in one's training requires going backwards. or what appears to be backwards.
and thanks again for the well wishes :)) same to you!

Rob O'Brien said...

Great job. FYI - the snatch challenge website is down. Uugghhhhh!

mc said...

I agree with Boris on both counts.

on the swing side - i'm totally blown away by your work sets.
that's intense.


Mark Reifkind said...

see rob

I give up a snatch workout just ONCE and the entire snatch world comes to a halt,lol!

Mark Reifkind said...

thanks MC but I still can't come close to keeping up with Tracy.
btw those are NOT continuous, I just do 5x5 rest and repeat.

Rob O'Brien said...

LMAO. I have not snatches since Sunday....I am ready!!!

Mark Reifkind said...

strangely I am really looking forwards to getting my swing strength back. a year of nothing but snatches may have caught up to me.

Rob O'Brien said...


Agreeed. The 1000 swings I did kicked my ass more than the 800 snatches last month. It is great to return to simple training!

PS - my 6 year old daughter has being doing gymnastics for about two years and is really into it. She did 29 consecutive pullups last week after her 2 hour practice. She is an animal! Thought you would appreciate that.


Mark Reifkind said...


glad to hear your daughter is doing gymnastics. I am a BIG fan of recreational gymnastics for kids and I am a strongly AGAINST competition gymnastics training for young kids, boy or girls. It's way too dangerous.
and yes, I am really digging the simplicity of the swing.simple, but not easy.
did I say that?

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