The 5,000 Kettlebell Swings Challenge
What and How
Intention: The Kb 5k is meant to be a more approachable, organized and concise version of the legendary challenge by Coach John. Is it as hardcore? Not by half. Is it as effective as ten thousand swings? I don’t know, I never made it that far. But I believe this plan is still challenging enough to improve body composition and athleticism, while only taking 40 minutes per workout, five days per week. If consistency is king, then a ‘meager’ one-thousand swings each week for five weeks will still kick-start a ‘what the hell’ effect in body composition and performance gains.
Execution: The 5k consists of five weeks, each with five to six workout days. Each workout is time-based, so it shouldn’t take more than 30-40 minutes to complete a session. The only gear you’ll Need is a single, swinging-weight kb. If you have it, you’ll get your money’s worth from a pull up bar and dip station as well, maybe a lighter kb or db if you want some options.
Every workout runs the same way:
Warmup- 5:00 (joint circles, dynamic stretching, air squats and hip bridges)
Every 2:00 x 10 rounds- each round you’ll do 20 single-arm swings, paired with 5-10 reps of another strength move. See the spreadsheet for that write up.
Cooldown- 5:00 (foam rolling followed by static stretching)
That’s it! The whole darn thing is just 30 minutes, not accounting for ‘fuck around’ time between sections.
Now, if you really want to get crazy and add some extra strength work you absolutely can. I'd recommend adding heavy lifts twice a week on the "short" workout days, ahead of the swings. Front squat, bench press, weighted chin ups and power cleans or deadlifts are excellent options. Stick with heavy weights and low reps. I really like 2-3-5 reps, add weight, then another 2-3-5 reps as seen in Dan John's Mass Made Simple model (can you tell I'm a fan?).
If you're a calendars and grids person, you can download spreadsheet with the timing format, recommended movements