1000 kettlebell swing challenge

You know me, not really an endurance guy,  but since I have been playing around with performance breathing lately I decided to put it to a test. Preparation – Be Breathed twice a week to teach the body to sync the movement with my breathing and between 400 – 450 swings a session couple of times a week using 30s on and 30s off interval with a 16kg bell which is fairly comfortable. My aim was to do 1000 swings in a single session using the same intervals. I could have (should have) used more gradual increments in my training before the 1000 but I was quite confident that I could do the 1000 because I felt so comfortable doing the 400s, my only worry was the grip.
I did 1014 swings in 50 minutes.  It may be a different story with the heavier bells. My breathing was controlled and so was my heart rate i.e. I could have easily maintained conversation at the end of it without gasping for air. Let’s say (on the conservative side) that KB swings burn about 11 cal a minute (if you do KB circuits you are talking about up to 20 cal a minute ) so 550 calories burned there and then, nothing to sneeze at. The only thing that started bothering me (as I suspected this would happen) in the last 100 reps was the grip, other than that i could have carried on proving that ‘perpetual movement‘ is possible, hai !

Categories Kettlebells | Tags: | Posted on December 1, 2011


  1. by Joanne Butler

    On August 15, 2012

    I recently completed a similar challenge on my own.
    I decided to do 500 KB swings with 16kg each day for 10 days (I’m a 59kg female)
    I had to complete them all in one workout in as little sets as possible.
    In my first session, 10 sets of 50 were as many as I could do, but by the 10th day, I was doing 5 sets of 100 with short breaks of 20-30 seconds between each set. Like you, my grip was my downfall. Aching forearms were a killer.

  2. by matrain_admin

    On August 16, 2012

    Yeah, the grip. For that reason I prefer to keep the reps to no more then 20-25 even though one can do lot more in a single set. Also, with higher rep sets the form does tend to deteriorate. It may be actually better to go up in weight and stick to lower reps.Anyway, very impressive result !

  3. by Grant Jansen

    On August 15, 2012

    Hi George

    I’ve been trying this challenging challenge but at the 800 mark I start to loose form badly and my grip begins to go.

    I’ve tried different interval times to try and maximise work to recovery to try and get through it and found your 30/30 works for me too.

    I use the 16kg KB but since I’m a little guy (65kg) I really have to work to maintain form over the duration and no I won’t drop the weight down to get through it.

    Any suggestions as I really want to bust this one out.



  4. by matrain_admin

    On August 16, 2012

    Hi Grant, what sort of prep have you done for it? I weigh 72 kg (185cm) so fairly light and lean, so each swing is actually bit more effort then for someone who is shorter and much more suited for swings. Break it up into smaller sessions i.e. start with a 20min workout which would give you 400sw. Then rest next day, then go for 500 etc. What I did, when i got to 600 I knew i could easily do the 1000. The trick in in the breathing (provided your form is ok). You need to engage ‘reverse breathing’ technique. This was the reason why I did the 1000sw challenge. To prove that ‘performance’ breathing is the way to go when in comes to endurance training.

  5. by Gaurav Tiwari

    On January 2, 2016

    Hey guys, I’ve been doing KB swings for the last couple of weeks and the results have been good. This is my routine and i do it without letting the grip bother me.

    KB – 16kg

    800 one arm swings a day broken into 10 sets of 80 (40 swings in each hand, each set)

    What i do is that i switch the grip with every single swing. So when my arm is parallel to the ground, i switch arms and am able to thrust harder. I don’t know about the technical details behind this method but this has definitely worked for me and has not caused me a single issue when it comes to the grip allowing me to do more reps in less time with less rest period.

    Practice makes perfect. Use lighter weight until you get the motion right and then start increasing weight depending on your fitness levels.

    Good luck and keep swinging!


Leave a Reply

close window

Service Times & Directions

Weekend Masses in English

Saturday Morning: 8:00 am

Saturday Vigil: 4:30 pm

Sunday: 7:30 am, 9:00 am, 10:45 am,
12:30 pm, 5:30 pm

Weekend Masses In Español

Saturday Vigil: 6:15pm

Sunday: 9:00am, 7:15pm

Weekday Morning Masses

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: 8:30 am

6654 Main Street
Wonderland, AK 45202
(513) 555-7856