We know that high-rep Kettlebell swings WORKS for fat loss. The biggest problem is that performing 500 – 1000 swings within a single workout can be a DAUNTING task mentally and physically. To ease things up, we can organize our workouts in much more manageable sets while still achieving the benefit of high-volume training.
Before we get into this article, you MUST make sure that your swing form is near perfect. Check out the following article to help you with your swing form: 9 Kettlebell Swing Variations
What is Pyramid Training?
Pyramid training is where you progress in an upward manner, and then a downward manner either in weights, or repetitions from set to set. In our case, we will be focusing on repetitions.
How to set up a Pyramid Workout
A pyramid workout is dependent on the total amount of repetitions you wish to do within a workout, along with the total number of sets you wish to do. Time is also a factor, as the more sets you perform, generally the workout will last longer, although this is not the case all the time.
I have created 3 pyramid workouts based on the total number of repetitions you would like to perform:
The Easy-Breezy 90-Rep Workout
Tim Ferris, in his book “The 4 Hour Body” claims that one can get into great shape by performing 2 Kettlebell Swing workouts per week. The maximum repetition he recommends is 75. Well, in our workout, we’re doing 90 repetitions, and is a great starting point for someone looking to get into high-rep Kettlebell swing training.
|Set One:||10 repetitions|
|Set Two:||20 repetitions|
|Set Three:||30 repetitions|
|Set Four:||20 repetitions|
|Set Five:||10 repetitions|
375 Reps Killer Workout
You can either do 4 rounds of the 90-rep Swing workout and get up to 360 repetitions, or you can follow this scheme, where you are required to perform 75 repetitions in a row at the top of the pyramid, and get 375 total repetitions.
|Set One:||15 repetitions|
|Set Two:||30 repetitions|
|Set Three:||45 repetitions|
|Set Four:||60 repetitions|
|Set Five:||75 repetitions|
|Set Six:||60 repetitions|
|Set Seven:||45 repetitions|
|Set Eight:||30 repetitions|
|Set Nine:||15 repetitions|
500 Reps of PAIN
If you thought that performing 75 repetitions in a row was tough, try doing a set of 80 repetitions, followed by a set of 100 repetitions, followed by a set of another 80 repetitions. 500 total reps is no easy task, but if you can get through this, you can get through nearly anything.
|Set One:||20 repetitions|
|Set Two:||40 repetitions|
|Set Three:||60 repetitions|
|Set Four:||80 repetitions|
|Set Five:||100 repetitions|
|Set Six:||80 repetitions|
|Set Seven:||60 repetitions|
|Set Eight:||40 repetitions|
|Set Nine:||20 repetitions|
The Thousand-Rep Goal
There was an article published on T-mag titled “10,000 Swings for Fat Loss.” I attempted to perform this workout, but was unable to even get to 500 reps on my first day. I should have better managed my repetitions, or at least built up to that level.
I recommend building yourself up to the 500 repetition level. This does not just mean that you perform 500 repetitions one, and then never try to do that again. This means that you start off by being able to do 500 repetitions once a week, then 500 repetitions twice a week, then 3 times per week.
You are training your body to build up that tolerance level, while at the same time getting stronger and leaner. 10,000 repetitions in 10 days might be a nice goal to have, but the majority of people simply do not have the physical capacity to survive such a program.
If you do wish to chase the 1,000 repetition goal, then my suggestion is to perform 500 reps first, then do the 90-rep workout. Now you’re doing 590 reps. Once you’re good at that, add the 500 rep workout + the 375 rep workout, so you can now do 875 reps.
Finally, go after the 1000 reps by performing the 500 rep workout twice.