T Nation

10,000 Swing Log


So after reading the 10,000 swing review I’ve desided to give it ago. This log is for accountability, and to provide info for any one else interested in giving it a go.
Goals: I did have surgery booked for the end of May which was the end by date for this challenge. But that’s slipped. I now have a Music Festival in early June and going into looking a bit better and much fitter is a big driver. So that’s the goal.
Starting info
6ft tall 101kg 30%ish bf.
Max lifts from AMRAP sets with the last month:
Bench 120kg
Squat 185kg
Deadlift 205kg
5/6 pull ups max.
I don’t know my press. Not really pushed it for a while.
Most importantly waist measurement 103cm around the navel.
Im going to stick to the plan 100% using an allowed substitute. Front squat for goblet squat.
Dips might become an issue as I have an old shoulder injury I must care for. If so I will just have to figure it out.
Metrics to be recored every night.
Total work out time, first cluster time, last cluster time, bell weight, strength movement weight.
Tonight is the first night of the Challenge. I’m both scared and excited. Not sure what is in store. But hey ho. I’ll be back in 2h’s to let you know how it went.

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Well that was fun. I’d rather not do it another 19 times.
Bell weight 20kg
Press weight 55kg
Total time 58mins
1st cluster time 6min
Last cluster - complicated

After finding out my gym only has bells in multiples of 4 kg I should have used the 16kg bell. But my ego knew this was the weight Dan John prescribed for his female clients and it got the better of me. Big mistake. I pick up the 20kg bell…
1st cluster went well. But I knew I was in trouble. The 50 rep set was awful.
By the 350th rep i text my wife for a half time talk. It worked. How ever I could not complete the programme as set out.
I done: 10,15,25,50, 10,15,25,50, 10,15, 25,50, 10,15,25,40, 10,15,25,15,10,10.
Added another 1,2,3 for the press in there for good measure.
Initial thoughts:
My swings need work. I feel jerky and snappy at the wrong points which lead to trap and neak pain. But time and practice will sort this. My grip held firm which I’m please about. I am seeing how the swing is hip hinge and glute exercise. Once I got this things worked better. My lower back is killing me but I have a 16 year old complaint so this was expected.

I think a soft start, miss tomorrow then work out Tuesday, another rest day before 2 on 1 off becomes the pattern.


Good luck, carl. You can do it!

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Second 500 tonight. With pull ups.

Did not record the first and last cluster as I did not now if I’d manage to make it all the way through the last cluster.
Any way - simple enough. Work out done in a shade under 55mins. Which is progress from Sunday. Also managed to do 5 sets of 10, 15, 25, 50. The last 50 were nasty. But the fact that in 2 works out I’ve gone from not being able to complete the work out as designed to doing it as designed but quicker is encouraging.
lower back DOMS and glute tightness are killing me. Glad I have a day off before the next round. 2 days back to back is the oncoming challenge.

Side note - diet. Yesterday and today I have craved SHIT. Sugar & fat. Its true to say I stress eat. And work is stressful at the moment. But I think its more the challenge than anything else. I’m hoping its the shock of such a total change in exercise type. I have put measure in place to limit this (the debit card is being left in doors and I have meal prepped for the next 5 days) so I’m hoping I don’t ruin this with poor eating choices.


Stick to clean choices! You’ll get more out of it! Just eat as clean as you can. During this whole time if you have 3-4 bad meals I’m sure you’ll be ok. Just limit it!

Good job though man! Your abs, hamstrings, low back and glutes should be way stronger after finishing this challenge!

Definitely make sure to do some active recovery and stretch out those glutes/hips/hams!


Thank man – I’m trying to eat clean but I will admit I was not ready for the urges to take on this many more calories. Its all about prep for me. IF there is clean food in the fridge – I’ll eat clean. If not I will eat 8 sausages fried in bacon fat.

I have a bowl of mash and some fried beef mince in the fridge now. Its not pretty but warmed up with cheese it’s a source of easy, good calories that should subdue any cravings.


A note on sleep:

I normally get a good 7h with bed at 22.15 and rise at 05.45, so even if it take me 30mins to get to sleep I’m well rested for the day. After 3 days of the challenge I’m now moving this forward to a 09:45 bed time. My body really is put out by the demands of 500 swings. However I feel its important to listen to it. If it needs more calories and more sleep then I will oblige.

A note on recovery

I’ve made a commitment to walk more during this period. Half for recovery half as the weather is improving so why not. I think its helping. I feel better today than I did yesterday after a day off. My lower back is still tight(ish) but its not as bad as it is for say deadlifts. I’m engaging in stretching nightly. It’s helping.

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That was shit.
Ive had a bad day for eating. I skipped a meal by accident. So I was one step behind the game mentally today. If almost talked myself out of training as I felt weak.
How ever I made it. With front squats. Never again (until next Thursday).
Really really quick first cluster set the pace.
I should not have used my true 5rm for the front squat. I’m not inshape enough.
Total time 52 mins - happy considering this is the hardest day. Had this been an upper body movement day this would be sub 50.
First cluster 6mins
Last cluster? Didn’t time sorry.
Front squat 90kg 198lb.

Must remember the challenge as laid out is for people of a good level already. I must not assume I can jump to end.


Turned up done the first cluster and I was in discomfort.
Done 110, and was starting to wain. Swing 111 was agonny. Lower back pain not ache, pain. Time to back off.
Im not ready for back to back days just yet.
This one is scrubed and ill go again tomorrow.
Tonight is now an impromptu push night.


Sorry to hear that. Let us know how it works out


Blow out again tonight.
I’m devastated.

Warmed up, got to to rep 10 in under 5 mins. Felt okay. Rep 110, 125 and 150 fell quickly enough.
Started with rep 151 and knew I was in trouble. Got to rep 175 and had to ditch the bell. Waited a bit, wanted to get 200 out. Picked up the bell and was on agonny again. Didn’t not do swing 176.
My wife thinks it’s the hang over front the front squat work out. Apparently I’ve not been that messy after a work out since I was in my 20’s lol. Which make sense.
My plan now is a day off. Sunday is an activite rest day. I take an under 6 rugby club in the AM. And after that I might do some work on the assault bike - maybe.
Whilst I’m not where I want to be I have done 1786 swings against the 2000 I wanted (4work outs a week) . Albeit I will not be counting 286 of those in the 10,000 number.
From now on - to save my lower back my strength exercises will be upper body only. Press and pull up 2x a week.
I’m also doing more lower body stretches and mobility work from Dr Jong Rusin.

Ps, I still like this challenge. Even if I’ve not seen many physical changes I’ve noticed a mental change. I’m growing my determination back.
Its good.
I will finish this God Aweful challenge. Even if I need to do it one swing at a time.


Its been over a week since I got through all 500 swings. I’ve tried resting, foam rolling, and rehab and I’m getting nowhere.

The issues is I have an old back injury that I did not think this would effect. I was wrong.

I’m undertaking rehab for the injury that I got back when this was first diagnosed. And I will carry on with a general strength training program assuming this not to the detriment of my health.

With any luck I will try this challenge again come the end of the year. Once the rehab has kicked in and I can be confident that the injury will not flair up again.

For what’s its worth – my thoughts on this are as follows.

10,000 swing challenge is great. Each work out is manageable. Just. But there is a clear progression mode which more challenges do not have.

Stick to the prescribed work outs. The only thing I would recommend is careful of the squat work outs. Doing all of those swings, and 30 reps with your 5 rep max is hard. Great – but hard.

The internet is full of ways to get to 100 reps for a cluster. Use 10, 15, 25, 50. If you do not – you will not see the true beauty of the work out.

Do not let ego tell you want kettle bell to use. I did. Start light. Work out.

Eve if you don’t do the 10,000 challenge. A 500 swing work out is a great way to change things up.


Thanks for the update. Best wishes for your rehab