T Nation

10K Swing Log


I've always HATED conditioning.

I have spent lots of years just lifting heavy....it's therapy for me.

Now, at age 47, I realize that I look like the guy that ate the guy I used to be. I've become the strong fat guy, and I don't like it.

Along came Dan John's 10,000 Swings program, so I decided I'm doing it and getting my fat ass in better shape....it's only 20 workouts....no problem...right??

Yesterday, 9-30-2013, I made myself a T-handle, psyched myself up, and went after it!

The plan was to put five 10 lb. plates on the T-handle (which ended up being 57 lbs.), and do front squats with 205 (75% of my front squat 1RM). Things went south pretty quickly.

-1st round: Made it through, but was sucking wind BIG TIME! In worse shape than I thought.

-2nd round: Had to break up the 50 swings with short rests because hips decided to seize up.

-3rd round: Dropped down to 47 lbs. on swings, rest periods longer, broke the 50 up again.

-4th round: Head is throbbing! Had to break up the 25 and 50 swings. On set of three front squats, hit the hole on the first rep and my body said "that's enough of that shit" so I left it on the safety pins and finished the round.

-5th round: Swings only...pretty sure I'm going to die at this point. Took forever.

Finished in 1 hour 18 minutes. Pitiful. Took 10 minutes to catch my breath, don't even remember driving home.

TODAY: Hands, traps, feet, and hips are fried, and I'm dragging ass. Will do workout #2 later, and put in another update.


Workout #2

As the day went on, more things became sore…abs, delts, glutes, low back.

Warmed up a lot before starting the workout.

52 pound swings and 2/3/5 chin-ups using various grips. I know Dan John said to use 1/2/3 with chins, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to haul my big 240 pound ass up to the bar 50 times.

1st round wasn’t horrible.
2nd round had to break up the 50 swings again.
3rd round the headache came around again
4th round had to break up the 25 swings and the 50 swings
5th round pretty much the same as 4th round

Total time was 57 minutes.

A few observations:
Judging by yesterday, using front squats will greatly increase your total time, and make you want to die…if you’re out of shape.
Using Fat Gripz on the T-handle is a bad idea. BTW, thanks Shane for dropping that idea in my head before you left the gym.
Dan John is a tad sadistic.

Thank goodness tomorrow is an off day.


Instead of taking 2 days rest over the weekend, I decided on Wed. and Thur. (Thur. is pub day).

I’ll do workout #3 today and post later.


Workout #3

Swings and Dips 2/3/5

Lots of warm up again.

Round 1 - Best round yet, felt sort of easy.
Round 2 - Another good round.
Round 3 - Huffing a little, had to break the fifty up.
Round 4 - The dread has returned…broke the 50 up again. Tough round.
Had to do a lot of rolling on the lower back before round 5
Round 5 - SUCKED, several stops on the swings because of lower back pump.

Total time: 47 minutes.

Getting better every workout so far.


OK, life got in the way, and I ended up not working out over the weekend.

Workout #4 today.

Swings and mil press with the EFS football bar 1/2/3 using 135 lbs.

Round 1 - Better than last Friday’s round 1, football bar was interesting.
Round 2 - Another good round, a little winded.
Round 3 - Best round 3 yet. No breaks in the swings.
Round 4 - HUFFING, but still no breaks in the swings.
Round 5 - Tough round, had to catch my breath twice on the 50.

Total time was 41 minutes.

Absolutely best workout so far. Getting in better shape already. I’m glad I went conservative on the pressing since it was my first time using the football bar and although 135 is not really heavy for me, the football bar definitely made it more difficult.


Workout #5

Swings and Pendlay Rows 1/2/3 with 185
Total time: 37:30

For the first time, I made it through all rounds without stopping. Whoop!

I’ve noticed that my recovery between rounds is a lot better already. I also decided that all strength moves for the remainder of the program will be compound upper body moves.

I haven’t noticed any fat loss yet, but after 500 swings, my upper traps look badass for a couple of hours.


Workout #6 (yesterday)

Swings and dips 2/3/5
Total time 31:42

Rounds 1-3 were relatively easy, but I was sweating like a politician on judgement day.
Round 4 had me huffing and puffing.
Round 5 pretty much like round 4

Obviously I’m getting in better shape. My recovery is better, mental toughness is up, and I’m beginning to get a little sadistic.
When my time quits getting better I will probably add weight to the swings and see what happens.

Forgot to mention previously that I’ve been counting down on reps…for some reason it helps.


Workout #7

Swings and Chins 2/3/5
Not going to bore anyone with the round by round today.

It went well, total time 29:34


Workout #8

Swings and mil press w/football bar using 145

Total time = 27:56

Getting better and better. My recovery between rounds is the main improvement, swings can only be done so fast, you know? Still haven’t noticed fat loss, but that’s probably because I like M&M’s more than apples. Still loving the trap pumps.

Summary: In better shape - still fat - badass traps.


Keep it up. I’m interested to see how this goes for you. Stay strong for the full 20 workouts.


Will do VG33.

Workout #9

Swings and Pendlay Rows 1/2/3 with 195

Going to “round by round” it a little differently today…start and finish time each round.

Round 1 - 0:00 to 3:47
Round 2 - 5:00 to 8:31
Round 3 - 10:00 to 13:52
Round 4 - 16:00 to 19:56
Round 5 - 22:00 to 26:01 New PR again.

Really pushed it today. I noticed my heart rate came down faster than usual when I finished, which can only be a good thing.

I briefly thought about starting the Palumbo diet this week (worked for me before), but decided that this experiment will entail the 10K Swing program only so my results won’t be tainted.

The only change I will be making from here on out is increasing weights as neccessary.


Rest day…ooooh yeah.


Had a couple of things come up yesterday, so no workout. Fear not, the beatings will continue.


Workout #10

Swings and Dips 2/3/5

Round 1 - 0:00 to 3:55
Round 2 - 5:00 to 8:37
Round 3 - 10:00 to 13:58
Round 4 - 16:00 to 20:03
Round 5 - 22:00 to 26:22

Wasn’t into it today, but pushed through anyway.


My lack of posting…

This past Saturday, I woke up lame. My right knee was hurting like crazy. I’ve been hobbling around for a few days now. It’s slowly getting better, but it’s not there yet.

I don’t think the problem is so much something I did to my knee, but something I haven’t been doing…I haven’t squatted since that first 10K swings workout. 22 days. I know this sounds crazy to some, but when I squat regularly my knees feel good, just like deadlifts and GM’s keep my lower back feeling good, and overhead pressing makes my shoulders feel better.

The plan…let this knee heal just a bit more, then resume the 10K swings with some supplemental squatting thrown in a couple of times a week.


Knee feels good now. Back at it tomorrow.


Have you considered making squats one of your movements? Try front squats or back squats.


Actually, nilla grilla 33, I’ve been putting off the inevitable. Since the knee getting mostly better, I’ve been making excuses not to do the swings.

I got BORED with it.

Does it work? Hell yes it works! Dan John is absolutely correct about its effects. In 10 workouts I dropped 11 pounds and my fitness, as you can tell from my times, improved dramatically. The remaining 10 workouts probably would have helped a lot.

I somewhat feel like a quitter, but doing the same thing week in and week out is just not me. I NEED to lift, as in LIFT, not GPP all the time.

Now, having said that, I will use the protocol in my training, how can I not after what it can do.

My advice to anyone committed to REALLY getting in shape, swing away.


thanks for the thoughts. I’m going to try this in a week just for a training break. I’m glad I could see how it worked in a short period. Thanks for posting on this.



Awesome, I’m definitely interested in this. I wish I’d seen it earlier. Good luck with it and I hope your knee is back to 100% soon.

EDIT: Oh sorry I misread, I didn’t realise you’d stopped.