I can’t get out of my own way. But then I know you’ve never had that problem. I’m a unique snowflake!
Defining the Problem
When I was a 6-Day per Week CrossFitter, the WODs sucked, but the discipline was easy. I showed up at the gym and just did was I was told.
Now that I’m on my own, I am finding that my biggest issue is a lack of self-discipline. Determine what you’re gonna do, then just do it. On its face, it’s simple. But simple and easy are two distinctly different things.
My biggest problem is not lifting a barbell, or performing a box jump. My biggest problem is showing up!
I show up for Barbell Club two nights a week. I listen to my coach, perform the drills and get results.
So how can I get similar results with intrinsic motivation?
A month ago I began a half-hearted attempt to begin my day with 100 kettlebell swings (KBS). My success was been spotty, about 50-60% at best. So I upped the ante.
Revelation Comes in Threes?
Ever have an idea that comes to you and it hits you from three different places, all within a day or two? It’s like divine intervention or something. I’m not talking about a Voice from the clouds telling me to build an ark. No, just a repetitive theme coming forth from my various internet feeds.
First I read something by Pat Flynn, about a 300 swings per day challenge.
Then I heard and interview with Dan John, where he mentioned 300 swings a day.
Then I saw a T-Nation article that upped the ante to 10,000 swings in 30 days. I had misplaced that article, but was redirected to by a StrongFirst friend who was doing a similar challenge.
The T-Nation feature suggests 500 lifts per session, over a five-day week. Before I read this, I had already begun, with 333 swings per day, for seven days a week. I do 20 swings on the minute, resting for about 25 seconds before the next minute begins.
I chose a seven day program, to force myself to adhere to this for 30 straight days. Consistency and self-discipline are as important to me at this time, as strength. But I suspect I will be doing this a couple times over the upcoming year, so I will adjust at that time.
My personal motivation is to challenge myself to DAILY discipline.
10K KBS will help with Fat Loss
10K KBS will develop core strength
10K KBS will help build endurance
10K KBS will help develop explosive Hip Speed
It is portable (Kettlebells are compact)
It is Location independent – Last week I did swings in the parking lot at work, in my office, my bedroom and the gym
It is scalable by weight, style or swing (one-hand, two-hand, Russian, American)
If you’re not consistent, you’re non-existent – Michael Hyatt
This is a negative incentive, but an incentive nevertheless.
10,000 swings in 30 days, is 333 swings per day. My friend Randy, reminded me that to miss a single day, meant I had to do 666 the following day. Skip the weekend, you have to do 999 on Monday.
The negative incentive is Pain Avoidance, and it works.
I found myself getting home late on Sunday, Day One. Yes, Day One and I was already under pressure. I served my wife dinner, and I went upstairs and did 333 swings at 6:30 PM. 25 minutes later, I was eating my dinner. After my Swings!
The following Sunday (Day One of week Two), I went to the movies with my wife and realized I hadn’t done my kettlebell work, so at 10:00 PM I did 400 one-handed swings before I could go to bed. That wound me up, it was a while before I could sleep after that.
- Day One – Sunday – 333 swings
- Day Two – Monday – 350 swings
- Day Three – Tuesday – 360 swings
- Day Four – Wednesday – 360 swings
- Day Five – Thursday – 460 swings
- Day Six – Friday – 400 swings
- Day Seven – Saturday – 375 swings
- Total Week One 2638 (over 300 swings ahead of schedule).
As I’m writing this, it is Sunday, Day 15. I am halfway through my challenge and I am pleased to report that though I haven’t been consistent with having a set time every day, I have been consistent in that I have done my minimum daily commitment of 333+ swings.
At the halfway mark, I am at 5,238 swings.
Results to Date
Several days into this, my joints ached and my muscles throbbed. I pressed through it, not wanting to “break the chain”. I am at a point where I am very aware of changes taking place in my back, shoulders, arms, grip, abs, glutes and more.
When I began, I was doing two-handed swings. Now most are one-handed. My hip hinge has improved. My hips are more explosive. Breathing has improved. I am able to swing heavier weights, with less rest per minute.
All that stuff is a bonus to me. The prize for me has been that I am on my way to achieving consistency. It’s all good, what’s not to love?