300 Kettlebell Swings for 30 Days? I Did It, and Here's What I Learned

Paul S. Chun • Tuesday, July 7, 2020 • Tokyo, Japan

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This blog post was written for Elbower’s previous life as a habit formation tool. The founder decided to change the focus of the company, but fully respects the usefulness that these posts provide to readers. Please enjoy them, but realize that references to Elbower inside of them are now out of date.

Are you considering doing the 300 kettlebell swing challenge for 30 days? You know, that challenge that you can find all over the Internet (like here, here and here) where they rave about the benefits of getting that hunk of cast iron moving?

I gave it a go, and the main thing to say is: I'm glad I did it! And I'd totally recommend it.

Why, you ask?

Let's Start With the Obvious Fitness Benefits

If not for anything else, do it to improve your fitness levels.

Kettlebell swings are all the rage in today's closed-gym-world, but going the extra distance for a large number of swings once can be daunting.

And if doing that thirty days in a row feels like it's impossible, start slowly! I was amazed at how quickly my body became more fit and ready to take on more work, and you will be too.

Work Your Way Up

Every minute, on the minute, see how many times you can swing a kettlebell ten times. When I got started, I couldn't do more than 110.

Every week, I worked my way up with 20 extra reps per week. So week one, I did 130 swings a day, and took days off. Then the next week, I went up to 150. And then, when I reached 230 swings in a day, I felt ready to try 300.

And then I did it! But gosh, was I sore the next day. I didn't feel comfortable trying out this challenge until I could reliably do 300 swings a day four times in a week.

Let Your Body Tell You When It's Ready

While this is indeed a challenge, you shouldn't feel like you're on the verge of fainting or dying when you've completed a day. If that's the case, you probably still need to do some more training to get the point where you're ready to swing 300 times a day.

I'm admittedly awful at recognizing what my body is trying to tell me - I tend to push as much as I can, and sometimes that gets me into trouble. For this particular challenge, I gave myself permission to get ready for it without rushing. I recommend you do the same, namely, to work your way up to the point where you can swing 300 times four days a week and not rush anything.

You'll Feel Far More Accomplished Than You Expect To

Swinging a kettlebell 300 times a day is an achievable goal, and people reporting on their experiences talk about how they lost weight or their abs became more pronounced or that they have more energy.

Even more basic than that, though, is the benefit of being able to do something consistently and without fail. In our ever-connected world and the responsibilities and the disruptions that come with it, consistency seems to have become an afterthought. That's a shame, because consistency is an incredible force when harnessed correctly!

After all, this challenge is about more than the weight itself, it's a challenge to your ability to form a habit and keep at it consistently.

To help you with this, I would strongly suggest that you keep track of your progress, whether with a simple calendar and a pen to cross off that you've done your 300 for a given day, or a digital system like what we have here at Elbower. Doing this has immense benefits:

You Don't Need to Mentally Record Your Progress

"Wait, was today day nine or ten?"

That's an incredibly common question for people that don't track their progress, and not knowing where you are is a step closer to giving up. And that's not what you're about! Which leads me the next reason you should track your progress:

A Visual Reminder Can Be That Extra Boost When You're Not Feeling It

We all have those days where your energy levels are sapped and attempting to accomplish something feels like a challenge. I certainly did during my thirty days of swinging.

Because I visualized my progress, I was able to see the momentum I'd built in plain view. It. Was. So. Worth. It. Remembering that I'd already gotten nine days (or 2,700 swings!) in was that extra oomph that I needed to get past day ten.

Last But Not Least, It Feels Super Freaking Good

Like many of you, I also sit in front of a desk for most of the day. That's true whether I'm programming, producing content, tweeting or just consuming media through the computer. That, as you know, is not what human bodies were made to do - we were made to move!

Having the kettlebell so conveniently close and utilizing it for a respectable and predictable workout with a modest duration is just what I need to exchange my idling guilt for some endorphins.

But building and really nailing down your habits around your swinging is what really makes it a special routine. Like with most things incremental, you can and should make slight modifications each time. For example, the first time you swing, you might realize that the workout would have been better with some music. Then the next time, you realize that if you fixate your eyes on a certain point on the wall, you'll naturally keep your back straight. That means that each time you perform these exercises, you find a way to do it better, which is the magic of this program. These slight modifications compound over time, so you can maximize your motivation and really enjoy the process.