Dan Johns "the 10000 swing kettlebell workout" article from t-nation


Level 6 Valued Member
Mr. Dan,


I believe I thanked you a few years back for all the great advice you give out but once again, thank you!


That last post is better then some books I've read; I think there is enough in there for me to work on for a long time...


Level 6 Valued Member
I have a question on the rest periods. Do you do 10,15,25 rest 50 rest or 10 rest 15 rest 25 rest 50 rest?

Dan John

Level 3 Valued Member
Rest as much as you want. Think it this way: it will take an hour. (or a little more) Get through each "part" in about 12-15 minutes, more or less. Who cares about exactness as long as you are making progress.

Here's the thing: our pull up bars are about twenty meters from the KBs. You walk over and do a pull up. Walk back. Swing. How long does it take...it takes exactly as long as it takes...


First Post
if I'm finishing in 27:00-33:00 I'm wondering if I'm doing something incorrectly.

I'm fairly average 45y.o., 185lbs, 5'9", mesomorphic build, using a 24k bell.  Today was workout #5 so 7,500 to go.  (Doing M,T, Th, F)

Today was press day.  10SW/1 MP R-1 MP L/15 SW/ 2 MP R-2 MP  L/25SW/ 3 MP R-3 MP L/ :20 sec rest/50SW/2:00-2:30 rest & repeat 4 more times.

Each work period took about 5:00.  Dips, pull-ups and Squats go faster since I don't have to switch hands.  (I'm doing those in about 27:00-29:00.) Heart rate is well over 150 and recovery after 2:00 rest is 120-130bpm.  Grip starts slipping a little around rep 40 so I regrip at the float.  Forearm pump is fairly intense so I do lots of fast-and-loose drills during the rest period.

What, if anything am I doing wrong?


Level 1 Valued Member
Why can't people just do a workout as its written?? I don't get all the questions/recommendations to "improve" the workout. I've coached youth football for about 22 years and this reminds me of the 11 year old kids asking "  coach  why don't we do it this way "  Well. because that's not the way you do it. Geez, people need to accept the fact that some people know better than you. Like the commercial said. just do it.

kb dan

Level 3 Valued Member
I agree with Kevin…don’t overthink it. Look at it this way, whether you rest longer or not, are you still getting in 10,000 swings? Either way you are going to reap some benefits.

Listen to your body and you will do fine. Progress is determined in your own mind

Dan John

Level 3 Valued Member
Monty, that is fine. What hurts us on time is a lot of things, mostly we chat and talk. I would hope you are pressing a heavy bell and not the 24 on this. The third rep of the press....it might take a few weeks to build up to doing 1-2-3 all the way through. The next time I run through this, I will use the 48 and I struggle when I am tired to get good reps with it.


Level 6 Valued Member
I didn't feel like beating myself up today with my 88 lb bell using 10,15,25 ladders so I decided to try this workout using a 55 for swings and a 70 for clean and press ladders.

I did all 5 ladders in a 10,15,25,50 format along with 30 cleans and presses on each side with the 70. Total workout took 44 minutes same as my age. The only time my grip was bothered was on the last two sets of 50, but the form didn't break down. After using heavier bells it felt like a toy.

Great workout, was sweaty but felt it ended at a comfortable stop.

If I did this again, I would use double 70 bells for presses and squats, pullups in a 2,3,5 format. For the swings, I would move up to a 28kg after the first week.

Loved the volume. 560 total reps, 31,700 lbs moved. And in a fasted state of 17 hours! Great stuff Dan.

Chris Fleming

First Post
I'd like to encourage anyone who is doing this training to stick with it; it's a simple but very good program.

After the first time I was sore, after the second workout I was VERY sore. Took the day off and didn't know if I would be able to keep going like this, but did it again and felt GREAT! Now I'm attacking the workout itself--cutting the rest periods down to nothing in most cases and using heavier bells. Excited about this method of training and I look forward to each session instead of dreading it.


Level 1 Valued Member
it’s a simple and very good program.


Seriously though, aren't many of the best programs the ones that are simple, yet brutally effective? I was tempted to start this program as soon as I saw it on t-nation the other day, but I'm trying to finish out my current program rather than succumb to my training ADD.


Level 2 Valued Member
As promised, a bit of feedback on this programme. I finished it last week and did it pretty much as written.

Some observations:

- a bit of visible fat loss. I had come off 3-4 months of ROP where I "ate like a man" and put on muscle but also some fat. 1 month on the 10,000 swings got me leaner and I fit 32" jeans again comfortably.

- increased forearm strength. 50 consecutive double-handed swing reps with the 24kg proved very hard at first and I was ready to give up after 30 reps, but it proved worthwhile persisting and now 50 reps in one go feels pretty easy. Good mental test too.

- length of work-out started at around an hour. Towards the end I was down to 40 minutes.

- I like it. I'm a sucker for down to earth simple yet effective programmes, and this certainly fits the bill.

Thank you Dan for putting this out there. My wife didn't complete it as it is (some health and work issues), but she still did at least 10 work-outs with me and it got her hooked on the kettlebell, which was my main goal actually. She did about 400 total reps per session with the 16kg, which I thought was quite impressive for a newcomer like her (and probably too much but hard to reign her in!).

I will take a week off now and I might just do it all over again, this time with a 32kg. I'm thinking getting to my leanest ever is a good goal, and to next year go for some more concrete strength goals with either ROP again or some double kb work.

Dan John

Level 3 Valued Member
That's a great update. I am starting a new one, see my blog at danjohn.net. I'm just finished Day Four. I'm down eight pounds since starting (well, I ENJOYED Europe...) and everyone is thinking that this new option is better for like fat loss, maybe. The version you did is great for strength training, my pull up really turned around on it.


Level 4 Valued Member
I just read the blog Dan. You give alot to us, thank you I really appreciate it!


However I got a little sad that I missed you in Sweden, but thats life and I'll get more chances.

Swann 1

Level 7 Valued Member
I'm certainly NOT trying to add any Blue to Dan John's training by any means, but I did have one question about "adding something"....

Would the Tension Day that Pavel writes about in his most recent blog be workable with this?  I was thinking if the four-day version of the 10,000 Swing workout was used (M-Tu-Th-F), it could be added on Saturday as Pavel suggests.  On the other hand, I don't know about if that would drain essential recovery.

Thoughts?  Am I looking for Blue, or is this legitimate?

Dan John

Level 3 Valued Member
Swanny, I have no experience with this, but I can't see why it wouldn't work. It's just five weeks, so if it is awful...hey! It's barely over a month!

So, dive in. I think it has great merit, but sometimes  a good program just didn't fit the time/period/block that you are in. So, try it. Review it when you finish, take good notes and let us know.


Level 1 Valued Member
Hi Swann, like coach Dan said.

From my little experience, just try at least 1-2 weeks without adding anything to the program you follow. Really, nothing.

After that you can do some experiments if you want. And i think also that "Tension day" will fit with Dan program. "Tension day" is not a challenge or intensity training is it just practice. I did some tension drills just intuitive, and then suddenly Pavel appear with his article and some things became much clearer for me.

Once a week is not a problem. Keep the reps low. Even 3 sets of 1 reps is good. And i think Dan's "heartbeats" will fit perfectly in Tension day as a supplement to your swings challenge.



Level 6 Valued Member
I'm trying this out sans the 50 set each cluster.  Don't quite have the grip endurance for it.  So I'm approaching this program as something to aspire to.  Really going to try and milk it for the winter.


Level 7 Valued Member
I find that I get quite a bit of forearm pain towards the end of the 50s. Grip/form issue, or just tough it out?

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