Experimenting with high rep kettlebell movements

John Ciechoski

Second Post
I just finished a brutal, but rewarding kettlebell work out consisting of one handed hard-style swings and push presses with the 24kg. I kept reps at 10 per set with the swings and 5 per set with the push presses with about 20 seconds rest between sets totaling 300 reps for each. All in all I completed this in about 30-45 minutes. I'm aware that high rep work goes against the core principles of SF however there's something about it that I tend to favor over heavy low rep grinds. I'm also aware that I'm the best judge of what I'm capable of recovering from day to day but I am interested to find out if anyone else here has experimented with not only high rep kettlebell swings but also high rep kettlebell push presses (or something similar like jerks, etc.) Will the daily push presses wear my joints down/cause overuse injuries? I'm shipping to basic training in a month and would like to stay in good shape.

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
@john, welcome to the StrongFirst forum.

We are not against endurance. I suggest you read both Kettlebell Simple and Sinister, and The Quick and The Dead. They will give you some perspective on how we approach these things. And you may also look into what's called A+A around here - lots of people doing an hour's worth of heavy swings and snatches.

Will the daily push presses wear my joints down/cause overuse injuries?
No, I don't think so. The keys to effective training are good technique and intelligent programming. The pushpress is an excellent movement, but issues of mobility do tend to make themselves known with high volumes of overhead work, so ease into things in terms of volume, and a movement screen - we are fans of the FMS, Functional Movement Screen, around here - would be a great. Last but certainly not least, our forum is _great_ about giving feedback to training videos - take a video of yourself doing some pushpresses, uploaded to YouTube, Google Drive, DropBox, Vimeo, or anywhere else that can be made viewable to others, and post a link in a message that asks for feedback.



Still New to StrongFirst Forum
Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
like Steve said, nothing against high volume here, but I have heard that misconception before. StrongFirst not strong only, strength, as in either relative or absolute strength is the first characteristic or capability to be pursued because it will have an impact on all other aspects of fitness. using the push-press as an example imagine a person that could only do 20 reps in 20minutes with a 24kg. instead of chasing more reps in that time through creative intervals or endless endurance work, simply getting strong enough to do a single or double with the 40kg would certainly have a positive impact on how many reps they could get with the now sub-max 24kg.
you probably understand this, but it is so often lost on people new to fitness and enamored with the "burn" or sweat of a work out.

to your question about joint health, high volume can be just fine if technique is on point. but the ability to train heavy (think relative to bw) is one of the better ways to maintain joint health became it ensure the integrity of the surrounding tissue.

so swing and push press like mad, but get some heavier work in too. your body will be all that much better for it.
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