Question Is it OK to vary the number of swings per day?

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Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Sample - but real - question:

I want to know if it's OK to do something other than 100 swings per day.

Is it OK if, e.g., I'm doing swings 5 days a week, that I hit 500 in total for the week but do 40 one day and 160 on another?
 

natewhite39

Level 7 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
For 1H Swings, my personal range is never < 60 and never > 120 total swings in a normal training session with 1 size bell.

If I am going for extra volume, once or twice a month I will push it up to 200 total swings with 3 separate bell sizes for specialized variety.
 

elli

Level 9 Valued Member
Isn't there a training schedule somewhere around here where there is a "waving the number of swings" during the week?!
So regarding the question by @Steve Freides the answer should be: Yes.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

I'd say it is ok. IMO, the "total weekly volume" counts. Nothing prevents you, in function of fatigue, time, etc...to do for instance 50 one day, and 150 the day after for example

However, rest will be taken accordingly.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@pet', there are other considerations. E.g., perhaps 50 is too few to achieve the desired training effect, or perhaps most people will need longer rests, but might not take them, once they get past 100 to stay anti-glycotic? I don't know the answers to these questions but they're worth considering.

-S-
 

Ryan Toshner

SFG TL, SFB, SFL, FMS
Senior Certified Instructor
I did S&S for awhile before the holidays (and before the start of TSC training)... I didn't vary the reps, but I did vary the weight on both the swings and the get-ups. The swings varied between 32, 36, and (infrequently) 40. The get-ups varied between 40, 44, and (somewhat infrequently) 48. Sometimes that equated to light swings and get-ups. Sometimes it was heavy swings and get-ups. Most often it was some variant in between.

If a weight felt heavy one day, I went lighter. If the weight that I was planning to use felt particularly light when I picked it up from it's storage place, I went heavier (sometimes). It was effective and a little less monotonous than simply doing the same weight day after day. (And, I think it fit well with the concept of variability, a la Plan Strong...)
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

I will echo @Rayhzel 's post and article. Indeed, when we systematilly reach a plateau, linear progression is not efficient enough anymore.

I recently read a study (in French...) that proved that waving programming permit to break this plateau because it allows more rest when needed and put more intensity right after.

However, it was outlined that at the beginning of a program and / or as long as linear progression delivers, there is no need to wave at all. It appeared that waving mostly was a breaking plateau strategy

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Oscar

Level 6 Valued Member
I'm a newbie still working with the 16 kg. Whenever I want a light day as suggested by the book, since I don't have a lighter I do 6 or 8 sets of swings and get ups. It works great for me, but as far as I remember the book doesn't include this as an alternative when you don't have lighter bells.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

@Oscar
If you consider the GU you may have this option (with only one bell available): do it super slow, with great focus on technique and tension. Stop about 10s at each step. This will create a "virtual load". Slow GU can go for "heavy day". A normal pace will go for your other days.

If we consider swings, that is different. For the "heavy days", you can try to "push yourself" a little : reduce time rest or do 1 or 2 sets more.

These are just ideas of course.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

The Nail

Level 7 Valued Member
I want to know if it's OK to do something other than 100 swings per day.
Is it OK if, e.g., I'm doing swings 5 days a week, that I hit 500 in total for the week but do 40 one day and 160 on another?
If you have to ask, you can't afford it.

There is a time and a place for everything, of course.
Emphasis mine:
"Multiple studies have documented the greater effectiveness of “waved” training for experienced athletes."
From Simple to Sinister: Waving Volume on S&S

If the trainee is advanced and needs to wave the volume to progress, they are likely aggressive enough and possess enough training experience that they know they can 'afford it' and would just blaze a trail.

So:
  • Why is the trainee unable to do 100 swings a day?
    • Is the trainee using an appropriate weight?
      • "I do want you to take note of the working man’s attitude to training: “... to the point where you can do the movement over and over again. This is a blue-collar man doing his job. Contrast his mindset with that prevailing among the trainees who fancy themselves hardcore: prey fluttering and desperately trying to save its life." Tsatsouline. Simple & Sinister
    • Is the trainee experiencing pain?
    • Does the trainee have sleep, nutrition, recovery, etc under control?
      • These are more important than training.
  • If there are no limiting factors, the trainee should be patient and follow the program. Program hopping is foolish. Most training plateaus are in fact a lack of patience.
    • "Lest you get impatient, I want to remind you that you will still be making progress in strength and conditioning even when you are repeating the same workout over and over. If this were not true, logging and similar jobs would not make men out of boys, and, undeniably, they do." Tsatsouline. Simple & Sinister
TL;DR:
If you haven't achieved Simple it is not okay to wave volume.
If you are an advanced trainee, experiment intelligently.
 

Lee Hunt

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
I agree with @The Nail and others. There's a time and place, but hit simple first. There is a lot to be learned by keeping the volume the same and listening to your body. I have learned more during S&S about what it really means to train than any other program, perhaps it was because I was looking at how I feel during and after training, rather than how many reps do I need to do today.
 
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