Kettlebell Something I've been doing-Airdyne and Swings

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Jeff Roark

Level 6 Valued Member
Being new here and reading much more than posting, I'm still trying to grasp a lot of the info on here. This is probably not even remotely close to what the A+A stuff is about, but anyway here is what I've been doing lately.

I've been injured pretty bad the past several months due to rolling with a spaz (and a purple belt one at that) and got my knee popped really bad. Its really limited me to certain things as far as strength training but I can do easy cardio, which is what I learned that I needed several years ago, after doing killer Burpee circuits did nothing for my mat shape. I couldn't muster up anymore discipline to go harder on the burpees so I decided I was going back to my old Marine Corps ways and started doing good easy shuffle runs, formation run pace. After about a month my mat conditioning did a dramatic change. I was doing exactly the opposite of what the internet told me to do to be a mat killer. fast forward 3 years and here I am reading about the slow easy aerobic stuff.

So, I've been doing mainly the Airdyne and Rucking for my aerobic work. 2x per week on the air dyne and 1 ruck march. I found that I needed to do at the least 40 minutes of aerobic work to get anything out of it and the best at around an hour or so. Now for me, sitting on the Airdyne for a straight hour is a killer on my rear end and it makes it miserable. Reading about the S&S and the A+A stuff, I decided to do a set of Swings every 5 minutes. That little 30 second or so break for the swings makes it much more tolerable.

Here is something that I've noticed doing this. I can maintain my heart rate around 135 beats at a much easier pace when I do the swings vs. just straight pedaling. Watching my heart rate monitor when I do the sets of swings my HR will jump up to around 150 or so just for a few seconds and then drops super fast right back down to around 135 which is from what I can tell is close to the range I should be working at and I can pedal effortlessly and maintain that HR. Its almost like I only have to do just enough to keep the fan wheel spinning. I find this a much more pleasurable way to work on the Airdyne.

Nothing scientific or maybe of no use, but just wanted to share.

Bret S.

Level 7 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Hey Jeff,

I'm with you on the..

sitting on the Airdyne for a straight hour is a killer on my rear end and it makes it miserable

Can't stand sitting on my rear end and doing aerobic work. There's nothing more mindless and boring (for me) than doing that. I've been experimenting with swings sandwiched between runs of blocks, punches and kicks up and down the floor. I''l do a set of swings, let my HR settle, then go to karate, then let HR settle and repeat. So far it's been feeling like a fantastic conditioner. I've also been experimenting with Kenneth Jay's Viking Warrior Conditioning.

Another thing to consider are swing clusters. Kettlebell for Cardio.
I've been doing these regularly lately in place of straight A+A swings. It's nice to have a variety of conditioning choices. Rucking and running interest me but I haven't had the time to properly plan a strategy or setup yet. LSD work is the only thing missing in my training. It will be added..

Letting your imagination work and experimenting with different training strategies is both fun and beneficial. Keep up the good work.

Jeff Roark

Level 6 Valued Member
Are you basing this number (135) on MAF or on a Zone system based upon %HRmax?

Well, neither really. Its more based on what I have felt through easy running and hearing for years to keep a pace that you can hold a conversation during or breathing through your nose. I noticed that when I would get up around 145-150bpm I'd have this feeling of wanting to take a big deep breath, almost like I was wanting to do a little mouth breathing. I then figured if I could keep it a bit lower that should work fine for me. I think I can probably go up to around 155bpm and still breath through my nose now, but that probably takes me out of the aerobic zone.

For me the MAF would be 137bpm and I'm guessing the other method would put me somewhere between 120-150, to lazy to figure it right now.


Level 9 Valued Member
Yes. Some folks who have adapted to nose breathing, can certainly do it above the Aerobic Threshold. Which is fine of course, for the time one trains in those zones.
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