We set a challenge for ourselves at the kettlebell class last week, to do 10,000 swings each in one month, and it's going well. Everybody is ahead of schedule and most people are enjoying it, there are a few exceptions, but I think deep down they're having fun.
Challenges like this are a great way to push yourself and take you out of your comfort zone. It is too easy to plod along with your exercise, following the same programme for too long and not testing yourself both physically and mentally. I often see challenges like this flying around Facebook, but the exercises they use are not ideal and can often be detrimental. As we age (and I class anybody over 28 as aging, sorry), certain muscles get tight, whilst others get weak and an ideal training program should stretch the tightening muscles and strengthen the weakening ones. Challenges with press ups and squats and going to tighten already tight muscles (the ones we should be stretching) and leave the weak muscles to get weaker. This is why the kettlebell swing is an excellent choice because your glutes (bum) and abs tend to weaken as we age and that is exactly what the swing strengthens. It is also one of the best exercises to increase your fitness and melt fat. It's a one stop shop for less fat, a better bum and firmer abs, who doesn't want that?
Now I wouldn't recommend picking up a kettlebell for the first time to start a 10,000 swing challenge. That isn't going to end well, you're going to need to take a few months to learn the exercise and build your fitness.
If you're near Todmorden, you should come to our class 6:30pm on Wednesdays at the High School, it is suitable for all abilities, even if you have never seen a kettlebell before and we always have fun.