Can I Do 50 Kettlebell Swings A Day?


After my latest article about doing kettlebell swings every day, one of my readers asks me an interesting question. He was curious if that approach can work for someone with less time, and someone who is just getting started on the kettlebell swing journey. So I’ve dedicated this article to make sure I cover this answer from every angle.

Can I Do 50 Kettlebell Swings A Day? Research shows that doing a 50 kettlebell swing a day, or 12-minute session twice a week, can lead to an almost 20% increase in explosive strength and an almost 10% increase in maximum strength within the first 6-week.

Before I even recommend a training plan to the client, I always take into consideration their fitness level first. This means if you are an experienced lifter, you can probably handle the everyday thing. But, what if you just getting started? In that case, training every day may not be the best option. However, here’s the good news. Doing 50 kettlebell swings every day may actually do the trick just right. Let me explain.

What happens when you exercise every day?

Imagine you are going for a short, 20-minute walk every day. The terrain is fairly challenging, but you keep your pace moderate so that your heart rate can go slightly up. By the end of the walk, you should feel refreshed and energized. In physiology, that’s called eustress (beneficial stress). A short, infrequent boost of “stress” on your body that stimulates you just about right so you can feel good.

It’s good. It’s positive. And I would even say, it’s desired for the body.

Now, what happens if you would walk for a whole day up-hill, on uneven terrain, carrying a heavy backpack, for 7 days a week? How would that make you feel? Sore? Tired? Uncomfortable? Fed up? Maybe even grumpy? At this moment even the smallest problem becomes a Big Problem.

In physiology and psychology, there is a term called allostatic load coined by Bruce McEwen in 1993. It is about the accumulation of multiple physical and cognitive stressors that a person gets. Here’s how it looks on the graph.

Allostatic load graph

Looking from the left side, the less physical and cognitive stress we have, the more “bored” we feel. As we challenge ourself, and more stress comes into our lives, the performance and motivation go up with it.

But once we have too much stress, once the allostatic load gets heavy, we start to crush. And here’s the thing. The faster you can recover from those daily stressors, the more stress you can handle.

Our individual factors like age, fitness level, personality, and resiliance will determinate how well we recover from that stress. So our ability to recover is what will dictate the allostatic load that we can take.

That’s why training hard every day for some people may be exactly what they need. That’s when they feel at peak performance, they feel alive and motivated. I’m sure you know some of those people yourself. They always seem addicted to daily exercise. And once they stop, they don’t feel good.

On the other hand, someone who has already a lot going on, and has a lower capacity to recover, may actually feel much worse from doing the same exact workout. Hardcore everyday training may be simply too much, and easy to burn-out. The effort is exceeding the peak state and they crush.

Related article: 5 Ways To Use Kettlebell Swings For Conditioning

Can I do 50 kettlebell swings a day without burn out?

Recently I wrote an article about doing kettlebell swings every day. And my goal was to walk you through the exact process that I went through myself. I really wanted to create a very useful resource. However, I missed out on one thing. What if you are not ready for that intense training yet?

And I simply missed the fact that not everyone has this luxury of working from home. So in this article, I’ve created the perfect solution for a shorter, but still effective approach.

Because not everyone can handle the high demand for training. It’s intense. And require a lot of time to do so.

But here’s the good news. Doing 50 kettlebell swings is just enough to feel challenged, even if it’s done every day. For most people, it is therapeutic but not exhausting. It’s challenging but not impossible. It’s not a lot, but good enough if done every single day.

Doesn’t matter if you are getting started, or have few years of training under your belt. You can still exercise daily. But it requires a lot of self-awareness. This means you must know how your body feels.

It’s a dose-response thing. You just do a bit and see how you feel. It’s easy to recover, so the next day you can do it again. I call it the sweet spot.

Plus, doing 50 kettlebell swings, every day will significantly increase your cardiovascular capacity, grip strength, and your mobility. It can be used as a single only exercise, as well as a part of the general training regime.

Related article: Will Kettlebell Swings Make My Legs Bigger?

What results can I get from doing 50 kettlebell swings?

So here’s the big question. Is it worth doing just 50 kettlebell swings? Because it doesn’t sound like something hard to do. To be honest, for some trained people, it’s probably just one set of 50 reps. That’s it. What kind of results to expect from 1 set?

A lot.

This study done by Jason P. Lake and Mike A. Lauder from the University of Chichester shows that doing kettlebell swings only twice a week, for just a 12-minute time was enough to stimulate explosive strength by almost 20% and maximum strength by almost 10% (source). The study was done with a group of trained female athletes, and it took 6-week.

That’s the power of kettlebell swings. So let me give you some practical example of the program that you could start doing right away.

The 50 swings program

In this program, you just focus on doing kettlebell swings. It’s fast, simple, and effective. It can be done alone, or it can be done at the end of your regular workout. It’s up to you.

Number of setsNumber of repetitions
15 reps
210 reps
315 reps
420 reps
Kettlebell swing only workout

All you are looking for is just 4 sets. And with each set you simply progress with the repetitions. Expect at the last two (15 and 20) that you may feel quite out of breath. But that’s what you want.

The 50 swings and 50 push-ups program

Here its start to be interesting. What if you have only few minutes time, but you feel like you can handle more that just 50 reps of swings? Then that is perfect solution for you to try.

Number of setsNumber of KB swingsNumber of push-upsRest time
15 reps5 reps2 min
210 reps10 reps3 min
315 reps15 reps4 min
420 reps20 reps
Kettlebell swing with push-ups workout

Of course, you could modify that from the different angles. For example, you could mix and match with reps, and stay with flat 10 reps for 5 sets each. This way you have one more set, and a little bit more time to rest.

You could blast 50 swings as your first choice and then followed by doing 50 push-ups. This will have lower-intensity but is the same volume in a week anyway.

You could change the push-up exercise for something else, like a burpee. Here in this article, I’ve described exactly the difference between burpees and swings, and which one is better.

Related article: Kettlebell Swings And Hindu Pushups At Home Workout

Related questions

What is the best time to exercise?

Here I wouldn’t look for some golden rule. As long as you have time to squeeze the workout in, do it. Don’t worry about a better or worse time. You are doing it, that’s what matters.

How long can you follow this program?

I would start from 6 weeks just to see if this is something for you. You gonna be successful with it only when you will stick to it. And to stick to it you must like it. So you can be willing to do it again and again.

Michal Sieroslawski

Michal is an exercise physiologist (MSc), nutrition coach, Ashtanga teacher, and fitness blogger. He shares his successes and failures to help busy men and women squash down 20, 50, or even 100 pounds of fat without leaving their home.

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