We borowed a good one from my friend Jonathan Hurtado (who actually borrowed this from Dan John before showing it to me).
This one is super simple, but also beautifully designed to make something that seems impossible at first glance, actually not that bad.
The workout is 500 kettlebell swings and 30 pullups and it looked like this:
10 swings/1 pullup
15 swings/2 pullups
25 swings/3 pullups
50 swings/:30-1:00 rest
x 5 rounds
I have done this workout several different ways. There are two styles of kettlebell swings; American which takes the kettlebell completely overhead until the bottom of the kettlebell is parallel to the ground. There is also the Russian Kettlebell swing which takes the kettlebell to eye level.
The first time I tried this workout I did American swings and finished in 41 minutes. The second time, I did Russian swings and finished in 27 minutes.
You can also choose different accessory movements like Goblet Squats, Pushups, Burpees, Pullups, or really anything else. Today we chose Pullups and the Russian style of swing.
I finished in 25:55 with a 53 lb kettlebell.
This one is a favorite because of the way it is laid out. 10 swings is not hard and the pullup is a little break, then it is easy to get 15 and 2 pullups. Most people can get 25 on the first few sets but may break it into 10 and 15 followed by 3 pullups. The set of 50 is definitely tough, but 10/15/10/15 is very doable and then you get to rest. By the time the rest is up, 10 swings are certainly possible, 15 as well. Then, by the 5th set, alot of people are breaking this into chunks of 10s and 15s to accomplish the workout. Soon, there is light at the end of the tunnel and you are on the last set.
Once finished, there is a great sense of accomplishment having completed 500 swings. At first glance, it looks very difficult if not impossible, but by chipping away at it in manageable chunks, it is really not that bad.
I find that this workout is a general microcosm of so much that life throws at us. If you look at the overall goal or task, most of the time it seems very difficult or impossible. Most people stop there. However, if you take the first step and get started, then break it into manageable chunks, all of the sudden you are well on your way to accomplishing the task and even exceeding the goal.
Training like this is easily translated into every day life and that is a major part of what we are doing at the RRL. Certainly physical training is important, but it is absolutely not the only goal. Mental training is equally important. Overcoming 500 Kettlebell swings at 5:30 am sets the tone for the day and creates confidence and durability. Soon, no task is overwhelming.