The Perfect Posterior: Kettlebell Swings and Cheap Alternatives

Tracy: 100+ lbs. lost with 2–3 sessions per week.

In The 4-Hour Body, I profiled Tracy R., a mother of two who lost more than 100 pounds.

The secret wasn’t marathon aerobics sessions, nor was it severe caloric restriction. It was the Russian kettlebell swing, twice a week for an average of 15–20 minutes. Her peak session length was 35 minutes.

This post will explain how to perform the two-handed kettlebell swing, and it will offer a cheap $10 alternative.

Beyond fat loss, this movement will help build a superhuman posterior chain, which includes all the muscles from the base of your skull to your Achilles tendons. For maximum strength and sex appeal in minimal time, the posterior chain is where you should focus. From “violent hips” for power sports, to the perfect ass for aesthetics, I suggest one starting point:

The Swing

Reps and Sets – Less is More

Long before I met Tracy, I met “The Kiwi” in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

In early 2006, he happened to be taking a private Spanish lesson in the same café where I was finishing the manuscript for The 4-Hour Workweek, and we quickly became close friends. He had competed in elite-level rugby in New Zealand but was equally proud, I soon learned, of applying his BSE in exercise physiology to perfecting the female posterior.

He told me the story over a bottle of Catena Malbec. His obsession started when he saw a professional samba dancer in Brazil balance tequila shots on top of each butt cheek in a dance club. Lamenting the lack of similar scenes in his own country, he set off on a mission to isolate the best exercises for creating buttocks worthy of tequila shots.

By 2000 he had refined his approach to a science. In four weeks, he took his then-girlfriend, an ethnic Chinese with a surfboardlike profile, to being voted one of the top-10 sexiest girls out of 39,000 students at the University of Auckland. Total time: four weeks. Other female students constantly asked her how she’d lifted her glutes so high up her hamstrings.

If The Kiwi could have answered for her, he would have said, “Add reps and weights to the swings.”

In 2005, my interest in kettlebells reinvigorated, I returned to the United States from Argentina and purchased one 53-pound kettlebell. I did nothing more than one set of 75 swings one hour after a light, protein-rich breakfast, twice a week on Mondays and Fridays. In the beginning, I couldn’t complete 75 consecutive repetitions, so I did multiple sets with 60 seconds between until I totaled 75. Total swing time for the entire week was 10–20 minutes.

I wasn’t trying to balance tequila shots on my butt cheeks. I wanted clear six-pack abs. In six weeks, I was at my lowest bodyfat percentage since 1999, and l’d reached my goal. I’ve since worked up to 50+ reps with the 106-lb. “beast” (video), which has directly transferred to 100-lb.+ gains in the deadlift.

The king of exercises—the two-handed kettlebell swing—is all you need for dramatic changes.

Here are a few guidelines:

• Stand with your feet 6–12 inches outside of shoulder width on either side, each foot pointed outward about 30 degrees. If toes pointed straight ahead were 12:00 on a clock face, your left foot would point at 10:00 or 11:00, and your right would point at 1:00 or 2:00.

• Keep your shoulders pulled back (retracted) and down to avoid rounding your back.

• The lowering movement (backswing) is a sitting-back-on-a-chair movement, not a squatting- down movement.

• Do not let your shoulders go in front of your knees at any point.

• Imagine pinching a penny between your butt cheeks when you pop your hips forward. This should be a forceful pop, and it should be impossible to contract your ass more. If your dog’s head gets in the way, it should be lights out for Fido.

75 total reps, 2-3 times a week, is the recipe.

Simple works.


Odds and Ends: An Appeal

George Bush 691 vs. The 4-Hour Body 427 –

Since the book came out, I’ve fantasized about having more Amazon reviews than George Bush. Now, it’s actually possible! The ask: If you’ve enjoyed The 4-Hour Body, could you pretty please take 30 seconds to leave a short Amazon review here?

I’ll toast some wine and do a thank-you video this weekend if I crush The Decider. Thanks in advance — it’s been an exciting few weeks, and this would really be the icing on the cake.

Much more to come soon…

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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928 Replies to “The Perfect Posterior: Kettlebell Swings and Cheap Alternatives”

  1. PAGG question for anyone who has input for me:

    Husband and I started slow carbing this week; we’re on our first refeed day. I’m also doing 75 kettlebells 3x/week (30 lbs w/ t-bar).

    With week 2, we are starting the PAGG stack. I have hypothyroidism & my Dr. is willing to humor me for 30 days. His only requirement is that I take the synthroid at night, before bed, *not with other meds & on an empty stomach*. My modified 4HB plan is to take AGG w/ breakfast, PAGG with lunch, and stop supplementing for the rest of the day to help avoid any synthroid interaction at bedtime.

    My question then becomes: Is anyone aware of why the policosanol is suggested prior to bed? Is there a reason other than “peak cholesterol production between midnight and 4:00 A.M.” (p. 117)? I’ve googled the heck out of this one, and I’ve come up empty handed.

    Side note:

    THANKS for the book, Tim. Approaching nutrition and health from an “action research” perspective is FUN. I’m loving it. F.U.N.


    1. Thanks, Janine. I would actually do PAGG first thing in the morning, then AGG later. The timing has to do with cholesterol production.

      Good luck!


  2. Love this on Kettle bells, been using them at my gym for a while and they sure can take things to a whole new level with simple movements. Awesome.

  3. Hey Tim

    Really hoping you get to read this and maybe reply here. I posted this onto the forums and someone recommended me to try and reach you here.

    I am looking for a little help and this is for my parents. They are in late 50’s and are trying to loose weight and live a healthy lifestyle.

    So they have been following your diet based on the 4HB book for about 2 weeks straight now, but not a single pound lost. I have been tracking body weight, fat % and muscle % every day in the morning, and NOTHING!

    They are eating super healthy and not cheating, hitting cardio three times a week, and still.What could they be doing wrong?

    P.S. They do have Diabetes, could that be the cause of no weight loss? What could be done at this point? I am totally lost here…

    1. Hi Nitin,

      If they’re using a scale for bodyfat%, it’s often erratic, so I would simply suggest they stay the course. If they follow the diet, they will lose fat. In older adults (and some women) it can take 4-5 weeks to see a sudden shift in visual appearance. I have no explanation for why this is.

      If they haven’t already, have them measure the inches in “Elusive Bodyfat” — this will be more reliable than a Tanita scale or other bioimpedance scale.



    2. Told ya he’ll answer…Sweet! The funny thing, his answer is also the solution to my issue! I love it, the world IS round!

      “In older adults (and some women) it can take 4-5 weeks to see a sudden shift in visual appearance. I have no explanation for why this is”.

      1. wlel they are in 60s and really dont want to hit the weights. I was just hoping a answer for diabetic patient maybe. It says online at many place not to cut carbs, but the diets here are cutting almost all carbs. I am concerned obviously

  4. Hey Tim,

    I am a 18 year old female 123 lbs. approx 23% body fat. I would really like to begin following the Slow Card diet, but I was wondering if you would suggest anything in particular since I am at a younger age and have fairly normal body stats. My goal is to lose 10 pounds and have less than 10% body fat.

    I got the no-less-than-4 ounces of protein per meal, with the smaller portions of healthy fat and lots of veggie.

    Any other helpful tips?



  5. I bought 4HB, and want to get my home made kit going. Are there any kinds/brands of weight plates to look for (or avoid)? Thanks.

    1. After visiting a store and looking at the photo in the book, I see I want standard, not Olympic (whose opening is too large).

    2. After visiting a gym equipment store (The Sports Authority) and then understanding that there are the large inner center openings of the Olympic free weights, and then the smaller Standard weights (as shown in 4HB), I bought a 25 lb. weight, and then 2 smaller 10 lb. weights, all of which were called ‘standard’. Then I went to the hardware store and bought the 3/4″ hardware, removed the labels, and assembled, only to find that the two 10 lb. free weights had an inner center opening too small for the 3/4″ hardware.

      So now I need to figure out a free weight combo that will will with the 3/4″ hardware, or try to get my money back on the 3/4″ hardware, and get 1/2″ hardware, and then find a 25 lb. weight that is 1/2″. I think someone else here posted about this issue, so my advice is to carry a tape measure, and make sure everything lines up before purchasing.

  6. I have a question regarding PAGG. Many of the Vitamin Shoppe’s are sold out of the Allicin 6000 because of the sudden demand created by your book. Is the Aged Garlic Extract an acceptable substitution?

  7. TIm, I’m a brazilian guy and i’m interested in translatin to portuguese (BR) your book. Every work colleague that i metion your book get interested on read your book, but they don’t know english or they are to lazy to read in english. If you aren’t already doing that. What do you say?

  8. Just started using kettle bells a few months ago and I’m liking the results. Starting slow carb diet tomorrow 😉


    Oh, and ignore the haters Tim. You’re doing good work.

  9. Hey Tim, I am 53 and my partner is 71. We’ve witnessed an enormous change in my partner’s son who’s recently lost an enormous amount of weight and gained muscle following 4HB. We began last week and now are entering week 2 and are sticking to it. We really wan’t to stick it out, my partners nearly 300 Pounds and I’m 161 pounds so we really need to get this right. My first question is the amount of protein. I know we can eat “as much as we like – and not too little”, and 40% protein 60% Beans and Veg, but is there a guide amount of protein? (We”re a little out of practise with proper portions). Also, can I use Xylitol in my black coffee? are there any other ‘slow carbs’ other than beans? Do we have to use your junk food on our junk day – or can we use “our” baddies such as Cheeze, wine (wine and more wine!) Gin and Tonic (no we’re not alcholics!) nuts olives, pasta? – Great book, we love it and we’re tryin hard.


  10. Tim, any news on that forum/community site for 4HB enthusiasts? I just dropped down to 200lbs, a weight I haven’t been at since high school, and am eager to share my excitement with a crowd!

  11. I didn’t have a kettleball but luckily I had two ten kg barbell discs with 1/3 grab handles. I velcroed one side together at the spindle and grabbed the hadles on the other side of the discs. It swings! 60 reps later I’m sweating. This is going to work On the diet side I’m on the flickr diet. Everything I eat gets photographed and uploaded. Relevant people have been given the address and are monitoring. Social accountablility has been restored. Thanks Tim, will let you know how I go…

  12. Thanks for the visual aid. I was pretty sure I knew how to do it from your description, but this made it 100%.

    Also, I priced kettlebells at Dick’s Sporting Goods yesterday, and you are right; pretty expensive! Couple of plates and the Home Depot solution is a much better idea, so definitely check out that solution everyone, if $100 is out of your price range.

  13. Hey Tim,

    The video over at seems to be down. Do you have another video source for the ABC’s? I googled it but couldn’t find it.

  14. Does anyone else have an issue with the T-bar’s handle being too wide? Perhaps my stance is too narrow, or I’m not getting low enough, but it seems like I’m constantly rubbing the edges of the handle on my inner thighs in the backswing of the movement… Just wondering what anyone else’s take is on this before I break down and buy the traditional kettlebell.

    1. Steve W,

      I have the same problem with my T-handle. I’ve compensated by taking a wider stance, but it’s also harder to get the proper form that way and my hip thrusts aren’t as explosive as they could be with a narrower stance.

      Thinking of going back to the hardware store and getting shorter pipes for the handles. Unfortunately for me, there are no kettlebells here heavier than 25lbs so it’s T-handle or bust!

  15. I’ve posted a few comments over a week ago that did not seem to make it out of moderation. I’m not sure why, I didn’t violate any rules of the site and my comments were respectful…

      1. Oh! Thanks for the reply Tim! I thought I was being black-balled. 😉

        This smart dude I heard about recommends outsourcing tasks… 😉

        Have a great day!

      2. Hi Tim, don’t know if you’re still on this thread, but just to thank you for introducing me to the kettlebell workout.

        Been following your video, and it’s fantastic. Just one thing though, and would love your advice on this – I’m doing 14-16kg for 75-80 reps once a week, but find that though I feel great on the day, the next few days, I’m really sore and walk like an old man!

        Any suggestions?

      3. Congrats! 5-15g of l-glutamine in divided doses just before and after training will help with the soreness.


  16. Yipee! the videos finally played. I feel better seeing it done. Not an athletic person and was worried about doing it wrong and hurting myself.

    Built the t-bar… now to climb into the attic and get some of hubbies weights out. Guess it will be a bit of trial and error to figure out how much weight to start with.

  17. Hi Tim! Ok, have to admit feeling a bit stupid here, but I don’t quit understand the KB exercise. You showed 3 different movements (A,B&C); the first you mentioned just do 5 times. Then when talking about the reps it was mentioned to do 50-75 or so. Is it best to do 50 of each in order or 10 set of 5 reps each or is A&B just a quick warm up to the 50 reps of C?

    Thanks for explaining this in further detail to the weight training novice! I am very impressed not only with your books but your personal attention to and engagement with your followers. Cheers!

    1. No worries, Jenna. The A, B, C is just a series of drills to learn the proper technique. Then it’s just single sets of 50 when possible.

      Good luck 🙂


  18. Hi Tim,

    I have to say I think your are fairly sexy ;p

    Anyway back to the subject for those that don’t want to buy equipment you can use a gym bag filled with 1-2kg bags of rice. A small bag filled with rice can be used as a kettlebell by hanging onto the handles. I use a big gym bag at home to do everything from bicep curls to squats and deadlifts 🙂

  19. One thing that’s worked for me is NO late night snacking. None. When you give your body a break for 10-12 hours, it helps readjust your leptin levels, which also helps with insulin and adrenal resistance. I just turned 50 and while I have a lot of lean body mass, I have a lot of fat covering it up. 50 year old women do not lose weight/fat easily. I’m strong as an ox, I can hike through the mountains for miles carrying a 35 lb pack, and in many ways I’m far more “fit” than it would appear…but I have an appetite like a lumberjack and a penchant for sweets and dairy. I’ve given them up except for an occasional treat on cheat days. My cheat meals are usually a burger and a beer or Pad Kee Mao from a really good Thai restaurant. I’m down eight pounds and counting. Fat % is coming down as well. I bought a bioimpedence scale which thinks I am WAY fatter than I really am. I also got dunked, which was much more realistic…but the scale gives me a way to see the number coming down, even if it’ appears to be higher. I also bought a kettlebell and I’m doing swings along with some kickboxing and dancing. I feel 20 pounds lighter! Thanks Tim for all your hard work and for sharing it with the rest of us.

  20. Guys, many of these questions can be answered with the same response: “Try it and see”. That’s the whole premise of the book – Tim tries something, and takes notes on what it does. So if you’re wondering what Tofurkey will do for you, or if you should eat the butter straight, then try it and see!

    It’s science.

    1. THANK YOU, Sitapati. Exactly right. I will not be able to help 99% of you, ladies and gents. There will be MANY questions you have along the way, and you need to test and track yourself. That’s what the 4HB is teaching.

  21. Hi Tim,

    Just ordered the book tonight, so it hasn’t arrived yet. No soy or dairy??? What do you recommend??? Also, would it be OK to do the kettlebell swing routine before the small meal? I usually follow my workout with a whey-based protein shake made with soy milk…Might go back to almond milk.

  22. I ordered a 24 kilo (53 pounds) kettlebell off eBay which arrived about an hour ago and I just had my first go at this. Evidently I need a bit more practice as I did find it a bit tricky, so I decided not to do more than ten swings the first time. I sure could feel that it was working my legs and posterior though.

    I am in my mid 40’s and in reasonable shape compared to most men my age but the only real exercise I do is daily pushups and dog walking. I do wonder if this weight will be too much for many to start with. I only weigh 58 kilos (128 pounds) though and have always been much stronger in my upper body. It should get easier before long I guess.

    I pre-ordered the book when it was first announced and Amazon tell me it will be here at the end of the month so I am looking forward to that.

  23. Ok, Ive re read Occams Protocal I and II over and over and I can not find where it says what the TARGET reps are. “If you complete the required number of reps, add 10 pounds or 10% of the total weight in the subsequent workout, whichever is greater.” Whats the target!?? Thanks!

  24. Tim, Thanks for the book. After many attempts to get what I want out of my body I think that with your guidance I will get there.

    I tried the kettlebell swings last night and was shocked at how much of a workout it is. I couldn’t believe it. Every muscle in my body was worked out.

    I am looking forward to the results.

    Also my enthusiasm about this program is spreading. My friends are wondering what my excitement is all about.

    Thanks again.

  25. I’m now almost a month into the SCD and I’ve experienced no noticeable improvement on any method of measurement. In addition to being quite strict to Tim’s guidelines I’ve also done a few days of KB swing training – would’ve done more but each KB session exhausted me for days! I have also incorporated a few additional sessions of light jogging and weight training, you know, just for fun. What could I be doing wrong?!!

    I can’t figure out whether I should be doing more or less, both when it comes to eating and exercising. Maybe I need to increase protein or decrease legumes? And while I’d like to increase KB training to a consistent 2-3 sessions per week I’d prefer to not live in a steady state of tiredness and an aching body!

    How does one know whether they are under-eating on this diet for losing fat? Or over-eating? (I know Tim says we can eat all we want of the allowed foods but I’m trying to consider all possibilities of where I’m erring.)

    I get that we’ll all need to self-experiment to figure this out but hey, I’ve been self-experimenting for decades and if my own self-experimentation was all that was needed I wouldn’t have bought the book! Don’t get me wrong – I liked the book and don’t regret the purchase. But at the moment feeling more than a little let down.

    So is the answer more or less? Considering that diet is the major decider in fat loss, i guess the big question for me is should I eat less (and likely feel hungry) or eat more (especially protein)?

  26. Ok, what am I doing wrong? I’ve been on this diet two weeks. Breakfast: 3 eggs, 2-4 leaves chard, 4 shiitake mushrooms, curry powder, oregano. About 1/4 c saurkraut, and 1/2 c beans with salsa, peppers, celery. (kidney and black beans with a few garbanzos; about 10-12 garbanzos per bowl). Sparkling water to drink. Start with the leg squat/wall press/chest strap exercises, 30 reps each. AGG, plus multi vitamin (includes B vitamins), calcium, magnesium, potassium. Also Jarrow “jarro-dophilus +FOS” probiotics, vitamin D3, CoQ10 and fish oil. Walk the dog around the block, 30 min. Eating within 30 minutes of getting up.

    Lunch: pork chop, skinless chicken breast, or broiled bison burger, raw broccoli or other similar veggie, but cut back on supplements. Exercises as above.

    Dinner: same as lunch. Last night was different: an herb salad with fake crab meat, diced red pepper, sliced hard boiled egg, lemon juice for dressing. Exercises as above.

    Just before bed: either bowl of beans as above with raw broccoli, a hard boiled egg with a floret or two of broccoli, or a “Whey To Go” protein shake; the sweetener is stevia. Have the shake choice maybe once, twice a week. PAGG stack. Another dog walk around the block.

    Saturdays: sushi, toasted cheese sandwich, a piece of dark chocolate, and a bowl of shredded wheat cereal with milk, raisins, blueberries and a banana. Everything is home-made except for the sushi, the cereal, the chocolate, milk and fruit. I don’t use bottled sauces. Also drinking about 8 glasses of water/day.

    No cravings, no hunger, no cheating, it’s pretty easy. I’m eating until I’m full, and pausing to be mindful of whether or not I’m full. Meditate.

    In two weeks, I’ve lost one pound, no inches. I should note that I’m 4’7″ tall and in my 50’s, so I probably don’t need the same amount of food as an “orca” like Ferriss.

    What should I do differently here? I just bought a kettlebell, that should help with the inches (once I start using it), but it seems to me that 1 lb no inches in two weeks means I need to change something. Maybe all the weight is in a big 50 lb tumor on my butt, but I think that would have been noticed by now.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions! I’m going to give this a go for eight months (unless I lose all the weight before then), so as to forestall rash decisions via a passing mood, and to give time for changes to take effect. It’s certainly not a bad diet; I’ll probably continue spending time eating like this even without a weight loss goal.


    1. I will definitely give that a read, I love research articles related to diabetes. It’s shocking how far behind “conventional wisdom” is.

      Thanks JD.

  27. Mainly 100+ KB swings 3 times a week with a 53 kg KB plus a round of bench presses and planks once a week. i supplement that with walking, some running; yoga, hiking and biking; stay as active as possible. Also, my diet very strict 80% of the time; no grains or legumes.

    KBs do burn the fat!


  28. Hi Tim,

    Love the Kettlebell swing routine. I am going to start trying it twice per week.

    Do you have to get the cast iron original kettlebell’s or can we purchase any style?

    PS: Thank you for the books. You sent me two for submitting a new health technology.

    I realize you had too many submissions to address them all.

    I am reading one copy of the book, and giving the second copy to the inventor of this amazing new technology. I know he will enjoy it!


  29. Hey,

    What’s the best way to put on a few pounds of muscle without bulking up? Should I follow the SCD or do the Superhuman strength?

  30. Tim,

    About a month back I listened to an interview you did w/ one of my mentors, Eben Pagan, on the “lost” Charlie chapters… I was immediately intrigued and added The 4-Hour Body to my x-mas list. Alas, gift received! Brilliant!

    I dove right in and have been implementing your Slow-Carb Diet for the last two weeks = lost nearly 8lbs and 2% b/f… Dude, and I’m not overweight!

    Anyway, enough of the backstory – I have a question: I recently read that organic coconut oil can accelerate fat loss … Do you recommend adding this to the Slow-Carb Diet??

  31. Thanks loads for introducing me to the KB swings – I’m convinced my posterior chain is relatively under-developed and I’m excited to see if incorporating these into my routine will payoff!

    Quick question about the SCD: I’m following your guidelines but have seen basically no improvement after almost a month. What’s the first thing I should try tweaking? Maybe up my protein intake? Or decrease overall calories (even though you say we should be able to eat as much as we want of the allowed foods, and at the risk of feeling hungry)?

    1. Matt,

      Try taking out beans. The SCD is the Paleo diet with beans and a cheat day added.

      If beans don’t work (after a month) try taking out the cheat days.

      If that still doesn’t work you might want to try the Shangri La Diet.

  32. Hey Tim – Met you at METL last week in LA, great meeting you. I lost my Thyroid to cancer (and thus take Synthroid on a daily basis), any thoughts on the slow carb diet and any tweaks you might make given this condition? Also, I was big on Protein Bars as snacks (largely the AA Advantage Bars – Whey focus), love the YouBars and tend to snack on almonds/mixed nuts, know I shouldn’t be snacking on this diet, thoughts?

    Love the book, the slow crab diet – particularly the beans – has been huge.

    Thanks, be well,


    1. Hi Logan,

      No particular suggestions besides avoiding soy (can negatively affect thyroid) and following the rules. Good luck and nice to meet you!



    1. Jonas – the links to black bean noodles are awesome thanks. Why not eat them on the SCD? Black beans are black beans even if they are masquerading as noodles.

      I say dig in!

      Thanks again for the links, I’m ordering some now.


  33. Tim,

    I started into the 75 swings with 53# KB last week. After months of Crossfit, I was able to make it to 75 on the second workout. If my interest is abs, like yours was, do you recommend increasing weights or reps or something else? Should I target 150 reps and once that’s done at a consistent level, increase weights? What do you do? I do love Crossfit but I’d prefer to be ripped first, then go for overall fitness in the future.

    I’m heading to Afghanistan next week for 60-90 days. I won’t be able to do Slow-Carb while there (no legumes daily, variable food conditions) but I should be able to stay Paleo and keep up with PAGG and some thermal loading. I’m hoping I can be (one of?) the first 4HB’er to send a field report from a war zone. Not Style’s type of FR, of course. 🙂

  34. hello,

    I just startede reading 4-hour body a few days ago and I am very fascinated already.

    My wife and myself are both 30-40 kg overweight and are going to start the slow-carb-diet soon. My question is, our 10-year old son is 10-15 kg overweight. Can he join us on the diet perhaps with modifications, or would that be a bad idea?

    Thank you Tim, for a fantastic book! I am really excited to start changing our lifestyle.

  35. It’s been just over 3 weeks since I started posting about my diet and fitness ( Time for an update.

    Due to the winter travel my typically inconsistent schedule has been exponentially more inconsistent over the past 3 weeks. I have only been able to workout 1 time per week. So these results have been almost all just due to the dietary changes I made starting the last week of December.


    In 3 weeks I have lost about 8lbs. I weighed in yesterday at 188 – I had never been below 190 since I started working out in my early 20s (apart from the recover time after my broken femur). So that’s good

    Total Inches

    using my 6 site measurements I decreased total inches of 6.75 inches (keep in mind I’m using 2 waist measurements @navel+ @spare tire). To me the most significant measurement is the spare tire marker: Decrease of 1.5 inches ( several more inches to go 🙂

    Graphs are interesting:

    Body Fat

    I have not had a good body fat reading yet. I did take one measurement but the readings were far off of what I think they should be so I’m not publishing that metric until I can get a proper measurement.


    No measured increases yet due to lack of consistency in the gym.


    So far so good. I actually feel great. The dietary changes were far easier than I anticipated – even while traveling. My energy levels are very consistent throughout the day – its easier to gage the increases in energy from stimulants. Again, I have not been running or lifting as much as usual so I don’t have comments on energy levels under strenuous exertion yet – I think this is an area I’ll need to keep an eye on when I start working harder in the gym.

    you can see the numbers/graphs here:

    Not quite ready for the next photo shoot yet. I know ya’ll are disappointed.

    PS I’m not finding that I need to be held accountable for the meals I eat so I’m not posting meal pictures at all after the first couple of days. Again, its been much easier to transition to these dietary restrictions that I anticipated.



  36. Hey I just got your book about a week and a half ago, started the diet 7 days ago and I’ve lost 5 lbs already! Thanks =] I tried phil’s spread sheet today and it does compute my weight correctly on the flow chart thing. The lb numbers on the side start at like 50 lbs more than I weigh…. Do you have an accurate Spreadsheet available to post?

  37. Hey Tim,

    Absolutely love both your books, they are my bibles for life! Both are pretty dog eared, i’m a committed student! I must admit its my day off the diet tomorrow and I’m pretty excited. Who invented cookies anyway!?

    One question.

    You advise that during the PAGG routine, you must maintain adequate B-Vitamin intake. Can you recommend how and what supps (or natural) you use to achieve this? i.e Does the slow carb diet provide enough B vitamins to support the PAGG schedule.

    BTW. As a kiwi, I’m dying to know who “the kiwi” is in the book! Though i suspect I’ll never find out!

    Thanks for everything you do.


  38. i’ll be in SF all next week on biz – usually come to SF to chow. Suggestions for delish slow-card meals in the city?



  39. I’m now almost a month into following the SCD and including KB swings into my workout but either my posterior chain is super under-developed or I’m even more out of shape than I thought because I can hardly fit more than one KB swing workout into a week because of muscle soreness and fatigue. Also, despite being a 30 year old male I find the 25lb KBs challenging enough at the moment.

    I’m not restricting my meal portions and getting a solid 7-8 or more hours a night of sleep, plus drinking loads of water, so I don’t think any of those variables are to blame.

    Anyone else finding the KB swings lead to almost a week of soreness in hamstrings and general tiredness?

  40. bought the mp3, the dvd and three books to hand out to coworkers….one question…can i do kettlebell swings everyday?

  41. Hey Tim. Thank you for your book – interesting reading!

    I’ve got some practical questions. I am thinking about doing the strength program with 3 sets of 2-3 reps of deadlifts and bench press followed by plyo (3 times per week) and the torture twists. But I am also thinking about adding DB swings to the program. Do you think that’ll be overkill? I’ve been training with weights for a year now plus running and doing Wing Chun. My age is 20.

    Question no. 2: Did the athletes in your book both walk those three times per week for conditioning and at the same time do the strength program?

    Question no. 3: Are you positive that the Occam protocol won’t forsake some parts of the body? Speaking from an aesthetic point of view. It’s a major change and mental challenge for me due to the fact that I’ve been doing a fullbody program 3 time per week the last year. So downgrading to training each body part only once a week with so little volume? .. Hmm 🙂 Would Occam’s protocol really be more effective than a 3-times-a-week-fullbody?

    – Mikkel from Denmark

  42. OMGosh Tim,

    I just received your 4hb book last week I was impatient but it came and then upon reading right away I got to your site here then saw the kettle-bell swing and couldn’t wait until today to go get my pipe parts which by the way came to a whopping $22.00 from the Do it Center and put it together right away and found my long lost dumbbells and grabbed the plates of a total of 5 pounds each x 4 to round out to a total of maybe 25 pounds with bar. I started the swing thinking I’m going to have to add more weights right off the bat but damnnnn….. I was only able to accomplish 20 swings! I can sure feel it too. I will try again later today to get more in to get up to the 75 swings total.

    I am Pumped and ready for changes and it is sooo easy to follow you!

    I took pictures and measurements and started the slow carb as well

    Thanks Much my fitness guru! 🙂

    Jill Heller

    1. Okay… went from the original 25 lbs. of weights with 20 swings I am now up to 45 swings before stopping and recoup enough to squeeze out the other 30 and rest a couple minutes and repeat the second set. My legs are feeling unbelievably stronger already and I do this 2 times a week and walk 3.4 mph on treadmill 2, 1/2 hour increments for a total of 3 miles everyday 6 days a week. I feel great! Lost 4 pounds in last 3 days! Down a total of 11 pounds already! BAM! 🙂 Been slow carbing for over a week and love the binge day! INCREDIBLE I lost a pound after that day! I love this 4 hour body book. Thank you for giving me the tools I can easily use to drop this darn weight!


  43. OK, I’ve got some info here that may help DIY kettlebellers.

    – At The Home Depot, I originally bought the piping called ‘black’ (supposedly is stronger), as opposed to just plain galvanized. At least for the 12″ piece I got, it was a skoch too big for the 10 lb. (but not the 25 lb.) ‘standard’ free weights I bought at The Sports Authority (different ‘brands’ for the two, BTW). I brought my 10 lb. weight into THD, and found that the plain “3/4” galvanized pipe fit. The black and regular galvanized appear to have the same thread sizings though, for interconnect.

    – Note that the “3/4 diameter” referenced in the book is how the piping, T, and floor flange, are labeled, but that 3/4″ is about 1″ *outer* dimension, and about 13/16″ (1/16″ more than 3/4″ inner dimension). If you go by the labels (and don’t use black) you should be fine, but keep this in mind.


  44. Hi & many thanks for the great resources, the videos are a TREMENDOUS help, I believe I almost have the swing correct.

    But, just to check, I am not feeling it impacting my buttocks, which I figured I would since that’s the side it’s targeting. I’m mostly feeling it in my upper arms, triceps specifically.

    I’ve pretty literally just started so perhaps this just has to do with muscle soreness more than anything, but thought I would check to see whether I should be feeling it in my rear. Wait, that doesn’t sound right…. you know what I mean 😉

    Again many thanks.

  45. Can you use the Kayaking Dry Bags listed on p.345 for doing Kettle bell swings or other kb exercises? Seems like this would be an easy and flexible option unless I’m missing something?

    1. I would suggest doing them outside! Yes, it should work, but I wouldn’t risk 20-30 gallons indoors. Try it out and let us know how it goes!

      All the best,


      1. Hi Tim,

        Potentially cool money saver for small-handed people:

        Use a dumbbell for kettle bell swings!

        My hands (ladies size small-medium in gloves) fit easily side-by-side on the dumbbell handle holding it horizontally.

        Will using the dumbbell instead have the same effect as the kettlebell/t-bar?

        (The only difference I can ascertain is that the weight does not does not extend beyond my hands when holding a dumbbell the way it does with a kettlebell).

        Can you confirm if the effect/gains will be the same?

        Thanks for your brain! (PS, they really should give you an honourary Ph.D. for all this work).


  46. wOO! Pounded the yerba mate and the green tea; then, with blood surging through arm veins, proceeded to do a two-handed swing:

    45lbs x 75

    Time: 3:48! Way better than the 7:25 I started with two weeks ago! I LOVE kettlebells!!

  47. Hello, Tim,

    I love your book, and have already lost 7 pounds in two weeks…not bad!

    So, to keep me motivated and others, I have started a group on facebook for people to post their results and questions so that we can help each other.

    I hope that you don’t mind…

    The group can be found for those that want to excel in this diet at

    (copy and paste the link in your browser if it is not active)

    Please join so that we can all keep up with Tim’s latest news. You may post your results or any new findings or interesting story you see about his book.

    Not many of my friends are doing this diet, so It would be great to have all of you join so that we can discuss the diet and progress.

  48. I didnt see this anywhere, but do you have a beginning kettlebell weight for women that you recommend? Do you want us to start with 53 pounds too?

  49. Workout A: Pull-Down

    I can’t tell from picture if your hands are at the bicep, tricep or lat position on the bar? Which is it please.


  50. Tim,

    I think the kettlebell swing with the T-handle is an excellent alternative to the kettlebell. Also, your book The 4HrBody is great in fact it inspired me to order The 4Hr Work Week. Would you consider almond milk as a good alternative to soy or dairy and cold processed hemp oil an alternative to olive oil as a salad dressing?

  51. @Andrew Alexander Thanks for the link to our site. We apologize for the form, we are regular guys…engineers. We are much better at building stuff than at our exercise technique. However, we maintain a high level of integrity in everything that we do. Yo te lo juro compañero.

      1. @Andrew Alexander Done, I have added links to Dave Draper, Dan John, and Tim Ferriss.

        Just a little background (so you know that we are indeed good guys). We built the T-Handle as described in this blog…but it did not meet our quality standards (we build aircraft). So, we started cutting metal & welding, and ended up with a super rugged alternative to the version made with pipe fittings. Our version will last 30+ years. Also, I travel frequently to South America, so we made sure our device is simple to take apart and pack.

        We didn’t even think about selling this until a friend asked to buy one. Since most people build their own T-Handles, or buy kettlebells, we decided to make our version available to a small market of other like-minded people.

        We appreciate the exposure you provided on this forum. I apologize if you were offended by our product, or our marketing approach…that was not the intent.

        Regards, Jason

        [NOTE from Admin: Please do *not* put your URL in the text field per comment rules]

    1. I gotta defend you guys on this one. I’m an engineer and I built my own t-bar from 1/2″ galvanized steel pipe and it didn’t take me long to start thinking about how strong this pipe thread actually was and what the cycles to failure would be on these things (especially if they’re not threaded tight enough, or getting swung with big weights in large arcs by big boys like me). I actually could see the wear and zinc dust building up in the threads after about three weeks.

      I like that you’ve angled the handles, should be a much more ergonomic grip for the wrist and shoulders, especially in a Yates row. Cudows! Will buy as soon as I have $50 to drop on excersice equipment in one shot.

      Don’t be surprised if there’s a spate of broken gym mirrors due to the homemade t-bars in about 4-6 months.

  52. You seem like you have a lot of anger, @Andrew Alexander – though i’m not sure why… Those guys came up with a durable permanent version of the DIY Home Depot contraption. is the cost the same? No. Why? Because it’s made better, and comes with a lifetime guarantee. Tim Ferriss says something like “most women should start with a 35lb. – 44lb. kettlebell.” In a quick internet search, the cheapest price i found was for a 30lb kettlebell for $24.00 + $26.00 shipping. That’s just for my FIRST kettlebell!

    I’m a struggling entrepreneur, and i don’t have tons of cash to invest in what are essentially rocks with handles. What i do have are plastic-coated weights, the desire to use a kettlebell alternative I can be sure won’t result in 30-50lb projectiles flying around my basement, and respect for someone who seems like they may have found a “muse.”

    I say good job improving on a great idea!

    1. Im not trying to be the invention police here, nor am I angry. I just wanted it to be brought to attention. The originals purpose was to save people money. It was bought forth for free by tim(by dave draper). Just give credit where its due. Then again, this is just my opinion. It is also my opinion to practice being a shark, meanwhile letting others live the guilt of being a remora.

  53. Just another option: Walmart

    I’m 65 and traveling the southwest in a Motor home and I have never seen a kettlebell, which I thought would be a perfect way to get a workout on the road. I called many of the gyms and sports equipment stores in my path but no kettlebells. So… I thought I would build the pipe thingy cause I’m familiar with pipe fittings. I called Walmart and they had the plates so I looked for a Walmart with a Home Depot nearby and went shopping. First to Walmart for the plates and low and behold in the same isle with weights, “KETTLEBALLS”

    Cheep, cheep, cheep and no shipping!

  54. Super demo.. thanks a bunch. Before seeing this posture, I was doing it a bit backwards but had great results anyhow.

    Here’s what I did:

    Feet 6″ apart pointing straight ahead.

    Starting position is standing with kettle bell hanging loosely in both hands.

    The Swing: drop your ass way back, like sitting in a chair (keep shins straight). As your bum goes back and down, lift the kettle bell slightly up and out so that the top of the swing has your arms perpendicular with the ground and at a 30-45 degree bend at the elbows.

    The feeling to go for is a funny balance on the heels as your butt is counterweighted by the kettle bell. Try it out sometime.

    I’ll use your technique soon! Thanks again.

  55. Just an FYI – bought a 50 lb Kettle bell from Walmart for about $60 bucks and they delivered it for free to the closest store. Other places wanted $40 bucks to deliver the kettlebell.

  56. @jason murphy

    You made my morning when i saw it was true


    never seen a remora on a shrimp, funny thought though

  57. Tim,

    have you any thoughts on saddlebags?

    If the kettle bell swing is good for saddle bag reduction, do you think it’s because of the increased hip extensor function?

  58. This book is f’n FANTASTIC.

    I just started the swing and I’ve noticed my arms don’t go up as high as I believe they should. My understanding is they should fly up simply from the force of the thrust, yes?

    Am I just not forceful enough? Maybe I should do these when I’m angry…

  59. question for tim or anyone, maybe i just cant find it but if i’m following the effortless superhuman protocol, are there any special dietary requirements besides the SCD? just looking to be lean and strong for jiu jitsu with a little running/bjj conditioning thrown in. thanks for your time.

  60. Hi Tim:

    I’ve been reading your “4-hour Body” book and have a couple of questions on the slow-carb diet.

    1. You say to cut out dairy and I’m a milk drinker. What is your take on the “pure almond” by Silk as a milk substitute??

    2. Cutting out sugars. What about 100% pure honey??? And you do not mention the newest sugar substitutes of Trivia an Stivia –should these be eliminated too??

    I’m sure I will have more questions by the time I finish the book, but for now as I get ready to try the slow-carb diet, the answers for the above questions will help me to start with.

    Thanks for your time

    C Espo

    1. I believe honey is mainly fructose and glucose sugars and should be avoided. It is primarily fructose and glucose.

      Taubes specifies fructose is metabolized exclusively in the liver turning it into fat, and shipping it to our fat tissue. Taubes: “Why We Get Fat” pg. 136-7. There is more in there that paints a less flattering picture.

      Maple syrup is primarily composed of sucrose and water. It’s similar to table sugar…

  61. I’ve been doing kettlebells for about 9 months now and I love them.

    I’ve got lower back and hip issues from a motorcycle accident I had and gradually adding more swings in to my routine has really helped a lot! I also get my girlfriend to do swings and kettlebells with me for the exact reason that you stated in your title, I’m an ass man!

    I’m finishing up the 4-Hour Work Week right now and then I’ll be moving on to the 4-Hour Workout! I can’t wait to dive in!

    Thanks for all the advice and help!


  62. I’ve been doing kettlebells for about 9 months now and I love them.

    I’ve got lower back and hip issues from a motorcycle accident I had and gradually adding more swings in to my routine has really helped a lot! I also get my girlfriend to do swings and kettlebells with me for the exact reason that you stated in your title, I’m an ass man!

    I’m finishing up the 4-Hour Work Week right now and then I’ll be moving on to the 4-Hour Workout! I can’t wait to dive in!

    Thanks for all the advice and help!


  63. What a great and inexpensive tool! It literally takes 30 seconds to assemble and it works just as well as any other kettlebell for two handed swings. In Canada, it cost me closer to $20 dollars for all the supplies but most adjustable kettlebells in our area cost at least $150. I didn’t see much documentation of the t-handle on the net after I read about it in the 4HB so I made a quick video on youtube: but I see now that Tim already has a video of it on Bodybuilding.

    1. nice plug there for your blog, but i gotta say it was done very respectfully, im checking your blog now. well done lol

  64. Tim / all,

    Anyone else integrating R-phase (z health)? I’d love to hear your feedback.

    Being more or less a form junkie, knowing I won’t rest until I’m swinging the big boy like Ferris and realizing that unbridled momentum can be a dangerous thing, I found a top-notch kettlebell guru and took a few private lessons to be sure I was nailing it…. a huge part of which wound up being a Z health primer (basically dynamic joint mobility through SAID, Proprioceptive Enhancement (sensing the position, location, orientation and movement of the body parts), and motor learning theory. My experience (your mileage may vary) was impressive and immediate. I can foresee huge benefits in many of my athletic pursuits.

  65. Tim,

    You’ve changed my life in every way possible… I’m a bit of a non-fiction freak, but in the most in-opportune of ways I found myself having to pull over yesterday.

    It was due to your NEW AND IMPROVED 4 Hour Workweek Audio book (it kicks ass BTW), but the section on AJ and outsourcing and “Chicken Dance Elmo” had me dying… As I battled the electric company from shutting my service off daily, my 3 year old Zack had an Elmo knock off named MELMO (Elmo’s brother LMAO)… The things you do to study how the NR live.

    Don’t know you personally, but I love you buddy – Stay Real!

  66. Wishing your abundant talents would be used on some type 1 diabetes, haha. Great job on the book! It’s the coolest thing I’ve read in a long time. Thanks for the info on kettle bell training, I’ve been dealing with some diabetes foot issues and had to stop my typical workouts. I can stand in place though and it’s been 2 weeks and I’m already seeing major results from the kettle bell.

    I’m going to start my own diabetes science experiments soon with some stuff from the book. I hope to report good news back!


    In case anyone is interested, here are some early but exciting findings on glucagon that may be huge for insulin dependent diabetics and change a lot of what we know about diabetes:

  67. Re the T-bar setup – here’s what I did for cheap/easy weights to load the T-handle. Cost is $3.

    1. Bought 60 lb.bag of concrete mix. Mixed it in a wheelbarrow.

    2. Placed it into 3 plastic buckets/containers of different diameters.

    3. Made a hole in the center of the wet concrete and inserted a toilet paper tube into the hole. Let concrete set for 3 days.

    Voila. I have two 25 lb weights and one 15 lb. weight that I can mix and match on the T-handle. Kewl.

    Yes, I know it adds up to 65 lbs. Some of that extra weight is water. The rest, I suppose means the bag of dry concrete weighed a bit more than 60 lbs. Or my scale is off.

  68. I have just started, but can only manage 13 reps with 30 lbs. Should I just keep at it with this weight, or lower the weight?

    1. Hey Kim,

      I’m a guy (not that it really matters) and bought a 20 lb kettle bell because I knew that I’d need to start off with that and eventually grow into a 50lb kettlebell.

      I couldn’t do 75 reps at first so I did 3 sets of 25. Within 1 month I’m at 75 reps in one set and I don’t even start to even feel like I’m getting tired until rep 45.

      Just keep working at it but based off of what Tim wrote in the Superhuman chapter I would recommend doing 11 reps in a set and if you don’t want to do multiple sets then that’s understandable.

      It’s not about how much you can do with a kettlebell, it’s about what the kettlebell will do for you.

  69. Having used the Metzner (now Geek to Freak 2.0) workout for more than a decade, I am dying to find out how to integrate the kettlebell swing (mostly for fast rep biceps work) with that. Tim’s strength is synergism so I was wondering how best to get these two puppies to play well together. Without overtraining, of course!

  70. My question is can we have smoke pork or bacon cooked in the beans.

    Can we have fresh peas, like blackeyes and other fresh peas. My husban and i are starting the diet tomorrow. thanks!!!

  71. Hi Tim et al,

    Started this last night and my god that is a killer exercise!!! Feeling it bum inner thighs mainly. Started with 12 kg then went to 10kg. Trying to get the form right. Feel like slipping more into a squat when get fatigued. Would it be better to to start with very light weight and concentrate on form, or keep weight same but less reps in set?

    Thanks for any feedback


  72. I was lamenting the fact that I needed to save up for kettlebells the other day. My teenage kids noticed my cast iron dutch oven sitting on the counter and suggested I use that. I have tried it this week and it seems to be working. I L-O-V-E the book. Tim, you are a great writer.

  73. Hey Tim – long time fan, (4+ years) first time commenter.

    Loving the book so far, enjoying measuring things and putting your theory to practice — but I got one burning question.

    What BF% were you at, and what diet were you one, when you achieved your abs using the kettlebell and ab workout program? (and how much BF% did you lose?)

    Thing is, I’m at 14.5% BF right now, so slowcarb ain’t gonna take me much further.

    And right now I traveling the country working outta my solar-paneled van (inspiration thanks to you and the 4HWW, of course) so I can’t quite join a gym right now.

    I bought a kettlebell and a BOSU ball, and have been on that program for two weeks.

    I just want to know if I should be able to expect to see results like yours in four more.

    I’m doing a slowcarb/primal mix diet (sometimes I eat more fat than legumes, and am still doing a cheat day.

    Thanks for you continued inspiration and insight!

  74. Four week SCD update!

    lost 17lbs, would guess maybe 5% bf lost,

    have been doing pre-hab and KB mondays and fridays this was going great til I helped my brother move yesterday. did something to my back under my left shoulder blade which only gets better if i stretch my right glute

    Sorry I don’t jhave real BF or inch measurements up to date, but I get lazy with tracking things pretty fast. Easy thing for me to note though is my wife definitely likes the results!

    Thanks Tim.

  75. I like to workout first thing in the morning, this delays me from eating within an hour of waking. Is eating a little over an hour o.k.?

  76. Tim,

    Thanks for the great book of tools and knowledge. Both my husband and I, being 55 yrs old, figured we would not lose as quickly as younger people on the Slow Carb diet, but am pleased and encouraged by the results – 1/2″ loss at waist and 5+ lbs. gone – just after 6 days! Starting the kettlebell exercise today and excited to see what changes that will bring.

    1. Also, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has a special place in our town and hearts. Thank you for the donations from your book sales!

  77. So I started the Kettlebell swing on Saturday and followed up with it, and Workout A (dumbell Squat, sprinter lunge…etc), yesterday. Today I can barely move, if that’s not a sign that it does something….So here’s to hoping! I’m combining it with the diet as well. What girl wouldn’t want the perfect ass? I’ll let you know if a few weeks if I can balance some shots.

  78. I found that when practicing the kettle bell swing i stood with my back to a wall, so my bum would just touch the wall when i did the swing correctly did that without weights and then with a light kettlebell, until i got it.

    Day after my first session using 16kg with 50 reps my Hamstrings, glutes, hips and lower abs were worked, but thats good!

  79. This isn’t a KB question, but wasn’t able to find where to post this. When I perform the myotatic crunch I’m not feeling it in my abs or obliques, but it does seem to be straining my lower back. As it seems to be a fairly simple exercise, I’m pretty sure that I’m doing it properly. Does anyone else experience this?

    Thank you.

  80. Okay Tim. I have been following the slow carb diet and exercise program perfectly and I have not lost a pound. I am on day 11……went from 135# to 133 back to 135 now. 🙁 TOTALLY BUMMED OUT! No inches lost either…..measuring in at the exact total inches. I also have a bioelectric body fat monitor and it tells me my body fat percentage has climbed from 22.5 to 24.7.

    I have been taking the supplements and sticking to the beans, veggies and eggs criteria (I am a vegetarian so no meat). I have been getting the 20-30 grams of protein per meal and eating beans until I can’t eat anymore of them. Just coffee in the morning, water all day like it is going out of style and a glass or two of dry red wine at night.

    What gives? I was really excited to try this because it is something that I can stick to without struggle….but no results? I think I am going back to my p90x workouts and fruit and yogurt smoothies.

    1. Jennifer- Have you tried eating 30 grams of protein within thirty minutes of waking up? This is covered in “The Slow Carb Diet II” chapter as one of the main stalling points. If you’re only having coffee in the morning, that might be part of the problem.

      Best of luck!

      – Charlie

  81. Jennifer – what type of beans are you eating? Give an example of your meals. I’ve been on the diet/exercise since Monday and have lost 4 lbs already. I’m making sure to eat first thing and spread my meals out every 3.5-4 hours. I have beans with 2 of them and just simple protein right away in the morning. Otherwise I add tons of veggies to everything. Although I am not taking the supplements, nor do I think I’m going to. What’s typical for your meals?

  82. hey tim,

    i just started the diet, (5’3 128 pounds around 20% bf, looking for a 13-15% bf) but i am currently also training for a spin-a-thon (like a marathon but indoor cycling for 6 hours. I know that is a lot of cardio. Will it affect my fat loss? I usually spin for 3-4 straight hours on sundays, so should i carb up during my spin class even though its not my cheat day (cheat day is sat.)?



  83. Tim,

    Kettlebell swings 48 hours after pull day?

    Don’t know if I have the conjones to go to push/pull after a decade of the Metzner upper body1/ legs /upper body 2/ legs regimen.

    I wonder if the Swings could go 48 hours after the upper body days.

    Seems like a lot for MED…

    Even at 62, I am happy to be still learning. Learning from the best, Tim