What’s a holiday weekend without a sledgehammer workout? I got 30-minutes to work out on Father’s Day and spent it wisely with three sledgehammers, a kettlebell with the musical backdrop produced by Prince. Increasingly, my weekend workouts have become sledgehammer-centric. Since I started with the sledge back in the winter I have seen and felt my body change, and really enjoy the feeling the workouts produce. Plus, there’s no better way to squeeze the most out of a half-an-hour.

On Father’s Day I broke out my 10-pound, 16-inch handled sledgehammer to see what I could do with it. Having a 24-inch high tree stump as my new favorite target, I figured I could use the short-handled sledge for some one-handed swings. And this time, musical accompaniment was provided by Prince. As usual, I had my 10-and 20-pounds hammers along as well, and started off with 10 swings from each side for a total of 100 with the 10-pound sledgehammer.

After the swings, I took my 16-kilogram kettlebell and did 5 “bell-up” military presses with each hand. These bell-up militaries are great for developing forearm strength. You hold the handle of the kettlebell so that the bell side is facing upwards, and keep it in this position throughout the up and down phases of the press. You’ll have to press a little slower than the normal military in order to maintain control of the weight. The swings and the military presses took about 3 minutes, so I rested 2 minutes before I took 20 whacks at the stump from each side until I got to 200, and performed another 5 bell-up presses with each hand. This routine took about 5 and-a-half minutes, so I rested 4 minutes before starting my next session.

This time I brought out the 20-pound sledgehammer and took 10 swings from each side until I hit the stump 100 times, and chased these with 5 more bell-up presses. Working with the 20-pounder always takes a little more time, and this round took about 5 minutes. After a 4-minute rest –and with 25 minutes elapsed – I set out to complete 200 swings using all three of the sledges. The round went as follows; 40 swings with the 10-pounder, 40 swings with short-handled 10-pounder (10 swings from each side), 40 swings with the 10-pounder, 40 swings with the short-handled 10-pounder (20 swings from each side), 40 swings with the 20-pounder (10 each side) and finished up with 5 bell-up presses. This round took 6 and a-half minutes, for a total workout time of 31:26, after which my heart rate was at 85% of the maximum predicted rate. A great workout on a great day. Now I have to plan something really good for the 4th of July!


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