What is it? Is it a training program? Is it for group exercise or personal trainers? What IS IT?
These are questions that both Mark and I expected to get from a little promo clip on Facebook and the recent feedback from a workshop we delivered in Melbourne. What we didn’t expect, was the amount of interest in what we had created. So let’s start at the beginning and explain how it all happened.
Two and half years ago, I started working with a Gymstick product called Fitness Bag with a dear friend Carla Bond. We spent the summer throwing and swinging the bag around to create exercises and movement patterns for the Gymstick App and the education. We loved it. Personally, I loved swinging a weight around (the Fitness Bag looks like a small gym bag with handles, which is filled with sand so it is soft enough to lie on). I also enjoyed feeling the slight thrill of changing direction with momentum. Sort of liberating.
Realising that I would not be able to put all these cool exercises into my own classes (due to the fact that none of the gyms I worked at had Fitness Bags), I started experimenting with a dumbbell. Not that any of the exercises could be performed in the same way (actually very few), but I thought I could use the same principles to create some new exercises. Some of them looked similar to kettlebell movements, but when you have a dumbbell that only weighs 3-5kg, the movement patterns are different and some exercises are not possible with a heavier weight.
Fast forward time to November 2015 and I was attending FITEX in NZ and I went to a great session by Mark Davis. Mark is someone I have previously written about and I was super impressed by his session. In my opinion, he is a great teacher. The way I assess this, is by how much I can retain a week later, and even now I can still remember what I learned in that session. Thinking about the session two weeks after FITEX, I give Mark a call and asked him if we could work on something together. I didn’t know if Mark would be interested or if we had any common ground, but it was worth asking. The conversation lead me to a trip up north, to Cooroy in Queensland, to spend two days with Mark and his family discovering what we could do together. After much discussion and large pieces of butcher’s paper with arrows and words all over it, we decided to work on something that combined areas that we could bring together into a workshop. I promised to send Mark video clips of different exercises that I had been working in my classes and see what we could do from there.
Fast forward a couple of months and several videos sent back and forth combining, discussing and experimenting with different ideas, and a single dumbbell workout using momentum was born! Throughout the process, I learned several things working with Mark, including how to use momentum more effectively and understanding how load could be mitigated through the body efficiently without causing injury. It was actually a lot of fun to do and I was teaching it in my classes with much interest and positive comments from the participants. Each week the members would ask if we were swinging the weight around. In conversations with Mark, the word swing was used so often that the name stuck. Why mSwing – well the ‘m’ stands for several things – Mark, Marietta, Momentum. The mSwing movements also look like a smiling action, which is why we now call it, mSwing – the smiling movement. I can’t explain it, but every time I deliver or play with the mSwing moves, I smile, laugh and get a great workout. In fact, the workout sort of creeps up on you and you suddenly realise that you are sweating hard and getting your heart rate up. I often say this – mSwing makes me happy.
The education that we have developed around the mSwing concept is something that we are both extremely proud of. Yes, you will get the moves, but the workshop is much more than that; it is deepening an understanding around training concepts that you will have never learnt in Cert III or IV, that will enhance your training experience and really push your knowledge as a trainer to a completely different level. I have to say that I am more knowledgeable now, having gone through this process with Mark, who is an exceptional teacher.
The next mSwing workshop is on: