Kettle bell Swing Challenge

Here is our first challenge of 2023:


Come join the PDXstrength Kettle Bell Swing Challenge!

Starting January 23, 2023 and continuing until April 10, 2023 we will be holding a kettlebell swings challenge.  The challenge is to get 100 consecutive/unbroken kettlebell swings at the most challenging/heaviest weight that you can SAFELY!

How To Participate

During any class or open gym where there is a coach present, let the coach know that you would like to attempt to get your 100 swings.  The coach will count your reps and ensure that you’re doing the swings according to the standard (see details below).  Once you’ve gotten 100 swings, coaches will let Mindy know and you will be added to the official “Swingers Club” roster – ideally if you are going to attempt this we would like to know in advance of your first attempt.  We will have an exclusive shirt design available for pre-order too

You can make multiple attempts to join the club, with the final day for attempts being April 1, 2023.  You can also try to increase your maximum weight throughout the challenge window.

Movement Standards

For this challenge, we will be using the Russian Kettlebell swing standard.  The standard is as follows:

Arms must be straight during the upswing, arms can bend slightly during the downswing


Kettlebell must reach shoulder level during the apex of the swing: overhead/American-style swings are not allowed


Hips and knees must be fully extended at the apex of the swing


Bottom of kettlebell must pass between the athlete’s legs on the downswing


Double arm swings only.

Suggested Training

Week 1 (01/23/2023) – 3×10 swings, 3x per week

Week 2 (01/30/2023) – 3×20 swings, 3x per week

Week 3 (02/06/2023) – 3×30 swings, 3x per week

Week 4 (02/13/2023) – 4×25 swings, 3x per week

Week 5 (02/20/2023) – 4×30 swings, 3x per week

Week 6 (02/27/2023) – 3×40 swings, 2x per week

Week 7 (03/06/2023) – 3×50 swings, 2x per week

Week 8 (03/13/2023) – max reps, 1x per week

Week 9 (03/20/2023) – 3×50 swings, 2x per week

Week 10 (03/27/2023) – 3×50 swings, 3x per week

Week 11 (04/03/2023) – max reps, 2x per week

Week 12 (04/10/2023) – challenge!

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Self Defense Classes

Join us for a 2-hour personal protection class that focuses on hands-on techniques for breaking free from an attacker. This class is not meant to make you an expert at self-defense, but will introduce students to a variety of techniques for physically addressing a threat. The focus in this class is escape and survival, and the class will be physical. Dress for physical activity and leave your jewelry (necklaces, earrings, etc) at home. This is a class for all skill levels, genders and ages. The class taught by career police officer Carole Boswell.  We have 2 class offerings. But you can also attend both if you want more practice/experience.
Class is $49 for two hours and $10 from each sign up will be donated to charity.
Dates and times:
Saturday Feb 18th 1-3pm
Saturday March 11th 1-3pm
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Why we use pronouns at the gym

Why we use pronouns at PDXStrength:

Fitness is highly personal to you, and you are the expert on your own body. Only you can tell if a movement is going to be too challenging, or if your knee feels wonky today. Only you can truly push yourself or give yourself a break if you’re not feeling fully recovered. At PDXstrength, we respect where everyone is at and give a lot of modifications for each movement, making sure everyone feels good about their workout that day.

It’s much the same with people’s gender identity and preferred pronouns. No person on Earth knows as much about you as YOU and we want to respect exactly where you are, where you’re coming from, and to help you get where you’re going.

At PDXstrength, we are driven by relationships and trust. Ultimately we ask about pronouns, because we care enough to ask. Nobody likes being called by the wrong name, right? Nobody likes being called by the wrong gender pronouns, either! Giving folks the space to share these two important pieces of info ensures everyone feels comfortable and welcome in the space. Nobody has to share pronouns, it’s always optional. However, we do ask our members/coaches/staff to make every effort to use the pronouns that people prefer.

We want each person to come in knowing we respect their boundaries and trust them to trust their own bodies, their own identities and their own journeys. We believe that folks need to trust the people around them, and feel comfortable with them, if they’re going to be OK being vulnerable and pushing themselves in the gym. Ultimately, feeling at home here will keep people coming back more often. Coming back more often will get better results and health in the long run.

Implementing this change to our class intros has been an easy win for our community over the past few years. We’d love to see more gyms follow suit!

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There’s more than meets the eye

It is disturbing how many health + fitness pros still conflate being smaller and leaner (at any cost) with being “healthy.”⁠ When I started teaching fitness classes and was running track at the University of Oregon, I thought this was true. I’d exercise/train for hours, trying to stay lean and hoping my running times would improve… lol – not the case. This photo was about 12 years ago when I’d teach 2-3 fitness classes a day, and still feel the need to go on an hour long run! God  I wish sometimes I could go back in time and shake some education in my poor little head.
Can losing body fat improve health markers in some instances?⁠
I was sooooo unhealthy in this photo! Deep health is about SO MUCH MORE than body size.⁠ I was struggling with body dysmorphia, harboring unhealthy relationships with food and exercise, and doing harm to my mental/physical health… but being lean and fit was praised and I thought I was healthy…. lol not the case.
Here’s a short list of unhealthy behaviors folks use to get a smaller body (that the fitness industry often glorifies):⁠
✅ cutting out entire food groups without a medical need⁠
✅ counting, weighing, and tracking every morsel of food ⁠
✅ drastically cutting calories after eating more than normal⁠
✅ working out harder to “earn” your food⁠
✅ punishing yourself with exercise for eating more than normal⁠
✅ assigning morality to food and to yourself for eating certain foods (e.g. “good” and “bad” foods)⁠
It’s not an easy cycle to break and we want to make sure at PDXstrength that all this diet culture bullshit is not shoved down your throat. We want to make sure that we are taking a holistic approach to your health, and not glorifying weight loss/fat loss…. There’s more than meets the eye.
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Want more out of your PDXstrength experience?

Want more out of your PDXstrength experience? Keep these few points in mind.
1) Your membership is an investment in your long term physical and emotional health. It’s not an expense. Your effort(as long as you use your membership) will pay its value back many times over.
2) Encourage other members, they are trying to better themselves and have just as much right to be there as you do. Regardless of their skill or experience level, treat them accordingly. Be a positive role model for the people who haven’t yet figured it out. 
3) Try to remember to put weights away and wipe down equipment. We are human and forget from time to time, but taking pride in our space  is respectful to other members in the studio.
4) Maybe most of all, don’t judge someone else’s circumstance. You have absolutely no idea where they started, what their journey has been like, and the obstacles they’ve surpassed along the way. Have empathy and compassion.
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