Kettlebell Active duty Marine has questions re: Simple & Sinister

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Level 3 Valued Member
@Cincinnatus25 With the HRM and these guidelines, you can try to figure out the workloand that will stimulate the most recovery that you're capable of before your next workout. This is a different mindset than just trying to see how hard you can push yourself every time. If you don't overextend on the regular training days and allow more recovery and make more progress, you'll have more in the tank when you do need to redline the engine.


Level 9 Valued Member
So I used the heart rate monitor for the first time yesterday. I used Al Ciampa's formula, and got 148 as my target HR. Kept my heart rate below 143 during all rest intervals, and waited until my heart rate dropped below 125 before I started the next set of swings. Ended up taking about 13 minutes, vice the normal 8 or 9 I've been doing using my own perception of the talk test. Definitely felt like I could have pushed harder, but I guess that is the point.

Here is a quote from another thread that corroborates this line of thinking.
One of his main points is that you can't get very far with any conditioning without a well developed aerobic base, because this is what carries you through a fight. The aerobic base is developed over time with lots LOW intensity cardio.


Level 1 Valued Member
Just an update. Hit the Simple standard on 8 July. Felt very good. Getups are feeling really easy, swings were hard, but not balls-to-the-wall. Tempted to start ETK, but I should probably just stick with S&S and master it. I've been skipping any running for the past 3 weeks, but will start incorporating 2-3 30min LSD runs per week, and 1 sprint session. Been doing S&S 5-6 days per week, recovering completely every day.


Level 6 Valued Member
For the sprints try this:

Flip a coin: heads is 60s/120s sprint and jog and tails is 30s/60s.

Roll one die and that's how many intervals you'll do in the course of a 20-30 minute run.


Level 6 Valued Member
Hello all. I have a student who recently completed his IOC in the US marines, and in his most recent PFT performed 19 pull-ups, 110 sit-ups in 2min, and ran his 3mile in 21:30.

He has recently shown interest in shifting most, if not all, of his strength & conditioning training to kettlebell-only workouts for simplicity. I encouraged him to read simple & sinister, which he did.

His response following the read was along the lines of: "that's it? That's enough?"

While I would like to confidently answer with a resounding "yes" I am not or have ever been in the service, and I was looking for any active duty service members who have used S&S as their primary or sole training to provide a testimonial for him. Hopefully someone in that position will be able to better "speak his language"

If commenting here is not ideal please feel free to email me

Thank you for your time.

I am not knowledgeable about military workouts, but it would seem that varieties of loaded carries should be at the top of the list after S&S. Also, one leg deadlift is underrated, slow and controlled and paused if no heavy weight is available and limited space. Almost any object could be used to add load including a rifle!


Level 1 Valued Member
Wanted to give an update. Continued with S&S for the past several months with a 6 week break in Oct/Nov doing the ROP. I am now doing S&S per the book 3 times per week, doing TGU's and swings with 40kg. 3 more days are TGU's followed by pullups, then a 30-45 min maffetone run (right around 9:45-10:00 min miles). Saturday is my light day. I do 100 snatches with the 24kg, then TGU's with the same kb.
Recently ran a PFT, not expecting much as I haven't really been training for speed at all. Easily Maxed pullups and crunches, and got my run time down to 19:25 (3 miles)! I was blown away. My last PFT in 2017 was about 22:30, and I had been pushing it hard on every run.
I have never made this much progress so consistently, with so little perceived effort, over such a long period of time. The heart rate monitor, nasal breathing, and the drastic cut in training volume have been the perfect storm for me. Thanks to all the people on this forum for their insights and help. It has been truly life changing.


Level 1 Valued Member
@Cincinnatus25 Thank you for coming back and checking in, you give me concrete hope that Maffetone running can help me drop my 2mi time in OCT. I’ve been pushing hard for the last 3-4 months for my APFT test last week and am very hesitant to scale my pace back that far.

The Army PT test doesn’t have pull-ups but I’m trying to work up to doing my first tactical pull up. How would you add push-ups in to your long term routine if you had PUs as an event?
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