Question Bulking

Discussion in 'Simple and Sinister FAQ Questions' started by Colby Pitre, Jul 1, 2019.

  1. Colby Pitre

    Colby Pitre Double-Digit Post Count

    Anyone think it is possible to bulk up following Simple and Sinister. I throw in a set of 20 Heavy Goblet Squats at the end of my sessions as well. I like following S&S. I am at the 32KG for swings and everyday getting more comfortable with the 24KG for TGUs. I know weight gain is mainly about nutrition I just want to make sure I can make some good progress with S&S and put on some size.
    cmerrow likes this.
  2. Papa Georgio

    Papa Georgio Triple-Digit Post Count

    Volume & Intensity (and calories) will build size. Do S&S 5 or 6 days a week, go beyond 32kg (especially in TGU), caloric surplus and you'll put on size. It's not the main intent of the program, and you can find better programs if bulking is your only goal, but it can build mass if taken far enough.
  3. Bauer

    Bauer More than 500 posts

    Maybe this bit is of interest to you:
    Also, have a look at this article written by Pavel
    The Kettlebell Swing Sandwich: Build Muscle, Lose Fat, Save Time | StrongFirst

    To translate it into S+S could mean to do either some light upper body moves between sets of swings (light curls or rows for example) or to sets of light squats inbetween swings or TGUs. That's at least how I understand it.

    You could try this approach 2-3x week, maybe with a lighter bell. As far as I can see the main driver is the hormonal response of supersets, so the intensity should not to be as important.
    North Coast Miller likes this.
  4. Bauer

    Bauer More than 500 posts

    Oh, or if you are into slow twitch fiber hypertrophy, you could do partial diamond pushups to failure with long rest inbetween, twice per week, and skip TGUs on those days - as outlined in this Pavel article
    How to Build Your Slow Fibers, Part II | StrongFirst

    It also works GTG style. Failure should come within 30-60 seconds and there should be constant tension.
  5. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts


    Training is important of course, but is calorie surplus to build some mass. Most of the time, I read that about 250kcal is some kind of sweet spot to build lean mass, without too much fat.

    Kind regards,

  6. mikhael

    mikhael Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Molson likes this.
  7. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    The C Marker HIRT program will be a better choice.

    Putting on mass has a couple of strategies - traditional bulk and cut, gain muscle and fat and then lose the fat.

    Gaining lean muscle requires taking a long view and just eating a little more while following S&S or similar. S&S is not a mass building protocol, so it will take a while to put on size using it.

    Gaining it faster than that requires substantial surplus calories and a higher intensity/metabolic impact approach.
    Oscar likes this.
  8. Papa Georgio

    Papa Georgio Triple-Digit Post Count

    I guess I don't read as many articles as others do, so I can only offer advice from my anecdotal experience. I've gained the most mass on barbell programs, period. Anyone with the goal of pure mass would also work with barbell based programs. For me, that type of training wasn't sustainable, and I gravitated towards this community because of the emphasis on strength, longevity and sustainability.

    I've been on S&S exclusively since last November. I have noticed that I have added mass in my stubborn shoulders and lats (edit: and traps too), and they're the biggest they've ever been. As far as I can tell, I've maintained my mass everywhere else.

    So, to answer your question based on my experience, I would say, yes, you can gain mass on S&S.

    Will most people gain mass on S&S? probably not. I think most people just stagnate and move on to something else, or they hit the simple goal and move on. I think Pavel mentions in the book that the "Magic" doesn't really happen till after you hit the simple goal. My opinion on why people don't progress is that they emphasize intensity over volume. They are concerned with working the next bell size into their workout. In my opinion, S&S works better when you emphasize volume first, and you'll make the fastest progress and see the most gains doing it 5 or 6 times a week.

    I would encourage you to stay on your S&S path until you hit your certain goal. One of the biggest traps that will kill or stagnate your training is reading too much on the internet, looking for that magic-bullet program, followed with rampant program jumping.

    Good Luck!
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
  9. Sean M

    Sean M Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    @Colby Pitre
    S&S was my introduction to "fitness", being a non-athlete in high school, moderately active in college (mostly just all the walking around campus, but also rowing freshman year), but then settling into desk-job-and-family-life mode in my 20s. I started S&S overfat (30%) but with a decent "frame" underneath (6'0", 230lbs @ 30% BF is 160lbs lean mass). I was a skinny teen, and even lost the "freshman 15" getting down to 135lbs (!). So, I got bigger (fat and non-fat) over several years from that lean point to deciding to get into exercise.

    S&S is not a strength program per se, it is general physical preparation (GPP) for an already-athletic person, or a minimalist bang-for-buck routine for an un/under-trained person (like I was). Based on my experience: for an exercise novice who has diet in check (cut back/out the junk food we all know we shouldn't eat, get enough protein, eat more veggies, drink more water), S&S puts a person back into general healthy proportion: you lose fat where you have excess, and you gain lean mass where you lack it, to arrive at an anatomically normal/neutral adult human. It's important to note that most any program delivers in this manner for such a person. Though I do think the swing, goblet squat, and get-up deliver unique benefits (especially relative to risk/energy cost) you don't see in traditional HIIT, aerobics, Zumba, what-have-you.

    In short: if you are under-muscled, the swing will strengthen/enlarge your posterior chain, the get-up will build stable shoulders (from the inside out: small stabilizers to big movers), and heavy goblet squats should also help with legs (don't forget the TGU has a unilaterial overhead lunge pattern). This will probably be more felt (by you and significant other) than seen, unless you are really thin (or very overweight, but in many cases such people are actually quite muscular, having to carry an extra 75+ pounds around all the time).
    Bauer likes this.
  10. Colby Pitre

    Colby Pitre Double-Digit Post Count

    Thank you for all the replies. @SeanM my problem I think is that I am tall so I have to put on a lot of weight to look bigger. At 6'2" and 200lbs I look really thin. I don't want to be bodybuilder huge but I would like to have some nice muscle mass. If I could be around 210 or 215 with a decent muscular frame I would be happy. I really like doing S&S. I've been adding in a set of 20 Goblet squats with the bell I did swings with and the end my sessions.
  11. HUNTER1313

    HUNTER1313 More than 500 posts

    You could try the high rep deadlifts from ROTK. Two sets of twenty at the end. Don't forget to carry heavy stuff too
  12. Colby Pitre

    Colby Pitre Double-Digit Post Count

    Next two book purchases will be Enter the Kettlebell and Return of the Kettlebell. My only concern with ROK is I don't have doubles. Only single KBs.
  13. Sean M

    Sean M Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    @Colby Pitre You really need doubles if size is what you’re after.
  14. Molson

    Molson Double-Digit Post Count

    Great link. Thanks Mikhael. I’m already wondering how I could try to combine this with ROP/S&S.
  15. HUNTER1313

    HUNTER1313 More than 500 posts

    Has anyone tried out the Primer 52 program or anything similar yet?
  16. Oscar

    Oscar Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    I dont think it's the right tool for the job.

    I gained some weight when I started eating more and using the 32 for swings and 40 for tgu. But it wasnt a good ratio of muscle and fat.

    If you eat a lot you will eventually gain some size of course. But change programs if its size you are after. Or continue until Simple knowing you won't get a lot bigger and then change.

    Or you can add some plugins. Like described by @Kettlebelephant. I would suggest doing double front squats instead of goblets at the end, 3 times a week, not everyday.

Share This Page