Question Doing Simple and Sinister two to three times per week - yeah or nah?

FromThePenumbra

First Timer
Hey all. Long-time lurker, first-time poster.

Is there something more efficient I could/should be doing If I am not able to do S&S five or six times a week?

I have experimented the last couple of months with doing S&S two to three times per week as time allows because I've got young children and work has ramped up. I'm pretty comfortable doing untimed sessions with 24 kg (each session lasts between 20 and 30 minutes), but my progress beyond that has been slow--much slower than adding one set with the 32 every four weeks as described in the new book. I assume that is because S&S is designed to be run almost every day, or in conjunction with other training. It's not clear that I am doing anything more than maintaining on this schedule. The book even says that two or three times per week is "not enough."

I'm not doing any other training besides some low-intensity jogging once a week, and five to six 30-minute S&S sessions per week is more than I can manage right now with the other demands on my time. I'd even be okay with slightly longer but less frequent sessions because having a whole evening free is better than having half of two evenings free.

If I accept that three days a week is my maximum for the foreseeable future, is S&S still likely to provide enough of an effective dose to see some strength gains? I'm not attached to the idea of achieving Timeless Simple as end end to itself but am aware that the guiding principal behind Strongfirst programming is that you should reach that standard before you move on to other stuff.

Are there modifications to the program to allow for reduced frequency--ie, doing sessions with the 24 but reduce rest periods, add pauses during getups, and accelerate the bell during backswings? There's stuff about that in the book but it's all in the context of going from 32 kg to heavier weights.

Or would I be better off doing like some sort of double-bell complex or other program that is already designed to be done three days a week, even if I have to use lighter weight than if I'd reached the Timeless Simple standard?
 

Kettlebelephant

> 1k Posts
Welcome to the forum @FromThePenumbra!

You named a lot of stuff yourself. There's still value in staying with the 24 and really working on perfecting the movements, compressing the rests, slowing down the TGUs etc.
You could also switch to another 2-3 days per week routine even though you haven't reached Simple. I know people here tend to say "get to Simple/Timeless Simple first" and in the past I'm guilty of that aswell.
Nowadays as someone who has spend a lot of time with Original Strength I'd advise you with "Start where you are, do what you can, when you can".
As long as you are regularly moving your body and some weight it will be good for you. Don't sweat the details too much when you have other more pressing responsibilities right now.
 

Oscar

> 1k Posts
Yes, of course.

I've made good progress with 3 structured sessions per week. I say 3 structured sessions because the other days I did a little something, whatever I could. I also had a newborn and travelled a lot for work, so it was pretty hectic. But I just did what I could. If I had 10 minutes, I did the swings. If I had 1.5 minutes, I did a nonstop swing set. I did GTG sets of swings. At one point I could only train 3/week, so I did medium light heavy, being 20/10/15 sets of swings.

In my experience, anything that resembles S&S will have you moving forward. As long as you do powerful swings and perfect get ups, you're progressing.

That said, if you have only a limited time 3/week, there might be more time efficient programs. I'm currently doing Q&D and GTG push ups and only spend 45 minutes per week at the gym. So far so good. However, some of these programs might be more advanced than where you are now.
 

Papa Georgio

More than 300 posts
Hey all. Long-time lurker, first-time poster.

Is there something more efficient I could/should be doing If I am not able to do S&S five or six times a week?

I have experimented the last couple of months with doing S&S two to three times per week as time allows because I've got young children and work has ramped up. I'm pretty comfortable doing untimed sessions with 24 kg (each session lasts between 20 and 30 minutes), but my progress beyond that has been slow--much slower than adding one set with the 32 every four weeks as described in the new book. I assume that is because S&S is designed to be run almost every day, or in conjunction with other training. It's not clear that I am doing anything more than maintaining on this schedule. The book even says that two or three times per week is "not enough."

I'm not doing any other training besides some low-intensity jogging once a week, and five to six 30-minute S&S sessions per week is more than I can manage right now with the other demands on my time. I'd even be okay with slightly longer but less frequent sessions because having a whole evening free is better than having half of two evenings free.

If I accept that three days a week is my maximum for the foreseeable future, is S&S still likely to provide enough of an effective dose to see some strength gains? I'm not attached to the idea of achieving Timeless Simple as end end to itself but am aware that the guiding principal behind Strongfirst programming is that you should reach that standard before you move on to other stuff.

Are there modifications to the program to allow for reduced frequency--ie, doing sessions with the 24 but reduce rest periods, add pauses during getups, and accelerate the bell during backswings? There's stuff about that in the book but it's all in the context of going from 32 kg to heavier weights.

Or would I be better off doing like some sort of double-bell complex or other program that is already designed to be done three days a week, even if I have to use lighter weight than if I'd reached the Timeless Simple standard?
My recommendation is to stay with S&S. The first thing to consider is to increase density. I think the term “timeless” is loosely used. In my mind there are 3 types of densities with S&S training.
*More rest than talk test (alactic)
*talk test (mainly alactic, just kissing glycolytic)
*less rest than talk test (glycolytic)
My impression was that Pavel wanted the practitioner to use mainly “talk test” rest periods in the early stages of the program. A progression within S&S is to work with the talk test to decrease rest times over time. You can’t cheat the kettlebell gods either. It’s ok if you can only practice 2 or 3 times a week, but realize you will need at least 2 times as much time to make the progress of someone putting in twice as many sessions a week. You need to get your volume in.
You could always throw in a couple extra sets to help boost your volume, but I’d encourage you to have some patience, reread to book and trust the process,
Good Luck,
 
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Bauer

> 1k Posts
my progress beyond that has been slow--much slower than adding one set with the 32 every four weeks as described in the new book
Well, I don't know the answer to your question, but here is a thought experiment:

Maybe the weeks are not important, but the number of sessions and accumulated volume. If you follow the 3-6 sessions per week, you will have done 12-24 sessions per "month", with 16-20 to be the more realistic range. That way, maybe you could expect to move up in weight after 18 sessions, give and take. In your case that would last about six weeks, mabe seven. That way, you might even be more efficient in terms of session per step cycle than someone doing 6 sessions per week and thus doing 24 sessions per step cycle - you would just need more weeks, but will have spent less time overall.

As Pavel has often recommended as little as 2-3 sessions per week for conditioning (PM, ROP, Total Package Weekly Template, Occam's Razor, Q&D), I think this should work. But the proof is in the pudding.

Further, in the 1st edition of S&S, 300 swings per week were described as the minimum effective dose. So if you are not sure if you are going to be able to get more than 2 full session in, you might do something like 12x10 on one or both of your S&S days, and maybe add 4x10 swings on two other days (TGUs seem to progress for some on less volume). I guess if 40 powerful swings had no effect, then Q&D would not work :)
 
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Bauer

> 1k Posts
And in addition:
I would personally not go that way, but you could probably also try the Simply Sinister plan on days when you are pressed for time. But you might need to use a lighter weight. It strings swings and TGU together and thus introduces a different kind of density.

My personal preference is to do some part of S&S whenever I can (I am in a similar situation like you). So maybe swings in the morning, even just 10x6 or 6x10, and some TGUs in the evening.
 

Anna C

> 6k Posts
Elite Certified Instructor
Excellent suggestions above. I particularly like @Bauer's suggestion of adding a few more sets. If you have a recovery day in between sessions, you can probably increase the volume so that your weekly volume is closer to intended, but only if you can still maintain focus and power.

I'll add, perhaps take a closer look at the sessions that you are doing. Are you doing the full 3 rounds of warm-up, including goblet squats, and using your swing weight for at least one set of goblet squats? Are all 10 swings in each set crisp and powerful, including the initial hike and the last swing? Is your technique as good as it can be (perhaps have a session with an SFG, or post a video for form check)? Are your get-ups precise, 30-ish seconds each, and good? How is your form when you use the 32kg?
 

Stefan Olsson

More than 500 posts
I dont want to litter your mind with other stuff. Your life seem to be hectic as it is.

but...

when I was in your situation I tried to cram S&S into my life, whitch added even more stress in my life. Not because it was S&S, but because for me it was hard to follow a structured program and be a good family father at that time.

If I remember correctly I belive @Steve Freides suggested doing chunks of training when I can. I did not follow his advice then, but probably should.
One thing could be to put S&S on a halt for now and take a look at Strength Shortcuts or simply assign yourself 5-10 min (dice roll?) a day and rotate swings, get-ups, clean and press and goblets.

perhaps now is not the time to progress your training but to do What you can training wise and just embrace your now and apprechiate it.
 
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