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Kettlebell From 5 to 10 sets

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Joshua Peping

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I am new to the S&S program and have read the book and am a week into the program. I am completely out of shape and haven't worked out regularly in a number of years. The last time I consistently worked out I was following the Enter the Kettlebell program. I am currently using a 25lb bell for both swings and get-ups but I am planning on moving up to a 35lb bell for swings next week. My question is in regards to moving from 5 to 10 sets of swings. Should I move up to 10 sets now and and then wait until I can do all 10 sets in 5 minutes with the 25lb and then move up to the 35lb? Or should I move up to the larger bell and then work on adding sets within the 5 minute window until I am able to do 10 sets? Also I was wondering when to move up in weight on the get-up? I know my shoulder is not ready yet but I was just wondering if there was a metric for measuring when you are ready to move up?
I think you're on the right track. Keep using the 25lb bell until you can comfortably do 10x10 swings before you implement the 35lb. You don't necessarily have to wait until you can do all 100 swings in 5 minutes to add in a heavier weight, though. I believe 5 minutes is more of a standard, in the way a 1RM squat is a standard. You use it to see where you're at, but you don't necessarily train there. Personally, I think about 10-15 minutes of swinging is my sweet spot. The longer you give yourself, the heavier weights you can use. Too much time means your volume (weight x reps) gets too high, which can be hard to recover from. Too little time and it's difficult to do enough work to get adaptation. You especially don't want to rush yourself if you're re-learning technique. My amateur advice would be to start working the 35lb bell in when you can comfortably do the 10x10 swings in 10 minute or less with the 25lb. For what it's worth, 10-15 minutes for the get-ups seems to be about right, too. If you start to feel beat up and tired, don't be afraid to dial it back a little. You should be able to do this 5-6 days a week if it's your only work. If you cut back too much and it takes you an extra couple weeks to move up in weight, so what?
@Joshua Peping

The short answer is:

You own the 25lb on a daily basis for swings and getups before you move up in weight.

You test to the next weight when you can do the 10x10 swings in 5:00 and TGU in 10:00, with one minute rest between swings and getups.

More information will require... more information. ;)

Please go to the top of the Kettlebell forum and read Steve Friedes' "Please Read Before Posting."

I am 6 weeks into S&S and loving it.

I'm 53yo, 6'0", 256lbs, and swinging the 16kg (35lbs).

Keep reading and keep swinging!!
Snowman and Lew thank you both for the advice. Some additional information on me.....I'm 34, 5'10", 230lbs., I have now been following S&S for two weeks now. I am planning on adding sets to my swings this week.....I am really confident in my swings with the 25lb bell. And can knock out my 5 sets in about 3 minutes. Should I keep going for the full 5 then stop and add sets as my rest decreases or should I go ahead and go up to 10 sets and then work on getting the time down? As for my get ups....I can get those done in about 5 minutes with the 25lb bell. I was wondering if it was time to make the jump to 35lb. Again thank you for the advice and encouragement.
If you can get the TGU's done in 5 minutes, you are very likely ready to move up. Or you might want to slow down and work on alignment. I don't know that I could get in 10 continuous naked get ups in 5 minutes unless I rushed the form. I think its better when starting to have "micro-pauses" at each of the stages. You don't have to hang out for 5 seconds or anything, but really lock into each phase: elbow, post, etc. You're doing things right though. Rushing into an injury is going to be the main enemy to progress in S&S.
I should have thought about this before, but if you haven't read this post before Simple & Sinister Progression Tactic - StrongFirst go ahead and check it out (along with the comments below it).

The best advice I can give you is to just start adding one set of swings every day or two, and replacing two of the naked get ups with weighted one every 2-4 days. Again, to echo @jca17 , stay focused on technique. Keep the swings crisp and explosive, and the get ups slow and steady. One thing I'll do with the get ups is exhale a little as I move from one position to another, then pause in that position while I inhale. It slows me down and helps teach me to breath behind the shield. Don't worry if your training times start to exceed the 5 and 10 minute guidelines a little; they're not commandments.
Thank you everyone for the advice I re-read through the book again and added just 3 sets to my swings with the 25lb. bell. This definitely reved up the workout quite a bit. I wasn't necessarily overly tired after the swings, but could really feel the effects when I did my TGUs. One thing I was reading was the timing for the TGUs. The book says it should take you about 15 seconds per side. I timed myself during my last workout and it seems like hitting the 15 seconds feels rushed. Should I slow it down and aim for 20-25 seconds? I just want to be sure I am getting the maximum benefits from the work and that I am not rushing it. Also a quick question on form. I watched a video from SF posted on Facebook of an instructor teaching TGUs and when he did his kick through from kneeling to sitting he did not pause in a side plank type position. When I learned TGUs a few years ago I was taught to kick through to a side plank and then drop the hip to the floor then on to the elbow. Should I transition to this new form?
No 10 swings take about 15 seconds. One get up takes about 30 seconds. The goal is a 1:1 ratio of work to rest that is 15 seconds swings, 15 seconds rest times ten is five minutes. The ten sets of get ups should be done in 10 minutes.
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