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Kettlebell Greasing the Groove with Simple and Sinister

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Level 2 Valued Member
Hey StrongFirst tribe!

Brand new to forums and SFG community. I bought "Simple and Sinister" last month having only done a group kettlebell class years ago -- your classic "sweat, grunt and push to failure as much as you can for 45 minutes" class. never again, right?

I started S&S on the 2nd of this May. By the end of the first week I was doing 10 TGUs (five each arm) with an 12kg bell -- and I was struggling. I did 5x10 swings with 24kg, but only with two hands, and it wasn't pretty.

In four weeks, I was doing 10x10 swings, single-hand alternating, with a 24kg, and 10 TGUs (alternating sides of course) with 20kg. Never seen improvement like this in my life.

The downside of these amazing gains is that now I've got a ravenous appetite to push farther. I had an idea for how I might try to move towards the Simple Goals (swings and get ups in 16 minutes with 32 kilos) across the next couple months.

Has anyone tried Grease the Groove with S&S? Say for instance, doing 2 to 4 sets of 10 single-hand swings, and maybe a couple of TGUs on each side, periodically throughout the day? I imagine it would be with a fairly heavy bell -- maybe 24 kg?

I'm fortunate enough to have a schedule that allows to me to follow a protocol like that, so access and convenience are not obstacles.

I'm happy to just keep doing the usual S&S training, do all my swings in get ups in one visit to the gym, if that's the best way to progress. But I'm wondering if a GtG protocol would help improve technique more quickly and safely as I move toward heavier weights. I'm wondering if the long rests that GtG grants you will allow you to do more than 10 sets of swings and 10 TGUs within a given day, and if doing more sets means the neural pathways get trained better/faster as a result.

Any thoughts and recommendations greatly appreciated!


Level 7 Valued Member
Hi Mitch, welcome!

If it's working so well, why would you want to change it?

One of the good things about s&s is that we don't have to think too much, just do the program in about 40 minutes and get the results.

If for some reason you decide to change it, I wouldn't split the swings, as you might loose the conditioning effect. Maybe GTG TGU could work fine, havent tried it myself. Since its kind of a grind maybe it'll work.

Good luck and keep us posted!


Level 9 Valued Member
GTG with getups is pretty fun, helps keep the sweat down too. Just make sure you're comfortable enough with the weight to do it without a warmup, as people typically don't do movement prep while GTG.

What's really fun about S&S is that the simplicity in the "what" program lends a lot of creativity in the "how." Try out all sorts of things, I'm sure you'll find many ways to acheieve the daily goal. Not much beats doing it all at once though.

I would definitely not use it simply to achieve more volume throughout the day, however. Don't touch the "what" if you're following the program, you will fatigue yourself over days or weeks.


Level 2 Valued Member
Thanks guys! It's true to say that it ain't broke, so no need to fix it. The program is so good, it's made me greedy!

I was curious because the S&S book seems to counsel doing it all at once, but when I heard Pavel talk about GtG it sounded like such a different protocol.

As you said, Neuro-Bob, sounds like it's best to keep the overall set & reps numbers constant, even if I try GtG with get-ups. I'll leave swings the same as recommended, since I still need to build up my conditioning and lung capacity. And definitely won't attempt TGUs at a weight that's safe to do relatively "cold." I always do at least some warmup.

Have you guys tried combining S&S with the two GtG additions Pavel recommended? I think he says to GtG both "crushing" grip training and hard style abs. Apparently these have carryover to everything else - have you seen this work?

Thanks again!


Level 9 Valued Member
Welcome. S&S works so well because of the program design. Personally I wouldn't tinker with it. If you are doing it GTG style then technically it's no longer S&S.
I would enjoy the process, attain the simple standard, then look into options.
If you need 'more' now, consider some MAF style running and/or some pull-ups

Again, welcome

Steve W.

Level 7 Valued Member
I do a lot of my swing training like this, but more due to convenience than a desire to progress faster.

On workdays during the week, I will do sets of 10 during breaks while working in my office, often just single sets and sometimes blocks of 2-6 sets at a time.

Is it S&S? Maybe not. Is it effective training that conveniently fits into my day? For sure.

However, one idea I've come around to is to try to detach from the idea of hitting progression benchmarks. I just try to put in the work on a consistent basis, and let the progress happen.

Steve Freides

Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Have you guys tried combining S&S with the two GtG additions Pavel recommended? I think he says to GtG both "crushing" grip training and hard style abs. Apparently these have carryover to everything else - have you seen this work?
My experience has been cycling both grip and ab training works - I don't do either all the time, but will typically do anywhere from a few days up to a few months of either a few times each year.


King Cobra Fit

Certified Instructor
Welcome @Mitch
I'm glad to see the S&S is working out for you. It is a great program.
I would counsel you to enjoy the process, take it one practice at a time and really "own" the bell that you're working on. It's not a race ;)

I can understand and appreciate the feeling of wanting more, but the more you read around this forum the more you'll read stories of people who trusted the process and saw better results than they had expected. it's may not be the sexiest way of going about it, but if your goal it to progress, you have to put in the time to "earn" your way along. It's about the journey, not the destination.
If you must use a GTG style to fit your training into your day then that is the way it must be. If you can spend the time you need to move through the program in one session I think that would be best. This will allow you to focus on the techniques and help you continue to build the great momentum that you seen.

perhaps GTG presses, pushups (OAP) or pull ups would be good things to add to get the "extra" work in.

No matter the path you choose, you are on a great program and are part of an amazing forum, keep us posted on your progress. If you are able, try to get a session or two with an SFG or perhaps post a vid here of your swing and get up to help ensure your technique is safe and effective.

Best of luck and strength to you.
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Level 2 Valued Member
Thank you all very much for the wisdom! Per your responses I'm going to stick with S&S and not tinker, though as some of you suggested I'll mix in some grip training, maybe pull-ups, and see how it goes.

Most of all I appreciate the recommendation to not try to accelerate the program. The progress has been fast as it is -- like I said, so fast it's made me greedy! But I can't argue with the incredible progress S&S grants you if you're faithful to it. Plus it's a revelation compared to the "get as sore as you can" hypertrophy style strength training I've been taught all my life. King Cobra I will definitely get in a session with an SFG in the near future, and keep everybody apprised of my progress.

Thanks again to all. Strength to you!


Level 7 Valued Member
It might be worth your while to visit the training logs section or even keep one yourself. It's nice to beable to keep up with folks who are doing things similarly and see how they are progressing and what you might beable to expect.
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