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Old Forum How strong and well-conditioned is Sinister?

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Stuart Elliott

Level 6 Valued Member
In S&S Pavel states the programme is GPP, there's the clue. If you want to be a contender specialisation is required on top of a GPP base.  For a weekend warrior like myself its perfect!
 

Marino

Level 6 Valued Member
Chipping in a few thoughts to the debate ...

If a strong body comes from a strong core and a strong grip then S&S and the Sinister goals must go along way to getting a person generally strong.

If the new frontier in conditioning is to train the alactic and aerobic pathways again meeting the Sinister goals must go a long way to being generally well conditioned.

Being Sinister presumably also leads to a strong what the hell effect as described by Eric Frohardt in his latest blog post.

So while being Sinister isn't necessarily specific to a lot of sports, professions or movements, surely getting to that point gives a person a very goood base on which to build more specific skills.

In my original post, I referred to college athletes and special ops personnel merely as examples of people who are probably very well conditioned and strong.  Perhaps a slightly better benchmark would be to ask how many people in physical roles could meet the Sinister goals?  For example, would all / most RKC or SFGs / soldiers / footballers  be able to roll out of bed (hangover optional) and bash out a hundred swings and 10 get ups with a minute's rest in between?

The closer I get to the Sinister goals the harder they seem to be, especially retaining sufficient nervous force after heavy swings to pretty much immediately start on heavy get ups.

 
 

dcb02a

Level 1 Valued Member
This ongoing conversation about specificity vs generalization of training affect is very interesting. I am by no means a professional lifter and primarily use kettlebells as a means of developing physical fitness. S&S just seems to lend it self very well to being a good general physical recuperation program. In other words, if I am needed to lift some furniture or chase my dog when he runs out of my yard, then it gives me what I need to perform. This conversation to really seem to come down to goals: I am pursuing the goal of being healthy and strong; luckily the goals of doing 100 swings and 10 TGU's in 15 minues with a 32 kg will help with that goal.
 

Iron Tamer

Strongman, Speaker and Seeker of Truth
James O- Couldn't have said it better myself.

David Main- "The closer I get to the Sinister goals the harder they seem to be, especially retaining sufficient nervous force after heavy swings to pretty much immediately start on heavy get ups. "

In my experience, this SCREAMS that something, somewhere, is off. Maybe frequency, maybe weight, maybe there's stressors in your life outside the training hall (job, family, holidays, lack of sleep, poor nutrition, Etc). Most likely a combination of things.

You seem very interested in comparing what is yourself to things other than yourself. That is a sure fire way to end up broken. I would encourage you to compare you NOW to you WHERE YOU WANT TO BE. If you could talk to future you, what would he tell you about your quest?

A couple of possibilities include:

"You would've been wise to back off when you were feeling drained. It wound up taking longer than it needed to, with extra grief, to get here"

and

"Good thing you listened to that Tamer guy and didn't make the same mistakes he's seen dozens of other people make."
 

Marino

Level 6 Valued Member
Iron Tamer - My point, which I didn't make very well, was that the Sinister goals are really quite difficult to reach and then to really own them is even more difficult and requires patience and dedication.  This  is something that is becoming clearer to me as I get closer to the goals which makes me really respect people who own the goals.  I'm transitioning to swings with the 48kg at the moment and mixing a 40kg and 44kg on the get ups so I'm getting close but there's still a long way to go and I'm not in a hurry.   Still, while I sit at my desk at work 12 hours a day it's an interesting diversion to speculate comparatively what shape a person who can meet the goals might be in.
 

Dave0317

Level 3 Valued Member
Great discussion here.  Lots of good points on how doing the same program to the same standard can have drastically different results for different people.

Lots of people have mentioned being able to press the 32kg once they can do 10 TGU with it.  I can do the TGUs all day, but still cannot press the bell once.  The 32kg is half my bodyweight.  On the other hand, after two months of SS, I found I could do a one arm pull up.  Granted I was close before.  Also, with no other conditioning all winter except for the swings in SS I ran a 9:30 1.5 mile run.   But I had run a 9:00 flat the year before with more specialized training.

So in short, and to respond to the original question: the level of fitness you get with meeting the sinister goal will vary greatly.

A huge part of it of course is the level of fitness you are coming from.  It is good to know a 400lb+ deadlifter did not lose much strength, but it would be crazy to think that because I completed the swings to the same standard he did that my max would be anywhere near 400.  Genetics obvious plays into that too.

I will say the claim that a man that meets the simple goals is "strong enough" for most of what life throws his way is accurate.  More strength than that is pursued for reasons other than pure utility for most of us.  But just the fact that the sinister goal is "there" is enough temptation to pursue it.

 

Maybe the fitness levels would be closer if we said the simple goal was set at 50% of bodyweight rather than the fixed number of 32kg.
 

Physical Culture

Level 6 Valued Member
To return to the subject of deadlifting and S&S, in Return of the Kettlebell Pavel mentioned Dimel deadlifts and deadlifting 25-30% of the goal weight for high reps (20), quickly.  I don't remember the Eastern European country from which he says these deadlifts originate, but he credits them with building strong backs.  He calls them "ideologically impure" deadlifts, and says that he can't explain why high reps with light weights contribute to big lifts, but they do.  Understanding is a delaying tactic.

The swing is a hip hinge, as is the deadlift.  If fast deadlifts at 25% lead to big lifts, then does it stand to reason that swings would accomplish the same result?  Is it unreasonable to think that someone who can do 100 1 arm swings in 5 minutes with 106 pounds would be strong enough to deadlift 400+ pounds?  I say strong enough, because he may require a deadlifting cycle to build the groove and neurological patterns to apply his strength to the deadlift. Being strong enough to lift it, and lifting it, are two different things, because lifts must be trained.  I'm theorizing that someone who meets the sinister goals could pull well over 400 within a properly planned and executed deadlifting cycle.

Just a question, not a challenge.  I'll bet that any man who meets the simple goal could deadlift over 280- 4x the swing bell weight.  There is an economy of scale, of course, but I think that meeting the sinister goals would give the kind of strength necessary to pull over 400 with proper adaptation.  I'll let you all know if I get there!
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
IMHO, someone who can swing the 32 kg for 100 reps in 5:00 might well be good for a 400+ lb. deadlift, and a beast swinger likely 500+.

-S-
 

etristan

Level 5 Valued Member
Considering that a hardstyle swing increases the "feel" of the weight by 3x or greater, I would think that it preps your body for tougher loads without actually pulling the weight.  Granted, you won't hit the elite Q4 levels of a competitive power lifter, but you'll still be strong.
 

Zach Ganska

Level 5 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Steve-

I have used Wendler's formula for estimating 1 rep maxes for my students to keep them progressing without hitting a true 1 rep max.  I only have a year of experience using this with others (I've used many in the past on myself personally) however I feel confident that using more than a 2-3 rep max in a calculation leads to unrealistic true 1 rep maxes.

You are correct that one CAN possibly generate x times (bell weight) of force using hardstyle swing techniques, and yes both the swing and deadlift are loaded hinges, however the beginning position to each is far different in that the bell is either out front or loaded behind the hips opposed to the barbell in front of the shins.  Many are held back in their deadlifting by movement issues, lacking enough mobility to assume an optimal starting stance, and/or motor control to fully build tension from a MUCH deeper starting hinge position than the swing.  In a swing we can hide these issues, a one-rep max or near max deadlift we cannot.

Personally my deadlift has been stuck around 400-415 for many years, a little over 2x body weight @ 6' 2".  My swing, including one arm swing and double swings have continually improved over that same time period, having no effect on my deadlift, so obvious the quality that holds me back from a higher deadlift is not associated with a WTH benefit I can receive from swings.

I think most people's hang up in these comparative mental experiments is that we read Jane did x times loaded pull-ups after S & S, and Bob's press improved x # of kg's while Timmy finally deadlifted 3x body weight, and don't forget that Mary finally did a pistol on both legs.  We then perceive we will receive similar benefits in ALL these areas from one program, then get impatient and program-hop the one time we test a press, pull-up, etc. and don't see this unrealistic carryover that was a product solely of our imagination in the first place.

Re-read Tamer's advice several times and pick goals that are meaningful to YOU, that make you gain health AND strength, goals that serve your highest purpose and the challenges you are learning from in other areas of your life.  Many (maybe most?) specimens we compare ourselves to have yet to do A swing, let alone the S & S with a 32kg.  Al's discussion of genetic gifts is important, those who are amazing athletes are a product of  fortune and environment.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Zach, my experience with deadlifts and swings has been pretty simple - when one stalls, I switch to the other.  It's done very well for me.  And when I'm working on my DL, I'm content not only _not_ to do swings, I'm content to let most of the conditioning work disappear from my training, e.g., I might do a light set of two of swings as warmup or cooldown but that's it.  And when I'm going for reps on swings (and/or snatches), I stay away from heavy lifting for the most part.

Just what works for me, YMMV.

-S-
 

Zach Ganska

Level 5 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Steve F-

crossed posts, I was responding to Steve W.'s thoughts and had to work with someone for 30 min. before finishing and hitting send. I agree with your points and have seen similar results alternating between deads and swings, my point was focused more on the  limitations of 1 rep max estimation using higher volumes. Nearing 1 rep max territory is far more revealing of our weak links than higher reps.

 
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Agree, Zach.  And it's all highly personal and variable even then, e.g., I can do reps at very close to my 1RM.  The other side of that coin is that I need to stay away from anything near my 1RM, single or rep, in the weeks leading up to a meet or it takes away from what I can do at the meet.

My next mission is pulling 405 in competition at 148 bodyweight and 60-65 years old, which will be my new age group in a few months.  Currently at 360 recent and 364 liftetime.

-S-
 

Journeyman

Level 6 Valued Member
Carryover from swings to DL will be pretty individual based on your strengths and weaknesses, leverages, etc. For example, if you rely on a lot of leg drive off the floor for your pull the swings by themselves might not be the best thing for you.

However; either way the grip, midsection and posterior chain strength should have some decent amount of carryover from swing to DL and vice versa, at least up to an advanced level.

I agree with Steve that anyone who can do 100 one arm swings in 5 minutes with a 48k should be able to DL ~400lb + once they get accustomed to the movement (generally).
 

Jeff

Level 6 Valued Member
Do you think achieving Sinister is equally as difficult as a 400 lb deadlift?  If you reached Sinister, even if you could "only" pull 400, you would have the ability to do so much more than someone who trained specifically for the deadlift.
 

crash123

Level 3 Valued Member
still apples and oranges - im 5'6", 190lbs, I can fall off a bar stool, snot hanging drunk and still pull 400, but I couldn't swing a 48kg bell 100x in 5 minutes to save my life.
 

Mattsirpeace

Level 4 Valued Member
Simple = 405.  Some of the standards and performances on this forum are very high.  Even passing Simple easily puts you in the top 1% of the general population.
 

Journeyman

Level 6 Valued Member
The bar for '1% of genpop' is pretty low right now, though.

There are at least 2 or 3 females who've done 100 swings in 5 minutes with a 32kg; I'm pretty sure none of them can pull 405 (though all of them at least know how to deadlift fairly well and have trained it).

Again--there won't be an exact number equivalent. Now, you can talk about which is more impressive or which has more carryover to other activities and such all day; and everyone will have a different opinion....
 

Mattsirpeace

Level 4 Valued Member
Aris, agreed.  Just a data point at 6'2''.

Strong Ladies, respect!  My goal is to beat Nikki Schlosser at swings!
 

Mattsirpeace

Level 4 Valued Member
So, I just did my first barbell session in eight months.  It's more accurate to say that if you can pass Simple swings, you probably can deadlift 315;  If you can deadlift 405, you probably can pass Simple swings.
 
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