hypertrophy with s&s

Discussion in 'Kettlebell' started by justin84, May 19, 2017.

  1. justin84

    justin84 Double-Digit Post Count

    Is it possible to put on size with s&s. and if so how would it be done.
  2. Dan_123

    Dan_123 Triple-Digit Post Count

    Sorry I can't give specifics for how it can be done other than just going and doing the program, but so far I've gotten bigger bi's, tri's, quads and traps, they're looking quite big.

    But my forearms, calf's, quad's, lat's, glutes, and rhomboids have blown up like an Ivan Drago fight camp (with the good Russian juice.) I'm frankly astonished and I can see all this through a nice layer of chub.

    You can try the program and don't forget to get the calories in to support the growth. It's amazing how people who train for muscle and never eat any where near enough (And thats the fun bit!)

    If you're looking just for hypertrophy not GPP there are other things for you that people can recommend. Geoff Neuport seems very well reviewed on here.
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  3. Antti

    Antti Strong, Powerful Member of the Forum

    The S&S is not a hypertrophy program but some people claim to have achieved significant levels of hypertrophy with it. It is, as expected, individual and always in the eye of the beholder.

    If you like S&S but are not happy with the hypertrophy, a simple solution would be to add some heavy squats a few times a week. That should fix most of the problem. Your diet is also of extreme importance, it could be said that a hypertrophy program is one where you program your diet, and your lifting regime is the cream on the cake.
  4. Sauli

    Sauli Strong Member of the Forum

    S&s twice a weeks and two press/row or pullup workouts will do the trick better if hypertrophy is your goal. I think eating is the hardest part when size gains are wanted... and squats like @Antti wrote...
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  5. dc

    dc Triple-Digit Post Count

    @justin84, are you starting s&s cold? As not been training for awhile if at all. Then you will definitely put on size with s&s. If you've been training awhile then maybe not. The best thing about s&s if you haven't been training is you'll put on real muscle, not beach muscles. You'll look strong. Some people can have big muscles & not look strong, others can look very strong & not have big puffy muscles. S&s will make you hard. JMExperience.
    EDIT: I just noticed you're a regular on the forum, you've trained before.
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
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  6. conor78

    conor78 Helping Make Others Stronger

    Look at Total Tension complex (with appropriate diet surplus) if you want hypertrophy with KB's. Pavel mentions that S/S forges a fighters physique which is true. As mentioned above working in Pull ups with S and S will probably push you towards hypertrophy but again diet surplus will be needed.
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  7. Kettlebelephant

    Kettlebelephant Strong Member of the Forum

    FWIW -> Alternative Base Build Results (Simple and sinister + Fighter Pullup Program + LSD) - TacticalBarbell.com
    S&S + Fighter Pullup Program (The Fighter Pull-up Program Revisited) even with added LSD runs.
    The guy was training and able to perform 15 pullups before starting this.

    I too experienced a good amount of hypertrophy from S&S, but most of it probably due to the fact that I followed it for months instead of just a few weeks like other programs I used before. Don't expect to do it for 3-4 weeks and see a lot of hypertrophy. S&S is more like just following it and 2-4 months in you notice a different fit with your clothes (trousers get too wide at the hips, shirts get too narrow around the shoulders/upper back) and people asking you if you've been lifting.
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
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  8. Kozushi

    Kozushi Strong, Powerful Member of the Forum

    Sure, of course it does. This isn't its focus though, (its focus is multi directional strength endurance and cardio) so if you want to have more of a "cut" look you ought to be doing some other stuff too like forward presses (either bench press or one arm pushups) and probably chinups also. I've started to look more and more "cut" recently after spending a few weeks taking the bodyweight add on stuff more seriously.
  9. King Cobra Fit

    King Cobra Fit Matt - CSEP-CPT, SFG I, FMS I&II Certified Instructor

    I'd throw a +1 for total tension complex. I ran through it and gain noticeable size fairly quickly.
    Your biggest gains will come from good calories and sticking with your chosen program. give it a good few months of solid effort and whether its S&S, TTC or ROP, you'll see some gains.
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  10. Frank_IT

    Frank_IT Strong Member of the Forum

    Is it possible to put size on with S&S: I imagine you'd like to know if the program alone will put muscles on you. Well, it's not that easy to answer.

    1. How big are you now: depending on your existing muscle mass, S&S could do anything from decreasing it, to maintaining it to increasing it.

    2. How far do you plan on taking it: the routing with a 24 kg kettlebell is one thing, with a 56 kg one is a completely different one (and very few can sport it - Levi Markwardt is the only person I know of).

    3. What are your expectations: are you targeting a beach body, Kay Green or something in the midle?

    My personal experience is that I put on muscle (I reached Simple and than stopped the program), but not even near the size I gained with RoP and far from RoPPE's (refer to @Mark Limbaga for this last one).

    One thing is for sure: S&S is not an hypertrophy program. It's very good at what it aims (GPP), but it's not meant to make you big (in fact, I suspect it's effect in the long term would yeld opposite results: lots of general strength while minimal increase in size).

    If you want to gain size I'd suggest you look elsewhere. There are means to gain strength and size with kettlebells, S&S just isn't the right one.
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  11. Harry Westgate

    Harry Westgate Helping Make Others Stronger

    I'm approaching Simple. I'm not as lean as I have been in the past (working on it), but I've put on muscle.

    Lats, traps, abs, hamstrings, forearms and shoulders are bigger, but my biggest ASSet is by far my glutes. Everyone points it out (male and female), and this only just started when I got to the point where I was doing all 100 swings with the 32kg. My current bodyweight is currently 70-72kg.
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  12. Trae

    Trae Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    I've been doing S&S for almost two years, having surpassed simple and now comfortably using a 40kg for both swings and TGUs. As a swimmer and outrigger canoe paddler, I wasn't aiming to gain weight, just strength. After 2 years, I'm about 10 lbs heavier. I can't figure out where it is, though. I haven't noticed any size changes in my shoulders, chest or back. Maybe a little in my thighs. And i haven't grown a beer gut, either. I even switched to light beer. Maybe I'm just denser.
  13. Robert Noftz

    Robert Noftz Triple-Digit Post Count

    I put on a lot of size doing S&S. I did it exclusively for about 9 months. I did gain some fat as well but there is no doubt that my muscles grew significantly. I don't know what my body fat level was before I started nor what it is now. The development in my back was most surprising. I had to buy new pants and shirts.
    I have noticed some people commenting that there is no pressing movement in S&S and they express concerns about muscles like the pecs and biceps. All I can say is that my chest and arms grew significantly. Also my legs and glutes. My abs are strong and I can see them but I am not ripped. I'm well marbled.

    I started using the 16kg for about the first 2 weeks just to get used to the movements and then moved up to the 24kg. After a couple months on that I moved up to the 32kg. Eventually I made it to using the 40kg for all my sets. I felt hungry all the time and I noticed that the movements got consistently easier over time. I probably did eat too much but then again I have noticed that some strength training coaches like Mark Rippetoe accept fat gains as part of the bargain when attempting to put on a lot of muscle. I'm 5'8 and I started out at about 175 lbs and got up to 210 lbs. I recently lost some weight and got down to 204.
    I'm 49 and didn't start using kettlebells until I was 48. Before that I did a lot of calisthenics and took long walks. There is not doubt in my mind that doing S&S can help someone gain size and strength if they follow the plan as written in the book. Perhaps some people have done S&S without gaining that much size but that is how it worked for me and I'm middle aged.
    I still do swings and get ups at least twice per week but now I added some other exercises to the routine. For example I"m doing one arm pushups, one leg squats, pullups, front squats, kettlebell rows, and hard style planks, along with some others. I'm still going to focus on strength but I'm going to modify my plan to get a little more hypertrophy. I"m want to see if I can get up to 215-220 lbs without getting too fat. My biceps measure 15" and I want to see if I can get them to 16". I don't care that much about appearance I just want to get big, strong, and endurable. I think the S&S routine helped me develop a good foundation of general strength and conditioning to build on.
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  14. pet'

    pet' Strong, Powerful, Explosively Athletic Member of the Forum


    S&S made my upper body (scapula, shoulder) bigger and also slightly more visible abs. The same for quads / harmstrings and glutes. So yes there were some hypertrophy but not as a "bodybuilder". My body composition was simply "denser".

    However, beyond the program one uses, hypertrophy is also strongly linked to nutrition. Putting some beef requires being in calorie surplus (to a certain extent of course)

    Kind regards,

  15. Marc

    Marc Helping Make Others Stronger

    S&S (as it is written!) with heavy weight (work up to it gradually) + enough food + enough sleep.

    Think about it: someone who reached sinister status is probably not too skinny.
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  16. Michael Scott

    Michael Scott Strong Member of the Forum

    I have not yet completed "Simple", but I have gained some hypertrophy. I was doing the Stronglifts program last year when I strained a muscle in my back, so I was lifting before kettlebells. Granted, I had just gotten back into it. But, I can honestly say I have gained muscle using kettlebells over the last 8+ months. My thighs, calves, forearms, shoulders, and upper back are all bigger, which I can feel in the way my clothes fit me. My son & his girlfriend noticed last weekend as well. I know that S&S won't make me look like Arnold in the 80's, but it has changed my body composition, and I have seen muscle mass gain.
  17. NoILSteve

    NoILSteve Double-Digit Post Count

    I've noticed the biggest changes in my butt and surprisingly my abs! I have been intermittent fasting which always leans me out, but I was already doing that before I started S&S. I've been doing it about 10 weeks now.
  18. Kettlebelephant

    Kettlebelephant Strong Member of the Forum

    I'm still confused by this guy.
    We all have different perception, but he's skinny in my book (165lbs)***, yet completed Sinister.

    ***BTW I'm not basing this purely on his weight. There are guys at this weight who look totally jacked, but he just doesn't look muscular -> not like he lifts :)
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017 at 1:15 PM
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  19. Marc

    Marc Helping Make Others Stronger

    Well, everyone has a different picture of muscular. To me he looks athletic and well build and his achievement speak for itself.
    However, if one was after pure hyperthrophy training, S&S would not be the first choice. Nevertheless, I have come to the conclusion that everyone who is into kettlebells should reach at least simple first. That would be his permission to switch to another template (or become a beast and reach sinister). And those who do not follow this advice are really missing out on a lot of good stuff. But I do not want to go nazi-mode. Just my take on it.
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  20. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller Strong Member of the Forum

    You get the results you train for.

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