"I Achieved S & S Simple! Here's My Story"

Discussion in 'Kettlebell' started by Steve Freides, Sep 6, 2015.

  1. Pavel Macek

    Pavel Macek More than 2500 posts Master Certified Instructor

    Steve Freides and godjira1 like this.
  2. Jan

    Jan More than 500 posts

    @godjira1 : Congratulations on reaching Simple!
  3. Ken_

    Ken_ Double-Digit Post Count

    Congrats @godjira1. I haven't reached simple, but noticed the same thing when I was doing S&S every day and not running for most of last year. I'm now alternating between the two each day.
  4. Bauer

    Bauer More than 500 posts

    As the book says, it's GPP. A lot of people have reported improved aerobic conditioning but if you already have achieved spezialized adaptations it won't be as beneficial in those spezialized areas. But it's meant to be a good fit with spezialized practice!
    godjira1 and Ken_ like this.
  5. Smitty_604

    Smitty_604 Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    Hello everyone! New to the forum but not new to kettlebells.

    I achieved simple a couple months ago. My lifting history is a couple years of training for powerlifting and competing in 1 meet. Then I got bored with "squat, bench, deadlift" over and over again so decided to try out strongman training and competed in 2 competitions. Strongman is a lot of fun and I still enjoy many of the movements (farmers walks and yoke being my favorite). All together that has been about 4.5 years from zero training whatsoever to now.

    Training for strongman can get quite complicated as you need to be able to train all the regular barbell lifts as well as a huge variety of different implements. Recently my wife and I had our first baby girl so time has been much more...limited.

    Throughout the 4 or so years I've been weight training I've played around with kettlebells here and there but always used them in a supplemental way instead of as stand-alone tools with their own proper program.

    Then I read Simple and Sinister and was extremely attracted by the simplicity and elegance of the program. 2 moving parts is just so nice on my brain. Trying to figure out how to program all your regular barbell lifts/train the strongman implements, and hit a variety of assistance exercises got really mentally/physically tiring and took way too much time. Even with my own home gym workouts were taking at least an hour and a half. I love what Pavel has said about workouts supplying you with energy and feeling like they give more than they take...training for strongman was anything but that.

    So I devoted a few weeks to doing the program and was able to achieve the "simple" standard with a 32 KG bell.
    ( Reddit post about it with video here: I completed simple : kettlebell ).
    The barbell and strongman strength I had developed transferred over well to kettlebells but I still feel like lifting kettlebells exposes minor imbalances (especially core/grip strength) that even dedicated hardcore barbell training doesn't address as well. I've tried just about every fitness and strength/conditioning tool and kettlebells just seem to "feel" the best and leave me with the most energy afterwards.

    I love being able to get in an amazing workout in my home which takes 30 minutes or so with a warmup and everything. I love the extra mobility and limber-ness I feel after training with kettlebells. I never feel sore and crappy like I used to with barbells/strongman implements and I always feel like I have an abundance of energy for other things. (I still want to train the deadlift as I have been knocking on a 500 lb pull for a few months now and got 475 last time I tested my 1RM).

    So now I recently bought a 48 KG bell and have been using it for 2 hand swings. I can do a couple of 1-hand swings with it but it feels ridiculously hard on the grip. I just completed an 80 lb getup PR (my KB increments jump from 32 KG to 48KG so I have to use dumbbells as a middle weight). My goal is to work up to completing Sinister with my 48 KG (and also be able to press the 48 KG as well) but I don't see that happening for at least a year.

    The Strongfirst system and everything Pavel says just makes good sense to me. I love, love, love the simplicity. This is coming from someone who has done just about every major barbell program under the sun and read books and articles on strength training for years. The complicated nature of dealing with calculating training percentages, overall volume, constantly changing things, etc. just felt too complicated for me. I realized I'll never be a competitive powerlifter/strongman and lifting should be A goal in my life that helps with everything else rather than THE goal to which everything else is directed.

    Anyways, there's my simple and sinister story. Thanks for reading. I'm excited to learn more on this forum and have the goal of eventually achieving my SFG.
    Benen_Karski, J Cox, Molson and 19 others like this.
  6. Jan

    Jan More than 500 posts

    @Smitty_604 : Welcome to the forum, congratulations on reaching Simple, and best wishes for a strong and healthy 2019 :)
    Steve Freides and Smitty_604 like this.
  7. Waryrenn

    Waryrenn Triple-Digit Post Count

    100 swings & 10 get ups in <58 seconds has got to be some sort of record!!! ;)
  8. Relic

    Relic Double-Digit Post Count

    Greetings to all! I am a 60 yr old male, 6 ft/190 lbs (1.83m/85.5kg), and am just starting Simple. About a year ago, I set out to lose 15 lbs. Well for some reason, the weight has come off easily without suffering from hunger and I have lost 40 lbs, and it's still coming off. I started with diet only. Feeling much better as the weight came off, I began Convict Conditioning about 5 or 6 months ago. I have been a big fan of CC as well as Pavel for years, but a series of knee injuries led to my abandonment of physical conditioning.
    Over the last few months as I did CC, I was also reading some books authored by Pavel, and got the kettlebell itch. Bought a light Ken & Barbie kettlebell at Wally World just to see how my body reacted and to work on proper form.
    I have been grossly out of shape most of the last 20 years and have no idea what I am capable of anymore as far as progress, recovery, dealing with age issues, etc. I've proceeded very cautiously since resuming working out, but made steady progress. I haven't tested to failure, but I know I can bang out 50 pushups, 5 pull ups, 50 bodyweight squats and walk away from it. Five months ago, attempting that would have caused me to miss a couple of days of work.
    I just did my first "official" Simple routine and did 100 swings/10 getups in 15 minutes easily with the 8kg bell, so I'll be ordering a 16kg bell immediately. Can't wait to dig in!
    Any other geezers, please let me know you're out there!
    Lee, advtracer, North and 6 others like this.
  9. Jan

    Jan More than 500 posts

    @Relic : Welcome to the forum :), and congrats on your achievement.
    Relic likes this.
  10. dc

    dc More than 300 posts

    @Relic this place is full of strong geezers.
    Have a good look through the rest of the forum & you’ll see there’s more geezers than whippersnappers.
    Patrick Coffey and Relic like this.
  11. Relic

    Relic Double-Digit Post Count

    Thanks for the kind welcome.

    Geezers FTW!
  12. Roast Beastmaster

    Roast Beastmaster First Timer

    Just tested and hit simple the other day about a week ahead of turning 31, after about 6 months on the program. I'm in a Physical Therapy doctorate program at the moment, with a toddler at home, and so had started running out of time for most of my previous physical activities. S&S seemed like a good match for the amount of time and mental energy I had available. It was also manageable despite being in the process of recovering from a shoulder impingement I accrued from my previous overly elaborate and perhaps ill advised programming. I considered myself to be pretty strong already, and was shocked to learn that the basic entry-level standards of S&S were quite challenging to me. I also had a wake up call after neglecting hand care and having to take about a week off last month due to some pretty extreme calluses forming. My wife showed me where she keeps her manicure files. Good to go.

    So after 6 months of swinging and getting up almost daily, here I am at simple. My plan from here is to start Rite of Passage with the 24kg. I have set my longer term goals as achieving both Sinister and Beast Tamer, which I think I can start working towards within the ROP structure by including the optional pull ups and working pistols in a 10rep "easy strength" fashion on variety days. I have not quite decided which weights to use for swings and snatches yet.

    Overall 6 months of S&S has delivered in big ways, making me feel better conditioned and at least as strong as I have in a long time, maybe ever and I am excited about moving forward with more Strongfirst programming.
    Lee, MarkSch, WhatWouldHulkDo and 8 others like this.
  13. Jan

    Jan More than 500 posts

  14. Oscar

    Oscar Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Some days ago I tested the Simple standard and accomplished it. I did the program for 2 years and 3 months.

    When I started the program 2 years ago I was injured, fat, out of shape and a bit depressed due to the injury. I had patellar tendinopathy for about a year.

    Looking at my log I have found what I consider the lowest point in my training. I did 4 sets of swings with 14 kg and woke up sore the next day. I'm pretty happy now that I can do 10x10 with 32 kg and the TGUs and wake up fine the next day.

    The program has given me a lot. I can practice all the sports I like pretty well and dont get injured. I can eat all I want and remain reasonably lean, which was always a problem to me. I have learned to keep a log, be consistent with training for the first time in my life, feel how my body is reacting to training, when to stop, when to push harder, and so on. It's also given me a good base for the training I'm planning for the future.

    One thing that has helped me remain consistent is to adapt the program to my needs. Along the way I did a few modifications to the program. I figured that I rather adapt the program to suit my schedule than dont doing it at all. In all cases I tried not to touch the principles so as to keep the essence of the program intact. At different times, I separated swings from TGU, I reduced TGU frequency, I did GTG swings, i reduced swings volume when required, etc. In all cases it worked very well, S&S is very versatile. Some days I trained as little as 2 minutes, some others 40 minutes. I'm not suggesting people to modify the program, but if it is required to be consistent, then do it in a smart way.

    I'm very thankful for the program and the people in this forum. I'm where I want to be training wise for the first time in my life.
    Antti, Nacho, Kozushi and 17 others like this.
  15. Tobias Wissmueller

    Tobias Wissmueller Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Congrats again on reaching Simple, @Oscar ! The last sentence is IMO more important. This is the nail, and S&S your hammer (y)
    Oscar likes this.
  16. Bauer

    Bauer More than 500 posts

    @Oscar : Wow, that is truly inspiring. Thanks for sharing and congratulations!
    Oscar likes this.
  17. crazycanuck

    crazycanuck Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    OSCAR!!! CONGRATULATIONS on the accomplishment! You should be proud. Thanks for sharing your story.
    Oscar likes this.
  18. Kozushi

    Kozushi More than 2500 posts

    I recommend never leaving it behind. There is a reason it worked for us but nothing else did.
    Martin Joe and Oscar like this.
  19. Tom Lavery

    Tom Lavery Double-Digit Post Count

    A minor, yet major, achievement today - 10x10 One Arm Swings at 16kg and 5 TGUs at 16kg - I'm finally an average strength gentleman!

    Anyone struggling with TGUs, there is hope! I couldn't even do them unweighted for a period. After working up to 5 sets with 8kg I mixed in the 16kg, and something clicked quite quickly.

    I'm 33 and became pretty overweight after getting married 3 years ago, and being weak regarding stress and drinking.

    I trained with kettlebells pre-wedding Tim Ferris style, 100+ 2 hands swings at 16kg with good results.

    After discovering Simple and Sinister I did the programme off and on - always avoiding Turkish getups as I found them hard and was concerned about my shoulder.

    Finally, after a few months of 3-5 S+S sessions a week, interrupted by The Camino de Santiago for a month, I am finding a rhythm.

    I haven't felt so good in a long time and visible results are beginning to show - the lift in mood and concentration generally is enormous - it is becoming my meditation along with Wim Hoff Breathing.

    24kg ordered and I'm going for daily now.

    Patience and Perseverance really are the key - I will rise above average strength!

    Strength to everyone!
    North, Bunn, Oskarand and 5 others like this.
  20. Oskarand

    Oskarand Double-Digit Post Count


    Can I ask, on average how many days a week did you do it? Did you do everyday? How did you turn it into a habit - pure willpower or some other trick?

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