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


Level 5 Valued Member

I’m a 23 years old, 72KG male living in France, and I passed the Simple test two times this summer.

I discovered StrongFirst four years ago thanks to French SFG Instructors. I read Simple & Sinister in December 2017, began the program at the same time with the 16KG KB. I had the opportunity to participate in 3 courses to learn and correct the movements. I introduced the 32KG KB a year ago in my S&S routine, and progressively reduced the rests. It took almost a year to pass the Simple test with the 32KG because I like to take time to own the movements, and I feel like even now I still need to progress in my swing technique. I began with the 40KG KB in July, and I felt good in both movements, I was able to do 32-40-40-32-32.I just moved in a new home, and it’s currently impossible for me to do TGU with maximal safety due to the ground. I will probably need to buy something to protect the tiles, but it may be the time to try something different.

I read The Quick and the Dead and really enjoyed it. I want to give it a try, because it may exactly fit my new life (new home, new job, less time). I am currently following the Power Push-Up program made by Jody Beasley to improve my technique.

My question is : should I begin Q&D now, or should I own S&S with 40KG KB first ? I want to be sure I have a « rock-solid midsection » for Q&D.

This is my first post here, but I have to thank you all for the informations and advices I can read on this forum.


Level 5 Valued Member
@Lucien If you have met simple with the 32kg and you feel your power pushups are good, I would start Q&D. You may want to ease into it with a few shorter sessions to see how the swings and pushups feel, and then increase the number and duration or workouts as your comfort and skill grows. Take the same approach you did with S&S, don't rush it, and you should be fine.

And, congratulations on reaching simple!


Level 6 Valued Member
As a brief intro, I am a long time reader of the forum and have actually owned a 24kg RKC kettlebell for about 18-19 years. Most of its life it has been a door stop but over the last two years it has seen regular action and some other kettlebells added to keep it company.

I started the S&S program in October 2018 after spending the previous part of 2018 doing high volume swings. This peaked in a charity one hour swing session of 1,256 two handed swings.

Starting S&S I could swing the 32kg but had to use the 24kg for the TGUs. My main issue being lack of mobility in the shoulders and T-spine to perform the getups well. Some days I struggled to get a good single complete with the 24kg.

By January 2019 I had made good progress but could not get to the elbow with the 32 kg. Moving onto the 31st May 2019 I completed Simple but on watching a recording realised my form could be improved, specifically keeping my elbow locked on the get-ups. I tested again in July and made the time but was not please with the form. Fast forward to September and I completed Simple a couple of times and each one the getups feel much improved.

I enjoyed the simplicity of the training. I would get up, straight to the kettlebell and get the practice in. The S&S sessions have averaged 3.5 days a week over 12 months. My shoulders feel much more stable and mobile but there is always work to be done. (I cannot do a TGU with a shoe for example).

My first post from a long time reader. I have gained a lot from reading this site so thank you.


Level 4 Valued Member
Hi there, greetings grom The Netherlands.

November last year I purchased a 16kg kettlebell and started to follow Simple and Sinister 3 to 5 times a week. After three months of training I purchased a 24kg kettlebell and within 2 months I met the time standards. I was planning on following RoP after that, but since I was enjoying the simplicity of SaS I went on and bought a 28kg kettlebell. Within a month I owned it and purchased a 32kg kettlebell. Training with a 32kg was a big shock to my body, but I persisted and yesterday I finally achieved the Simple time standard.

Training (with the exception of the test days) was always very relaxed without any time presure. It was like moving meditation which I very much enjoy.

Besides SaS I also train for kettlebell sport (Longcycle) 2 to 3 times a week and I find SaS to be the perfect GPP program for kettlebell sport. Nu next competition is in april 2020 and I will keep you updated on my progress and competition results.

Thanks for reading!

Heikki Koponen

First Post
Hi all, 28-year-old male, 88kg from Helsinki, Finland here. First post on this forum after a couple of months of following discussions.

Reached the simple standard today! Started working on it in mid-September, and today was S&S practice number 26. Was looking to give it a go by the end of November, but came down with a bit of a cold and had to postpone for a week or so.

I originally started working with kettlebells in 2007 as a complementary practice when I was still a competitive junior athlete in rowing. In 2009 I stopped competitive training as I had a major operation on my back (for pretty severe idiopathic scoliosis), and once I was cleared for training by my orthopedist about a year later, kettlebells were one of the instruments I used for rehabilitation and regaining strength in my posterior chain.

I more or less kept up the practice until around Spring 2015, along with barbell training. Then "life happened" and I had a hiatus from all strength training for about 4 years. This past Spring and Summer my lower back was acting up, and I knew it was because I had neglected taking care of my strength and mobility for the last few years.

In July I took up an almost daily yoga routine, which helped immensely with the backaches. In August I started messing about with my old kettlebells, and ran into the S&S program. I decided to give it a shot and see how my body would respond. I took a liking to the program, and this Fall I've had a better and more balanced training routine of running, S&S and mobility work (hips, ankles and shoulders) than I remember having for many years.

I've noticed significant improvements in many areas. My posture has improved significantly and my back mostly feels great nowadays - better than it's felt in years. I feel great doing everyday stuff - walking, standing, sitting. My shoulder stability and mobility have increased greatly - especially in my left shoulder, which was operated after an accident in 2013. My overall body composition has changed - I've lost fat, gained some muscle and developed a more athletic physique. My forearms have grown significantly as have my glutes, and my shoulders seem more defined and manly.

The simplicity of S&S has been a key factor for me. I've found it easy to integrate into my schedule, which has translated into a steady routine of practices, leading to quickly improving strength levels and results. Today I placed an order for a 40kg kettlebell, and I intend to keep working towards Sinister. Also bought the Q&D book and am looking forward to giving the program a try.

So thanks for the program and best of luck to all colleagues working towards Simple!

Andreas Tippelt

First Post
I was introduced to the Kettlebell about six or seven years ago by Rolf Nestrasil who owns my gym. Four years ago, Martin Raue taught me hardstyle Kettlebell. And I liked it.
This year, I realised, that I became lacy when it comes to hip hinge. The perfect occasion to start with heavy swings. So I started to do the 100 swings and the ten getups. I loved, that it just takes about a quarter of an hour.
I did not mind the goal too much. Just enjoyed swings and getups. When I felt good with a size I simply added 2kg and tried to feel good again.
Last week, it simply happened. I told my mates to add some weight. So I had to do it also. I have not expected to complete the protocol. It felt weird, when it happened. Today, I tried it again and it happened again. Not so weird anymore.
But it will be a long way till I really own the 32.
Thanks to all of you for being a great inspiration.


Level 5 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Hi all,

Completed Simple to the timed standards today (30th Dec 2019). I am 28 and 74KG (+2kg since I started training S&S)

I did my SFG1 at the start of October and one of my feedbacks was to improve my lockout so I began training S&S in mid October to help improve this.

I work a very physical job and always feel like I am running on empty so when I started I began with the 24kg bell and did just 60 swings and 6 getups. I did this 2 days a week. I felt this was manageable psychologically more than anything else.

I stuck with this volume and frequency for the majority of my training, increasing the weight on the swings to 32kg first in early November and introducing 32kg getups in December when I felt my shoulders were ready.

The final 2 weeks of December up until today (30th) I have been training almost daily. I pushed hard during this period as I have time off currently for Christmas and New Year so if ever there was a time for me to achieve Simple, it’s now.

I did two handed swings two days ago and took yesterday off. Today I felt ready and went for it and got the timed standards.

I wouldn’t say I owned them as in it wasn't super easy but I am sure I could repeat that again most days of the week if I had to. I will solidify the progress I made by continuing to train in a timeless easy fashion 2 days a week and maybe push on towards Sinister by purchasing a 40kg bell when I own this one.

Very happy and nice way to end the year!

Stefan Olsson

Level 6 Valued Member
38-year-old Swede here. Started practicing S&S in November 2018.

Being a "program-hopper" I tried to mix S&S in other routines in the past (gymnastic bodies, Convict Condition, + stretch-program + S&S; you can probably guess how it went). Finally, I decided that I was just going to focus on "one" program at a time.

I've always defaulted back to bodyweight training, having trained capoeira for about 15 years. Got bitten by the iron-bug a few years back but just couldn't find a good balance between spending time in a gym with a barbell and getting quick and effective training at home.

Then I seriously started practicing with kettlebells.

The satisfaction of lifting iron mixed with conditioning and pure strength was a game changer. I feel even stronger despite not having done any other strength work for over six months.

As I said, started in November last year and achieved "Simple" just today with the 32 kg bell, weighing in at 71 Kg of bodyweight. I'm currently struggling through a depression these last few months so training has not been as consistent as in the beginning. I still manage at least 2-3 sessions per week, though; I see it as medicine.

Granted, I'm still not sure I'm "owning" the weight, having practiced solely by myself. Having just done swings and getups for over six months though have given me confidence that I'm at least not doing anything stupid. I feel strong

I'll keep working the program a while longer. Then my aim is to start practicing for "ROP" before trying double-KB work.

Feeling proud right now.


Starkt jobbat Tomas!
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