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

Ben H

Level 5 Valued Member
View attachment 8846
After a few more weeks' steady practice I had another clean shot at the Simple test, with no timing messups this time.

Since running the ROP ladder progression with 18.5 and then 21kg weights (16kg bell + 1-2 2.5kg plates) I can also now strictly press the 24kg for singles on both sides. I have a very big bike race coming up so I'm tapering now, but I'll run Soju & Tuba when that's out of the way and see how it goes.
An update after about six months more practice... the Silk Road Mountain Race went well for me, finishing 39th and setting the singlespeed record. I feel like I owed the majority of my fitness and resilience to my kettlebell training. Tapering, racing and recovering took about five weeks out of my daily practice altogether and reset a lot of my gains - I also lost about 10% BW from exertion and food poisoning mid-race.

I had a Thai boxing bout coming up so I spent September and October doing 2h 32kg swings to build power (not to mention mass) with less demands on my grip. Altogether, it wasn't until the 30th December that I re-tested Simple again, hitting 202 BPM in the process.

I'm posting mainly to emphasise the value I've gotten from milking every bit of benefit from training to and at the Simple level rather than rushing to add weight. My performance on the last test was incomparably better than on my first attempt.

I credit this slow base-building approach with the success I've had going forward. Looking at my log I'm amazed to see it's taken me just 8 S&S style sessions to go from swinging the 40kg for the first time (one 10 rep set each hand, among the other 32kg sets) to achieving what you could call "Timeless Solid". This is with regular use of chalk, which hasn't been necessary at the 32kg level for months, but still.

These days I'm training S&S style every other day, alternated with a pullup/press day. My military press 1RM is at a modest 26.5kg L, 29kg R after another Soju & Tuba cycle, and I'm now doing a cycle on the bent press (26.5kg - my psyched 1RM is 32kg each side but I feel like I'm taking risks at that weight) to see if that fills in some gaps and helps in the long run. Pull-ups, I hit a plateau at 12 doing the Fighter Pullup Program, combined with more elbow pain than seemed sensible. I'm now up to a 14RM after switching to towel pull-ups - the pain is gone and the forearms have never been better. 25 is the goal.

Keep at it, comrades.
 

Alexander Halford

Level 7 Valued Member
Hi, everyone. Another one here.

Male, 43 yo, 184 cm / 89 kg.
Sports background: Strength training (mainly barbell), ~5 years without breaks.
Kettlebell background: ~6 months in the first half of 2018, including daily course with SGF specialist, 3 months and going since Dec'19.
Preparation: S&S practice with 24kg in 2018. S&S and Q&D in 2019-2020, with 32-36kg for 1HS and (lately) 48 kg 2HS; 24 kg, 32 kg and lately 36kg for TGU. I was also running since April'19, different distances up to half-marathon, doing ~25-30 km a week at the warm weather, and ~10-15 at the winter.
I achieved Timeless Simple a couple of weeks ago, today's test was spontaneous. Today's test was 13 min 30 sec total, 5 minutes for swings, 1 minute rest, 6 min 30 sec for 10 TGU. The late went unexpectedly easy. I give a credit to the volume days I started to implement for TGU with a light weight, either 20-30 get-ups with 24 kg or 20 with 32kg (my last volume day before test). Swings was no issue, I already did 100 with 36 kg in 5 minutes, was pretty confident. My main doubt was just a timely completion. I suppose that running and Q&D assisted well here.
Next goal: timeless Solid until the end of 2020, if everything goes well, 5 minutes snatch test.

Thanks everyone here for the support, you're amazing crew.
 

Pavel Macek

Level 8 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
Hi, everyone. Another one here.

Male, 43 yo, 184 cm / 89 kg.
Sports background: Strength training (mainly barbell), ~5 years without breaks.
Kettlebell background: ~6 months in the first half of 2018, including daily course with SGF specialist, 3 months and going since Dec'19.
Preparation: S&S practice with 24kg in 2018. S&S and Q&D in 2019-2020, with 32-36kg for 1HS and (lately) 48 kg 2HS; 24 kg, 32 kg and lately 36kg for TGU. I was also running since April'19, different distances up to half-marathon, doing ~25-30 km a week at the warm weather, and ~10-15 at the winter.
I achieved Timeless Simple a couple of weeks ago, today's test was spontaneous. Today's test was 13 min 30 sec total, 5 minutes for swings, 1 minute rest, 6 min 30 sec for 10 TGU. The late went unexpectedly easy. I give a credit to the volume days I started to implement for TGU with a light weight, either 20-30 get-ups with 24 kg or 20 with 32kg (my last volume day before test). Swings was no issue, I already did 100 with 36 kg in 5 minutes, was pretty confident. My main doubt was just a timely completion. I suppose that running and Q&D assisted well here.
Next goal: timeless Solid until the end of 2020, if everything goes well, 5 minutes snatch test.

Thanks everyone here for the support, you're amazing crew.
Great job, brother, congrats!
 

Erik Hournou

Level 6 Valued Member
Well, I ended up achieving simple today! some context:
male, 24 years old, martial arts background (taekwondo, aikido, muay thai)
used my home made kettlebell, weighing somewhere between 32 and 35 kg.
I managed to get all swings in 4:40 with 10 seconds rest between sets, then rested 1 minute and completed 10 TGU in 4:40 seconds, total 10 minutes 20 sec. felt pretty good afterwards, immediately checked my heart rate and it was 155 bpm.
I'm really happy considering my first Tgus were pretty tough even with a 6 kg water jug, but these last few sessions I managed to do all 10 consecutively without wearing out, and with a heavy weight! witch was awesome, it really helped me with muscular and stability imbalances.

took me about a month and a half of doing SS almost every day, with a week break in the middle, I was thinking now of starting the Rop since I can press the same bell 4 times on the left side and about 7 on the right, on a good day. Anyways this forum's really given me a lot of motivation and many pointers to help me move forward, and i'm grateful for that!
 

MaximusVarro

First Post
I achieved S&S simple yesterday and I am pumped lol!!! no one in my life is all that excited about it so I thought I'd share with you all.

Here's my story Aug of 2019 I found my self at 320 lbs extremely unhealthy eating like crap getting drunk every day. I'm 42 years old btw so I basically feel like I was a ticking time Bomb a heart attack waiting to happen

Through years of intense self reflection and personal growth I finally found the resolve to want to make a real change in my life and get healthier. I'm a divorced Dad of three and I really wanted to be active and healthy for my children.

I started on the keto diet and actually really stuck with it. I set a goal of losing 100 pounds in a year and dunking a basketball and I shared this goal with my oldest son. well after a week or two on Keto the weight just started falling off at least 5lbs every week and some weeks much more. I lost 14lbs in back to back weeks.

I ended up losing 90lbs in 5 months with no specific exercise program just walking and playing basketball with the kids and going to the beach and swimming as much as possible.

I felt better than I had in like 20 years maybe better than I've ever felt. In January 2020 I listened to Pavel on Joe Rogan podcast and I was instantly intrigued in the Kettlebell. I bought S&S on Kindle and immediately bought a 35lb kettlebell. I started practicing kettlebell every day I could immediately see and feel the benefits of this type of weight Training. it was like nothing I had ever experienced before I was instantly hooked.

I stayed with the 35lb kettlebell for about six weeks then jumped to the 24kg. that jump was hard but I could actually do it!!! I was becoming a strong gentleman 😁. after a couple of weeks the 24kg became easier and easier I was getting stronger fast and started to really see the results in the mirror. shoulders arms chest back glutes all visibly changed.

Yesterday my 32kg kettlebell came in the mail. I was so excited like a little kid on Christmas I did a few swings and some cleans and presses on both arms and it was challenging but not all that hard. well after a quick warmup did my swings and get ups in 14 min 32 sec with a 32kg Bell and it feels great. this program has really changed my life im a 42 year old man and I feel like I'm 25 again.
 

Don Fairbanks

SFG II
Certified Instructor
Simple story:
7/4/2017, 8:42 am, age 53,6'3",205.
Over the previous month I had been practicing my swings so I could finish Simple. A couple sessions with 24,then 28. After the 28 I figured I could do the necessary 32, I would just be sucking more wind. My GU's were solid, I'd been doing 20 gu's with the 32 on the :30 prior to reading S&S, so feeling good about those. It's The Fourth of July, I'm watching a buddies place, it's a nice place. I have those neat looking pool rock shaped speakers playing some Godsmack,Tool, and Rammstein on rotation, did not think music was that loud, and it was the Fourth. I'm in the grass by the pool, swings done in 4:38, rest a minute and start GU's. I'm on #6 when I hear a loud shriek,( neighbor lady looking over fence) " Hey bud, hey bud, is that your music, can you even hear me? I'm just transitioning from hinge to lunge to standing, grass is wet from sprinklers, " Yeah, I can hear you. " Well, would you turn it down'? "Yeah, when I'm done. " When your done!!?" Yes,yes, what can I say, not a quiet professional. I did set bell down after #6 and turned music off then finished my interrupted Simple in 12:01. Good memories.


PS, I had the whole session captured in 1080p at 60fps on my Garmin action camera. Camera was facing me at a 45 degree angle. Neighbor was 50-60 feet behind camera so you could not see her, but you sure could hear her. Ha! Should have kept it.
 
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Erik Hournou

Level 6 Valued Member
@Erik Hournou, if you haven't done so already, please post a review of S&S on amazon.com.

Thank you.

-S-
hey, I would, but I don't actually own the book, I read about pavel on Tim Ferris's book 'the 4 hour body' wich led me to piecing SS together from the forums, blog, reddit and youtube. heck, I don't even have an amazon account.
 

Molson

Level 5 Valued Member
I’ve tested myself yesterday and hit the Simple timed standard.

Story:

34 yo, 183cm 67kg bw. Started doing kettlebells two years ago. Prior to that I did just some body weight stuff. Last time I was in a gym was over a decade ago. I did some amateur basketball in my 20s. Learned a few weeks ago that I have a slight scoliosis, unaware thus far.

Prior to S&S I did ROP, and I started the program, 19 months ago, to fix a tweaked shoulder, with a 20kg bell.

After a year of S&S I was almost at timed Simple, with about 60% of my regular sets done with 40kg. Then, I started experiencing some wrist and forearm problems, which took me the last 5-6 months to fix. The lockdown did not help either, I went back almost to not using the 40kg bell at all and started building back.

Starting holiday this weekend, I’ve decided I’ll give Simple a shot before I take a break. The first 9 sets of swings went well, but my last 3 reps were out of gas. Getups were solid. Shame my recording did not work, my phone camera run out of memory and not saved anything. Anyway, I’ll be working back on solidifying this after the break.

Next goals: solidifying Simple and hitting Timeless Solid, then ROP and later Strong! or some more snatching.

Many thanks to all the S&S users who shared their knowledge on this forum, it really helped me a lot on the way with many many important details. In particular @Anna C, @Pavel Macek, @Papa Georgio, but also many many others who exchange their experiences on this great forum. Thank you.
 

marcio trigueiro

Level 4 Valued Member
Hi there

I was tested this week and achieved the Simple timed standard. The first time I used a KB was in February, when I couldn't do a TGU with 16kg. I trained on my own following the book until I owned the 24kg, and in May I hired a StrongFirst Elite Instructor.

He helped me to improve dramatically my form on TGU, and get better at performing swings without brute force. Our training routine had A/B days plus 1-2 days of just following the book ie 4x/week. In our training sessions I did a lot of technical or preparation exercises like repeated steps of TGU and start-stop swings. I used a 28kg bell as a transition to 32kg, perhaps because my technique at TGU wasn't good at the beginning. I believe that having the coach made all the difference in making safe and solid progress with heavier weights.

We are now discussing next steps. I do want to continue doing S&S at least twice a week, untimed, to keep getting better. My preferred option for the next challenge is the SFB certification because there will be one here in Miami where I live in 3.5 months which according to him give me enough time to prepare.

I learned so much in this Forum that I want to take this opportunity to thank you all. Working now on a review of the book.

Thanks,

Marcio
 
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