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

BJJ Shawn

Level 6 Valued Member
My motivation for (b) was that Geoff Neupert's Strong and One are programmed together as an option, i.e. C&P and swings.
Geoff explains that the reasoning is because swings have no real pause, so the continuous motion is better for conditioning. The BJJ course expects you’re getting conditioning from martial arts, so I suppose if you are NOT doing any conditioning it could make sense but I would probably keep the TGU’s really light and just for mobility.
 

Pete L

Level 5 Valued Member
Geoff explains that the reasoning is because swings have no real pause, so the continuous motion is better for conditioning. The BJJ course expects you’re getting conditioning from martial arts, so I suppose if you are NOT doing any conditioning it could make sense but I would probably keep the TGU’s really light and just for mobility.
It reads like we agree.
 

Aziatik

Level 2 Valued Member
Well, kinda never thought about arriving at this point because I thought it would never happen. Just nailed timeless simple with a 34kg bell by the S&S 2.0 standard! Was on time for all the swings just took a few extra seconds each get up to make sure not to fail one and stay in good form. Screenshot of the work attached. Started the swings at 1 minute and the get ups at 32 minutes...

I had flirted with S&S a couple of summers ago, working with a 24 and 28kg bell, completing a few months of training before switching gears to A+A snatches because frankly I didn't believe id ever be able to do the get ups or swings with a 34kg bell, which is best quality local bell i could get my hands on at a good price here in puerto vallarta mexico. Hands too small, grip and shoulders too weak was the thought.

So, fast forwarding a year and change where i did a mixed bag of inconsistent things like a+a, s&s, liss, sprints, dfw with 24s pull ups, ring dips, goata style bodyweight and with some light kbs... A couple months ago i went back to s&s with the 28 for swings and 24 for tgu, progressing last month back up to the 28 for both movements.

For lent i gave up alcohol after going progressively heavier on the margaritas, red wine and IPA since the onset of the pandemic here, march 2020. In the last 30 days ive been on s&s about 5 times a week, mixing in the 2 hand swings on the 3rd day, doing some 2 hand swings with the 40kg bell when time was too short for a full session, and doing some interval work recently with the inertiawave strong bands... Really an incredibly tough tool and very valuable for my shoulders.

Anyway, last week my body was just sore all over, so i rested a couple of days. When i got back to normal i decided to give the 34 a go with the 1 handed swings and low and behold, i nailed the complete series. Didn't dare risk losing the bell with the getups on a tile floor, so fast forward a few more days of rest (i do deep tissue bodywork for a living, have a 3.5 year old and play softball on two local teams) because i just felt the need for it... And today i took the bell out to a shady spot at the local sports complex and did what i thought id never do attached screen shots of the session.
 

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Pete L

Level 5 Valued Member
Well, kinda never thought about arriving at this point because I thought it would never happen. Just nailed timeless simple with a 34kg bell by the S&S 2.0 standard! Was on time for all the swings just took a few extra seconds each get up to make sure not to fail one and stay in good form. Screenshot of the work attached. Started the swings at 1 minute and the get ups at 32 minutes...

I had flirted with S&S a couple of summers ago, working with a 24 and 28kg bell, completing a few months of training before switching gears to A+A snatches because frankly I didn't believe id ever be able to do the get ups or swings with a 34kg bell, which is best quality local bell i could get my hands on at a good price here in puerto vallarta mexico. Hands too small, grip and shoulders too weak was the thought.

So, fast forwarding a year and change where i did a mixed bag of inconsistent things like a+a, s&s, liss, sprints, dfw with 24s pull ups, ring dips, goata style bodyweight and with some light kbs... A couple months ago i went back to s&s with the 28 for swings and 24 for tgu, progressing last month back up to the 28 for both movements.

For lent i gave up alcohol after going progressively heavier on the margaritas, red wine and IPA since the onset of the pandemic here, march 2020. In the last 30 days ive been on s&s about 5 times a week, mixing in the 2 hand swings on the 3rd day, doing some 2 hand swings with the 40kg bell when time was too short for a full session, and doing some interval work recently with the inertiawave strong bands... Really an incredibly tough tool and very valuable for my shoulders.

Anyway, last week my body was just sore all over, so i rested a couple of days. When i got back to normal i decided to give the 34 a go with the 1 handed swings and low and behold, i nailed the complete series. Didn't dare risk losing the bell with the getups on a tile floor, so fast forward a few more days of rest (i do deep tissue bodywork for a living, have a 3.5 year old and play softball on two local teams) because i just felt the need for it... And today i took the bell out to a shady spot at the local sports complex and did what i thought id never do attached screen shots of the session.
Awesome, well done @Aziatik
 

AdamB

First Post
Hello! I’ve been lurking on the forum for quite a while, so I’m happy to be able to make this post. On Saturday I completed Timed Simple on my first timed attempt!

I bought my first kettlebell about 20 years ago, but never committed to a regular program. I was doing some barbell work, some CrossFit, some body weight, etc. I did BJJ for a little over 10 years. During the first year of the pandemic, I became pretty sedentary, which hit home when I struggled to put my Xmas tree boxes back in their overhead storage in 2020.

So I bought S&S, picked up a 24kg bell and followed the book. Before I knew it I owned the 24 and started working with the 32. Other than a 4 month break for what turned out to be Lyme disease, I’ve been consistent (the most important part for me), and everything has progressed as the book said.

Next I’m doing the Giant to prepare for ROP with the 24.
 

Matteo zococa

Level 2 Valued Member
Hello! I’ve been lurking on the forum for quite a while, so I’m happy to be able to make this post. On Saturday I completed Timed Simple on my first timed attempt!

I bought my first kettlebell about 20 years ago, but never committed to a regular program. I was doing some barbell work, some CrossFit, some body weight, etc. I did BJJ for a little over 10 years. During the first year of the pandemic, I became pretty sedentary, which hit home when I struggled to put my Xmas tree boxes back in their overhead storage in 2020.

So I bought S&S, picked up a 24kg bell and followed the book. Before I knew it I owned the 24 and started working with the 32. Other than a 4 month break for what turned out to be Lyme disease, I’ve been consistent (the most important part for me), and everything has progressed as the book said.

Next I’m doing the Giant to prepare for ROP with the 24.
Did you owned the 40 before attempting the timed s&s?
 

AdamB

First Post
Did you owned the 40 before attempting the timed s&s?
I was comfortably using the 40 for 60% of the swings, and 20% TGU. My TGU progression lagged a bit due to a nagging forearm issue that made it painful to support the bell with my left arm late last year.

I was doing the weekly timed test using the 24, and the week prior felt strong. Throughout the week my confidence kept building after every session so I decided to go for the timed test with the 32.
 

Aj Bhardwaj

First Post
Pleasantly Surprised

Hey folks


Yesterday I, by a surprise, hit Timed Simple goal.

For full details of my background/log you can visit my SF LOG Here: SF Forum Log BUT

- I started SS to assist with BJJ competition season as it is easy to recover from.
- I am doing some strength work intermittently but SS and BJJ make up the week.

Details of Practice yesterday:

- I have been timing myself to do Timeless simple just to see the fluctuations of my energy day to day. I start the timer and then flip the watch over. Whatever the requirements take, they take.
- Same as usual yesterday - Started timer, and flipped it over.
- Where I do my practice to my yard fence is roughly 5 meters. My goal for this week was to do 10/10 swings, take 3 deep nasal breaths focusing on extending the exhale, walk to edge of the yard (~10m) and then go again.
- At the end of the 100 swings - I flipped the watch over and it was 4:21.
- I was feeling good so WTH, I said to myself, took 1 min rest, and started with TGUs.
- Same deal. 1 TGU, 5 deep breaths. Repeat.
- After 10, it was 9:17.
- YOU BEAUTY!!

Prior to this plan:


- I was doing Plan Strong Press program
- Alternating between pullups and pistols as accessory
- Doing Snatches in the 5/4 fashion w/ 24kg KB.
- The latter I believe prepped me well for Simple.
- Also timed stoppages at certain sticking points - For me the kneeling position

Plans:
-
I receive my 40kg KB finally so will be starting incorporating that into my swings.
- Half TGUs with 40s first
 

Stephen B.

Level 4 Valued Member
- I have been timing myself to do Timeless simple just to see the fluctuations of my energy day to day. I start the timer and then flip the watch over. Whatever the requirements take, they take.
That's a really cool way to log progress without pushing the clock, I never saw/thought of that!

And, congratulations on reaching simple!
 

Ege

Level 2 Valued Member
Pleasantly Surprised

Hey folks


Yesterday I, by a surprise, hit Timed Simple goal.

For full details of my background/log you can visit my SF LOG Here: SF Forum Log BUT

- I started SS to assist with BJJ competition season as it is easy to recover from.
- I am doing some strength work intermittently but SS and BJJ make up the week.

Details of Practice yesterday:

- I have been timing myself to do Timeless simple just to see the fluctuations of my energy day to day. I start the timer and then flip the watch over. Whatever the requirements take, they take.
- Same as usual yesterday - Started timer, and flipped it over.
- Where I do my practice to my yard fence is roughly 5 meters. My goal for this week was to do 10/10 swings, take 3 deep nasal breaths focusing on extending the exhale, walk to edge of the yard (~10m) and then go again.
- At the end of the 100 swings - I flipped the watch over and it was 4:21.
- I was feeling good so WTH, I said to myself, took 1 min rest, and started with TGUs.
- Same deal. 1 TGU, 5 deep breaths. Repeat.
- After 10, it was 9:17.
- YOU BEAUTY!!

Prior to this plan:


- I was doing Plan Strong Press program
- Alternating between pullups and pistols as accessory
- Doing Snatches in the 5/4 fashion w/ 24kg KB.
- The latter I believe prepped me well for Simple.
- Also timed stoppages at certain sticking points - For me the kneeling position

Plans:
-
I receive my 40kg KB finally so will be starting incorporating that into my swings.
- Half TGUs with 40s first
Since I have just started my S&S journey, it would be nice to hear some more detail about your experience on S&S. Especially since you have played Rugby in Australian Army team... At what KG you have started and how long did it take for you to reach to Simple? Did you have any WTH effects? Can you make an objective comparison with some other strong first programs if you tried any? I see that you want to go to "Sinister" rather than RoP roadmap, why is that? Given your background, you should already be a strong person. What were the strength benefits of S&S for you? Congratulations by the way.... I will not be able to say it is encouraging :)) due to your background :).
 

Aj Bhardwaj

First Post
Since I have just started my S&S journey, it would be nice to hear some more detail about your experience on S&S. Especially since you have played Rugby in Australian Army team... At what KG you have started and how long did it take for you to reach to Simple? Did you have any WTH effects? Can you make an objective comparison with some other strong first programs if you tried any? I see that you want to go to "Sinister" rather than RoP roadmap, why is that? Given your background, you should already be a strong person. What were the strength benefits of S&S for you? Congratulations by the way.... I will not be able to say it is encouraging :)) due to your background :).
Hello Ege, thank your for questions. I'll try answer these questions systematically.
I was/am(in wider regard) new to Kettlebells but I am not new to training so yes, with Kettlebell, I started with a 12 and a 16kg KB. This was to build technique in hip hinging.
I progressed fairly quickly to 24 kg KB where I stayed for a while. This was because of my shoulder injuries. I have several severe shoulder injuries from sport and military so TGUs were very hard for me. I was a newbie at them to say the least. I stayed at 24 for probably well beyond what I should have but I think because of it, my shoulders feel brilliant these days. That's the first WTH effect. No unstable shoulders without doing strict rehab work.
I am progressing towards sinister because it's competition season for BJJ in Australia. I was doing a plan strong press program which was brilliant. I ran that for 13 weeks where I did KB snatches along side it. I believe the QD program, with snatches, was unbelievable in prepping my grip and hips for simple. That's the 2nd WTH effect.
The other reason to not run RoP is because pressing is a strength of mine. I respond to high volume of pressing and my shoulders can take it. With in 5 weeks of plan strong, 32s became easy. I didn't Bench for 13-14 weeks, and I retested and was able to do 3 X 5 with 100kg.
Long story short without tooting my horn, I need to address weaknesses. Sinister allowed for a minimal recoverable training inbetween long bouts of Jits. I train for 25 min every day before training for BJJ. That's it. Oh and 10 min Front splits stretching. Hence sinister.

Strength benefits of SS are huge for me.
For jits, my grip and work capacity has gone through the roof. I can nasal breathe through rolls were others are panting.
DL is naturally either maintaining and(yet to be seen) improving.
My shoulders and upper back have become thick in posterior region. Which I believe has led to more stability.
S n S and Easy Strength have been a fall back programs for me for a long time. They are inexpensive when it comes to recovery and I can't feel beat up when rolling so hence these programs are perfect. Hope this helps man.
 

Ege

Level 2 Valued Member
Hello Ege, thank your for questions. I'll try answer these questions systematically.
I was/am(in wider regard) new to Kettlebells but I am not new to training so yes, with Kettlebell, I started with a 12 and a 16kg KB. This was to build technique in hip hinging.
I progressed fairly quickly to 24 kg KB where I stayed for a while. This was because of my shoulder injuries. I have several severe shoulder injuries from sport and military so TGUs were very hard for me. I was a newbie at them to say the least. I stayed at 24 for probably well beyond what I should have but I think because of it, my shoulders feel brilliant these days. That's the first WTH effect. No unstable shoulders without doing strict rehab work.
I am progressing towards sinister because it's competition season for BJJ in Australia. I was doing a plan strong press program which was brilliant. I ran that for 13 weeks where I did KB snatches along side it. I believe the QD program, with snatches, was unbelievable in prepping my grip and hips for simple. That's the 2nd WTH effect.
The other reason to not run RoP is because pressing is a strength of mine. I respond to high volume of pressing and my shoulders can take it. With in 5 weeks of plan strong, 32s became easy. I didn't Bench for 13-14 weeks, and I retested and was able to do 3 X 5 with 100kg.
Long story short without tooting my horn, I need to address weaknesses. Sinister allowed for a minimal recoverable training inbetween long bouts of Jits. I train for 25 min every day before training for BJJ. That's it. Oh and 10 min Front splits stretching. Hence sinister.

Strength benefits of SS are huge for me.
For jits, my grip and work capacity has gone through the roof. I can nasal breathe through rolls were others are panting.
DL is naturally either maintaining and(yet to be seen) improving.
My shoulders and upper back have become thick in posterior region. Which I believe has led to more stability.
S n S and Easy Strength have been a fall back programs for me for a long time. They are inexpensive when it comes to recovery and I can't feel beat up when rolling so hence these programs are perfect. Hope this helps man.
Aj Bhardwaj, Thanks for taking time answering my questions. Your answers are quite insightful and helpful. Thanks a lot, and wish you my best in your BJJ endeavor as well as your path to Sinister. Best Regards, Ege
 

bschill747

First Post
If you've achieved the Simple goal from Pavel's, "Kettlebell: Simple & Sinister," we loved to hear about it! We'll keep this thread visible near the top of the Kettlebell forum.

Please tell us a little about yourself, when you started and when you achieved Simple - and whatever else you like because this is your story in your words.

And please be kind enough to post a review of S&S briefly describing your experience with the program.

-S-
Simple & Sinister has been profoundly important and beneficial to me. It has helped me survive some major, devastating blows in my life. It’s been my foundation for mental and physical recovery growth, and stability. I’ve never been more disciplined, and it’s because I’m going after the Beast. The absolute challenge of it has changed my whole approach to life, no more being a coward full of excuses. I achieved Simple in August 2021 and have been working my way toward the Beast (B). I have an 88 lb kettlebell, my White (W) kettlebell. Doing one-arm swings, three sets of White, two sets of the Beast (WBBWW) per workout session, timeless, 3 or 4 sessions per week, according to the book, with occasional Simple tests, sometimes once every four weeks. In three weeks I’ll advance to WBBBW. And the strength—the absolute what-the-hell effects—have been more mental than physical, which is really saying a lot. I’m grateful for this workout. Thank you for the brilliant simplicity of it. I have a young family, and the timing, clarity and simplicity taught me how to minimize distractions and unnecessary complications in other areas. I do my workout in the early mornings, fasted these days. And in no hurry to reach the Beast. Watching Pavel Macek reach Sinister recently has given me the motivation to push even harder. Grateful.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@bschill747, welcome to the StrongFirst forum and congratulations on your achievements!

(If it's not too much trouble, please post a review of S&S on amazon.com if you haven't already.)

-S-
 

JNort

First Post
Hello StrongFirst Community!
This is my first post so I apologize in advance for the length

I wanted to share my experience and thoughts about Simple & Sinister.

SIMPLE & SINISTER: the only thing simple is the mindset of only having to complete just two exercises almost daily. Everything else is far from Simple -which is why I love it!

I recently achieved Timeless Simple. I started my S&S journey last year April 2021-stuck with it for a year. I started with the 16kg KB and quickly realized that I was Tomahawking Roll to Elbow. I spent an entire month working on roll to elbow because I knew my technique was horrible. So, I utilized Kettlebells from the Ground up: Kalos Sthenos By Mark Chang, Brett Jones and Grey Cook, Pavel’s Enter The Kettlebell, and Matt Kingstone’s Article “Roll to Elbow How to build the foundation for a Beautif\ful Get-up”. Tremendous help-I thank you all so much!
I did get Covid July 2021 which set me back but I think the S & S helped me as I did not have any respiratory issues at all and took no medicine except Tylenol. Very lucky for a 51 yo guy. I lost 14 pounds so, I stopped S & S and did Jim Wendler’s 5,3,1 program for a bit to regain the weight then came right back to S & S.

Sidebar on people complaining about how kettlebells cause injuries. People blame kettlebells for their injuries - “I hurt my back doing swings”. No, you hurt your back because you had an underlying asymmetry that was never addressed, your form/technique was flawed, you rushed through, or you just went too heavy too soon. DO NOT BLAME THE KETTLEBELL.
Not to get political but I never met a “violent gun”, only violent people. Yet “gun violence” is in the media and politics on a daily basis. Point being-don’t make the object responsible. Make the person responsible for their actions.

It took me until this April to achieve Simple Timeless with the 32kg KB. I did it without injuries and each week I focused on technique-breathing, grip, lats, shoulder position, glutes, etc. It was fun.

I am not sure I heard this before or read about it in the book, but I think the Philosophy should be- “Perfect the form, Conquer the Weight, Beat the Clock”. So, I think I always strive to perfect the form, which has helped me to conquer the weight(32kg) but I have not yet beat the clock.

I am feeling a little drained and somewhat burned out at this point. By the way, I always incorporated a “light day” during the week consisting of two hand swings as per S&S book outlined, as well as at least 2-3 regular get ups and 5 minutes of drills to work on weakness.
With this being said, I am thinking about doing barbell work for a while.
I really want to achieve SIMPLE, but I'm not sure if I can beat the clock with the Get-Ups unless I rush through, which goes against the grain with grinds . However, I do realize the more efficient one becomes the quicker the movement.
Thought I would share with you all. Thank you for your time
 
Apologies, it’s another 40 something here that’s found S+S!

Stats: 47yrs old, 5’8 and 177lbs. Married, stressful job, 3 teenage kids (enough said).

I’ve always had an interest in looking after myself, but didn’t really get ‘into’ anything serious until my early 30’s. Back then it was cycling, running, callisthenics and some kettlebell training of sorts, but work/life always got in the way. Fast forward to 2020, 45 years old and life takes a severe turn for the worst. 20 months of hell followed, notwithstanding the COVID pandemic. At the end of it all I'd smoked and drank myself into oblivion a thousand times, developed a superb tyre and was over 190lbs in weight, not in a good way. In general I'd ruined my physical and mental health. 2022 and I'm getting myself back on my feet, and desperately thinking about how to recover my strength and general fitness. I ditch the drink, the cigarettes, and I find Pavel's S+S again, but this time I'm determined to follow it properly, so I get myself set up with 16, 20 and 24 Kettlebells and I get to work.

I'm training on average 5-6 times a week, as directed. I do the prescribed stretches and mobility exercises, and I stick to the routine 100 swings and 10 Get-Ups. At least once a week doing 2-hand swings flat out. At the end of each practice I hang on my pull-up bar for around 45-60 secs, and most nights I also follow the practice with two or three sets of 5 x chin-ups, or 20 x press-ups, I just find these help me to loosen up, and I just like chin-ups. I'm now 8 weeks in, and I've dropped the 16 and 20kg kettlebells; I've bought a 32kg and am comfortably swinging this (2-hand) for 100 swings, and when I'm swinging 1-hand I've incorporated it into my last two sets, after after the 24kg. I'm comfortably doing ten TGU's with the 24kg, and as of this week I've managed to do 1 TGU both sides with the 32kg, something that when I started, I couldn't honestly see myself managing. I've lost 10lbs in weight, lost my 'tyre' but have gone up a shirt size because my back and shoulders are building; I'm stronger I think, than I've ever been. I'm trying NOT to progress too quickly; I keep thinking about what Pavel said, and even if the 24kg feels too easy, I'm sticking with it for now, just gradually stepping up with the 32kg. My goal is 'Timeless Simple', by August-September, if I manage that I will feel I've achieved something. Just a brilliant programme, thank you Pavel!
 
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