new posts all posts post new thread

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

Abdul-Rasheed

Level 6 Valued Member
@MarkSch Your achievements are impressive; congratulations!!!!! I didn't mean to pick out that one aspect. Like @MattM said I am sure you are noticing it. If I were to achieve what you have done, I would be pretty pissed at not looking awesome..:)
 

MarkSch

Level 6 Valued Member
@Abdul Rasheed and @MattM

Aww, shucks. Thanks for the encouragement, guys. I'm not complaining, really : Kettlebells and this forum have been a real wellspring of inspiration and excellent information. I'm stronger and more solid than I've ever been, and am having a pretty good time doing it. I just happen to appear average at best while doing it. ;)
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@MarkSch, just a guess as to why you had problems along the way - might have been that you progressed too quickly, and that you needed the down-time in order to cycle back up again. Best to take that down-time before you hurt yourself, of course, and lucky for you that you seem to have done no permanent harm.

Consider S&S's recommended alternative: stay with something until you really own it. Think about that for a minute - really owning it means your effort is less and therefore you have cycled back. You ready yourself for the next big jump by training at an ever-gradually-lower level of your ever-gradually-increasing strength, just the opposite of what some might think is the "right" way to do this.

Using Relative Perceived Exertion:

Traditional training cycle - RPE roughly corresponds with weight, volume decreases

3, 4, 5, 6

4, 5, 6, 7

5, 6, 7, 8

Test


S & S Training Cycle - start with moderately heavy weight. After initial build-up, volume and weight remain constant. RPE is:

7, 7, 6, 6, 5, 5, 4, 4, 4, 3, 3

Switch to next heaviest weight

7, 7, 6, 6, etc.

-S-
 

MarkSch

Level 6 Valued Member
@Steve Freides
Thanks for the feedback. In the case of pressurized breathing, I think I was simply doing it wrong. I got better after taking some time off and working softer for a while. I didn't have any issue with my recent TTC cycle, and that really pushed me to my current limits in getting and staying tight.

As to your RPE comments, I think I understand you. Still, I considered Simple achieved when I did a solid 5-day week of sub-5 minute swings and sub 10-minute TGU with the 32k, with no stress, no soreness, and no extreme effort, while keeping good form. I tried to take owning the weight and movement to heart.
What's odd to me is that I had this terrible back muscle spasm - about the worst pain I've ever had, which perhaps makes me fortunate--in the course of a normal S&S swing workout, 20 weeks or so after nailing Simple. After completing Simple, I never went to the 40k more than one set at a time, and would often spend days without increasing at all, dialing in my form and comfort level. I thought I was in tune with my body and my progress. Still, a bad thing happened.

For me, this just highlights that even S&S is a demanding and _potentially_ damaging endeavor, and that you need to be vigilant at all times while practicing.
 

Statia

Level 2 Valued Member
Consider S&S's recommended alternative: stay with something until you really own it. Think about that for a minute - really owning it means your effort is less and therefore you have cycled back. You ready yourself for the next big jump by training at an ever-gradually-lower level of your ever-gradually-increasing strength, just the opposite of what some might think is the "right" way to do this.

Thanks for this gem of an explaination @Steve Freides . For someone like myself, a complete novice, it would have been gold for that paragraph to have been included in the S&S book. Its such a simple and obvious statement when I look at it now, but as you point out, its actually de-loading and allowing your body to recharge and that is something I didn't understand when it comes to moving up.

I was excited to move up from the 16kg to 24kg and in doing the move without owning the 16kg, I completely burned myself out. I got a 20kg bell to help narrow the gap later on but by then, the damage was already done. I had to take five weeks off to recover enough to feel like I could get back to S&S. I'm now back on the 12kg that I started with, doing S&S every other day and I'm slowly introducing the 16kg into my sets.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Thanks for this gem of an explaination @Steve Freides . For someone like myself, a complete novice, it would have been gold for that paragraph to have been included in the S&S book.
Thank you for the kind words, @Statia. FWIW, I had experienced good progress on my barbell deadlift taking the same basic approach.

-S-
 

David Manise

First Post
Hi there,

I've been reading (and recommending) Pavel's books since, pretty much, they got out. I love the no-nonsense approach. I started the S+S program a few months ago (around july 2015). I had been swinging kettlebells for a few years already. I started the program with à 20kg, which was too light for me but good for cardio. Moved up to the 24 pretty fast. Then I got stuck quite a few weeks @32kg. My grip strength was the limitating factor (got this one from Pavel's ITW with Tim Ferriss over his podcasts). I reached the "simple" goal around the end of september, I guess, roughly 10 weeks after starting (little merit, I'm a big guy so it's easier for me). I've been plateauing there for a while (lots of work, little resting time). Now I'm starting to introduce the 40kg kb.

- the swings are fine (even though I tend to go deeper on the bottom portion of the swing with the inertia) ; they are getting easier now, except for the grip that is still greatly challenged ;
- the getups are difficult on my right side (because of a decades old elbow extension limitation of roughly 15° that doesn't allow for a lock out : the triceps needs to stay contracted to keep the kb up AND stabilizing it)...

So I'm getting back, 2-3 days a weeks, to the 32kg for the getups, focusing on that right arm, doing extra slow reps. Also, I introduced some gym ring dips and pushups to boost the shoulder stabilization.

Usually, strength workis easy for me and I'm hitting a wall here. And I love it. It's very challenging, stimulating, and I love finding my way around, over or through an obstacle like that ;)

My goal is to reach a "sinister" around Christmas this year. If you guys have any advice, I'm all ears.

Thanks ;)

David
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@David Manise, it sounds like S&S is working great for you - congratulations.

This thread is about how people got to Simple - may I suggest you start another thread, perhaps even your own training log in that section of the forum, to chronicle your progress towards Sinister?

Thanks.

-S-
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
I was excited to move up from the 16kg to 24kg and in doing the move without owning the 16kg, I completely burned myself out. I got a 20kg bell to help narrow the gap later on but by then, the damage was already done. I had to take five weeks off to recover enough to feel like I could get back to S&S. I'm now back on the 12kg that I started with, doing S&S every other day and I'm slowly introducing the 16kg into my sets.
Recovery can take a long time. I was in a car accident last week. I took a full week completely off, then a couple of days with nothing more than a 16 kg bell, and while doing this will certainly set my progress back, it's the accident, not the break, that, the real cause.

-S-
 

Lew

Level 3 Valued Member
Recovery can take a long time. I was in a car accident last week. I took a full week completely off, then a couple of days with nothing more than a 16 kg bell, and while doing this will certainly set my progress back, it's the accident, not the break, that, the real cause.

-S-

I am very sorry to hear of your accident.

You are already ahead of most as you already have physical therapy and the will to employ it built into your daily life.

For some, that accident might be the end of strength training.

For you, it is simply another beginning.

Good luck to you Mr. Freides.
 

Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
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.

-S-

Is it alright to ask here how long it should take to achieve the Simple goals? I've been on the programme for over 6 weeks. I started with 16 kg then went up to 24 kg. With the 32 kg I can do the 100 swings with two hands, but not without lower back raw-feeling sensitivity for a few days afterwards, and the get up seems WAY too much for my shoulders to handle still. I can do the programme excellently with the 24 kg though, and I'm just loving it and its results!!! I'm wondering if I will really be able to get to the Simple goals or if for some reason my body just isn't able to handle it. I'm about 100 kg and 185 cm tall. I've stayed relatively fit my whole life and I'm in my upper 30s in terms of age. Do some give up on achieving the 32 kg Simple goals and settle into some kind of higher rep version of the programme with the 24 kg???
 

JonS

Level 7 Valued Member
Is it alright to ask here how long it should take to achieve the Simple goals? I've been on the programme for over 6 weeks. I started with 16 kg then went up to 24 kg. With the 32 kg I can do the 100 swings with two hands, but not without lower back raw-feeling sensitivity for a few days afterwards, and the get up seems WAY too much for my shoulders to handle still. I can do the programme excellently with the 24 kg though, and I'm just loving it and its results!!! I'm wondering if I will really be able to get to the Simple goals or if for some reason my body just isn't able to handle it. I'm about 100 kg and 185 cm tall. I've stayed relatively fit my whole life and I'm in my upper 30s in terms of age. Do some give up on achieving the 32 kg Simple goals and settle into some kind of higher rep version of the programme with the 24 kg???

@Kozushi I like your screen name, judoka, perhaps?

I'm not sure if your question is ok here in this thread or not. If not, I suppose it will be moved to the appropriate place.

I believe that the general rule of thumb is 12-24 months, depending on background, etc. I achieved Simple in 10 months @ 40yo, with years of 2-handed swings behind me. To quote the book, "make haste, slowly". You'll be glad you did. You are laying a foundation to build on with S&S, act accordingly. Good luck.

Jon
 

Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
@Kozushi I like your screen name, judoka, perhaps?

I'm not sure if your question is ok here in this thread or not. If not, I suppose it will be moved to the appropriate place.

I believe that the general rule of thumb is 12-24 months, depending on background, etc. I achieved Simple in 10 months @ 40yo, with years of 2-handed swings behind me. To quote the book, "make haste, slowly". You'll be glad you did. You are laying a foundation to build on with S&S, act accordingly. Good luck.

Jon
Yes, judoka, but finding it hard to find time for it these days, thus my absolute need for good weight training to stay healthy and fit. "Make haste slowly" - Festina Lente - Augustus Caesar's personal motto. Good advice!
I'd be thrilled to some day be able to handle the 32 one handed for swings, and do the 10 getups with it safely. I guess I'll keep that eventual goal in mind. I just figured I'd be in better overall shape than your average guy so I'd be able to at least get to the "Simple" goal pretty fast. This makes me wonder about the "Sinister" goal - the "Simple" goal seems pretty "sinitster" to me already! 48 kg???!!! There really are humans capable of that??? They can't possibly be normal though. Can they be?
 

JonS

Level 7 Valued Member
Yes, judoka, but finding it hard to find time for it these days, thus my absolute need for good weight training to stay healthy and fit. "Make haste slowly" - Festina Lente - Augustus Caesar's personal motto. Good advice!
I'd be thrilled to some day be able to handle the 32 one handed for swings, and do the 10 getups with it safely. I guess I'll keep that eventual goal in mind. I just figured I'd be in better overall shape than your average guy so I'd be able to at least get to the "Simple" goal pretty fast. This makes me wonder about the "Sinister" goal - the "Simple" goal seems pretty "sinitster" to me already! 48 kg???!!! There really are humans capable of that??? They can't possibly be normal though. Can they be?

The Simple goal will come quickly enough, if you stay true to the goal. Sinister? Another question entirely. Consider this after you've achieved the Simple goal.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lew

DavThew

Level 6 Valued Member
It took me 9 months to hit Simple following the program to the letter. I was 24-25 at the time with plenty of recovery time. I was also training for a half marathon.
I started out about 3 months before these 9 months with just swings as I had injured my shoulder and couldn't do a pain free getup. That was all about 18 (edit: 36...time flies!) months ago. I have not been staying on the program since (doing a lot of different stuff including 3 months of only squatting, bodyweight only programs etc). I tested myself the other day and can still happily hit Simple without worry.

What I'm attempting to say @Kozushi is that slow won gains seem to stay with you for a long time.
 
Last edited:

Chitwan

First Post
I have just started on my S&S journey.

I did the SFG course in February and wanted to embark on this journey.
I feel my TGUs with 24 Kg are quite good, and I have no issues completing them in around 6-7 mins at this stage.

With my swings I am currently doing 24 Kg 10 reps, x 5 sets with 1:2 work: rest ratio (roughly 15s:30s) I feel that if I go over the 5 sets at this stage, my form may not be the best.
Whats the best way to proceed.
Should I start with EMOM and do 10 sets ( I feel I can do that), and then cut he rest time, or should I try and achieve a 1:1 ratio with 5 sets first and then increase the sets, and finally the weight after achieving 10x10 with 1:1?

What have others done? I hope I have gone through the book ok, and not missed this detail

Looking forward to your answer.
 

Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
I have not fully "owned" the 24kg yet, so I won't go onto the 32kg until I'm ready. The 24kg is keeping me in amazing shape though - like a model! I'm thrilled! :)
 

Mr. Nobody

Level 1 Valued Member
I guess I am a bit late to the party but here is my "Simple" success-story:

After I graduated I started a very stressfull job in engineering and used lots of coffee and food to get through the day. My BW peaked at 135kg/298lbs, my cholesterin, blood sugar and resting heart rate went through the roof and walking a flight of stairs got me out of breath. Because I wanted something I could do at home after work and S&S was released 6 weeks after I started my diet a buddy of mine recommended I start using KBs. Although he nowaday focuses more on gymnastics he has been using KBs for over a decade when he competed in Sanda and Wushu. I bought the book, a set of KBs and after he gave me a few lessons on how to use them I started my S&S journey.
Within 9 months I...
  • lost 35kg/77lbs of BW
  • lowered my resting heart rate down to 60 bpm
  • lowered my cholesterin down to 146mg/dl
  • went from 0 to 5 double overhand pull ups without training them
  • had to buy smaller pants 2 times and once I started to use the 32kg KB I actually had to buy bigger shirts
  • didn't need coffee or food to feel full of energy at work
  • felt stronger and more confident than ever before. Of course I have always been a nerdy bookworm butit was a very rewarding experience anyways ;)
I followed the routine as written, trained 6 days a week and only progressed once the workouts started to feel really easy. My sleep was poor (6 to 7 hours at best), losing weight sucked, my job was very stressfull and my GF dumped me early on. But I never felt like skipping my workouts and even with 60 hours of work/week and a 45min one way commute I always found the time and energy to do the workouts and afterwards I always felt energized.
 
Last edited:

JoeO

Level 4 Valued Member
With the girlfriend gone ...I would suggest..Simple was achieved....however sinister the motive.o_O
I find that once I'm in a routine 6-7 hrs of sleep is good.

I'm in early S and S and I'm happy getting up at 4am.

How you feel with 6-7 hrs would dictacte whether it's 'poor'.

Congrats on the weight loss.....and the 35 kgs too.:)
 

Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
I'm pretty much at the "Simple" goal already after only a few months. I do the 100 (or more if I feel like it) Swings in sets of ten or twenty, mostly double handed still though, and then the 10 Turkish Get Ups all with the 32 kg kettle bell. I'm in fabulous, model-like shape and haven't gotten sick since I started the programme, and of course I'm also super strong and problems like acid reflux and fatigue went away virtually entirely. I'm absolutely in awe of Pavel's work, and I'm also super enthusiastic and fascinated with the kettlebell. I bought "The Naked Warrior" and "Power to the People" and I'd like to know what else I should buy by Pavel.

I'm actually interested in getting some direction on where to go with my weight training once I've fully achieved the Simple goal. Should I just go onto a 40 kg weight, or could I instead keep doing the full Simple programme, but add in some other presses, like the bent press or whatever, at other times in the day???

I wonder about that.
 
Top Bottom