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

I made the Simple standard after my most recent three months on S&S. Now, on to ROP with a 20kg. I have learned patience to achieve a goal, and will take the next three months (thirteen weeks) to put on a bit of muscle and strength. Thanks to SF for concise instructions that I can follow and get great results without injury and burnout.
If you haven't already, please post a review of S&S on amazon.com. Thanks.

-S-
 
Hi all,
I've done Timed Simple and Timeless Solid within two days at the end of July after not training regularly for a few months.

I started S&S on 1st of December 2021, I hit Timeless simple on 9th of May 2022. After that, the life got the better of me and I wasn't able to keep up the "almost every day" schedule between three little kids and a job.

I bought 40 kg kettlebell and kept S&S having 0-3 sessions a week. I also did some GTG on pull ups on bar in my doorframe and dips on rings hanging from this bar. I've bought and read also Enter the Kettlebell and Naked Warrior. Both of them had many useful tips which I could apply also to my S&S trainings. The one-arm pushup tips helped me to be able to lift 40kg one-handed for TGU's for example.

When I was starting S&S I was halfway through Calimove mobility program. When I read Naked Warrior I was magically able to do pistol squat instantly (never done it before). I take it as a courtesy of the extensive mobility work done in the Calimove program. So I added pistols to my GTG routines. Currently I'm on 6 pistols per leg or single 16kg pistol per leg.

At some point I also started pressing the RoP way from time to time, at the moment I am on 5 ladders of 5 rungs with 24 and I can do a single with 32kg on each hand.

I kept adding sets of 40kg to S&S from time to time when I felt like it. One tip that helped me with increasing the TGU reps with 40kg was a tip from Andrew Huberman of cooling palms and feet between reps. I used frozen meat for that. Don't know whether that was placebo but I was able increase reps of 40kg TGU's safely. I would like to note, that I train in the kitchen with breakable floor so I don't have the option of dropping the kettlebell :)

I know that last year I was totally inconsistent but I didn't have the bandwidth to follow a program properly so I tried to stay in shape and slowly advance with my goals on several fronts, whichever training I was able to squeeze into my schedule.

Then all of a sudden at the end of July, I had the time to try S&S after not touching the kettlebells for a month or so. I thought of doing a S&S session with 32kg but it felt kind light so I switched to 40kg and did the whole thing with it and just like that my Timeless Solid was here.

The next day or the day after I had to hurry to work so I decided I'll try to test Timed Simple, and just like that, it went through. I didn't expect to make these two goals just like that in two weeks, and I was happy as hell :)

Now my oldest daughter started going to school, we moved the youngest one to kids room, so I got place for regular home office instead of working on the kitchen table each day. As the life is starting to get in order I'm thinking on taking on RoP properly as a next step.

My stats: 178cm, 78kg, working from home, sitting at desk the whole day (which is not entirely true since I bought a walking treadmill and standing desk last week - trying to hit 10k-15k steps each day now)

Thank you for being able to share my story!
 
47 y.o. male, 66kg bodyweight, 177cm tall (145lbs and ~5'10"), about 14% bf according to DXA..

I just read the new Kettlebell AXE book early this week, which states that you should achieve the Timeless Simple standard before embarking on the AXE protocol, so... I decided on Tuesday that I should finally summit that peak, and successfully did so today (Saturday). This was an overnight success, years in the making… :D

Backing up to the beginning of story, I first learned some basic KB skills back in the early 2000s, working with a trainer from the RKC system. However, I could never really do a full TGU due to a lower-leg muscle neuropathy and loss of dorsiflexion function if my left leg, which made it nearly impossible to perform the windshield wiper leg movement and to keep my toes tucked to be set up for the lunge. Swings were no problem, though I rarely touched anything heavier than a 20kg bell. Overall, kettlebells were only a small part of my training for a long time, and strength training in general wasn't a high priority, as I was more interested in endurance cycling and rock climbing.

Fast forward to early 2020, when COVID hit and the gyms closed, I bought myself a 16kg bell and went all-in on at-home KB training. Around this time, I discovered the modified TGU that avoids the windshield wiper movement and instead has you rotate your body, and this was a game changer for me for this exercise. At first, TGUs were still pretty hard with my left leg back, as my mobility and stability weren’t great, and I often needed to use my free hand to steady myself. But soon, I got solid with the 16kg. At this time, my training wasn’t specifically S&S, but rather I was doing varied circuits incorporating many different KB movements.

By late summer of 2020, I started incorporating a 20kg bell into my practice, and eventually got solid at 20kg TGUs and swings. End of year 2020, I was thinking about goals for 2021, and I decided I to make S&S my main focus for the year. At this time, the idea of eventually being solid at 32kg TGUs and swings seemed like a bit of pipe dream, since I was starting the process at 45 years old and with a bodyweight of only 62kg.

January of 2021, I kicked off my S&S journey, starting with 20kg as my “owned” weight and 24kg as my next weight. Every two weeks, by the book, I switched one left/right set to the next weight, and eventually owned the 24kg bell. Then went from the 24kg bell to the 28kg bell, which seemed so heavy at first, but week by week, it got lighter and lighter. By mid-to-late summer, I started incorporating the 32kg bell, which seemed nearly impossible earlier that year, but was now only “hard”.

I was within a few weeks of achieving Timeless Simple in the fall of 2021, when disaster struck. I think the single-arm 32kg swings, at a then bodyweight of 64kg, combined with muscle imbalances due to my left-leg muscle issues, overloaded the right-side of my back, and I started developing back pain with muscle spasms. I would rest and do other things for a while, then attempt to restart S&S, but every time, the back pain returned, and I had to put my journey to Simple on hold.

Around this time, I started working with Chris Lopez, who helped me get stronger working on different lifts, such as C&P, Snatches, C&J, DFSQ, etc., but I had to avoid heavy single-arm swings. The back pain would come and go over the next year of training, seemingly at random, so I periodically had to change up what I was doing to work around that. Later, I moved on to doing some of @Geoff Neupert ’s programs, such as The Giant, and the Kettlebell Maximorum beta test, and I also returned to and mastered 32kg TGUs, but I never returned to heavy single-arm swings out of concern for my back. I also just preferred heavy snatches to heavy swings, and I got really solid with 28kg snatches using Geoff’s awesome Maximorum program.

Then, two years after halting my S&S journey, Kettlebell AXE comes out and tells me I should really achieve Timeless Simple. On Tuesday, I tried 10x10 swings, using the 32kg for sets 3 and 4, and the 28kg for the rest, and I felt good. Did the same with the TGUs, which was no problem. Thursday, I was going to use the 32kg for sets 3-6, but felt good enough, I just stuck with the 32kg for all the remaining sets. At that point, I knew that I could do the whole session with the 32kg, and this morning, I did just that. Despite not training heavy single-arm swings in two years, a steady diet of heavy snatches (up to 28kg), heavy two-hand swings (up to 40kg), and heavy double cleans (up to 2x28kg), made it possible to do 10x10 single-arm swings with the 32kg.
 
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A bit late...by a few years. 50 y/o, achieved Simple at 48. I took a run at it a few years earlier but burned out. Then the 2nd edition came out and included the idea of ignoring the clock and really detailed step loading. Revolutionary...and the tweak needed for me to survive the program. COVID did interrupt as the base gym closed down (I was deployed at the time) and I shifted to a calisthenics program (and stayed with that for a year or so) before eventually returning to S&S. Hit simple, kept going through the 36-kg bell and was transitioning to the 40-kg bell when I tore my ACL (it was a 3rd tear after missing the bottom step on the staircase but more to do with the way they did the first repair in 2004...I digress). I spent the last 18 months or so focusing on relearning and strengthening basic movement patterns (hinge drills to kb dls to dead stop swings...same idea with squats etc although get ups are out), and recently returned to a kb centric workout built around AXE and IC.
 
I finally achieved the timed simple today and had to post it somewhere! I came in with very little strength training experience and was thrilled to make it!

I started the program with a 16kg bell on September 5. It felt extremely heavy to me, especially for getups, and I tweaked my back once before I got the form down on the swings.

Today, December 23, was workout # 74. Aside from a couple of short trips in November, I trained in intervals of 4 days on, 1 day off.

I'm 35 years old, male, 6'2" and 180lb. My weight hasn't really changed since starting, but I am more toned and my back and shoulders are more solid.

This February I had fallen desperately out of shape, weight 20 pounds more, panted while playing with my kids, and couldn't run or exercise because I had joint issues due to unstable muscles. I started a simple HIIT program first, and then slowly ramped up my cardio until I was able to (barely) run an Olympic triathlon on Labor Day. The next week I switched to kettlebells as my primary focus. I still run and bike a bit, and do some calisthenics every day.

I finally have my energy back, my appetite, the ability to toss around my toddlers, and am in a better mood.

With S&S, I am able to work out even on busy days. I am incredibly grateful for this simple, powerful program.
 
"What one can do, another one can too!"


Finally done - 16th December session

Brief background: Age -48 yrs, never exercised regularly till I was 37. I've been on various programmes like bodyweight, machine based, limited use of barbel training since 2012 and used kettlebells sporadically for the last 3 years until I dedicated more time to the cast iron toys since last October, completing my first 10k Kb swing challenge.


#simpleandsinister - My 1st Simple timed test with 32kg cast iron KB - today- 9 days after succeeding with a relatively easier Comp. Kettlebell in the gym:

100 SH Swings - 4m:40s
1min rest
10 TGUs ( 5 per arm) - 8m:53s.

WTH happened?
It seemed as though adding in a session with SH Swings of 4x10@ 36kg + 6x10 @ 34kg on Wednesday forced some further adaptations.

I got up this morning and as I picked up my 32kg black iron friend, it felt as light as my 28kg felt a month ago - I smiled to myself - "This is the Day"
My TGU form still needs further refinement in couple of points, but these are minor compared to few months ago.
Planning to keep hitting "Simple" timeless as I work with 36kg on SH Swings and 32kg on TGUs till I can execute 2-3 unbroken reps per side with the 32kg in excellent form, before going up to 36kg.
The journey goes on...

And I'm loving the unusual added benefits, like
PRs or breakthroughs in various other standard and unusual lifts, e.g. Things I could never do before starting S&S:

P. S. Managed my first 3 solid TGU reps per arm with 36kg yesterday- Boxing day

Strength journey continues...

Enjoy a Healthy and Stronger 2024 folks!

And remember "What one can do, another one can too!"
 
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