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Kettlebell My S&S one year anniversary

wexford

Level 1 Valued Member
I had a 12kg bell sitting unused for quite a while before I bought the S&S book last year. I began to experiment a little while reading the book with the different movements, from the warmup to the prying goblet squat. When I came to the Turkish Get Up, I found that 12kg was too heavy as I could not press it up at all. I tried a few times on different days. It was a bit of a dilemma as I didn't know if I wanted to invest downwards in a lighter bell. I also didn't know how light to go. I was confused I guess by the fact that the book started men at 16kg. I guess Pavel never met me.

By the way I was 48 last November when I started and I'm 49 now. I've a desk job and I have a great capacity to not move for long hours except for typing. I do ride a bike though and that keeps me slim. Other than that, I do a bit of skiing and I drove race cars for a while as a hobby also. I've had gym memberships over the years but never really did much except the stationary bike and sit ups and the odd lat pull down thingie. For reference, I'm 186cm (6'1) and 75kg (165lbs) which is probably light for my height anywhere except Japan where they look at me at the health check and tell me I need to watch my diet.

Finally I decided that I'd buy an 8kg and if I couldn't press that, I'd figure something out. So finally on November 24th 2021, I logged my first full S&S session where I did 100 x 12kg 2H swings and 10 x 8kg TGUs. It turns out that I could press the 8kg. Whew!

I was pretty consistent for the whole year, doing my S&S practice between 3-5 times weekly. Mostly I did 4. I did have a few incidents along the way. I hurt my back (bad swing form?) mid December just before I went home (to Ireland) for xmas. I also had covid for a bit in mid-October which knocked me back. Anyway, I don't know how I my progress stacks up for my age group and with my history, but I thought I'd share some of the milestones as things changed.

I sought out 2 personal training sessions with StrongFirst instructors. Once in Japan in December 2021 and again in Ireland in July 2022. The Japan one was very early on. The one I did in Ireland I got a huge amount from. I'd been doing S&S for a long enough period to be able to learn more from the lesson. I'd love to go again as its incredibly instructive I feel.

Nov 24th
* warmup with 8kg
* swings - 12kg 2H. I'm pretty sure I could have gone heavier but the 12 was all I had.
* TGU - 8kg

Nov 27th
* swings - 12kg 1H. Not saying they were pretty but I knocked out 100.

December 2021
* lower back injury - bad technique for sure. lower back went mid swing and I put the bell down for the month.

early January, I started pressing with 12kg to see where my back was and to build strength for the TGU press.

Jan 7th
* back in action
* 2H swings with 12kg again.
* TGU - 8kg

Jan 12th
* TGU - 12kg... I logged that I did 10. I remember my Japan 12kg being lighter than my Irish one. I seem to have jumped to

Jan 23rd
* started warming up with 12kg instead of 8kg

Jan 29th
* 1H swings again with 12kg for 100 after working up to it over a few days - no pain.

Feb 1st
* scored my first 2 x 16kg TGUs.

Feb 5th
* started working in first 2 sets of 16kg 1H swings.

Feb 28th
* Scored 10 x 16kg TGU

March 11th
* Up to 100 x 16kg 1H swings.

March 25th
* started warming up with 16kg instead of 12kg

April 9th
* Started working in first 2 sets of 20kg 1H swings
* Started working in first 2 sets of 20kg TGU

June 9th
* Scored 100 x 20kg 1H swings
* Scored 10 x 20kg TGU

June 23rd
* Did my first left side only 24kg TGU. Not able to press the right.

June 27th
* First 2 sets of 24kg 1H swings. Unable to do complete set of 10 due to grip. Went back to 20kg for next while.

August 22nd
* Trying 24kg x 2H swings. Did 100.

September 6th
* Failed TGU press with 24kg, still sticking with 20kg.

September 12
* First 2 sets of 24kg TGU. Press was hard fought. Next few days not able to press 24kg again.

September 19th
* Trying 2 sets of 24kg 1H swings again. Still grip issues before full set. Unhappy with form

September 22nd
* Moved the warmup from 16kg to 20kg. Trying to normalize the 20kg...

September 26th
* Made the 2 sets of 24kg TGUs again. Press very tough.

October 13th
* Was at a hotel (in Spain) and they had kettlebells so tried 100 2H swings with 32kg. It was tough but doable.
* Got covid shortly after

October 31st
* First session after covid. Breathing and HR were limiting. strength was still there..

November 21st
* Scored 4 sets of 24kg TGUs. Repeated that today on the 22nd.

Current status
* Warmups using 20kg
* 2H swings am using 24kg although I would like more.
* 1H swings I am stuck on 20kg still. I try the 24kg now and again but I'm still trying to nail down my 1H technique and the 24kg destroys it. Will keep trying.
* TGU is finally just this week up to 4 x 24kg and 6 x 20kg. I think upping the warmup up a notch helped me gain some strength for this.

My goal when I started out was 24kg which I wondered if I would ever reach. There is still a battle ahead on that. I'd like to try and get to 32kg as a next goal but its still to early to set that. I wonder what the new year will bring. I'll be keeping my head down.

I am thinking of buying a new 28kg bell though as I think it will be no harm to move the 2H swing on to help the rest catchup. My current bell collection is now single bells from 4kg to 24kg in lumps of 4. The 4kg is my sons. He sometimes does cleans and presses.

Body wise, I have more muscle than I used to have. Arms and shoulders are bigger. I can find my lats now. I used to wonder if I had any. I still have belly fat but maybe my a#@ is less flat than it used to be. Some of my t-shirts feel tighter than they used to be. Weight gain is hard to say. Somewhere between 1kg to 2kg perhaps? I'm still much the same as I was. I seem to float between 73kg to 76kg. I'm currently 75kg as I mentioned earlier.

Anyway - hope you found my progression interesting.
 

John K

Level 7 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Awesome report, awesome progress, and awesome consistency! I have every confidence that you will reach the 32kg if you apply this same level of consistency.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Sinister
This is excellent. I love that you're celebrating a year and recognize how many progress milestones there have been. Good for you for starting where you are and putting in consistent work where you are. As you see, that does lead to progress! And you are able to notice significant positive changes even prior to Simple. So many people can benefit from working in this realm and it's good to hear it described.

Also a smart move to get some sessions with an SFG. There is so much to learn in this practice. A great teacher and a great method are central to the progress of a great student.
 

wexford

Level 1 Valued Member
Awesome report, awesome progress, and awesome consistency! I have every confidence that you will reach the 32kg if you apply this same level of consistency.
Thanks for your confidence John. Trying to be consistent as I know its a critical part of this. Routine is so important I feel.
 

wexford

Level 1 Valued Member
This is excellent. I love that you're celebrating a year and recognize how many progress milestones there have been. Good for you for starting where you are and putting in consistent work where you are. As you see, that does lead to progress! And you are able to notice significant positive changes even prior to Simple. So many people can benefit from working in this realm and it's good to hear it described.

Also a smart move to get some sessions with an SFG. There is so much to learn in this practice. A great teacher and a great method are central to the progress of a great student.
Thanks Anna C. I'm sure there are a lot of folks in my realm. When I started out, I would have liked to read something like this to understand the journey ahead. The other thing is that my KB sessions including warmup have varied from 25 minutes or so to 45 minutes or thereabouts with rest between sets. For a long time, my fastest getup was around 40s and my usual ones were 1min. Only recently, I can knock out a 30s TGU. It really is a journey.
 

william bad butt

Level 7 Valued Member
Wow! You've tripled your strength! Congrats!

I think you should get the 28kg. Your lifts can progress at different rates. Sometimes its nice to have a heavier bell. Even if it is a bit too heavy for your swings, etc, you can use it for loaded carries such as farmers walks or suitcase carries.
 
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