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Old Forum PM discussion

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Kyrinov

Level 5 Valued Member
Samuel,

You nailed it man.  I still can't help but gush over the experience of plugging this programming into my overall training.  It works for me because I'm not a powerlifter/bodybuilder/strength athlete and don't ever intend on being one.  I always saw what I did as a martial artist/movement quality guy as separate from the strength training world because of exactly the mentality that has led to that (rather narrow) critique of the PM: namely that you've just got to be doing huge volume and wear your joints, nervous system, muscles out in order to "do" strength.  No thanks, I've got lots of things that need that energy and need my joints, muscles and connective tissues to be pretty relaxed in order to work.  I can't refine perfect motor programs if I've got inflamed joints and connective tissues or muscles that are too tired to pump out their calcium ions again.  The greatest revelation that Pavel introduced to my life was "that's okay, you can take it easy and still get stronger!"  While I'm gushing, I gotta say that the last bit of skepticism I had about one of the claims often made - that I could improve flexibility through proper strength training, faded away yesterday when I did some straight high kicks in a mirror and realized that despite not practicing them much lately I can kick WAY higher than before.  Then got into splits and despite doing no real flexibility work at all the last little while, I was WAY lower than even when I was stretching regularly.  Part of that might be related to some of the changes in my MA training in general but damn if this stuff doesn't just keep on giving.  I meant to just start training a bit for my paramedic program to be more competitive for employment and now not only am I improving in leaps in bounds in all my skill sets but I'm getting new inspiration for how to train less but improve more and I'm coming up with new modalities and having more fun while doing it.  So do I expect to become a 260 lb elite powerlifter through the PM?  No, but if that was my goal, I would be powerlifting, not doing the "Program Minimum."  Am I challenged by it?  Yes.  Do I see a ratio between the amount of work I put in and the results I get out of it?  Hell yes.  The best part of all is that rather than compromise my sensitivity, range of motion and relaxation response, this training is augmenting it!   Gushing done.

As a final note, one of the things I appreciate most on this board is the tone and level of discussion.  The internet can be a bit of a silly childish place, I'd say even more so when you're dealing with athletic/strength/martial arts discussions where a whole lot of ego, posturing and just general nonsense prevails.  This place is so refreshing in that the calibre of discussion remains excellent.  Even when it dips down a little bit, it still remains extraordinarily classy by the standards of the internet in general.  Hats off to the guys who keep it going and I hope to meet you all in person some day in the next couple of years.

 
 

yogadude

Level 3 Valued Member
Let me tell you first that I just did an HKC.  I was on the fence about doing this cert because I wanted to pursue and SFG or RKC but I felt like my base strength levels were too low to handle the double 24kg work and snatch test.  I did the HKC so I could finally work with an experienced instructor and get a taste of what these certs are like.   Many of the students had crappy swings but I saw Max do magic with them and get them to swing well within 8 hours.  I'm just telling you all this before I say this:

I believe the PM is the answer for anybody who wants to reach what I often call above-average strong.    I believe that if a man cant do a beast getup and swing it and a woman the same with a 24kg bell, that is all they need to work on.  The PM, at least as I do it, is not 100% swings and getups, I look at is as something that is open to interpretation.   So long as the main goal remains the same, get strong at 2-hand swings and getups.   I wanted to be stronger than the next guy my entire life but I followed all the crappy bodybuilding principles sold to us in magazines (this was 80's and 90's, pre-internet, when bodybuilding was everything.) and never gained any real strength.  I started training kettlebells a couple of years ago, used Pavels methodologies, and finally got strong.  I'm doing 40kg getups and swings and feel like I am getting close to doing the same with the beast.  My entire body changed, my shirts all got tighter.  I lost a lot of bodyfat (natural diet helps) and after initially shrinking  my waist actually became a muscular 34 inches instead of just a big bellied 34 inches.  My whole body grew.

 

The PM will work for anybody if you do it properly, making safe progression the goal.  It's not just swings and getups because you can do whatever you want on variety days, so long as we push past our recovery abilities.  I am 43 btw and it takes me a long time to recover from training so I only train 2 days a week.  I believe in the PM and what it was initially created to do, make regular people into strong people.   Period.

 

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151876615197626&l=5402315043658367866

 

 
 

Chris Veilegaard

Level 2 Valued Member
Joe Dymnioski

What do you GTG with during your PM.

BTW. i just got my SFG and im back on PM. i wouldnt say its only for beginners its so brilliant a program it fits to several levels. i think anybody would get stronger from it given the right size Bell.
 

Fajita_McJones

Level 2 Valued Member
The Program Maximum with 20 minutes of Beast get ups followed by 20 minutes of Beast swings that is linked in that thread is a little deceptive.  As far as I know the guy who wrote it has yet to complete it as-written and I'm not sure anyone else has either.

20 minutes of Beast get ups at a rate of one per minute is definitely a feat.  "Interval get ups" if you want to call them that can leave you laying on the floor between repetitions with your chest pounding so hard and fast that's it's rocking your entire body and you look like you're convulsing.  Still, I don't see the point of doing that for 20 minutes when 5 minutes of constant get ups with a beast will probably kick your tail just as if not harder.  And his plan for getting there is kinda silly, but since it's more of a hypothetical program (as nobody has done it), that doesn't really matter.

Doing a get up with a Beast seems like the kettlebell equivalent to the 500lb deadlift milestone when it comes to experience and wisdom.  "Get your deadlift up to 500lbs.  By then you'll have your own opinion and you don't have to worry about mine on everything," as Mark Rippetoe said.  I think the Beast get up fits into that quote nicely.  After all, that's the alleged weight that Turkish wrestlers had to be able to do them with before being taken seriously, and that's much what Pavel said in his reply at the beginning of this thread.

If someone can't do a Beast get up at the drop of a hat, I don't want them telling me the way I'm doing them is wrong when I'm currently transitioning to the 40kg on the PM.

 
 

Andrew Palmer

Level 5 Valued Member
I think the Program Minimum is one of those quality over quantity things. One can also chase big numbers, but unless that is the specific goal, whats the point?
 

apa

Level 6 Valued Member
As with most discussions about strength, the vast majority of the people commenting on whether a program is good or not is by people who haven't even "completed" it. 5 mins of getups and 12 mins of swings with a beast is well beyond my abilities, before I can do those, everything I say about it is worthless in my opinion.

I can do higher rep getups with the 24k, I can do 4 days a week of swings with the 24. However, when the bell starts getting heavy, I want those extra days of rest because it's gonna be entirely different.
 

josephtd8421

Level 5 Valued Member
Right now I GTG with push ups with my feet on a chair and single leg dead lifts with a 32 ( which has been making my swings kick a#@) one day. The second day I GTG with weighted pull ups ( currently at half my body weight ) and rows with the 32. I have been GTG religiously for 5 months now, after awhile I switch the exercises and add some variety of course. I get a good amount of down time at work haha. I feel this definitely has been a catalyst when added to my 5 day PM I haven't been getting sore or worn out just stronger everyday. My opinion is if its not broken don't fix it. If PM is working for you and your goals then keep at it and when you hit those goals move on to the next. Like I have stated earlier when I am able to do PM comfortably with the beast  I will move on to ROP and so on. This lifestyle we have chosen, yes to me kettlebells are a lifestyle, is a journey from beginning to end learning more and more what our bodies are capable of and feats of strength never earlier believed possible. So take your time and enjoy the journey.

Joe Dymnioski
 

kbkris

Level 2 Valued Member
I am so glad this discussion is up.  I was getting ready to post a question about what size bell people use for the PM swings part.

I've been having an on-again off-again relationship with KBs for years because I'm a very unpatient American.  I wish I had real discipline because I know I would be in much better shape. 

Mind you, I have real muscle on my frame, but I have a lot of fat on it too. 

I didn't even know about the Pavel starting up Strong First until about I think two to three months ago. 

Okay, none of this matters, but I thought I'd give people something to read because why not, right?

So, I've been back on the PM for about two months, I think.  I don't want to move up to the ROP until I can get some sweet numbers up with the 40KG on swings and TGUs.   I don't have a 48 yet, but I'm saving up for it.  If I get that bell before I move up to the ROP, maybe I'll wait until I can put up PM numbers up with that.

What I had been doing recently was using the 32Kg for both the swings and the TGUs.  The TGUs are tough, but doable.  They are too easy with the 24Kg.  I can't do many DARC swings with the 32Kg (14-16 at one sitting at the most before I go to active rest and then back at the bell).  In fact, I think my left shoulder really hates it.

But, I really don't like doing two-handed swings.  DARC swings, or alternating hand swings, are just so much fun.  So, I've gone back down to 24Kg.  I can get up to 20+ when I do this.

So, I <b>think</b> I'm going to stick with the 24Kg for a while on the swings until I'm rocking 30-50+ at a sitting before the active rest. 

Does that sound about right since the swing portion of the PM is about conditioning as well as getting stronger?

-Kristopher (aka Kris)
 

Brodsky

Level 1 Valued Member
I'm very happy with the PM, and am working on nailing the 32kg with it before I move up to the 40 (and hopefully the 48 eventually). I've seen enough gain in strength that I can much more than hold my own in most martial pursuits, to the point where I can safely and happily spend my time focusing on technical details in movement. It's a fantastic strength base for someone who does not want to focus solely on strength.
I think The PM can have a couple of different applications, depending on how one trains.  It can either be excellent rehab/prehab, conditioning, or stregnth; there's a lot of room in it to tailor it to your specifications.

That being said, something I've been wondering about is, what will NOT be addressed should someone get to the PM with the beast?  Aside from the obvious squatting deficit, would there be any glaring holes in overall strength? I can't think of any, and "overall strength" is a very loose term, but I think it's a question worth asking. I'm not changing my goal, so I'll find out eventually for myself, but I'd appreciate any thoughts.
 

NJRick

Level 3 Valued Member
Joseph,

Based on my experiences, I've noticed much more hypertrophy with the ROP compared to the PM, due to the volume. (My sessions rarely lasted longer than 40 minutes). As far as your question of what is not addressed in the PM, I would not recommend it for a person trying to get bulk up.  Has anybody grown some serious muscle on the PM? I'm curious to read other responses.
 

apa

Level 6 Valued Member
In other threads, and even in this people have noted they have built muscle. It is however not mean to be a hypertrophy program. I doubt anyone can walk away after doing it with 48kg skinny though.
 

josephtd8421

Level 5 Valued Member
I wouldnt say I've gained serious muscle but I have definitely got some muscle gains, and I mean dense muscle in my legs, shoulders, arms and core. On top of that I have gained more strength then size would lead you to believe. I feel PM has built an amazing foundation for me and really increased my swing strength and force production, which we all know will translate into other lifts as I continue. I am getting hernia surgery on Nov. 26th so once I recover and get back to these kettlebells ill let you all know my final results when I get this beast over my head.

 

Joe Dymnioski
 

Samuel

Level 2 Valued Member
The obvious deficits are the squat and an upper body pull. In addition to that, while heavy get-ups are a good supplement to pressing, I would think that relying solely on them will be insufficient for good upper body strength and power development - you're not going to get a substantially larger overhead press without doing full range of motion pressing, and transfer to benching will be even worse. One I'm not so sure about is rotational power for those who might need it - there are rotary stability challenges in get-ups and one-hand swings, but how that will transfer to actual power production I don't really know.
 

Kyrinov

Level 5 Valued Member
I'd have to disagree there Samuel...I got a 32kg press off doing the PM with  24k.  And that's only six months after struggling to press a 20k when I first started all this.
 

Samuel

Level 2 Valued Member
How much do you weigh? Because, with respect, I don’t consider a 32kg press too difficult to achieve for any reasonably fit male of average size. By substantially larger I didn't just mean relatively, but objectively too.
 

coachcarter

Level 1 Valued Member
Andrew Read wrote an article on breaking muscle about the program maximum, using a beast, tgus and swings. The load could totally determine the difficulty and the experience required using the PM.
 

Bill Been

Level 6 Valued Member
This from June 2013:

http://breakingmuscle.com/kettlebells/the-program-maximum-kettlebell-training-for-the-advanced-athlete

Looks a good bit like this from February 2009:

http://strengthdojo.com/thats-boring/

The 2013 author can't do the program he describes.  The 2009 author can.
 

coachcarter

Level 1 Valued Member
either way, get ups and swings can do a lot for somebody, especially when enough resistance and proper programming is used.
 
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