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Old Forum Results from Kettlebells and Deadlift go together like Vodka and Pickles

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Level 6 Valued Member
I started the program with a max deadlift of 330 lbs.  I tested my "sort of max" today at 375 lbs.  The article says to come here and post my results and find out what to do next.  So, what's next?


Level 6 Valued Member
Yes, 405 is my next goal!  That would be my double bodyweight deadlift.  I am looking for the best way to get there.  Do this program again, go back to Power to the People, or something else?


Founder and Chairman
Certified Instructor
Well done, Patrick!  Next is a PL cycle.  Pull three times a week, alternating DLs (cycled) and swings/ snatches. Sample cycle:

295x5/3 (reps/sets), 305x5/2, 315x5, 325x5, 335x3/2, 345x3, 355x3 , 365x2, 375x2, max.


Level 6 Valued Member
Thank you!  So I would do something like this:

Monday: Deadlift

Wednesday: Swing/Snatch

Friday: Deadlift

Monday: Swing/Snatch

Wednesday: Deadlift

Friday: Swing/Snatch


What kind of volume/intensity should I be going for on the swings/snatches?


Level 6 Valued Member
Thanks,  I will report back on the results.  I really appreciate that you take the time to check this forum and answer questions.


Founder and Chairman
Certified Instructor
"I really appreciate that you take the time to check this forum and answer questions."

It is my pleasure—when questions, like yours, Patrick, are pointed and you stick with the plan you get without trying to mess with it.


Level 5 Valued Member
Great timing Patrick! Thanks for asking and thank you Pavel for your answer on the next step. Wednesday I "sort of maxed" with 370lbs, which was a 9+ on my RPE (rate of perceived exertion) scale. I will begin the PL cycle on Monday.


Founder and Chairman
Certified Instructor
" Wednesday I “sort of maxed” with 370lbs, which was a 9+ on my RPE (rate of perceived exertion) scale. I will begin the PL cycle on Monday."

That is a great place to stop and start cycling.  Good call, John.


Level 1 Valued Member
One question, gents:

Do I add 10 pounds to my estimated 1RM or to every workout?


Level 5 Valued Member

This is my understanding of the process: If you are referring to the "" blog, that would be 10lbs to every day's percentage of 1RM, IE. 1) 65%, 2) 70%, 3) 75%, 4) 80%, 5) 85%, then 6) 65% + 10lbs, etc. and keep adding 10lbs to each workout until "the poundage in workout five takes 90% of your effort". Then test your "sort of max".

For future reference, Pavel's PL cycle format has one's current "sort of max" x 2 the workout before testing your new max. Just plug that "sort of max" number in his example and then subtract 10lbs every workout to get to the first day of the PL cycle.

I hope I didn't confuse you and if I did I'm sure someone will correct me.


Level 5 Valued Member
Reporting my "failed progress" from doing the PL cycle. It's my fault. In hindsight  I must've been over-trained before beginning the Pickles & Vodka cycle, which I did PR after finishing it. No regrets. Live and learn.

This is what I did today:
360lbs (97% 1RM) DL x 2 was the plan.
Reset and mixed grip was the plan.
(RPE 10+. Failed on the first rep! My goal to deadlift 390lbs (105% 1RM) on June 10, 2013 has been delayed. My recent deadlift RPE numbers have been telling the story very accurately with around 9+. A 10 is close to failure. 10+ is failure.)

To "correct" the failure, I did a back-off set:
220lbs (60% 1RM) DL x 5.
Reset every rep. Overhand and mixed grip.
(RPE 5+.)

This is a strong signal to back-off. Pavel's off the grid. So, all advice is welcome. Should I change programs and come back to this cycle later; do 2-week blocks of PM and PTTP for a couple months or more, a 40-day workout, start again from the beginning of the PL cycle, go back to the Pickles and Vodka routine, or something else? Thanks.

Those who are also doing this program please let everyone know how it's going! Patrick? Paul?


Level 1 Valued Member
Just completed my fourth cycle by doing 335x6 (DOH).

This program came around at just the right time for me as I realized I had gone from the easy, basically "free" novice gains to just treading water at about ~315. This program really helped me get into a training groove instead of just flailing about and making no progress.


A couple of benefits:


1.  forcing me to use submaximal weights (definitely necessary with deadlifts)

2. forcing me to deadlift for volume. This isn't fun for me and without a program I could easily say that 6 reps at 75% is "enough." And that does feel like a workout...but when the program tells me to do 12 at 75% I find that I can do 12 even though 6 felt like "enough." I like the psychological aspect of having a target and hitting it. I'm sure Mr. Tsatsouline or Mr. John can do anything they need to by feel but I trust a program more than my beginner instincts.



Question: The other major lift I'm doing is the OHP and I've reached a similar point to my deadlift before I started the vodka/kettlebells program (I like the way that sounds). That is, I'm lifting near my max but not improving it (started around 95 and today did 155 for 3 which is about where I've been for a while now). I'm sure OHP will generally have a different reps/sets scheme than deadlifts but is there an analogous way to program my upper body lift so I'm not just banging my head against the wall by trying to lift heavy for 5 reps every workout?


Level 5 Valued Member
Even though this thread isn't about presses because Pavel said on the blog, "You are on your own with your upper body work", I'll indulge you're question the best I can.
I rotated PTTP and ROP in two week blocks a couple of years ago, I used 5,3,2 for the deadlift and used the side-press (SP) with the long bar. For the SP I found that I needed more volume, sets, and sometimes wave the intensity to progress to a heavier weight. This worked so well. Why did I change? Shiny objects!

This is an example of my SP rep/set scheme I did a couple weeks before I tested my PTTP lifts.
I started with the less strong arm as a limiting guide, then the stronger arm. Rest was about 3 minutes between sets. Important: Leave 1-2 reps in the bank after every set.

Week 14:
70lb SP x 5,3,3
70lb SP x 5,4,3. After this practice day I thought of adding another set to progress. I'm a slow learner.
70lb SP x 5,4,4,3
70lb SP x 5,4,4,4
70lb SP x 6,5,4,4

Week 15:
70lb SP x 5,4,4,3
70lb SP x 5,5,4,4
75lb SP x 4,4,4,3
75lb SP x 5,4,4,3
75lb SP x 5,4,4,4. Here I decided to end my PTTP cycle and test even though I wasn't stagnating. In hindsight, I should have kept going with PTTP as long as I was progressing.

Warm-up on test day:
65lb SP x 2/2
75lb SP x 2/2
85lb SP x 1/1 (PR)

The next day I tested my kettlebell clean & press after doing the ROP ladders with a 32kg:
Warm-up and tests:
32kg C&P 5/5
36kg Loaded cleans 2/2
36kg C&P 3/4 (PR)
40kg Loaded cleans 2/2
40kg C&P 1/1 (PR)

So, you can see, if you are familiar with the ROP and its use of ladders with high volume, the ROP has a lot of pressing. I was able to PR at a greater percentage with the ROP, 125% working intensity versus the lesser volume and time with the PTTP rep/set scheme that I used with a PR of 113% of the working intensity. Even though a PR is a PR, "To press a lot, you must press a lot." - Russian weightlifters' saying. Pg. 133. Enter The Kettlebell.

Everyone's different, but principles are universal. Experiment with your own numbers on the OHP. Stay strong!

mark reinke

Level 2 Valued Member
Went from 365 up to 395 in 3 cycles of the program before breaking my hand. Just starting to pull heavy after 8 weeks of only single handed work.

Stupid question:

should I base my next cycle off 365 again, or re-test?
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