Question ROP and S&S - Which is better for what goals?

pet'

More than 5000 posts
Hello,

S&S
> GPP (excellent ratio strength / conditioning), time-efficiency, always fresh

RoP
> Drastic increase of pressing power

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@Kozushi, a good question. A related question (which I think was already asked here ??) is whether S&S ought to be one's first kettlebell program.

One answer, and again I'm not sure I think this is in the book, is that one ought to achieve Simple before heading in another direction.

-S-
 

rickyw

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
IMO, both programs improve general physical preparedness and total body strength strength and aesthetics, but they have different focuses:

For all around general physical preparedness and more emphasis on lower body power with a degree of aerobic conditioning: Simple and Sinister

For great upper body strength and aesthetics, and anaerobic glycolytic conditioning: RoP

I would also say that I am glad I achieved the Simple goal before moving into the RoP. The RoP gets extremely demanding on the shoulders towards the end and I believe all the TGUs and halos I did helped prepare my shoulders for that demand. Plus, starting into the RoP immediately without reaching Simple first would make it much harder to meet the RoP goals because you will not have as much of a base of kettlebell skill and strength to build off of.

Things Are Going So Well, Help Me Screw It Up, Part 2
 

pet'

More than 5000 posts
Hello,

I think this is in the book, is that one ought to achieve Simple before heading in another direction.
This is true. IMO we can see a real and sustainable improvement of general preparedness when we reach Simple and when we maintain that level for a while. Indeed, staying on this program for a while permits to refine technique enough to get a real carryover on the main other move.

For instance, using Simple and heavier permits to increase the standard press without especially train for it (using RoP or whatever press program).

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

rickyw

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
For instance, using Simple and heavier permits to increase the standard press without especially train for it (using RoP or whatever press program).
I did not find this to be the case for me, although I believe I have read of others who say it was helpful. However, I do feel like I progressed better w/presses due to having done so many TGUs, but that is just an opinion not based on any solid evidence.

@Kozushi , I am on my 3rd round of RoP press ladders since reaching the Simple goal. The first time I worked through it with 24kg, not cleaning between every rep. I actually did the ladders wrong and ended up reaching the 5x5 ladders in about 5 weeks. It was a grind with long rests! For swings I did a research protocol by Craig Marker.

The second time I did the RoP press ladders I cleaned between every rep, and used the 24kg again, compressing the rest periods. I started about 1/3 of the way through the program but did the ladders the correct way after rereading ETK. For swings I did A+A swings w/40kg. But as the volume of clean and presses grew, it was harder and harder to have adequate energy left for swings, even with long rests in between. I was already doing a lot of hinging with the cleans. So the swings dropped down to 2x/week.

I am now on my 3rd go around with RoP and am following the whole program by the book. I am not cleaning between every rep this time, and I am using 28kg. I am currently supersetting pullups as well. I may end up dropping pullups on heavy days as it is a lot of upper body work. For swings I do the dice roll and swing the 32kg. I am into my 5th week and am settling into the grind. I tell ya though, there is a certain sense of dread when it comes to rolling the dice on heavy day.

S&S is nice because it is flexible (aka if you miss a day it doesn't throw your week of training off), leaves you filled with energy, and doesn't take too much time. RoP is a more rigid schedule in terms of 3 days per week (don't miss a day because if you do you have to make it up and press back to back days) and after heavy and even medium days as the volume grows you are left needing a day off. But, the program delivers.
 
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Kozushi

More than 2500 posts
That is all very interesting. Now, in terms of results, what have you noticed? Do you look and feel different than with S&S?
 

rickyw

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Now, in terms of results, what have you noticed? Do you look and feel different than with S&S?
I would say...see my first post on the thread for the details ;)

But mainly..

For me, RoP has led to much greater upper body hypertrophy than S&S. Reaching the Simple standard gave me nice shoulders. RoP is giving me truly robust shoulders. Abs and upper back are looking even better, bigger, and more athletic as well.

However, if I didn't care about getting a 1/2 bodyweight press then I would stick with S&S for all around athleticism and GPP
 
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Kettlebelephant

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
S&S is nice because it is flexible (aka if you miss a day it doesn't throw your week of training off), leaves you filled with energy, and doesn't take too much time. RoP is a more rigid schedule in terms of 3 days per week (don't miss a day because if you do you have to make it up and press back to back days) and after heavy and even medium days as the volume grows you are left needing a day off. But, the program delivers.
I think that would be the number one reason why I love S&S so much!
I'm on a S&S-ish program with a lot of running and some added exercises to prepare for an OCR. I have a strict 5days schedule for this and it's hard to stay 100% with it. Training is important to me, but life gets in the way.
For example last week on wednesday I was at the university to study and in the evening I was meeting my friends to watch a soccer match. I had given myself a 2 hour window between that to train, shower and catch a little bit to eat. But then I come home and my girlfriend wants to go out to have diner. Like I said, training is important to me, but not so much that I'd choose it over spending time with my girlfriend, friends or family.
Missing a day on S&S is not an issue (unless it happens like 3-4 days in a row), but like @rickyw said, missing a day on RoP can throw off your whole week and subsequently lead to you not finishing the routine. This was almost always the ultimate factor why I switched programs or restarted them so often in the past, but managed to stay with S&S for over a year and still do a version of it.
That's also important to consider when choosing one program over the other.

Btw @rickyw more upper body hypertrophy even without added pullups in your RoP or did you notice it only during your third round with the pullups?
 

rickyw

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Btw @rickyw more upper body hypertrophy even without added pullups in your RoP or did you notice it only during your third round with the pullups?
I noticed some the 2nd time around without pull-ups, but I am seeing quicker changes this time around, both in areas worked more by the press and areas worked by the pull ups, which are all hollow position. I am using a heavier bell this time as well.
 

Kozushi

More than 2500 posts
Would it be safe to say that S&S is better for swinging muscles and ROP for pressing muscles?
 

Jan

More than 500 posts
I can definitely say that RoP is much more demanding then S&S. I went from S&S, where I did not reach Simple, to RoP as a prep for the SFG I in October this year in England, doing C&P with the 20 kg bell, snatch with 16kg and swings with 24kg. Last week I was very close to overtraining. My neck started hurting, a cold kept lingering on, general feeling of tiredness, depressed and no energy to start training. I am reverting back to S&S. There is still enough time to work towards the cert in October. I am currently trying to incorporate the Deep Six three times a week in the evening, so separate from S&S, which I do in the morning. Wait and see ...
 

Kozushi

More than 2500 posts
IMHO No.
The clean works the same muscles. On top of it you also work snatches and swings in the RoP.
Okay, so (since I haven't tried it myself) could I say that ROP is simply put more exercise that develops more strength but the tradeoff is that you have to put a lot more into it?
 

Kozushi

More than 2500 posts
I can definitely say that RoP is much more demanding then S&S. I went from S&S, where I did not reach Simple, to RoP as a prep for the SFG I in October this year in England, doing C&P with the 20 kg bell, snatch with 16kg and swings with 24kg. Last week I was very close to overtraining. My neck started hurting, a cold kept lingering on, general feeling of tiredness, depressed and no energy to start training. I am reverting back to S&S. There is still enough time to work towards the cert in October. I am currently trying to incorporate the Deep Six three times a week in the evening, so separate from S&S, which I do in the morning. Wait and see ...
I think I'm able by now to tell what overtraining feels like, and I seem to notice it even with S&S (at the 40kg level) when I don't take a day off here and there or when I add even just a few extras onto my daily workout. I'm learning that training just the right amount and no more is a delicate skill. It all looks easy on paper until you actually go through with it day in and day out and then all these things that seem like cool add ons end up resulting in overtraining.
 

Kozushi

More than 2500 posts
Here's a question then in this strain: is there any aspect of strength that is better developed through S&S than through ROP?
 

Kozushi

More than 2500 posts
Okay, something I think must be better about S&S is the daily TGU workout aiming for heavy weight - it's an all-direction resistance progression, something that isn't emphasized in ROP.

The major difference between the two programmes is between the TGU in S&S and the C&P in ROP because both programmes have swings or similar for the "other move". The C&P makes you stronger in the arms but the TGU must make you kind of "all round" stronger, which is I guess why so many folks here talk about "general preparedness" regarding S&S.

Steve, you wrote in another thread a while back how the TGU is only 20% of the S&S programme. Do you figure this is still true at heavier weights like the 40 that I'm on now? It's just that the TGUs take about the same amount of time to complete as the swings, and perhaps especially since they are done after the swings, while they are not as challenging, they are still quite challenging and definitely keep my heart rate up.
 

Questionfear

Double-Digit Post Count
I think whether the TGU or the C&P makes you stronger might also be dependent on the person. I can do 16kg TGUs but I didn't notice a huge uptick in my overall strength until I started doing 12kg C&Ps with Rite of Passage. The volume increases in ROP seem to really work well for me in terms of strength development. I would say this: I don't think I could have gotten anywhere with ROP without having Simple under my belt, but I think ROP is doing more for strength for me. Keep in mind I'm a 35 y/o female, so it's unsurprising that volume is the key for me to increase strength. It's (IMO) the same reason why my TGU shot up once I really owned swinging a 50lb kettlebell, because doing 100 heavy swings one handed hit a sweet spot for me in terms of volume and strength as well as conditioning.

So I'd say for me, it's not a case of which is better, it's a case of S&S being the foundation for ROP. I probably would be making decent progress just staying at heavy swings and TGUs, but I like the variety of volume (and the snatch days), plus I've been using the variety days to work through flexibility and mobility progressions, something I had a harder time integrating into S&S.
 

Kozushi

More than 2500 posts
I think whether the TGU or the C&P makes you stronger might also be dependent on the person. I can do 16kg TGUs but I didn't notice a huge uptick in my overall strength until I started doing 12kg C&Ps with Rite of Passage. The volume increases in ROP seem to really work well for me in terms of strength development. I would say this: I don't think I could have gotten anywhere with ROP without having Simple under my belt, but I think ROP is doing more for strength for me. Keep in mind I'm a 35 y/o female, so it's unsurprising that volume is the key for me to increase strength. It's (IMO) the same reason why my TGU shot up once I really owned swinging a 50lb kettlebell, because doing 100 heavy swings one handed hit a sweet spot for me in terms of volume and strength as well as conditioning.

So I'd say for me, it's not a case of which is better, it's a case of S&S being the foundation for ROP. I probably would be making decent progress just staying at heavy swings and TGUs, but I like the variety of volume (and the snatch days), plus I've been using the variety days to work through flexibility and mobility progressions, something I had a harder time integrating into S&S.
Thank you. That is interesting. Given I'm a 40YO male and I'm doing the S&S routine with a 40kg kettlebell I suppose I'm coming at this from a different perspective. I suspect I will always be able to TGU a heavier weight than C&P it. Also with swings, I can swing 40 or 48 kg bells but snatch them? Nope. So in my case because I'm able to lift a lot more weight with the S&S routine than I would be able to doing the ROP routine, I don't want to "take the plunge" and go back to 24kg as my workout weight. I think the amount of weight being lifted has an effect on how useful the two programmes are for what goals.

I'd have to think that TGUing a 40 a bunch of times is more exercise than C&Ping a 24, except regarding the bent arm strength aspect.

So, is it better to do S&S at 40 or 48 or better to do ROP at 24 or 32, for overall strength and conditioning?
 
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