S&S By-The-Book & the warm-up

Michael Corrales

Level 3 Valued Member
I find the warm-up in S&S challenging!!  I just started working the program as exactly by-the-book as I can.  I don't favor warm-ups and like to jump into the "meat" of workouts quickly.  I usually have some nervousness or anticipation of the main event because I typically push pretty hard and try to hit a PR, make some progress, or at least focus on some key technique aspect.

I tried not to rush the warmup today and "explore the movements" [Dan John].  I got a bit of a sweat during the 3 sets of 3 warmup drills and actually a bit tired.  I found some "hip stuff" during the goblet squats that's been slightly bugging me the past year or so and explored some shoulder range of motion  in the halos.  The SF Hip Bridge is actually neurologically taxing for me as I try to follow the queues in the book [grip the ground with your toes...].

Anyway, I'm shooting for the "simple" goal first of owning 32kg x's 100 swings and 10x's TGU's.  Will give it a good, focused, try for the next 6-8 weeks at least.  Working for some body composition changes [carrying too much fat].

I'd love to hear about anyone else's experiences with the warmup.  Even if you just get it done in 5 min, skip it for whatever reason, or spend some quality time there....


Level 4 Valued Member
I take an "40 day" approach to it and use a weight that *just* feels moderate.  In this case, 26 lb. halos and double 26 front squat.


Level 1 Valued Member
I've made more adjustments to the warmup than I expected in the past 12 weeks. When I'm not feeling it I prefer to shorten the warmup as opposed to the swings and getups.

My swings and getups have progressed pretty much as expected, and I'm now working in the 32 kg.

The goblet squats I've had to adjust the most, from longer to shorter, I tend to do fewer of longer duration, and have found they feel better with 24 kg than 16. I recall that Pavel posted a few weeks ago to use the same KB as your swings are on.

I started halos with 16, which was okay. When I moved down to 12 kg and I found I could concentrate more on the mobility behind my head. I keep toying with going back up to 16 kg, but they feel good at 12 and I figure the getups do plenty for my shoulders.

Michael Corrales

Level 3 Valued Member
James- double 26lbs front squat would give me way too much to think about.  I've been working 16kg for halos and goblet squat.  And it's enough for now.  And in the gob sq, working my elbows in the inner quad per the book to spread the pelvis.  double fr sq has a bunch of other stuff going on beyond gob sq...at least for me.

Kash Morrow

Level 2 Valued Member
I have not been doing the warmup like I should or the stretches after. At most, I do 3X5 goblet squats, with no hip bridge and no halos. I plan on incorporating them in starting this week. I've gotten pretty strong but am not happy with my lack of...mobility/flexibility. I guess you would call it that. Ive noticed my sides have gotten tight. For the last few workouts: 100 1H swings (10X10) with the 44kg and TGU's with the 32kg. Really happy with increase in strength. Maybe the increase in strength with the loss in flexibility is a trade off though. Maybe I'd didn't have it(flexibility) to begin with. I just started the recharge exercises in Pavels Resilient DVD, which are great by the way, and have realized that strength without flexibility, or lack of fluid movement, is not...optimal.  Historically, for me, the exercises or workouts that Pavel has recommended have either made me stronger (S&S), or fixed some issues that I've had. Chronic shoulder pain from a bull riding injury 25 years ago is gone now due to implementing TGU's  and recurring neck pain from a career ending high school football injury (wow, 30 years ago!)  went away completely after several months of using some  exercises in his book Super Joints every day.   Knowing that Pavel is not a huge fan of warmups, there must be a good reason that he included them in the program.  I'm guessing the additional time spent doing them will be worth it.

Kash Morrow

Level 2 Valued Member
Bill: I missed Pavels response or post on goblet squats with same bell as swings. Was there any more said about that or was that it?



Kash Morrow

Level 2 Valued Member
Michael: you quoted Dan John above. I don't know if you follow his forum, but there's a couple conversations on there now talking about implementing the pelvic tilt and barbell and bodyweight hip thrusts. Similar to SF Hip Bridge? I don't enjoy doing them. My hamstrings tend to cramp. They just aren't fun. I need to do them.

Michael Corrales

Level 3 Valued Member
Kash-  Thanks for the pointer to Dan's forum.  Have not been there in a while.  Will check out that discussion.

I dislike [should read HATE :) ] the SF Hip Bridge....messes with my mind big time & body even though I am committed to following the program to see what I learn.  But did not want to be too negative.  Would prefer just to jump into swings and use the 1st swing set as my warm up...

I kind of think I've got some glute "amnesia" I need to work through since I sit so much during my work commute and desk job.  Thinking the Hip Bridge juts reminds me about movement skills I've lost.  I'll try to "Enjoy the Pain" and try to stick with the program as written for a few weeks at least.

Michael Corrales

Level 3 Valued Member
I forgot to add...that I did modify the program just slightly.  I'm following the program EXACTLY per my read of the book and relevant forum posts but did add 15-20 sec of bridging when I can as a 4th drill to the warmups.  Bridging for me feels amazing to the wrists, shoulders, hips, and in general, the whole body.  So, that's the only change I've made.  Totally committed to hitting 32kg 1 arm sings & TGU's following the program as written plus some bridging.

Kash Morrow

Level 2 Valued Member
Michael: glad you mentioned bridging. Not sure why I'm not doing that anymore. You're  right, it feels great! With how good some of the Resilient exercises are making me feel, I'm going to really try to spend some time bridging and on them from now on.  Have been training for TSC.  Once that's over, I'll really try to fix the areas that I'm lacking in mobility and flexibility.

brian d

Level 3 Valued Member
Hey Michael,

I spent 6 weeks doing S and S by the book.  I used the 32kg and ended up hitting the simple standards (TGU's came easily, swings took me a little longer).

When I started the warm up it would take me over 15 minutes.  I was using a 24 kg for the squats and a 12 kg for the halos.  I had to go slow on all the drills, and they even left me a little tired.  I was surprised on that, as I was coming off another program that left me feeling good and strong.

After two weeks I was d0ing the warmup much more efficiently, and I don't think I was compromising anything.  My body just got better at it, and the benefits seemed to by piling up.  I also moved up to the 32 kg for squats and the 16 kg from halos.

For the 6 weeks I did S and S I never felt better.  I think is do to both the actual workout and the prescribed warmup.  So why'd I switch?  Didn't want to purchase a new bell just yet, so I'm revisiting the ROP with the weights I have.  But I am really considering purchasing that 40 and getting back to it sooner rather than later.

My advice would be to stick with it, no matter how long it takes, and enjoy the ride.  Good luck hitting the simple goals.

Michael Corrales

Level 3 Valued Member
Good input Brian.  I'll stick with it.

I know what you mean about investing in bigger bells.  32kg is my max bell at the moment.  When I was working max press with ETK, I'd tie two together to get beyond 32kg.  Center of gravity got messed up a little, but it worked.

I was also surprised that I thought I was conditioned from another program and the "warmup" was not super easy.


Founder and Chairman
Master Certified Instructor
Michael, the particular "warm-up" is a critical part of the S&S plan but at some point you may make small changes.  The bridge can go if your hip flexors are flexible and your glutes pop easily on each swing.  The goblet squat must stay.  The halo can eventually be replaced with an arm bar.

Kash, I am not a fan of barbell glute bridges.  You get same same contraction with less hassle and a whole lot of other benefits in properly done swings and deadlifts.


Level 6 Valued Member
It takes me about eight to ten minutes depending upon how much time I spend at the bottom of the Goblet Squats.  I really should spend more time on the GS moving and prying.

I don't mind the warm up at all.

I have added chin ups after the warm up before the Swings and TGUs, though.

Michael Corrales

Level 3 Valued Member
Thanks Pavel for the input!

> Michael, the particular “warm-up” is a critical part of the S&S plan but at some point you may make small changes....

Thanks all for your insights as well.

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