S&S efficacy

Robert Noftz

Triple-Digit Post Count
After listening to the Max Shank interview that was shared it seems clear that Max Shank has some personal issues with Pavel and the people who chose to leave RKC and join him at Strongfirst. That is none of my business and becoming distracted by it won't help me grow stronger and more endurable. Sticking to my S&S routine will.


Whenever someone who is esteemed comes up with an interesting program, there will be others, that try to get exposure for themselves by challenging the leader. In this case Max took a shot at his former leader and the program he developed. Even though he didn't use the name S&S, he was obviously referring to it when he claimed that his own program is better.

After listening to his interview and reading the article it is clear that he was taking a shot at S&S. That being said, I don't think we need to be overly concerned about it. Max and the people who interviewed him are free to do their own thing and we are free to continue getting great results using S&S.

By focusing on swings and getups for several weeks I have made a great deal of progress in both. There is no doubt that my overall body strength and endurance, my (strength endurance) is improving dramatically. To top it off I can still go to my job at a factory and do light labor all day long without feeling tired or sore.

Speaking about Pavel's approach in general, there is a lot to be said for doing a little something everyday. I respect the fact that he has a degree in sports science and also years of experience. He presented that knowledge and experience in way that an amateur like myself can benefit from it. It makes sense for me to follow his advice. One thing I respect about the way Pavel writes his books is that he gives credit where it is due. He gives credit to the other professionals he has worked with and who have contributed to the program.

I think it is wise to follow the advice of an expert and I do not regret following Pavel's advice. When I say follow it, I really mean to do what he says and make a serious effort at it for some time. To do that it may be necessary to avoid distractions and stay focused. With that in mind I don't think I will waste any more time on those interviews. Listening to fitness business gossip won't help me along my journey, but following an intelligently designed program like S&S will.
 
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Sauli

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
After listening to the Max Shank interview that was shared it seems clear that Max Shank has some personal issues with Pavel and the people who chose to leave RKC and join him at Strongfirst. That is none of my business and becoming distracted by it won't help me grow stronger and more endurable. Sticking to my S&S routine will.


Whenever someone who is esteemed comes up with an interesting program, there will be others, that try to get exposure for themselves by challenging the leader. In this case Max took a shot at his former leader and the program he developed. Even though he didn't use the name S&S, he was obviously referring to it when he claimed that his own program is better.

After listening to his interview and reading the article it is clear that he was taking a shot at S&S. That being said, I don't think we need to be overly concerned about it. Max and the people who interviewed him are free to do their own thing and we are free to continue getting great results using S&S.

By focusing on swings and getups for several weeks I have made a great deal of progress in both. There is no doubt that my overall body strength and endurance, my (strength endurance) is improving dramatically. To top it off I can still go to my job at a factory and do light labor all day long without feeling tired or sore.

Speaking about Pavel's approach in general, there is a lot to be said for doing a little something everyday. I respect the fact that he has a degree in sports science and also years of experience. He presented that knowledge and experience in way that an amateur like myself can benefit from it. It makes sense for me to follow his advice. One thing I respect about the way Pavel writes his books is that he gives credit where it is due. He gives credit to the other professionals he has worked with and who have contributed to the program.

I think it is wise to follow the advice of an expert and I do not regret following Pavel's advice. When I say follow it, I really mean to do what he says and make a serious effort at it for some time. To do that it may be necessary to avoid distractions and stay focused. With that in mind I don't think I will waste any more time on those interviews. Listening to fitness business gossip won't help me along my journey, but following an intelligently designed program like S&S will.
I think, it's just bussiness. Strongfirst and Rkc are rival organizations. And they are using same methods and philosophies. Pavel is the greatest authority of kettlebell industry so Max Shank has to try something to balance scale to rkc side of coin. :)
Rivalries are part of this "culture". Before there was that Gs vs Hardstyle. Now we have hs vs hs vs gs. :)
I respect them all, they all have something to offer.
 

Sauli

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
I have met high level kettlebell athletes and hardstyle instructor and one thing is common. Their way is better way. Great persons and highly skilled individuals, but I believe that everybody has to learn to do their own way. We are all individuals with different bodytypes and goals...
 

Frank_IT

More than 500 posts
@Steve Freides, I know the good work you're doing here and there is absolutely no need for me to give advices to you, Sir, but please delete this post if any of its content breaks the rules or it's felt to be a denigration of any person's and/or party's work at any level.

I admit I didn't listen the podcast to its end, I had to stop at 33:36, because I had other things to do that prevented me from going further.

Until this point, the whole podcast seemed to me like three people taking free and, pass me the term, a lot of times very questionable shots not much to an organization (StrongFirst) but more to a single person (Pavel Tsatsouline).

Seriously, it seemed to me like "We at RKC are angels, and we've been since forever, Pavel left because is the evil in kettlebell training, and we'll explain you why. First of all, if you are with that guy, you have to stay with that guy.".

Well, just how about no (and I know profanity is rightly not well accepted in here, but would have dropped the famous f-bomb between "about" and "no"). If that was the case, how comes Mr. Neupert has his own material for sale on this website too? How comes Mr. Jon Engum's Flexible Steel method is always brought to the attention of the Forum and no actions are taken to block the contents? How comes the Original Strength system of Mr. Andersons and, again, Mr. Neupert shares the same treatment of Flexible Steel?
Yes, these people all share one thing: they are all StrongFirst's associates.
Something that is not true, though, for Mr. Levi Markwardt (which I talk about many times), Mr. Joe Daniels (again, quite the subject of discussion around here), Mr. Fedorenko and its associates (there are lots of videos of its athletes shared in here), and even the RKC organization (me personally, I stated in many post that having lessons with an RKC instructor is a high quality experience: never, not even once, have I been warned, asked or recommended to watch the subject of my posts, never).

I'm not taking parts here. I have no experience with the RKC or DD orginizations, I have direct experience with the StrongFirst organization in the form of personal meeting with SFGII and Team Leader level associates, and an informal chat with a Master SFG, I have correspondence experience with both Mr. Neuper and Mr. @aciampa (both guys are just indescribable down to earth and willing to help out in a manner that would never let you think these two are just very, very high caliber coaches, Mr. Ciampa in particular in my case), so yes, my preference for StrongFirst cannot be denied and I don't mean to do so. Still, given the fact that I think the Forum is quite a good part of the StrongFirst organization, I see nothing of what the three gentlemen are talking in there.

I want to point out that I have no links with any of the parties involved, I'm not formally a member of any of them. I don't know how Mr. Shank, Mr. Mhaler, Mr. Tsatsouline or anybody else conduct their business and, quite frankly, I have no interest in it. What I want to say is that this podcast was revealing things that I think were personal and should have remained so, and these informations were used to denigrate subjects that had no power to answer in that very moment.

This is completely training unrelated and I don't want to diminish anyone, just point out that I heard somenthing I did not like related to an organization that, through one of it's proponents, Alessandro Monari SFGII, SFL and a long time friend of mine, has changed my life for better.
 

Oscar

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
I have only been doing S&S for a month now, so I can't comment much on its results. What I can say from personal experience is that last year I struggled all year long with patellar tendinosis. I had a KB that I didn't use much, so I decided to give it a shot and bought S&S book. For some magical reason I was able to do the complete routine with the 16 kg without pain, and not only that but the pain went away for the rest of the day and for other activities as kitesurfing (which puts a fair amount of load on quads and patellar tendon). Last week I tried a 20 kg for a part of the routine and I was also able to do it as well, so I know I'll be able to progress on the program and increase weights.

So this much I can say: S&S is allowing me to carry out a program that on the long run is going to bring good results, in spite of my tendinosis problem, and its even helping with the tendinosis. That's more than enough for me and more than I can say of other programs.

I guess the strengthening of the posterior chain and core, along with correct alignment requirements of the overhead moves of the GU are making my knee work in the right alignment thus the pain going away.

Cheers!
 

305pelusa

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Could someone be so kind as to point me the time of the interview of these "personal shot"? I just listened to it for about 20 minutes and feel like the issues they bring up (military-like training, hierarchy of Senior RKC, not enough of a focus on movement instead of strength) were brought up in a very sincere and respectful manner.

Not trying to play Devil's Advocate or anything. Certainly not associated with either organisation either, just curious hehe
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
Thread moved to Not Training -> Everything Else. Now we're talking about a podcast in addition to an article.

I want to restate that these things don't concern StrongFirst - others' opinions are their concern, not ours.

If what others have to say in various articles and podcasts helps you, please continue reading and listening; if it upsets you, stop, and go pick up something heavy and put it down again - and repeat until strong.

-S-
 

Gary Music

Triple-Digit Post Count
Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
StrongFirst or the old RKC was not military like in its' training. I have never seen anyone told to say yes sir or mam in one of our certs and I have been involved in many certifications. Certainly no one is ever treated with any disrespect that would resemble a basic training like scenario. If you ever meet Pavel or any of our leadership team you will quickly realize that we are straight forward and expect professionalism but the idea we try to militarize our method is simply not true. I think this criticism comes from people who possibly have not had much military training.

I am retired from the military with 22 years so I know a little about military training. We do not follow a military like model. My martial arts organization is the same way little to no military influence. I do not think it is necessary for proper training. I am sure Pavel (Tsatsouline) would agree with this.

The other criticisms like strength over movement are simply opinionated observations of people who possibly do not understand that our philosophy is that strength comes from proper movement form. That is our method. Hierarchy of leadership is above my pay scale but I have always had great respect for out leadership. I know them all and consider them my brothers and sisters. :)
 

Pavel Macek

More than 2500 posts
Master Certified Instructor
We StrongFirst do not have "rivals". We focus on what we do, we practice, we teach, we honor the Code - both in our real life and "online life", and we strive for doing everything better and better. Period.
 

pet'

More than 5000 posts
Hello,

if it upsets you, stop, and go pick up something heavy and put it down again - and repeat until strong
Are you a soothsayer ? That is what I did ! I grabbed a 36kg and did my little jump for the get up ;) Happy to break my PR thanks to the good advices here !

So, thanks to S&S, slowly but certainly on my way to Solid. It does not matter what others can say about SF. It works for us, that is all. As you said "repeat until strong"

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

305pelusa

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
The other criticisms like strength over movement are simply opinionated observations of people who possibly do not understand that our philosophy is that strength comes from proper movement form. That is our method.
Oh. I guess the way I take Max's observation is that the premium is on strength (once again, with correct form) instead of movement at SF. That's why he says just Swings and GUs aren't enough. I don't think he's saying SF teaches just for strength, without regards for correct form.

Frankly, this is a subtle difference in philosophy, but important nonetheless. It's why his article recommends two extra movement patterns. Maybe it builds less strength because you've diluted your exercise, but it builds more movement patterns.

I think I understand where he's coming from.

As far as the military and hierarchy stuff, I am simply too ignorant on the subject and I trust your judgment. Max is hardly impartial hehe.

Thank you for the clarifications!
 

Gary Music

Triple-Digit Post Count
Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Oh. I guess the way I take Max's observation is that the premium is on strength (once again, with correct form) instead of movement at SF. That's why he says just Swings and GUs aren't enough. I don't think he's saying SF teaches just for strength, without regards for correct form.

Thank you for the clarifications!
305 I shortened your post a little but here is my response. I did not listen to the interview I just posted based on your post. Not interested in that interview really but I understand your interest in it. So my response is general in nature not specific to the interview.

Yes I get the more lifts and movement part of it. But the StrongFirst method is not simply S&S.

Remember Pavel's Simple and Sinister is a book method for anyone who buys the book. The idea is to keep the lifts at a minimum and expose the reader to a safe and simple plan to get started. Simple and Sinister is just the beginning to our method. So I also agree a few more lifts are better but not for your average reader of Simple and Sinister. I truly believe in the simple method especially if people are trying to learn this method on their own.

The ideal way to start in our method is to go to the StrongFirst kettlebell course. In the course you learn four lifts, get-ups-swings-presses-squat. But many start with Pavel's books which is fine, however there are pit falls to learning skill from a book. Pavel intentionally attempts to avoid this with a simple program with two lifts.

Hope this explains our method and I am sure you probably already realized much of this. :)
 

pet'

More than 5000 posts
Hello,

So I also agree a few more lifts are better but not for your average reader of Simple and Sinister
I consider a training and the method which is connected to it, as a toolbox.

In a toolbox, the more tools you have, the more problems you can solve. However, you have to know how the tools work to do a good job.

IMO, it is the same with training and moves. It is good to know a wide range of moves. Thus, you can vary your training in terms of strength, conditioning and so on, you can work with a bell, a barbell, with bdw, wherever and whenever. Nonetheless, if you do not do the moves correctly, you will no do a good training (bad results, injuries, etc...)

I think it is more or less "common sense" to begin with very few moves to build a strong athletic base. Then you develop this base thanks to new skills. To a certain extent, nobody forces you to learn 10 moves at the same. Then if you do not do something right, you can take a course. If you do not want to take this course, but do not get good results, or worse, get injured because you do rubbish, then it is "your own" responsability. You are adult, you make your own choices and accept the consequences.

Here, "you" mean everyone. There is no special target here !

Kind regards,

Pet'
 
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Gary Music

Triple-Digit Post Count
Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Pet not sure I follow you on your post. sorry.

Everyone would be better off going to the StrongFirst Kettlebell Course to start their kettlebell training. No exceptions even students being trained by a StrongFirst Certified Instructor benefit greatly going to this course. We are often hosted by StrongFirst facilities to teach the course to their students. This by the way is a very professional attitude by the host facility owner.

I have seen this over and over again teaching the StrongFirst Kettlebell Course. Everyone walks away with better form and stronger. :)
 

Stephen Reynolds

Triple-Digit Post Count
@Stephen Reynolds, we have to watch out for the slippery slope here. Calling Max's article a cheap shot is something of a cheap shot itself, in my opinion. Max Shank is a gifted athlete and experienced teacher. We do not need to speak ill of him here or anywhere, even if only to say we don't care for what he says about swings and getups .

Nowhere does Max's article cite S&S by name. There may, in fact, be people doing only swings and getups in a way that isn't as productive as S&S is and, for those people, Max's approach is perhaps, in fact, better. Do we know any of this - who he's addressing, what he's addressing specifically - for sure? No.

IMHO, the best thing we can do is not to get distracted by those we perceive as questioning or putting down what we do - we don't need to read those articles in the first place (I never do, except when they get mentioned here). I mean no disrespect to those interested in discussing this, but doing so doesn't make any of us here stronger or better in any other way, at least in my opinion.

-S-
So noted. Thanks.
 
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