S&S, Naked Warrior, Walking and Judo

Discussion in 'Training Logs' started by Kozushi, Oct 16, 2016.

  1. Kozushi

    Kozushi More than 2500 posts

    Below are thoughts from long ago. They aren't my current thoughts. Also, I have gotten right back into judo and kendo. I think it was an idiotic error to have stopped them, which I greatly regret, and I won't stop them again. No amount of solo training replicates the thrill of training with other people, the friendships you get, and the fighting skills.


    I stopped judo (and some other martial arts) late 2015 since I have a big family to care for and a demanding career. I had to find a way to stay fit, strong, healthy, ready for physical labour (chopping down trees or thick bushes, trekking to work through deep snow, portaging canoes, etc), and ready to fight if necessary (including bears and dogs if needed), to replace judo. I had bought quite a number of different dumbbells and even a few kettlebells over the years, and I have a chinup bar and a home made dipping station. I was in a hurry to find out how to stay in fighting trim with the equipment I had at home or could purchase for my home. I decided to focus on kettlebells because they most resemble carrying real things around. I had no idea what I was doing so I did workouts with over 30 different kinds of exercises in them, daily. I got sore and bored with this fast and cut out a lot of them, leaving about 15 or so exercises (I forget exactly how many now). I wanted to find out how to cut the whole thing down to as few as possible but had no idea what to do. I also forget how, but I came across Pavel Tsatsouline's name as the father of the kettlebell in North America (I'm a proud North American (specifically Canadian, but I feel kinship with all of the Americas)) and looked at what books he had on Amazon. The current "go-to" book seemed to be "Simple and Sinister" so I bought it and was utterly shocked to find that it had only two major movements, the swing and the Turkish get up. Anyhow, I started his programme in January or February of 2016, and eventually went back to judo one last time in June before the club closed due to the sensei moving away. Hilariously, I found myself having improved more at judo in those 6 months of no judo and only kettlebells than I had ever improved before in my life. I was doing things in judo I had only seen in videos previously. I was very happy about this and I decided to learn more from Strongfirst through these forums and by buying several other Pavel books.

    I hope by starting this training blog thread that I can get some help and advice from others here.
    Last edited: May 30, 2017
  2. Kozushi

    Kozushi More than 2500 posts


    This is hard to figure out!

    I suppose I want to stay in fighting and good looking trim and good health.

    Pavel's books talk about developing and maintaining both fighting and practical labour strength on top of regular physical health. He understands my needs perfectly. Basically, I need some kind of routine that keeps me strong and fit. I don't care about becoming a Hercules, but I do want to be fit and strong like my agriculturalist and fur trading ancestors are reputed to have been. So, I suppose this means that I am not necessarily interested in pressing half my body weight or in necessarily moving up to the "Beast" 48kg bell for the S&S programme. Also, I want some kind of fairly regular, hopefully more or less daily routine to follow and enjoy. So I guess I want a daily "base programme" but then on top of that several optional things to do for variety and for utility as the spirit moves me.

    Currently I do the S&S programme almost daily with the 32kg bell. I also frequently go for a walk or a hike for about an hour a day. I like to wear a weighted backpack as it feels better, and it's better exercise, and it's classic Canadian culture to walk or hike around with a backpack. The outdoors, even in the cities in this country are just spectacularly beautiful! I did a lot of this kind of exercise over the summer months this year to very good effect. I experimented with the Naked Warrior programme over the summer too for two months, and found it kept me in good shape and very strong, with the exception of my lower back, which even pullups didn't help. I think the lower back is terrifically important in whole body strength, so I think lifting real weights is necessary to be truly strong. We have hands to pick things up with - lifting weights is part of nature. Naked Warrior is for when I don't have access to my weights. I'll also add that doing only S&S is plenty good enough to maintain my NW strength: whenever I test the one arm pushup and pistol squat I find that I'm better at them while doing S&S than I was while only doing the Naked Warrior "Grease the Groove" system. NW is unneccesary if I have my kettlebells around, but it's a near replacement for S&S when I am away from my kettlebells and I'm very thankful to Strongfirst for inventing the NW system for exactly this reason! VERY COOL!
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
    Frank_IT likes this.
  3. Kozushi

    Kozushi More than 2500 posts


    I came upon the Enter the Kettlebell book in September 2016 and get super excited about what appears to be a more intense programme by Pavel for Kettlebells called "Rite of Passage". After asking for advice on these forums I learned that in fact the Simple and Sinister (S&S) programme and the Rite of Passage (ROP) programme are considered to be alternatives and neither is supposed to be objectively speaking "better" than the other. However, I was advised by a senior member of the forum to eventually return to the S&S journey once having achieved the ROP protocols. So, this will be my plan.
    Frank_IT likes this.
  4. Kozushi

    Kozushi More than 2500 posts


    Given that I want to maintain good fighting trim with some kind of near daily routine, the idea of switching from one programme to another and then back again seems odd. I'd think that when I stop doing a certain exercise, then I will lose the muscles and conditioning for it, and it's like I never even did it to begin with. On the other hand, speaking specifically, dropping the Turkish get ups for clean and presses is the only major change from S&S to ROP, and I have to say that clean and press movements feel a lot better to me and are easier in terms of the concentration and thought involved. They also are not dangerous like how TGUs seem to be as the danger of dropping the weight on my head is everpresent while doing TGUs. Also, for some reason I have never liked making my body horizontal for strenuous exercises - ah, that must be common to all humans as being upright is our natural posture.

    To me the TGU is a way trickier and much more evil exercise than the clean and press. I don't at all see how one would see a "progression" by leaving it for the clean and press. The TGU is pure evil. That's about it. No two ways about it. It threatens to kill you all the way through if you mess up even slightly, and it keeps your body under strain the whole time with no chance of relief, and it makes your heart pump real good for real long. Having said that, it seems the clean and press exercises at least the upper body more, and more strongly, and more easily, so therein lies its efficiency. But, the TGU is a much more intelligent thing, like an entire Karate kata instead of just a karate punching drill. I don't know about all this. It would seem to me to be stupid to do one and not the other. Or, maybe I'm just stupid. Anyhow, I can't help but want to train both of these brilliant exercises every day.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2016
    Michael Scott likes this.
  5. Kozushi

    Kozushi More than 2500 posts


    The idea that I can exercise my whole body in one movement fascinates me. The clean and press movement covers the entire body's major muscle groups. That's fascinating! It has a big push and a big pull involved.
  6. Kozushi

    Kozushi More than 2500 posts


    I don't like the feeling of the bell wanting to slip through my fingers on the heavy single handed swings.
  7. AttilaThePun

    AttilaThePun Triple-Digit Post Count

    Good luck with ROP, once the volume gets going it's tough!
    Mirek likes this.
  8. Kozushi

    Kozushi More than 2500 posts

    I'm still having some very serious misgivings about giving up my daily S&S workout which has become my religion. It's simple, safe (in terms of not overstraining the shoulders), develops my body beautifully, develops very functional strength, and has the added fun of making me get strong and stronger and moving up in kettlebell weights. I don't think the C&P is a better exercise than the TGU. I still consider myself a martial arts / combat sport guy and the all-directions strength the TGU bequeaths me is much more valuable than just "up" strength. On another thread someone suggested I throw in a cycle from ROP into my daily workout. I did just that today and felt very good about it. I did it (including the chinup ladder) before S&S and I felt very satisfied about that. My TGUs were a bit harder to do as a result, but that's fine. Afterwards, I did a bunch of ORM C&Ps with the 32kg bell.

    I've worried about losing my NW strength but whenever I test the OAPU and the pistol squat, I'm better these days at these exercises than I was when I was focusing on them and not doing kettlebells. So, I think they are unnecessary while I have access to my kettlebells. Why my pistols are still in good order is the good old "what the hell" effect of kettlebell swings I guess, and why my one armed pushups are fine is due to the TGU. When I move up to 40kg for my TGU I imagine the OAPUs will just get easier and easier.

    I'm not sure if I care about progressing to 48kg for the S&S. I guess it'll happen if I eventually find the 40kg too easy, but I'm in no hurry to get there. The 32kg keeps me in perfectly good condition already.

    I liked how things went today so I think I'll continue with an ROP cycle or maybe more than one, daily, to add onto my S&S workouts. I think the pullups will help with my one handed swings and my presses and TGUs - they aren't to be dispensed with, unlike the OAPU which like I said I think is superfluous given all my other training at this time.

    Another exercise I'm not sure about is the snatch. I'm eager to challenge the snatch test of 200 snatches in 10 minutes (well, I'll start with just 100 in 5 minutes). The snatch is clearly harder work than the swing, and it's more technical, but it's frankly less "brute strength". I'd think it would be more beneficial to swing a 32kg or a 40kg than to snatch a 24. To me the TGU is more "intelligent" than the C&P in terms of a "big push" movement as the snatch is more intelligent than the swing, but while the TGU can be done with a heavier weight than the C&P can be done with, it's the opposite truth for the snatch versus the swing.

    I never thought weightlifting would be so theory-involved!
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
  9. Kozushi

    Kozushi More than 2500 posts

    The routine I've setled into is one cycle of ROP with the 24kg (ladders of 5) followed by S&S with the 32kg bell. So:

    1. Clean and Press (ladder of 5) with the 24kg
    2. Chinups (ladder of 5)
    3. 3X5 prying goblet squats with the 32kg
    4. 10X10 single armed kettlebell swings with the 32kg
    5. 5X2 turkish get up with the 32kg

    This seems to be accelerating my progress in S&S actually, and the ROP stuff with the lighter weight is working as a nice warmup for S&S also.
    Michael Scott likes this.
  10. Kozushi

    Kozushi More than 2500 posts

    The C&P helps develop strength for one armed swings with the 32.
    The chinups help with grip strength for the swings and with stabilization strength for keeping the bell overhead for the TGU.

    My S&S strength and endurance is definitely improving RAPIDLY. If I find my pressing strength is also increasing, I'll stay on this routine until both the ROP and Sinister goals are met.

    Both ROP and S&S fascinate me and I want them both at once!
  11. Kozushi

    Kozushi More than 2500 posts

    Naked Warrior is excellent. I did that over the summer while away from home. It doesn't just keep me fit but very strong. Unfortunately, there are a few parts of the body it misses: calf muscles, lats, lower back. Calf muscles - who cares? If you walk around that engages your calfs, so really, who cares? Lats, again, not a big deal, but as the book says - look for a chinup bar somewhere; I was able to find many of these so that was no problem at all. It's the lower back part that's hardest to do. I couldn't find anything heavy enough to deadlift. So, my lower back muscles got very weak and I developed some back pain too. Next time I'll figure out SOMETHING to do for some kind of "big pull" movement. I don't know what I'd do yet though. :(
  12. Kozushi

    Kozushi More than 2500 posts

    As of yesterday I cut out all the other crap and just did S&S, but I moved up in weight to the 40kg bell. I did the swings two handed, which actually felt fairly easy to do. The TGUs were at a more respectable level of challenge for me, so I think moving up to 40kg was overdue for a while. I'm definitely ordering the 48kg bell as I can see myself owning the 40kg pretty quickly. As for ROP, if I'm swinging the 40kg bell single handed I can't imagine the 200 snatch test with the 24 in 10 minutes will give me any problem, and as for the 48kg C&P test, if I'm doing the TGU with the 48, it wouldn't be long before I could press it once. Also, for my Naked Warrior skills, the S&S programme with the 32kg bell is enough to keep me strong enough to do pistols and one armed pushups, let alone with the 40 or 48.

    When I achieve Sinister I'll look around for some kind of Strongfirst certification, as I think I'll be able to handle it no problem.

    Basically, S&S rules.
    Michael Scott likes this.
  13. Al Ciampa

    Al Ciampa Quadruple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    @Kozushi why don't you post some video of your technique with the heavier bells and NW skills?
  14. Kozushi

    Kozushi More than 2500 posts

    Because I'm a bit behind the times with the cellphone revolution. I've got my PC and that's about it. What I think I'll do is get a friend at some point when they happen to visit and perhaps borrow their technology. When I can do the whole thing with the 48, since that's the goal of the programme, I'll certainly want to show off on these forums! I'm proud of getting to 40kg, but that's still an absolute joke compared with what you guys can do.
  15. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Senior Certified Instructor

    +1 - posting video in your training log is a time-honored method here for getting some excellent - and free! - feedback.

  16. Kozushi

    Kozushi More than 2500 posts

    Okay, a warrior pushup coming in a few minutes. Then I can show that even though I'm a hack, I'm a pretty earnest hack.
  17. Kozushi

    Kozushi More than 2500 posts

    Although maybe I should be cautious about giving away my identity to the German military... hmmm... :)
  18. Kozushi

    Kozushi More than 2500 posts

    Hope this works!
  19. Kozushi

    Kozushi More than 2500 posts

    Just 4 fun, here is a video of me showing my favourite judo throw.
    kiwipete likes this.
  20. Kozushi

    Kozushi More than 2500 posts

    My daughter is as much a jokester as I, which explains the background "music". I actually train in silence. The kettlebell is a "bulldog" 40kg.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2016

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