Question S&S Overtraining Question

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Josh Sanford

Level 4 Valued Member
Strongfirst community,

I have a question about overtraining when first starting S&S. I am currently on the practice phase in S&S book, where I am practicing swings and get up technique. It says to practice everyday after the mobility in sets of 5 to 10 on two hand swings and in sets of 5 for the roll to elbow stage of the get up. I've been doing this for a few weeks now, mostly everyday with an occasional day off.

I was wondering if anyone could tell me if it's normal at this stage to experience a lot of soreness and tightness as my body learns how to recover day to day. I feel like I'm only getting more sore after every session and my muscles feel extremely tight, especially my hamstrings and upper back.

Is this part of the process of adapting, or should I not be getting quite that sore? I am currently using a 16kg for swings and 8kg for get ups, so I don't think the weight is too high. I'm also doing the prescribed stretches as well as some stretches from Relax into Stretch.



Level 6 Valued Member
Welcome Josh!

I'll give you the standard advise to seek out a SFG in person or online or at the very least post a video here.
Tightness and soreness are usual experiences when you pick up a new routine or exercise. Your body simply has to adapt to the new stimulus first and only after that those sensations will fade, but tightness and soreness can also be the result of poor/wrong technique or overuse and therefore can be an indicator of injury or future injury.
We can only guess what kind of soreness and tightness you have.
Because of that meeting with a SFG is important. He/she will help with your technique and make sure you're not doing any harm to yourself.

Josh Sanford

Level 4 Valued Member

That all makes sense. I will definitely look into meeting with an SFG then. I want to strengthen my body, not harm it, and I know simple and sinister done right will be a great way to do that.

Thanks for the advice!

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Agreed, time with an SFG will be will be well worth it! Meanwhile take a couple of days off, then try a session with just shoe get-ups (also time well spent) and kettlebell deadlifts instead of swings, and make sure everything feels OK.

Keep at it, and let us know how it goes!

Steve Freides

Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@Josh Sanford, welcome to the StrongFirst forum.

Nothing is more important than good judgement. You’re far better off increasing too slowly as compared to increasing too quickly and becoming either injured or discouraged by your soreness.

Please share (as suggested elsewhere on our forum) a bit of background about yourself: age, sports/exercise/injury history, any current things you’re not supposed to do, etc. Please also tell us what brought you here and what you hope to accomplish.


Josh Sanford

Level 4 Valued Member

Thank you, it's great to be here. That makes sense, I certainly agree. I was wondering if the problem could just be that my body isn't ready for training everyday, no matter what the weight.

I am 23 years old. There's nothing I am currently not supposed to do, but I have experienced a bit of neck and shoulder stiffness over this past year so some exercises don't feel like they used to. There has not been any pain though, just annoying discomfort. I am in college so I have to do a lot of sitting down and looking down, so I assume it's mostly from that. I was hoping swings and get ups would help strengthen and mobilize any imbalances that are attributing to the stiffness, and so far they have given me improvement. But maybe training everyday as prescribed in S&S isn't the best path for me yet.

What brought me here is the desire to be healthy and strong for many years to come. I know StrongFirst is a leader in strength training and I can learn a lot here. I have already learned so much from reading many of Pavel's books. I would love to get to the point of doing double kettlebell training as in Return of the Kettlebell.


Level 4 Valued Member
@Josh Sanford : Welcome to the forum!
I think it can not be said enough: try getting in touch with an SFG instructor. Although the book is clearly laid out, there are so many details in both the swing and TGU movement, that oral instruction is more than adviced.
Good luck on your journey :)


Level 6 Valued Member
Welcome @Josh Sanford ! I had a similar experience, feeling sore even with light weights and low volume. For you to have an idea, at a given time I had to cut back to 4x10 swings with 14 kg and 4 TGU with 14 kg. This was about 4 months ago I think. In the last 4 months I slowly increased to 10x10 swings and 10 TGU, and I'm now starting to include some sets with 25 kg. I rarely feel sore this days, no matter how many sets with the 25 Kg I include. I'm 34 yo and I wasn't in a particularly bad shape when I had to reduce volume.

So maybe you just have to cut back the volume to something you can recover from in a reasonable manner. I wouldn't recommend you do it as I did as it wasnt exactly by the book, but you get the idea. I had to adapt to lack of time and lack of sleep since I have an 8 month baby.

As Pavel Macek said above, I aimed for minimum soreness. Maybe some more soreness is acceptable the first few weeks, but from then onwards I would aim for minimum.

Let us know how it goes, and you can consider starting a log here. That helped me a lot also.
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