S&S Results (so far)

Jason Paul

Level 3 Valued Member
Since this seems to be the "main" S&S results thread, I figured I'd post here. Sorry for the length.

A little background; my personal/home life is a train wreck right now, so I haven't been able to follow S&S to the letter. I started about six weeks ago, but workouts have been sporadic - and my log shows only 11 actual workouts. That said, I can see this is working well for me, and I hope to get closer to daily workouts.

Before S&S, I was on the PM from ETK. My TGU was 2-3 reps with the 24kg, and the remaining 2-3 (sometimes more) with the 16kg. For swings, I was doing clusters of (10, 15, 25) for 3-5 cycles, so 150-250 reps total, with the 24kg, all 2-handed. I was actually doing both the TGU and swings in the same workout, 2-3 times per week.

Also, My calories have been low for the past couple of months - partly on purpose (losing some fat), and partly because of stress (low appetite). I'm not overweight, but have lost about eight pounds since starting S&S (currently about 153 at 5'10"). I plan to bump the calories up and try to slowly build some muscle and minimize fat.

I started S&S using the 16kg for both drills, and pretty easily met the time goals (5 mins/100 1-hand swings, 10 mins/5 TGUs per side). I did this twice, and moved the swing up to 2-hand swings with the 24kg. About two weeks ago I started trickling the 24kg into the TGUs.

Some results / observations:


When I started using the 24kg for swings, they were all 2-handed. After a couple of sessions, I started doing 5L/5R, because my grip wouldn't allow me 10 reps per side. Each workout I would bump it a little (7L/7R). I slowly worked up to 10L/10R mixed in with 2-hand swings.

Last night I had my first night of all 1-hand swings, for all 100 reps. Just 11 workouts ago, I couldn't comfortably even get a full 10 reps with one hand. Now, I can do all 10 sets with one hand.


As I mentioned, I started using only the 16 for TGUs. I have slowly mixed in the 24kg, and last night my TGU workout was 16,24,24,24,16, so I used the 24kg for three reps.

I'm pretty happy with this progress, though it's nothing spectacular. Keep in mind I'm almost 43, have really only had 11 workouts, and have lost eight pounds - and my progress in both drills is positive, despite my home stress and the weight loss.

I have lost weight (lowered calories too). My waist has shrunk and I had to get new jeans (waist size from 34" to 31"). My shoulders look wider (narrower waist helps) and more muscular, although I'm sure they're actually smaller due to the weight loss. Also my abs/obliques feel significantly harder/denser.

Overall I'm very happy with my progress, and hope to get closer to 5-6 days a week from here on out.

I have always had a hard time making progress in my workouts. Presses have always been weak, I think partly due to a childhood shoulder injury. My legs have always been strongest, and my best (from memory) was 185 for 20 reps, or 255 for 5 reps. Still not particularly strong. I've never pressed over 100 pounds (barbell), benched maybe 135. I worked out for years and never really looked much different, or got much stronger.

I think this is working well for me (at least for now) because there are only two drills, I can do both of them without pain, and it takes less than 30 minutes. Also, limiting the swings to 10 reps feels better than trying to crank out sets of 25. And doing swings 1-handed adds another element entirely.

william bad butt

Level 6 Valued Member
Has anyone else noticed their forearms are starting to look like bowling pins?!!! Turning into a gorilla wasn't my intention when I started this program. On a serious note, I have actually had a few folks ask me if I was doing something differently. There may be a few more StrongFirst converts in the near future. Pavel thanks for the excellent book. It was exactly what I needed.


Level 2 Valued Member
@Eric, absolutely! I think my forearms have been the most noticeable change in  my physique. Grip strength and especially conditioning have gone off the chart. Today I managed to complete the simple goals. Didn't even plan it, just thought "what the heck," and was pleasantly surprised. I am still feeling the effects 20 minutes later!


Level 3 Valued Member
Thanks for replying Jim. I'm always interested in hearing about when pain comes on because in the case of muscular pain, there is usually another muscle that is failing to do it's job and/or a tissue that is restricted, which in turn makes a muscle work harder than it would otherwise. That's because it's either trying to avoid the range of motion that aggravates that tissue or taking over for the other muscle, so that the movement can be completed.  Of course, the muscle itself could just be damaged, but that would tie back to a single injury or accident typically. Now there are usually imbalances of some degree just because we give preference to one side or the other (right- or left-handedness), but they don't usually cause us pain because we learn to compensate so well, or the imbalances are just so slight for us to really notice. That's why I am intrigued by this pain, but I have to admit that the location is odd to me also. A few more questions, if you'll indulge me: you get the pain when you don't "stay tight". What do you really mean by staying tight and does it hurt doing the actual movement? Have you tried different grip positions (neutral, pistol, barbell, V or inverted V if you imagine you were swinging two kettlebells)? I'm just thinking about the rotation at your shoulder and how that may affect your pain. Again, can't diagnose you, but I'd like to know what you tried to address in the past for it.  When you talked about getting a therapeutic massage, I would point you towards a chiropractor who is an ART practitioner as well to see if you might have an alignment issue they can address on the spot. If you just want to talk directly, you can reach me at jgruginski at gmail dot com .  All the best - Joe


Level 2 Valued Member
Hey there everyone, longtime lurker  just stopping by to share my results with the S&S program. I've been on it consistently since the book's release and have made a lot of progress. I am in the process of transitioning to doing all of my Getups with the 32, should be there by the end of the month then I'll have to buy a 40! The 24 feels like a plastic toy now, which is ridiculous since 5/5 everyday with it was tough when I first got started with the program. I am still using mostly the 24 for swings, and will continue with that until I feel that I really own it, I don't want to rush and screw up my progress.

I also wanted to share a few of the things that have done that I feel have helped me a lot. Any feedback  is appreciated. Since I don't currently have a bell lighter than the 24(though I just made a t-bar so I'll be able to do 40 kg swings and lighter) what I've been doing on "off days" is swinging the 32 for sets of 5(for example I did 5x5 easy swings with the 32 on my last "off day") and partial Getups with the 32(to  elbow or hand). I know a lot of people on here floor press the bell at the beginning of the getup, which I do with the 24, but I've also been actively pulling the bell down at the end of the rep. I feel it's been beneficial, so just wondering if you guys have tried that.

As far as other lifts go, I haven't been doing any additional lifting, though I tested my deadlift a few weeks ago and did 1x 200lbs really easy(I weigh 170lbs), could've done more for sure but wasn't looking to push it, but it had never felt so light! today I was just messing around with the other kettlebell lifts and cleaned and military pressed the 24 twice L/R and felt like I had at least another rep or two in me each, and I snatched the 24 a few times, and it felt surprisingly light(previously I had only been using a 20kg bell for snatching). Not the most impressive improvements, but I was still bore try darn pleased considering I've only been doing swings and Getups! Thanks for this excellent program Pavel!

Sorry for rambling on, I just finished my practice session and I'm feeling super energetic.



Level 7 Valued Member
Are most folks having an easier time with the TGUs than the swings? It was the opposite for me, I feel like I probably could have done 10x10 with the 32kg on my first day with enough rest, but TGUs are still difficult for me.



Level 2 Valued Member
I can only speak for myself, but the Getups  have been much easier on me. I can meet the standards for the 24 on swings, but I haven't been timing myself and not ready to move up(though I did 1x10 32 in today's practice session), because I still don't feel like I own the weight.

Another thing I forgot to mention earlier is the benefits I've had from the goblet squats. By just doing the goblet squats I've been able to maintain my side splits, which was a present surprise!


Level 4 Valued Member
Did my first get-ups with the 24kg this evening :D  A month ago I was working with the 8kg and thought 24 was insane.  I love the way this movement is somewhat self-instructing after the initial phase go with an instructor.


Level 1 Valued Member
I am doing the S&S protocol for 1,5 weeks now. Managed to work 6 days with one day of rest.

The results in this short time are excellent. I have not been working out the last 2 months, and now already i see more leanness and feel like i'm able to walk though walls (just feeling it, not actually doing :) )

24kg swings with one hand, within the 5 min. (30 sec of work, 15-20 sec rest).

The get-ups are also within the 10 minute range. When i started the program i followed the weight directions, 24kg swing and 16kg get-up. I was already able to do 2-3 get-ups per side in a row with the 24, but since this was after swings, and the total should be 10 is started with 16. Last two workouts i did 16, 24, 24, 24, 16 so i am getting there.

My 32kg is expected to arrive today, so i am super excited to get home and give it a go.

I also notice the freshness after the workout, and surpisingly are also able to workout every day. When i happen to be a bit stiff or sore, i just do the warmup as prescribed en because of the prying all the stiffness and soreness is gone and i can just do my session for the day.

I'm very curious where it will take me, good gains / results so far, and the program feels like one i could follow for a while.


Power to you!

Stuart Elliott

Level 6 Valued Member
I'm in to my 6th week of S&S and been doing it 5 -6 times a week. Last week I managed to get my breathing down to 5 breaths between swing sets with the 24kg, yesterday I decided to time myself. Surprisingly the TGUs only took 8min 30, 10 x 10 swings took 5min 50. This morning I worked in the 32kg in to the TGU and it went up solidly, no wobbles. This really is a brilliant programme, I'm feeling so much stronger, fitter and with no fatigue. My whole body feels stronger and more powerful, literally from my big toe up!

brian d

Level 3 Valued Member
This is a great thread.  Though I must be honest, when I first started reading about people's experiences after a few weeks on S & S I thought, "no way, that's just not enough time to notice such things."

Of course I was getting the book no matter what.  I just waited a little bit as I passed it along to family members as a possible holiday gift for me.  My sister gave it to me, and I started it the day after Christmas.

I am now 4 weeks in.  I'm using the 32kg for both the swings and the get ups, and I get at least 5 sessions a week and sometimes 6.  I follow the warmup to the letter.  In the first two weeks I did notice some change in my grip, a harder butt, and maybe some new muscle in the upper back, and I was surprised.  I also noticed I dropped a few pounds.  For me this is not the goal, and I was a little disappointed.  I had just come off a nice 5 x 5 barbell program (zercher squats, deads, overhead presses, and weighted chins) and was bigger than I've ever been.  Unfortunately, the holidays and changing programs saw a loss of mass.  I know, most people don't lose weight over the holidays.

However, in the last couple of weeks I have put those few pounds back on.  And I'm leaner than I was in December, so I might even be up overall in the lean mass department.  My legs, butt, and back are bigger and harder.  My shoulders and forearms are more dense than they've ever been.  Triceps are bigger, too.

I will stay on the program at least until I own the simple standards.  Right now I can easily do the get ups in 9 minutes any day of the week.  My grip is the limiting factor on swings, and I can get them done in a little under 6 minutes.

I always knew I'd get a 40kg bell some day as that is my 1/2 bodyweight press bell.  Now I know I will get that as well as a beast.  If I can achieve the sinister standards, I'm not sure what else I'll need.

Thanks to Pavel and everyone else who worked on this project.  And thanks to everyone in the forums posting their thoughts, questions, and experiences.  I love reading them.

brian d

Level 3 Valued Member
Glad to hear it is the same with you, stan.

What I found interesting about it is that in the end of 2013 I was squating and deadlifting a lot.  So much that every week my wife would comment on the harness of my butt.  But S & S has only increased things.

I do love when you think you are in a really good place with something, and then you break through that and get somewhere even better.


Level 3 Valued Member
I hit the Simple goal for get-ups three weeks ago and have been putting in 2 reps of the 32 kg. But just last night I hit the Simple goal for swings. I had previously not been able to beat 5 min 16 sec for about two weeks, but I must've been feeling really good last night because I did it in 4 min 40 sec (maintaining the proper form and breathing too).

I was so excited, but I also realized that I'll be on the 32 kg for swings now...

Body results: for the first time in my life, I noticed I have some meat on legs. Also, all sorts of muscles in my fore and inner-side of my upper arms have decided to show up. And that my pecs stick out just as much as my abs now. S&S really seems to even your body out.
Top Bottom