S&S - Why 16,24,32 bells?

Discussion in 'Kettlebell' started by Nacho, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. Nacho

    Nacho Triple-Digit Post Count

    I have 18,22,26 and 32kg competition bells because some years ago I got a good deal of them.
    It has always irritated me a bit that I have these funny sizes (and a competition models) and so I ordered a classic 16,24,32 set of hardstyle bells. (Which I dont have yet)

    Ever since I finally decided to order the new set, I have realized how much simpler it will make my choise of bell size for every given exercise, but I also have realized that having 4kg jumps available made do some bad decisions during the program.

    1. When the jump to the next bell is smaller, it`s tempting to start using a heavier bell sooner than you could with "By the book" bells. Even if you can pass the time standards, it`s intended to spend more time until you really own the bell and rather change the way you use the bell instead of chasing numbers. Very slow get ups etc...

    2. Light days tend to not be as light, because you can go 4kg lighter instead of 8kg.

    I think having bells with 4kg jumps between them is good, if you really know how to use them, but I think it might be harmful also, because overall its pretty easy to keep going too hard on average.
    Lee, Billy59, Bunn and 1 other person like this.
  2. Bauer

    Bauer More than 500 posts

    Interesting train of thought!

    Personally I like the idea of just having a few bells. Less decisions to make and more time practicing before moving up. And more space available at home. And less hassle when moving somewhere else.

    A lot of the newer SFG plans on the homepage work with 4 kg or even 2 kg jumps which irritates me a bit. I do not plan do have every bell from 12 to 48 kg in 4 kg jumps.
  3. Oscar

    Oscar Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Interesting thought.

    When I was progressing from 24 to 32 I had lots of issues. I went back and forth many times over a period of 3 months. I could do the time standards pretty easily so I dont think I was rushing to 32. I then bought a 28 and progressed smoothly from 24 to 28 and then to 32.

    From my experience, 8 kg jumps are too extreme. The 28 helped me progress in S&S, and i can't imagine progressing from 24 to 32 in presses and snatches.
  4. Nacho

    Nacho Triple-Digit Post Count

    I was referring only to S&S and my own experience. Snatching and pressing might be different... Even though ETK does recommend 16,24,32 set also if I remeber correctly.
    This isn`t very simple and there are lots of variables for sure.
  5. Sircaledon

    Sircaledon Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    In my experience, the only intermediate bell I use is 20kg, that seems to be my 'technical' weight. More comfortable for me for light and techinc days than 16kg, that I use only when I fell in very bad days. I never had great issues jumping from 24kg to 32, because when I felt very comfortable with 24, adding one, than two etc.. with 32 comes natural.

    My experience. ( sorry for my bad English)
    Billy59 likes this.
  6. GeoffreyLevens

    GeoffreyLevens Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    My experience is that for most things, 8 kg jump leads to minor injuries and lack of progress. I currently own 12, 16, 20, and 24 kg. Bought the 20kg after S&S struggling for nearly a year w/ the 24 and never owning it. about 2 years ago and never regretted it.
    LejonBrames, Billy59 and Oscar like this.
  7. Brett Jones

    Brett Jones StrongFirst Director of Education Staff Member Master Certified Instructor

    The "traditional" set from history in Russia was the one pood, 1.5 pood and 2 pood or 16, 24, and 32kg—hence the "standard recommendations."
    When I got started with KBs in late 2001 and certified in Feb. 2002 that was still the standard set (with an 8kg, and 12kg being added).

    Pavel explains the benefits in this article:
    6 Reasons for the Leaps Between Kettlebell Sizes | StrongFirst

    Obviously there are now many "tweener" KBs—I find the 36kg to be a very useful KB and other clients really like the 20kg etc....
    It is up to the individual to choose wisely.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
    Kiacek, Shawn90, Mark Kidd and 3 others like this.
  8. Kozushi

    Kozushi More than 2500 posts

    If you have the money and space then move up by 2kg increments if you like.

    My S&S swings are at 32kg and the TGUs at 40kg and it has been like this for me for years. I've plateaued. I expect swinging a 36kg bell would be doable and help me to bridge the gap. But then again, "who cares?" I can do a few sets with the 40kg if I really want to and then work up to all with it eventually. I just don't really care as I'm busy enough with judo etc.
  9. Shawn90

    Shawn90 More than 500 posts

    Interesting :)

    Now define "owning a bell " ?
  10. Nacho

    Nacho Triple-Digit Post Count

    Im thinking of being able to hit the time standards easily with the last rep being as good as the first one and being able to do the same thing the next day.
    If you hit the standards with the form getting a bit poorer til the end and heart rate up in the sky, you dont really own the bell but it might be tempting to start using 4kg heavier. Cant do it with 8kg...
    Shawn90 likes this.
  11. Shawn90

    Shawn90 More than 500 posts

    I would only add Breath Mastery, one of the last chapters. 5 breaths per 10 reps times 10 sets, under 5 minutes daily for a week.
  12. Oso Rojo

    Oso Rojo Double-Digit Post Count

    I personally follow the stress/adaptation cycle theory which requires a continually increasing stress on the body to maximize the body's rebuild and adaptation. I find that smaller increments let me much better continue to apply the minimal effective dose of stress. I respect the traditionalist view of 16/24/32 and at the same time respect more modern training methods. I'm doing SS and working with 2kg increments. I have the ability to go 1kg or .5kg, but I haven' t had the need or desire. Note: I'm 57 and no longer a kid, hahahaha.
    Molson likes this.
  13. LejonBrames

    LejonBrames Triple-Digit Post Count

    I think I really needed to read this. I for sure am guilty of trying to make too much progress too fast, setting me back. I don't have a long history of muscle building, and I think I'm finally at a point where I don't feel guilty if I don't wan't to make an 8k jump, and can accept that 4k jumps are a safer option for me.

    If you're doing the work with 32k, who cares if you got there in 8k jumps, or 4k jumps, or even 2k jumps? Is your accomplishment any less valid? No, you're just putting up 32k and that's that.

    I can only speak for myself of course.
    Billy59 likes this.
  14. CMHoward

    CMHoward Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    In going from the 32 to 40kg kb in S&S I found two things.
    1. Grip is an issue with swings...but it's almost solved with just doing it often and some chalk.
    2. The TGU is still not happening.
    So...I got a roll of Gorilla Tape and added a 5 lb plate to the bottom of my 32kg.
    I can handle that 75lb KB for TGUs now and expect to add another 5 lb plate in mid October.
    Provided that goes as the initial added plate, I should be able to handle the 40kg by December.
    Goal...S&S standard with the 40kg by Jan 1.
    Bauer and LejonBrames like this.

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