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Old Forum Simple & Sinister - Convict Conditioning Split

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Hi Guys.

I just got myself some kettlebells after reading simple and sinister, which is a fantastic book btw. I went for a 16kg and 24kg bell as per the recommendation for the 'average strength gentlemen'.

Must admit, the thought of doing get ups with even the 16kg seems a bit scary, perhaps I should invest in another lighter kettlebell to start with?

I have decided that if possible I would like to start Simple & Sinister whilst also incorporating some convict conditioning workouts. I enjoy bodyweight exercises and I think that by splitting up the Simple & Sinister workouts with some convict conditioning stuff I will be more likely to stick with both.

How does the below split look? Could it be made better?

Day 1 - Simple and Sinister

Day 2 - Convict Conditioning (Push Ups, Leg Raises)

Day 3 - Simple and Sinister

Day 4 - Simple and Sinister

Day 5 - Convict Conditioning (Pull Ups, Squats)

Day 6 - Simple and Sinister

Day 7 - Off Day.
Jack, welcome to the forum.

If a 16 kg getup seems scary, please consider working with one of our certified instructors - it shouldn't be scary.  But please also consider using a lighter weight.  The book shows how to use a shoe for your first getups, and you could also put a few cans of soup in a sturdy bag with a handle and practice that way.  Sturdy - that's important.

I would work on S&S by itself - follow the program, achieve some level of mastery, and then dial it back in the way the book suggests to make room for additional goals in your training.


What  you suggest should be fine, these systems go very well together.

Do it this way for a month, if you feel the signs of overtraining (look them up), cut it back a day.

The important thing is to adjust as you find needed, but not so often that you don't push yourself.

You put them together well, I'd say you should trust yourself on this, it seems you have a good sense about it.
P.S. In addition to the above, I wanted to add that Steve's recommendations about the getup are spot on as is much of his advice on this forum. Please listen to him on this...
Jack, on second thought, Ace does have a point in that you probably won't overtrain doing CC once a week.  Considering your focus is more on S&S.

I was looking at it as what was optimal for improving both at the same time.  In my experience back when CC first came out, I followed the program for 6months.  I found that once a week was way to much time for recovery.  I felt strongest and ready to train again by days 3 or 4.  By day 7 I felt I had slid backwards from over recovery.  Al Kavadlo's books say that  twice a week for the beginner, and three times a week the conditioned, is what he recommended.  But since your doing S&S, once a week should be fine, though your progress in CC will not likely be optimal. 

I myself do S&S and I do pushups and pullups twice a week, but I'm not trying to reach the CC master steps either.

Agree with Steve. I wouldn't bother with Convict Conditioning; if you want to do body weight stuff as well, add in pull-ups, or pistols, or the hollow position exercises from Hardstyle Abs. If you're really serious about bodyweight, get Chris Sommers' material.
Thank you for all your replies!

Steve, perhaps scary was the wrong word to use, it's just slightly intimidating. Unfortunately there are no SF instructors in my area.  I think i'll practice with some tins in a bag as suggested to begin with.

Allan & Ace, i'm a bit confused by the two different messages here...

"You will be trainning two different methods that don’t mix very well."

"What  you suggest should be fine, these systems go very well together."

I must point out that the above split I laid out has two days of CC not one. From reading S&S I got the impression that the workouts had been designed in such a way as to leave you with sufficient energy to undertake other activities of your choice, have I misunderstood this?

What I like about CC over other bodyweight programs I have seen is it's simplicity and the 10 step progression for each of the 6 exercises (of which I only plan on doing 4). Despite being perfectly capable of doing say, a full push up, it was my intention to follow the CC program from step 1 of each exercise.

Jason, I looked up Chris Sommers and have to admit that program looks massively impressive but perhaps a little out of my price range for this sort of thing. I'm not sure my goals extend as far as those of the Chris Sommers program.

Jack, a lighter weight to start with is always OK.

You are noticing a difference of opinion between people who've replied to your post - welcome to the Internet. :)

S&S is designed to be scaled back to allow another focus, but the recommended approach is to master it first, at least to the Simple Goal, as your only program, and then to dial back the frequency while you incorporate other things into your training.   Daily training of two movements with a laser-like focus on technique will give you qualities that you can then put on the back burner, but master the movements with at least a moderate weight first, please.

You don't have to do it this way, just don't complain about your results later. :)

If you find CC more interesting, feel free to do that instead - it, too, is a program designed to be your focus.  Just remember that a more interesting program isn't necessarily a better one.

In sum, I certainly would not start two new programs at once - pick one and make some serious headway with it first.  At the very least, you'll know the source of both your progress and your problems if you have any - with two programs, you'll never be sure which program or the combination of them is causing changes.

Both of those programs are extremely submaximal, if you aren't performing the workouts back-to-back someone who has decent recovery should be able to start with the easiest movements in CC and the lightest bell in S&S and have no issues at all in the early stages. CC 3 times a week and S&S every day. Wouldnt need to phase things very much at all. If you can do a single rep of a goblet squat, the Air Squats in CC are basically just active recovery. Ditto the wall push-ups in CC if you're able to even get the KB overhead in the get up. Only a completely sedentary person should have issues in the beginning with both.


Now, as you get to more intense exercises or heavier weight, you may need to consolidate stressors, but by then you'll have a lot of experience with both programs, and will be better informed.
Jack - I asked a very similar question just over a year ago when I started S&S. Like yours, it was 'can I do S&S and bodyweight and rings and doubles and marathon training and sprint training and some tabatas and 3 nights of yoga'? I was a random thrasher, I've always done some sport and fitness training to a greater or lesser extent and always trained like I did when I was a fit, strong, athletic 20 year old. I'm 51 now and still want to do everything all of the time, well until strongfirst sorted me out. Just do S&S for a while, get into it and see where it takes you, as Steve says. Try this; an experiment:

take some measurements if you like ( weight, waist size, fat ratio etc) but as you want to do bodyweight progressions of CC to level 4, see what you are capable of now in the exercises you want to do, or would like to aspire to. Then don't do CC at all and focus in on S&S. You say the 16 is scary, so you will be starting lighter, using the 16 later. How about getting to where the 16 is more than comfortable for you? Say, the S&S goal where you will move up a bell, 5 min swings and 10 minute get ups. Get there and test the CC progressions. I'm betting all your numbers will have increased, probably smashed to bits. That isn't to say at all that by merely doing S&S you will be doing one hand hand stands, or a standing back bridge or a one arm pull up without training them but you will improve your general strength and power to do a helluva lot more than you can do now, without specific training for lower skilled movements ie the early progressions in CC. In no way am I knocking those progressions and skills at all but S&S will have you covered. On the flip side, as others have said, the lower level progressions of CC may not conflict with S&S but, Jack; 2 birds, one stone. S&S, it is, hands down.
Okay. Until I reach the simple goals, S&S alone is what i'll do.

I guess i'm just trying to understand the why, if someone tells me no don't do S&S and CC at the same time, I like to know and understand the reasoning.

Thanks for all your thoughts.

Dan John's Mexican food analogy.
Jack-> Sometimes more is just more. more does not equal better.
You _can_ (can does not mean should) throw in some body-weight movements into the program as skill work as long as it does not interfere with S&S.

the "why?": focus on to many things at once and you are not really focusing at anything at all.
It might be a bad answer but you will understand it all after you have done it (S&S) with the 32kg.
Jack, the fitness industry is just like any other industry. You've asked the equivalant of "which is better, a Mustang or a Camero" in a Ford plant. The answer is going to be biased of course.

People organize in communities around shared beliefs, and Fitness is no different. You will find great people, helpful advice, and comraderie here. But it going to be slanted toward the Pavelian system. This is just a nessacary part of the cohesiveness of a group.

If you want to do both, do both. You started out by saying that doing both would motivate you to stick with your workouts. It's a great group here, I think that most would agree that the workout you actually do is the best one.
The question teally is why you wsnt to do CC in addition.

SS is designed to allow you to have energy and time for sport specific training on top of it, so you are allowed to do additional things. If your goal is to be able to do pistols, or OAP or OA pushups then by all means add specific training for those (there may be much better focused routines to achieve that than CC)

if you don't have specific goals with CC (as most people do, it is meant as a general strength routine) then skip it entirely, SS will give you much more and much faster than CC ever could (I've done both)

By the way, pushups and pullups respond extremely well to GTG type training (a lot of sets throughout the day, always to avery comfortable stop), so go ahead and do as many as you want if you feel like it

squats are covered much better in SS, as are ab training (try tgus with a heavier bell, and feel your core get really strong)

in the end you you are allowed to do whatever you want, but give SS a fair chance for some weeks and you'll be surprised!

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