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Kettlebell Simple Timed for a Cheapskate, and Onwards

JC84

Level 1 Valued Member
Hello all,

Long time lurker, first time poster here.

I've been following S+S for about the past year and last week got to feeling fully comfortable with Simple Timeless - I managed 6 sessions in 7 days, all with the 32kg, and felt great! Witness, if you will, my wonderfully neatly logged progression from the 24 below, scrawled on the Super Joints / McGill Big 3 cheatsheet I keep stuck on my living room wall.

PXL_20220429_141624393.jpeg

First off, thank you Pavel and team. I started the program after my third child was born, in an effort to find something I could do regularly in my ever-decreasing free time and still see tangible progress. And I have. My back feels better than it has in years, I've picked up skateboarding again after a 16 year hiatus and I'm progressing better now than I did when I was 21. I've got energy, my elbow tendons don't hurt and lots of other good besides. I even semi-consciously hip-hinge my way through emptying the dishwasher and swinging kids. I'll chuck a glowing review on the Kindle store, I promise.

To the point. Yesterday I did the timed 24kg for the first time and it was surprisingly, gloriously easy. I had no problem completing it and hardly felt out of breath. I think waiting 5 weeks into using the 32 before trying it is probably why. So, naturally, I'm enthused to try simple timeless, but I don't have the money right now to purchase a 40kg bell, and thus can't do the route laid out in S+S. With that in mind, I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions as to the best way to get there with just the 32? Shall I just keep up the timeless 32's and the timed 24's for a couple months then give it a crack?

On another, but similar, note - once I've got that, I'd like to learn some new stuff with the kettlebells I have, and was hoping someone here could point me in the best direction for that. Essentially I'd like to learn all the major moves, so to speak, whatever they may be. I've been doing my best to avoid looking into what else I can do with my kettlebells so far, just to keep my mind on task.

Thanks very much,
James
 

Steve W.

Level 8 Valued Member
On another, but similar, note - once I've got that, I'd like to learn some new stuff with the kettlebells I have, and was hoping someone here could point me in the best direction for that. Essentially I'd like to learn all the major moves, so to speak, whatever they may be. I've been doing my best to avoid looking into what else I can do with my kettlebells so far, just to keep my mind on task.
This is a perfect time to learn to snatch, clean, and press.

You can keep on doing timeless 32kg swing sessions to get your volume in while you develop your technique with lighter bells. Once your technique develops, you will have all kinds of snatch and press programs open to you, which will keep you busy for a long time with your current bells.
 

Pete L

Level 5 Valued Member
I took a short lived detour into ROP only to get bursitis within a couple of weeks.
So I set my target on Timed Simple and reached it 5 months after Timeless.
I based my training on post Simple Timeless plan using S- on Friday with 24 kg bell.
Sticking with the S&S timings I then did the normal S&S step cycle to progress these once a week sessions to all 32 kg while using the talk test on all other sessions.

I've since invested a lot of time improving my mobility and have focused on diet LCCJ and military presses with swings for the last eight months without any further bursitis.

I'd recommend both KB-SF BJJ and Strong videos for help with mobility if that's a concern.
 

watchnerd

Level 8 Valued Member
NGL, feeling proud that my shoulder dislocation, squat and cossack are better than what Pavel shows in that poster. ;)
 

JC84

Level 1 Valued Member
Thanks for the answers all. @Steve W. for the snatch, clean, and press - is there a particular resource / book/ youtube channel you would recommend for learning these?

Best,
 

Steve W.

Level 8 Valued Member
Thanks for the answers all. @Steve W. for the snatch, clean, and press - is there a particular resource / book/ youtube channel you would recommend for learning these?

Best,
I'm mainly self-taught by trial and error. When I started, over 20 years ago, Pavel's orginal RKC book was the only instruction I was aware of. I got a set of 16, 24, and 32kg KBs from DragonDoor's first production run and the first thing I did with them was the snatch (yes, I bashed up my forearms pretty badly for a while).

Eventually I did an RKC certification and recert when Pavel was still there, but I'm not very knowledgeable about the current instructional resources out there nowadays.

I know that Geoff Neupert has an instructional series called the "Big Six," and I've always found his instructional materials to be on point. Maybe other people who have learned more recently can suggest other current resources, and it may be worth starting a new thread to ask so more people will see it.

Even though I identify as a hard style lifter, I actually find I get more useful technique ideas from GS style lifters, even though a lot of their technique doesn't directly apply to me. Over the years, there have definitely been times when some of the "orthodox" RKC/StrongFirst cues and truisms (which admittedly have evolved over time) struck me as misleading and not congruent with my experience, two big examples being "the snatch is a swing that ends overhead," and "packing" the shoulders.

To me, the biggest difference between the swing and clean or snatch is keeping the elbow in close to the body, on both the upswing and downswing, to maintain a more vertical bell path. That, plus learning to catch the bell softly in the rack or lockout. There's a learning curve, but that's part of the fun and challenge, and it's really a never-ending process no matter how long you've been doing it.
 

Adachi

Level 6 Valued Member
I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions as to the best way to get there with just the 32?
i had an experience with the 24kg bell - where i had ordered my 32kg for a very low sale Price -$1/lbs. and i had to wait a very long time for it to arrive. apparently, they received it but the finishes were unsatisfactory - so I had to wait for them to return and get new ones.

in the meantime, I was just stuck with the 24kg bell with no 32kg bell in sight after I had already graduated to 10/10 with the 24kg bell. i ended up adding sets and increasing volume to 20 sets of ten and as many as 30 getups at the time. and the overall time I was spending each session didn't really change that much. about an hour. a little less most days. 10-15 minutes or so to warm up. about a half-hour of swings and getup work, and about 10-15 minutes of stretching and resting.

the natural compression will lead you in the direction of 5 minutes of swings and 10 minutes of getups with 1 minute rest inbetween.

But, you'll have to periodically race the clock.

what I think would help most is kettlebell front squats, to help raise your raw strength for your Timed goals.
if you do 5x5 front squats with the 32kg and 24kg in the rack - that's a great stimulus to provide a couple of times a week.

raising that pure strength floor, might help you on your way to timed simple. but, like i said - continued work with the 32kg bell will still get you closer to timed simple. you might be able to use a little supplication, but you can still get there.

add in some double kettlebell front squats and maybe some presses, to strengthen your shoulder for the getup, and train multiple getup reps per side. maybe LL - RR -LR -LL - RR. and maybe sprinkle in an extra getup or two , some days.

you'll probably find as you keep on keeping on with the 32kg bell that you start having room for extra sets here and there.
and maybe you can wave the volume up sometimes.
and once a month or so - race the clock - see what you can do.
 

JC84

Level 1 Valued Member
I'm mainly self-taught by trial and error. When I started, over 20 years ago, Pavel's orginal RKC book was the only instruction I was aware of. I got a set of 16, 24, and 32kg KBs from DragonDoor's first production run and the first thing I did with them was the snatch (yes, I bashed up my forearms pretty badly for a while).

Eventually I did an RKC certification and recert when Pavel was still there, but I'm not very knowledgeable about the current instructional resources out there nowadays.

I know that Geoff Neupert has an instructional series called the "Big Six," and I've always found his instructional materials to be on point. Maybe other people who have learned more recently can suggest other current resources, and it may be worth starting a new thread to ask so more people will see it.

Even though I identify as a hard style lifter, I actually find I get more useful technique ideas from GS style lifters, even though a lot of their technique doesn't directly apply to me. Over the years, there have definitely been times when some of the "orthodox" RKC/StrongFirst cues and truisms (which admittedly have evolved over time) struck me as misleading and not congruent with my experience, two big examples being "the snatch is a swing that ends overhead," and "packing" the shoulders.

To me, the biggest difference between the swing and clean or snatch is keeping the elbow in close to the body, on both the upswing and downswing, to maintain a more vertical bell path. That, plus learning to catch the bell softly in the rack or lockout. There's a learning curve, but that's part of the fun and challenge, and it's really a never-ending process no matter how long you've been doing it.
Thanks mate
 

JC84

Level 1 Valued Member
i had an experience with the 24kg bell - where i had ordered my 32kg for a very low sale Price -$1/lbs. and i had to wait a very long time for it to arrive. apparently, they received it but the finishes were unsatisfactory - so I had to wait for them to return and get new ones.

in the meantime, I was just stuck with the 24kg bell with no 32kg bell in sight after I had already graduated to 10/10 with the 24kg bell. i ended up adding sets and increasing volume to 20 sets of ten and as many as 30 getups at the time. and the overall time I was spending each session didn't really change that much. about an hour. a little less most days. 10-15 minutes or so to warm up. about a half-hour of swings and getup work, and about 10-15 minutes of stretching and resting.

the natural compression will lead you in the direction of 5 minutes of swings and 10 minutes of getups with 1 minute rest inbetween.

But, you'll have to periodically race the clock.

what I think would help most is kettlebell front squats, to help raise your raw strength for your Timed goals.
if you do 5x5 front squats with the 32kg and 24kg in the rack - that's a great stimulus to provide a couple of times a week.

raising that pure strength floor, might help you on your way to timed simple. but, like i said - continued work with the 32kg bell will still get you closer to timed simple. you might be able to use a little supplication, but you can still get there.

add in some double kettlebell front squats and maybe some presses, to strengthen your shoulder for the getup, and train multiple getup reps per side. maybe LL - RR -LR -LL - RR. and maybe sprinkle in an extra getup or two , some days.

you'll probably find as you keep on keeping on with the 32kg bell that you start having room for extra sets here and there.
and maybe you can wave the volume up sometimes.
and once a month or so - race the clock - see what you can do.
Thanks mate.
 

JC84

Level 1 Valued Member
Just posting for posterity, and for anyone who can't afford a 40 and might come across this thread.

I got simple timed today, and it felt wonderful! My process, if you can call it that, was as follows.
  • Took a deload week after I started this thread and re-looked at my swing and getup technique. (@John K - I found those Strong as Hec vids really useful, particularly for the arm placement on the first bit of the getup, so thanks for that)
  • I went down to three times a week, and replaced getups with clean and press practice on one of those times, sometimes a bit of informal extra practice here and there (cleans took me a while to get my head around! Still a bit bumpy on the forearms but getting there)
  • Started replacing the swings on my timed sessions with the 32kg, but remained doing the getups with the 24, which worked well -and helped build my confidence (fear of injury during the getup phase was my main worry with simple timed).
  • Once my cleans and presses were reasonable, I started doing ladders of them with the 24KG after my swings. I did 3 ladders to 3 on Tues - or 18 reps per arm.
  • The clean/pressing has really upped my confidence for the getups, and today when I did my timed, I felt good enough after the swings to try the getups with the 32kg (keeping the 24 to hand so I could swap it in if my getups started feeling shaky) and all went smooth!
In short, if you're not ready to shell out on a 40Kg, but want to pursue simple timed, 32kg swings mixed with 24kg getups for your timed days, and some clean and press days in the mix might be your ticket.
 

John K

Level 7 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Just posting for posterity, and for anyone who can't afford a 40 and might come across this thread.

I got simple timed today, and it felt wonderful! My process, if you can call it that, was as follows.
  • Took a deload week after I started this thread and re-looked at my swing and getup technique. (@John K - I found those Strong as Hec vids really useful, particularly for the arm placement on the first bit of the getup, so thanks for that)
  • I went down to three times a week, and replaced getups with clean and press practice on one of those times, sometimes a bit of informal extra practice here and there (cleans took me a while to get my head around! Still a bit bumpy on the forearms but getting there)
  • Started replacing the swings on my timed sessions with the 32kg, but remained doing the getups with the 24, which worked well -and helped build my confidence (fear of injury during the getup phase was my main worry with simple timed).
  • Once my cleans and presses were reasonable, I started doing ladders of them with the 24KG after my swings. I did 3 ladders to 3 on Tues - or 18 reps per arm.
  • The clean/pressing has really upped my confidence for the getups, and today when I did my timed, I felt good enough after the swings to try the getups with the 32kg (keeping the 24 to hand so I could swap it in if my getups started feeling shaky) and all went smooth!
In short, if you're not ready to shell out on a 40Kg, but want to pursue simple timed, 32kg swings mixed with 24kg getups for your timed days, and some clean and press days in the mix might be your ticket.
Great work James!
 
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