Sinister fail ...

Al Ciampa

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
James ... I'm usually struggling

Anna ... thanks.  I miss our sessions as well.  You were the second to notice, I did that purposefully, but in error.  Between my spinal cord injury leading to right upper body atrophy and the issues in my left hip/midsection, I have a stronger, or, more stable get up on my left.  I meant to lead off with that side.  Ooops.

The recovery from sides is not the issue, though.  Its recovery in general.  If I can get through the first get up or two after those swings, my HR comes down and everything smooths out ... I have no issues from that point on.

All in all, I would have to admit that even if I had performed the get ups today, I didn't meet the sinister goals.  Although not objectively measured, as we discussed earlier in this thread, the swings fade off at the top.  Going through the motions with the 48 is not the sinister standard.
 

JBAZKB

My Third Post
Al,

While I am not yet at your level, sometimes after I do the 100 swings I need a little more than the 1 minute of rest so I will wait until I feel strong enough to start the TGU's before beginning.  That extra 30 to 60 seconds can make a big difference.
 

Shayne

Still New to StrongFirst Forum
Awesome stuff, Al.

There was an earlier thread which questioned if it was even possible to achieve the sinister swings... You've provided a pretty definitive answer.
 

Michael Corrales

Triple-Digit Post Count
Al - Couple more questions for you..

On breathing, sounds like you do 2xInhale and 2xExhale per swing rep.  Is that right?  I've been doing one sharp inhale through nose as bell goes down and then sharp exhale from mouth (martial arts "kia" or "pfftt" style) at point of most power.  I tried two sharp inhales via nose a few times on non-stop swings but it did not feel exactly right for me.  Have you experimented much with other breathing sequences per what Pavel writes in S&S?  I've only tried a couple variations myself.

Looks like you're ~5 ft 11 or so and ~225lbs.  Is that about right?  I'm 5 ft 10 and ~195lbs and can hit Simple goal now if I push it hard.   I'm thinking I'll be at approx 198lbs myself to hit the 5min swings and 10min TGU goals with the 40kg.

Thanks again for your great posts!!
 

Al Ciampa

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
Jeff ... I "train" like that; sinister is a prescribed goal - 60seconds rest after the swings.  Or do I need to reread S&S?

SM ... thanks.

Michael ... I have reduced lung function, which I understand as less O2 gets exchanges into the blood per inhalation (but my memory may be wrong).  I go into O2 dep quickly if I maintain biomech-breathing during ballistics with high density.

Another great discussion, Michael ... I find that when I do my version of heavy overspeed swings, I can only biomech-breathe - inhale on the hinge, exhale on the swing - but your body is always max tension in this version.  When I float swing, as in S&S, I take rhythmic and shallow breaths when the least force is being applied - during the float, and just after the hinge.  I've noticed that in longer sets with heavy snatches, I somehow get 3 breaths per snatch in.  I don't "train" this aspect, but I'm aware of what's occurring.  I focus on my tension and breathe behind the shield.  With respect to breath/power production, I think high-density work is very different from a one-time shot, like a hand strike ... this relates to an earlier discussion here about sustained power output.  I don't notice it, but there may be a difference in output with the different breathing patterns.

I'm ~6'1", 235lbs
 

TravisS

More than 300 posts
Al, I just had to post and say thanks again.... My entire motivation this morning was recalling your all out effort on your Sinister attempt.... really got me fired up and focused on completing the simple goal.
 

banzaiengr

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Impressive to say the least, based on my experience I have a few questions for Mr. Ciampa or the group.  I started S&S in May.  I progressed to a 55 lb. KB very rapidly.  I then went to the 32K and could get through the swings in around 7-8 min. and could do 2 to 4 TGU with the difference being done with the 55#.  I then started to go backwards.  I de-loaded for a week and came back using the 55# with a 5# plate duct taped to it.  I can get through the swings in just a few seconds over 5 minutes and 10 TGU under 10 minutes.  Every third workout I do 20 swings and 2 TGU with the 32 and the remainder with my makeshift 60#.  My question is this, what is more productive,  shooting for the time goals of 5 and 10 minutes respectively before moving up in weight or adding the weight and shooting for 100 swings and 10 TGU regardless of the amount of time it takes?  My goal when starting this was to meet the simple goal of with the 32K and then start a new program where I rotated S&S with ROP every other workout and then shooting for more of a TSC type goal of 2x bw dead (which I can do), 1/2 bw single arm press (I'm probably about 10-20 lb. short on that), and 15 TSC type pull-ups (I'm not even close on that).  Thanks in advance.
 

Marino

Triple-Digit Post Count
Banzaiengr

I think it is more productive to get to the time goals before moving up in weight.  Adding weight before you are ready, in my experience, leads to overdoing things and slows progress down as well as making an injury more likely.

I can do the Sinister goals with a 40kg.  Today though after doing something slightly different (15 deadlift singles with 70% 1RM followed by 50 one handed swings (10reps x 5) with a 40kg kettlebell and then attempting to do get ups 1L, 1R x5 with the 40kg kettlebell) I found that the get ups with the 40kg after 1l, 1R x 3 were impossible, the bell just wouldn't move so I had to finish off with a 32kg.  Seems to me that doing dense deadlifts / kettlebell swings before heavy get ups severely compromises one's ability then to do the get ups.  I'm not sure why but it's probably something to do with CNS fatigue and not resting enough between deadlift singles and swing sets.
 

Al Ciampa

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
Travis ... awesome!

Banza ... similar to what David is recommending, you have the wrong perspective.  Goal is probably not the best word to describe the "endstate" of this training program.  But what else works?  Take your focus off of the "goal", and place it on your practice.  As you practice, you improve ... which allows you to do more work in less time.  As you practice at this new capacity and "own" the weight, then you can work in some sets of a heavier load; and, practice some more.

This idea of "owning" a load (and a movement) is particularly important, confusing to some, and lost on most.  You climb a mountain by consistently placing one foot in front of the other, not by staring at the peak and running as hard as you can.  This latter method is most folks' approach to fitness and resistance training.  Do not walk into a dojo with your eyes on the black belt ... focus on your technique, day after day, and you will earn that belt eventually.  These things cannot be rushed.

This choice of your wording is telling, "I can get through the swings".  Don't look to get through the session ... look to own the session.

To answer your question, I never train to the clock.  Practice, practice, practice, then practice some more ... add in some sets of the next heavier bell at times, and your current bell will soon feel like a toy.  And, please, don't make "in between" bells with duct tape.  This is not McGuyver.  This is training.

For context, when I first performed a get up with a 48, it took me close to a year to own that same movement.  It took me another few months to begin to perform multiple reps back to back.

Good luck.
 

banzaiengr

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Thanks Mr. Main, and yes, when form deteriorates then less weight must be used, I agree.  But the same can be said for "hurrying" through a set, particularly with the TGU.  My question has to do with close, like horseshoes and hand grenades.  I can do 100 swings with a 60 in 5:15, I can't for the life of me get below 5:00.  I can do 10 TGU in 9:15 or so.  Should I move up to 65 lb.?  I tried going from a 55 lb. to the 32K, but that was just too big a jump for me, and as y0u stated, my form suffered.  My next step was to go to a 65# and every third workout do 20 swings and 2 TGU with the 32K.  I would then add more reps with the 32K as appropriate.  It seems to me that a new-bee can get by with the jumps such as 16K to 20K but as you get closer to what may be your max, smaller increments need to be made.  I "may" never get to the sinister goal of a 48K like Mr. Ciampa is attempting, or even a 40K for that matter, but I'm determined to get this 32K and there just seems to me to be more to it than being able to achieve the goals with a 24K and going right to a 32K.  Going from a 24K to a 32K is equivalent to going from a 200 lb. bench for 10 reps to 260 for 10 reps and that is tremendous progress for most.
 

Stuart Elliott

More than 500 posts
Al that's very impressive, what adaptions have you witnessed working up to the 48kg. Do you play any sport, if so what carry over have has using the 48kg given?
 

JBAZKB

My Third Post
Al, You were correct in your reading of S&S, however, what I was saying is since there is a 10-minute time period to complete the TGU's and we may or may not need the entire 10 minutes, it is sometimes helpful to me to spend the first 30 to 60 seconds of my 10 minute allotment to rest and recover a little more before beginning the TGU's.  Again, just what I do sometimes, and again I am not at the Sinister level yet.
 

banzaiengr

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Mr. Ciampa, thank you for your response.  I guess the term "Simple Goal" for practicing the program with a 32K gave me the impression that this would be "simple".  I have been doing S&S pretty much as written except for a bit of running on days that I cannot train since May 5.  To date I have 61 practice sessions in.  In the beginning with a 45 lb. bell I would do the program everyday I could which amounted to 3 to 5 sessions per week.  After accomplishing the goals with the 55 lb. I could see that I needed more rest between sessions.  S&S is the only program I am currently doing other than the small amount of running and necked TGU when I'm out of town and can't practice S&S.  Other than what you posted earlier, am I on the right track.
 

Sean Schniederjan

Triple-Digit Post Count
Al -

I was trippin earlier when I said "gs lite."  Rewatched it and the bell is still popping in the last set, except for maybe the last rep.

Curious: have you tested 32kg snatches and/or grippers since doing S&S and seeing gains swinging the beast?

Sean
 

Al Ciampa

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
Stuart ... Adaptations?  Be more specific.  My grip and midsection strength improved.  My sport is life; and I can wipe my own a#@ (not a joke).  Any program/activity that maintains a 200kg DL and 40kg press, and minimizes pain is solid.

Jeff ... I hadn't thought of it that way.  But I think the 10min time limit on the GUs begins from the time you load the bell, which needs to be 60s after the last swing ... for a standard, that is.  You're correct though - after 1 or 2 get ups, I'm fine ... just have to get through those 2 first.

Sean ... no worries - like I said, admittedly, I don't own the 48 yet.  I was just curious to see where I stacked against the clock.  32kg snatches will be tested this Sat at the TSC ... shooting for 125.  Never test my grip unless my neurologist calls for it.  I can open most jars.
 

Al Ciampa

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
Banza ... to plagiarize, "it's simple, not easy".  Here's what I want you to do: 3-5times per week, alternate using your 55lber and the 32.  In one of these sessions, you will use your 45lber.  Throw your clock away for now.  Warm up, then, do your swings, sets of 10, alternating arms.  Begin the next set of 10 slightly before you feel you are ready.  When finished, catch your breath and do your 10 get ups, resting only a bit between each one.  Stretch as needed.

A 5 session week should look like this for your loading: 55/32/55/45/55.  When using the 32, do sets of 5 if you can't remain explosive for 10, and add 1 or 2 reps per set as time goes on.  Do as many get ups as you can on the 32 days (even if it is only 2), and take as much rest as you need.  You'll get more as time goes on.  Do not half-a#@ the 45 days because it feels light - scan your body with your mind's eye and plug any tension leaks, improve your technique, etc.  This is the time for drilling, and real performance progress.

For all sessions, focus more on how you breathe and move than what you are accomplishing in terms of work output.  You'll begin to realize that you are naturally taking less rest between sets, that the bells are getting lighter, and that the 32 is becoming your workhorse.  When you can get 10 explosive reps for 10 sets with the 32, followed by 10 get ups ... for at least 4 sessions (that's a month on this program) ... then introduce the 40kg - 3-5 reps at a time, during your 55lb practice sessions. (this may not happen within 90 days, don't worry about it, and don't try to force it)

Report back here in 90 days and I'll advance you from there.  Focus on your practice, not the goals.
 

Matt

More than 300 posts
Matt

Free Subscriber


Apart from the pretty impressive display of raw 48kg power Al, there is something interesting to me that stood out in this thread. You mentioned it yourself in response to Sean – if it is possible to maintain the power for 10 sets 10 reps. My question or observation being – (does) SS trains the body (inc. energy response) to be able to achieve consistency in power output. If my intuition is correct (I don’t have SS… yet), that type of training is brilliant in my opinion. Something that I feel I want to tweak with my training - at the moment I am probably too heavy with medium LSD work (used to kayak an hour a day at a decent speed, replaced that but similar intensity) before my 5×5 75% deads, swings etc over the week.

Another interesting thing – you mention being able to keep a 200kg dead (and 40kg press) – that reminds me on something my old strongman mate used to say: that every male should be able to lift 200kg. He was quoting a study I think that claims purely from our hip anatomy it should be possible. Don’t know – but funny you had the same weight value. He never mentioned a 40kg press (he was doing about 80kg so it was probably insignificant for him :) )

Sorry for the detour – interesting still about the consistent max power output training. All the best too for the TSC on Sat!
 

Matt

More than 300 posts
(Odd - did an edit adding "10 sets" before 10 reps - in case anyone is wondering why it says Free Subscriber or the thread number jumping...)
 

Michael Corrales

Triple-Digit Post Count
Al - I love the input you gave to Banzaiengr!!  I need to work some of that programming advice into my transition to 40kg.  Still a little ways of from "owning" 32kg.  But far off from multiple continuous TGU reps with a 40kg.  And swings with the Bulldog are still somewhat unknown for me since I've done like 0 (zero) :]  But I'll work some in soon.
 
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