The Simple or Sinister standard by December 2017, Who is going to do it?

Riley O'Neill

Triple-Digit Post Count
I made my jump from 32kg to 40kg and had my first session today. I have made the 10 minute standard for the get ups several times (I have timed myself in the mid 7 minute range when I go 90% effort) with 32kg. My best swing time was also in the 7 minute range so I haven't met the standard for that yet. But since I just blew $150 on a new 40kg I want to see how it feels for everything. I made sure to really pace myself, giving myself excessive active rest time where I will pace around the room shaking my arms around (I figure I did 2-3 miles of pacing) and various stretches and what I think of yoga poses. I focused on being mindful with each rep and enjoying myself. If something felt funky I am committed to quitting on the spot and I was only going to do the swings if I felt confident with them.

Everything felt fine, but I should not and will not be doing this weight daily. The two arm swings felt invincible and the one arm swings felt decent. The grip issues I had months ago with the 32kg did not come up at all. I had to be super mindful over every single rep and really feel the extra resistance, which is such a neat feeling.

The Get Ups felt great. There are little feelings I have to get used to now and I took at least a 3 minute break between reps. Likewise I really had to be mindful and focus on tension and mechanics and really getting everything right. 18 pounds is the biggest jump I have ever done with a get up. My progression was 25 pounds for a month, 45 pounds for a month, 60 pounds for close to a year, 70 pounds for 7 months and now 88 pounds. It actually felt much more solid and safer than the jump from 45 to 60. I had to do everything right and not fudge any form or just sort of muscle through it. I am looking forward to getting used to 40kg. I will see how I feel tomorrow (this is a little bit of a test to see how everything feels) and will probably do 32kg for the swings and 40 for the getups.

I was honestly anticipating that I would probably be able to do 1 get up and it would look awful and would cause so much strain that I could not do any more. That was not the case at all. But I will need a long rest time for a while.
 

Robert Noftz

Triple-Digit Post Count
I made my jump from 32kg to 40kg and had my first session today. I have made the 10 minute standard for the get ups several times (I have timed myself in the mid 7 minute range when I go 90% effort) with 32kg. My best swing time was also in the 7 minute range so I haven't met the standard for that yet. But since I just blew $150 on a new 40kg I want to see how it feels for everything. I made sure to really pace myself, giving myself excessive active rest time where I will pace around the room shaking my arms around (I figure I did 2-3 miles of pacing) and various stretches and what I think of yoga poses. I focused on being mindful with each rep and enjoying myself. If something felt funky I am committed to quitting on the spot and I was only going to do the swings if I felt confident with them.

Everything felt fine, but I should not and will not be doing this weight daily. The two arm swings felt invincible and the one arm swings felt decent. The grip issues I had months ago with the 32kg did not come up at all. I had to be super mindful over every single rep and really feel the extra resistance, which is such a neat feeling.

The Get Ups felt great. There are little feelings I have to get used to now and I took at least a 3 minute break between reps. Likewise I really had to be mindful and focus on tension and mechanics and really getting everything right. 18 pounds is the biggest jump I have ever done with a get up. My progression was 25 pounds for a month, 45 pounds for a month, 60 pounds for close to a year, 70 pounds for 7 months and now 88 pounds. It actually felt much more solid and safer than the jump from 45 to 60. I had to do everything right and not fudge any form or just sort of muscle through it. I am looking forward to getting used to 40kg. I will see how I feel tomorrow (this is a little bit of a test to see how everything feels) and will probably do 32kg for the swings and 40 for the getups.

I was honestly anticipating that I would probably be able to do 1 get up and it would look awful and would cause so much strain that I could not do any more. That was not the case at all. But I will need a long rest time for a while.
It's good to hear about your progress. It sounds like you have been working on it for a while. I look forward to hearing about it when you hit the simple standard. Have you noticed any issues with joint or muscle strains while you were working up in weight? If so, how did you handle them? I am going to address some of those issues in another comment.
Best of luck,
 
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Riley O'Neill

Triple-Digit Post Count
Very minor issues. I had an issue with my left hand with the one arm swings. My middle finger joint would develop a callous that would pinch and the bone would press down on the kettlebell and hurt a bit. To alleviate it I first tried only doing 5 swings with each hand, flipping the bell half way and then doing 5 with the other. So there was not so much fatigue on the grip. I recently stopped doing this and instead do 10 and then park it. I adjusted my grip to where it was the most comfortable, instead of power gripping the bell I would focus on a grip that makes it feel the best. After doing this the callous issue and discomfort went away. I also used captains of crush grippers to work on grip strength.

Sometimes I would have a little soreness in my posterior chain if I reduced by rest for the swings. Even at a lighter weight if I tried to go down to 5 minutes I would be a little sore. Sometimes I would have a little stiffness in my lower back, but not pain. Nothing like the pain I would have following a workout when I was a gym goer in my teens. I figured I would wake up today and feel a little bit in my lower back, on a scale from 1-10 I would say its about a 2. I notice it, but just barely and I know some mobility flows will help.

My safety protocol is the extended rest times and only doing something if I feel absolutely confident in it. I will quit at the first sign of something not feeling right. I should point out that I was doing get ups during 2015 and was terrible about doing swings but did get ups nearly every day. The one arm swings I didn't start doing until Jan of 2016 when I read S&S. I do much better with a program that is the same every day rather than different things alternating different days, under those circumstances I will be good at the drill I like (the get up) and not so good about the ones that are not so favored (the swing. Which I like, but not doing them lol). If its the same thing every day I am fine. But this does explain why I feel I am much better at the get ups and while I haven't made the swing time I have made the get up time no problem.
 

Robert Noftz

Triple-Digit Post Count
Just a few points about my progress in regards to strength and size increases. Perhaps it is kind of like a training diary to share with the community. Maybe some of you have had similar issues. It might be too much detail for some people.

I started using kettlebells in October and before that I had never touched one but I didn't start from scratch with fitness in general. I started the Simple and Sinister exclusively about 40 days ago. I will include a little of my exercise background so people can get a rough idea of where I started. The exercise routines I use and my size and strength have changed a lot over the last few years. I hope it isn't too long.

I started working with the 24kg kettlebell and the moved to the 32kg about 3 weeks ago. It was a big difference. I wondered how I would ever make the simple standard. I figured it would take months to adapt. In just about 3 weeks I felt my strength go up a lot and I am comfortable with the 32kg. I now think I am a few weeks away from making the time standard with good form.

I did gain strength and size very quickly. In the past (4 or more years ago) I lifted weights and weighed about 205 lbs but I was kind of fat. I used a hand held body fat level device and it said I was about 21%. I don't know how accurate those things are. I am about 5'8"
I moved to Thailand in 2013. I stopped lifting weights and from 2013 until the end of 2015 I did calisthenics and walking or jogging. I lost a lot of weight rapidly exercising in the tropical heat and eating a diet of mostly rice, chicken, and vegetables. I weighed about 167 lbs during that time. I got very lean (I was ripped) and could do over 100 push ups but my legs were thin. I was exercising like some of the people who call themselves bar athletes like the barstarz on Youtube. My chin ups, push ups, and hanging leg raises were strong but the rest of my body didn't get any weight bearing exercises just high rep calisthenics like supermans for my back and high rep body-weight lunges for the my legs. I walked or jogged almost daily.

During 2016 I moved back to the USA and my diet changed. I started going to the gym but exercised infrequently. I would sometimes go for weeks without exercising and then I would start again and go for a few weeks consistently. I would do push ups dips and chin ups for my upper body. For my lower back I did supermans and I did high rep stuff like 5 minute sets of step ups on a bench with a light weight for my legs and hips. If I used a barbell or cable the weight was very light and the reps were high. I would also hit a tire with a sledge hammer for 5 minute sets. My weight increased from 167 to about 178 much of it was probably fat.

When I started doing kettlebells in October of 2015 I weighted about 178. I used scale that says my bodyfat level is 25% but I don't believe it because I could still see my stomach muscles and the muscles by my ribs. A hand held bodyfat device I used at the gym said I was 13%. I wasn't ripped but I don't believe I crossed the line to being obese. I don't trust those body fat measuring devices. Some of them have 2 settings, one for average people and another for athletic people, whatever those words mean. Should I use the athletic setting or the average person setting. Other than my fitness routines I don't play any sports. I did jujitsu and judo when I was younger but it has been more than 10 years.

Anyways, When I started doing simple and sinister about 41 days ago I was using the 24kg. I started using the 32kg about 3 weeks ago. I feel comfortable with it and I can do all my sets explosively. The get ups feel strong and I recently ordered a 40kg and 48kg in anticipation of using the 40kg soon.

My body-weight has increased rapidly since I started doing kettlebell exercises in October and even more since I started doing the S&S on a daily basis. I now weigh 194 lbs. I don't think I am any fatter than when I started at least not by much if I am at all. I am not ripped but I can see stomach muscles. My back, shoulders, glutes, lower back, and legs have grown a lot. I have started to buy new cloths because my jeans are getting too tight around my hips and some of my shirts don't fit well anymore around my chest, back, and shoulders. I can't button up the top button with some of my shirts anymore because my traps and neck are a lot thicker.
I made some dietary changes. I stopped snacking on cookies and other sweets at night and I started to drink a protein drink before I go to bed. I drink a mix of Just Protein made by Ironmind and I mix it with whole milk. I started taking a container of Muscle Milk to work for a protein snack at break time. I feel hungry all the time.

I started to gain size and strength very quickly when I started practicing daily. I suspect part of the reason the gains have come so quickly is because I used to be bigger than I was when I started the kettlebell routine. Perhaps some people who are experts in sports science or a related field will know if that is a good reason. I wish I could trust the bodyfat devices but I have gotten drastically different ratings with different devices when my weight was the same. All I know is that I am satisfied with the way I look and I am improving on my swings and get ups rapidly. I'm not a bodybuilder but I do care about my appearance it is just not a priority. I'm more concerned with improving my strength and endurance on basic body movements. That being said, I don't want to get fat. It is easy to fool yourself about your appearance when you don't have an accurate measure of real bodyfat levels.

Best of luck everyone. God bless you on your journey.
 
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Robert Noftz

Triple-Digit Post Count
In regards to training injuries or strains. After practicing daily with the 32kg for a few weeks I noticed a little strain in my upper shoulder and neck area on my left side. It isn't getting better so I decided to take a couple of days off this weekend and then start back up next week with the 24kg for a couple of days.

I can think of a few reasons for this. One is that I moved up in weight pretty rapidly and had never done swings or get ups before October.
Two is that I may have been using poor form in the early stages and I jerked up with my left shoulder a little too much when doing swings.
The third is that I work in a factory and do light repetitive movements with my arms and shoulders all day long. It could be that the daily factory work and the daily practice with the kettlebells has been a little bit too much total volume.

When I start practicing again on Monday I will use the 24 and will focus more on technique. I isolated a couple of things to test in hopes it may reduce the strain on my left shoulder.
I may also have to consider that with all the light factory work I do that the daily practice may be too much volume now that I am moving up to heavier weights. If the changes and some light days don't help I may try cutting back to 5 days per week and see if that helps in the long run. Perhaps I may go heavy fewer times per week and add in more light practice.
 
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Anna C

More than 5000 posts
Elite Certified Instructor
After practicing daily with the 32kg for a few weeks I noticed a little strain in my upper should and neck area on my left side.
Your thoughts on this seem to be good. I've had trouble with this off and on, and my suggestions would be to video yourself, especially doing swings, but perhaps even doing your work. You might notice something in your movement that is enlightening. With the swings, look especially at your head position (not excessive neck extension at the bottom of the swing, and should be standing tall at the top, not head forward), and your shoulder packing.
 

Robert Noftz

Triple-Digit Post Count
Very minor issues. I had an issue with my left hand with the one arm swings. My middle finger joint would develop a callous that would pinch and the bone would press down on the kettlebell and hurt a bit. To alleviate it I first tried only doing 5 swings with each hand, flipping the bell half way and then doing 5 with the other. So there was not so much fatigue on the grip. I recently stopped doing this and instead do 10 and then park it. I adjusted my grip to where it was the most comfortable, instead of power gripping the bell I would focus on a grip that makes it feel the best. After doing this the callous issue and discomfort went away. I also used captains of crush grippers to work on grip strength.

Sometimes I would have a little soreness in my posterior chain if I reduced by rest for the swings. Even at a lighter weight if I tried to go down to 5 minutes I would be a little sore. Sometimes I would have a little stiffness in my lower back, but not pain. Nothing like the pain I would have following a workout when I was a gym goer in my teens. I figured I would wake up today and feel a little bit in my lower back, on a scale from 1-10 I would say its about a 2. I notice it, but just barely and I know some mobility flows will help.

My safety protocol is the extended rest times and only doing something if I feel absolutely confident in it. I will quit at the first sign of something not feeling right. I should point out that I was doing get ups during 2015 and was terrible about doing swings but did get ups nearly every day. The one arm swings I didn't start doing until Jan of 2016 when I read S&S. I do much better with a program that is the same every day rather than different things alternating different days, under those circumstances I will be good at the drill I like (the get up) and not so good about the ones that are not so favored (the swing. Which I like, but not doing them lol). If its the same thing every day I am fine. But this does explain why I feel I am much better at the get ups and while I haven't made the swing time I have made the get up time no problem.
You bring up a good point about getting the optimal grip. I was getting a lot of pulling on calluses and I felt like the kettlebell was pulling out of my hands when I did the swing. In my case I was not gripping it enough and it kept rolling forward. I needed to grip it a little tighter. When I did that it stopped rolling forward and the problem with peeling the calluses went away, also, there are less calluses in general.

I addressed a issue with shoulder and neck strain in another post.

Take care,
 

Robert Noftz

Triple-Digit Post Count
Your thoughts on this seem to be good. I've had trouble with this off and on, and my suggestions would be to video yourself, especially doing swings, but perhaps even doing your work. You might notice something in your movement that is enlightening. With the swings, look especially at your head position (not excessive neck extension at the bottom of the swing, and should be standing tall at the top, not head forward), and your shoulder packing.
Those are good points. It is probably be a good idea to film myself. I will check my shoulder packing and head position when I practice again. I do seem to move my head forward a lot when swinging. Also, I work in a factory and I kind of slouch or look down a lot to see my work. I have been working on adjusting my posture since I noticed that.

Thanks you, and God bless,
 

Robert Noftz

Triple-Digit Post Count
Here is a suggestion for how to improve skills while taking a day off from practice. You can watch tutorials by professional trainers. Karen Smith Master SFG produced this excellent get up video. She demonstrated something that will probably help me as I move up to heavier kettlebells. I haven't been hinging back and it probably makes it difficult to balance. I suspect it would become more of an issue with heavier kettlbells.
 

Robert Noftz

Triple-Digit Post Count
I just found out how easy it can be for the average person to get an accurate body fat assessment. There is a thing called the bod pod which is highly accurate, it's as accurate as underwater testing. I can get it done at the University of Akron for only $25. I just have to call and schedule an appointment. Apparently these are available all around the country. I just found out today. I can find out how much fat I really have. There will be no more guessing and no more excuses.

The BodPod : The University of Akron
 

Anna C

More than 5000 posts
Elite Certified Instructor
I do the Bod Pod regularly, I am lucky to have free access to one. On the two occasions that I got the DEXA scan (which is the most accurate, I think), I also did the Bod Pod within a day of it, and it was within a tenth of a percent of the same reading. So I definitely trust the accuracy.
 

Questionfear

Double-Digit Post Count
I DID IT! Tested myself this AM and at the 2:30 mark I was halfway through my swings. I realized if I focused, the five minute goal was doable, and I squeaked in finishing at 4:58.

Did my 1-minute rest, set a new timer, and finished the TGUs at 8:40.

I surprised myself, because I really thought it would take me closer to 5:30 or 6 on the swings, but it felt good and I felt strong so I just kept at it. The TGUs went well, I consciously gave myself a chance for my heart rate and breathing to really slow down once I realized I had the time after set 3. I was pleased that just a minute of measured breathing and I felt recovered.

Tomorrow I go back to S&S untimed, just enjoying the movements. I've read Enter the Kettlebell once already but I plan to reread it, then in a week or two I will jump into Rite of Passage.

I feel so proud of myself, and I figure that only on this board will people truly get it. :)
 

Robert Noftz

Triple-Digit Post Count
I DID IT! Tested myself this AM and at the 2:30 mark I was halfway through my swings. I realized if I focused, the five minute goal was doable, and I squeaked in finishing at 4:58.

Did my 1-minute rest, set a new timer, and finished the TGUs at 8:40.

I surprised myself, because I really thought it would take me closer to 5:30 or 6 on the swings, but it felt good and I felt strong so I just kept at it. The TGUs went well, I consciously gave myself a chance for my heart rate and breathing to really slow down once I realized I had the time after set 3. I was pleased that just a minute of measured breathing and I felt recovered.

Tomorrow I go back to S&S untimed, just enjoying the movements. I've read Enter the Kettlebell once already but I plan to reread it, then in a week or two I will jump into Rite of Passage.

I feel so proud of myself, and I figure that only on this board will people truly get it. :)
Congratulations! I"m curious, why is it you are doing the Rite of Passage? Have you been doing S&S exclusively?
 

Questionfear

Double-Digit Post Count
Thanks everyone! I felt so goofy-happy about it all day yesterday. :)

Congratulations! I"m curious, why is it you are doing the Rite of Passage? Have you been doing S&S exclusively?
I am planning on doing Rite of Passage next because pressing has always been a weak point for me, and I want to work more on developing overall strength. Likewise, I can't do a pullup currently, so I like the idea of a planned program that will force me to work on two areas where I need work.

I have been doing S&S since last March, but I will fully admit that I screwed around too much with it at first; I tried alternating it with other programs, and then when that started to burn me out I got lazy and didn't put in the work every day that I should have. I recommitted to S&S exclusively in late summer, lost about a month to bronchitis in Nov/early Dec, and came back really strong in December, leading to a really solid stretch of improvement into January, especially after I did some tweaks to my schedule and started doing 3/rest/2/rest instead of 5-6 days straight through.
 
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