Thread for the Newbies...

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Shawn Szczepkowski

Level 1 Valued Member
Hey @Lew

Things ok, doing S&S twice per week, on top on my 3-4 sessions of BJJ.

I'm still working on my form, and have just brought some new Kettlebells which sit more on my forearm and not my wrist when doing Get ups.

I will be upping it to 3 x per week, once my MCL injury is fully recovered.

How are you doing so far?
Im interested to hear how S&S is going for you, if you've stuck with it? Im also a BJJ practitioner and on my second session of S&S. I have tried the program before but never stuck with it.
 

Cr3do

Level 1 Valued Member
Im interested to hear how S&S is going for you, if you've stuck with it? Im also a BJJ practitioner and on my second session of S&S. I have tried the program before but never stuck with it.
Hey Shawn, I have been hit with a few niggling injuries this past month or so, so I haven't kept up with S&S. Plus I have just received my blue belt, so getting in mat time coming up to my promotion took priority.

However I do plan on starting again this coming Monday, as I know I need to build and strengthen my body, so I can continue to train BJJ hard. I am convinced that S&S is one of the best programs out there for BJJ/Grappling.

I am going to start reading the S&S book again tonight, and will be back doing it twice a week from Monday, along with 4 days BJJ. When I was doing it, I could feel a difference on the mat, and in my movements right away. I'm sure once you hit Simple, you will see a big difference on the mat.
 

Shawn Szczepkowski

Level 1 Valued Member
Hey Shawn, I have been hit with a few niggling injuries this past month or so, so I haven't kept up with S&S. Plus I have just received my blue belt, so getting in mat time coming up to my promotion took priority.

However I do plan on starting again this coming Monday, as I know I need to build and strengthen my body, so I can continue to train BJJ hard. I am convinced that S&S is one of the best programs out there for BJJ/Grappling.

I am going to start reading the S&S book again tonight, and will be back doing it twice a week from Monday, along with 4 days BJJ. When I was doing it, I could feel a difference on the mat, and in my movements right away. I'm sure once you hit Simple, you will see a big difference on the mat.
Congrats on your blue, i recieved mine 4 years ago and then took a very long lay off from surgery and laziness crept in. Ive been back training 7 months and got my first stripe after 5. I am looking to S&S to build a stronger body so i can train BJJ to black belt.
 

Boosh32

Level 5 Valued Member
The body adapts to its environment miraculously well.

People flourish all over the world, from the South Pole to the North Pole.

@Boosh32, you are doing it well. There are always averages of exposure for different skin types, different absorption rates for different foods and supplements over time.
What matters most is what is going on inside YOU.

I'm in Georgia, USA, so vitaminD is not hard to get and not an issue for me.

Thick blood and T2diabetes are my issues. I'm hoping that as I lose weight and rid myself of diabetes, my tendency to clot will disappear as a WTH effect.

I am convinced that I want to start getting a full blood work up every year. It is amazing what you can find out from that, identify trends and potential problems early.

The full day KB course is my next step, probably in the summer.

I also think a full blood work up is a good idea. There are many factors tested and they can be an early warning of problems. Two years ago I went to my GP as I had extreme fatigue for unknown reasons. Once I started the cod liver oil I improved after a few months. A year later I had my orthopedic exams and then it was time to resume physical training.

I have used the shiny gym equipment in the past and I was not impressed with the results for time spent. It is a 22 minute drive each way to the nearest fitness center, plus an hour there, so that is 10 to 12 hours a week which I didn't want to spend. Tai chi was recommended and I could do it at home. To say I wasn't doing it correctly would be an understatement. I am not a graceful person. I did learn it was not for me as I am a more physical type. I learned about hard style kettlebell and that sounded like it was more my style. I wasn't sure I could do it but it was worth trying. I missed the Fall KB course as I wasn't sure kettlebells would work for me. It has gone well and I am attending the Feb KB course.
 

Roamer321

Level 1 Valued Member
I am not understanding the timing. This quote from the S&S book confuses me. Should I be timing my workout? Should I time each set and each rest period between sets?
"Eventually you will reach the point where the work-to-rest ratio is 1: 1, which means you will hammer out 100 swings in five minutes and ten get-ups in ten minutes. It is almost time to move up in weight."
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@Roamer321, take note of the timing but do not be guided by it - go by breathing, by the talk test. Once in a while, you see how you measure up against a particular time standard.

By keeping track of the time, you will note how you're progressing - the same total amount of work getting done with less rest time, without you _trying_ to lower the rest periods, is what we're after. You may think of it simply - the less time it takes me to recover, the lower percentage of my maximum effort the workout represents. And when a specific amount of work becomes a lower percentage of what you can do, you have become stronger.

-S-
 

Lew

Level 3 Valued Member
I also think a full blood work up is a good idea. There are many factors tested and they can be an early warning of problems. Two years ago I went to my GP as I had extreme fatigue for unknown reasons. Once I started the cod liver oil I improved after a few months. A year later I had my orthopedic exams and then it was time to resume physical training.

I have used the shiny gym equipment in the past and I was not impressed with the results for time spent. It is a 22 minute drive each way to the nearest fitness center, plus an hour there, so that is 10 to 12 hours a week which I didn't want to spend. Tai chi was recommended and I could do it at home. To say I wasn't doing it correctly would be an understatement. I am not a graceful person. I did learn it was not for me as I am a more physical type. I learned about hard style kettlebell and that sounded like it was more my style. I wasn't sure I could do it but it was worth trying. I missed the Fall KB course as I wasn't sure kettlebells would work for me. It has gone well and I am attending the Feb KB course.
I totally get the not-graceful part.

My wife is a Pilates instructor and a Zumba instructor.

As good as she is, and as big as her following, I can't learn to dance.

Maybe when I get closer to my goal weight I'll try it again...

But ONLY if she agrees to pick up a Kettlebell!!
 

Mach Won

Level 2 Valued Member
Quick update.

I bought Simple and Sinister a couple of days after Christmas and I've read it twice already. There's a lot of good information in there; I'm sure I'll go through it a couple more times in the coming months.

Right now, I'm trying to work my way up to 20kg swings. Currently I'm doing my first 40 1-H with the 20kg, and finishing the rest with 16kg. My get ups are not progressing as quickly, but I think that is to be expected since the movement is more involved. I start my TGU with a 14kg KB, usually 6 reps or so, and finish the rest with a 12kg KB.

Aside from S&S, I got a 28kg KB and an Iron Gym pull-up bar at Christmas, so I've been working in some heavy 2-H swings and pull ups here and there. I'm really looking forward to being able to use the 28kg full time in my program!
 
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Lew

Level 3 Valued Member
Quick update.

I bought Simple and Sinister a couple of days after Christmas and I've read it twice already. There's a lot of good information in there; I'm sure I'll go through it a couple more times in the coming months.

Right now, I'm trying to work my way up to 20kg swings. Currently I'm doing my first 40 1-H with the 20kg, and finishing the rest with 16kg. My get ups are not progressing as quickly, but I think that is to be expected since the movement is more involved. I start my TGU with a 14kg KB, usually 6 reps or so, and finish the rest with a 12kg KB.

Aside from S&S, I got a 28kg KB and an Iron Gym pull-up bar at Christmas, so I've been working in some heavy 2-H swings and pull ups here and there. I'm really looking forward to being able to use the 28kg full time in my program!
Your enthusiasm is infectious!!

Be sure to do the three stretches properly BEFORE you swing...

And STRONGLY consider a session with an SFG or a one-day course.

Practice does not make perfect when you are practicing it WRONG!

Keep reading and keep swinging!!
 

Mach Won

Level 2 Valued Member
Thanks Lew. I am working with a coach. I can't really imagine strength training without real guidance; it seems too risky and difficult.

I thought of something else after I posted. Is it worth working my way up from 16kg one handers to 24kg one handers, or would it be a better use of my time to work on 24kg two hand swings and slowly try to incorporate 10 rep sets of 24kg one handers?
 

Lew

Level 3 Valued Member
Thanks Lew. I am working with a coach. I can't really imagine strength training without real guidance; it seems too risky and difficult.

I thought of something else after I posted. Is it worth working my way up from 16kg one handers to 24kg one handers, or would it be a better use of my time to work on 24kg two hand swings and slowly try to incorporate 10 rep sets of 24kg one handers?
Talking S&S, remember the ultimate goals; Simple is 100 1H swings in 5 minutes, 10 TGU in 10 minutes with 32kg. Sinister is the same at 48kg.

Ideally, every single practitioner would reach the goal the exact same way. But we are not all exactly the same, are we...

On the S&S highway, some travel the fast lane, some the slow lane, and some change lanes, seldom or frequently.

A few stay on the highway, never wavering or stopping. A few more spend some time at rest stops.

Many seem to get off the highway, and come back on later at a different time, and often a different place.

So you are on your journey, you know the destination and the highway to get there.

How you choose to travel the highway is up to you.

But remember what you DONT want to happen along the way; an accident or a breakdown.

Do your due diligence. Stay up on your "maintenance", and don't go so fast you drive yourself into an injury.

If you get into an accident or break down, your progress stops.

Listen to your body, read the book again. I have found success trying to get closer to the essence of S&S, not changing it to fit me.

In other words, I am giving myself to the program, and I EXPECT results.

I'm 3 months in, and the only absolute I've learned is patience.

How's THAT for a non-answer?
;)
 

Boosh32

Level 5 Valued Member
Today was a heart rate belt day. I moved from 18 minute to 16 minute 7x10 16 kg swings last Saturday. I could feel the difference but it was expected. Today my average hr was 115 and max was 127 which is about my Maffetone max. That was on the last set and just for a few seconds. I think I may be able to go to 14 minutes in a week or so. My strength is increasing and the 16 kg feels light. There has been a lot of good discussion about form corrections and I am putting a lot of good advice into my kettlebell practice.

Endomondo - 7x10 16 kg 09 Jan 2016.jpg
 
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somanaut

Level 5 Valued Member
A note on TGU's: Switching from 24kg to 32kg. I had to take 1-2 min breaks between each left-right rep before I could do another left-right rep. And was at loss for how to overcome this. Basically TGU's with the 32kg felt like doing 1RM x 10. So I went back to the 24kg one for a a few days, and did left side 2-3 times continuously, then right side, and so on for 3 sets. Went back to the 32kg for TGU's and suddenly, could do left-right-left-right 2 min break and left-right-left-right-left-right. And now the 32kg continuously is well within my reach.
Other factors that might have contributed to this change is: 1) warming up with the 24kg instead of the 16kg and 2) doing a few pistols squats and assisted OAPU's during the day.
Just an experience that I wanted to share, maybe it will work for some one else, maybe not.
Best Regards
Jesper
 

somanaut

Level 5 Valued Member
Thanks @Steve Freides
Just wanted to add, that once again I am amazed at the synergy between NW and S&S. My work schedule (and a new girl friend) has interfered with my S&S progress towards the simple goal. So have been doing GTG pistols and OAPU (assisted) at work between clients (masseur). Was struggling with the OAPU, and couldn't see how decrease the torso and hand front leverage to 0 (on the floor). Googled around a bit and found a suggestion to do archer push ups, which worked. And soon I just automatically had the non pushing arm raised off the floor. So did my first OAPU today, it looked horrible (legs very much akimbo) but the movement is there. So no it's "just" a matter of playing around with it, and improving form.

TL;DR: Pistol Squat and One Arm Pushups (GTG) are a great addition to one arm swings and turkish getups, when you don't have kettlebells around. It will keep you strong and might even make your S&S better when you return to it. And S&S will help your NW.
Power to all
Jesper
 
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JamesR

Level 1 Valued Member
Thought i'd pop into the newbie thread. I've been doing s+s around about 6 months (but still very much a newbie) and ive been lurking here for probably the same amount of time trying to absorb what info I can. Currently struggling to get the 24kg swings up to par (think its my left hand grip giving me problems and some bicep soreness). I'm one of those where the get ups are progressing along easier than the swings. Going to try doing some exclusive swing workouts (tracey reifkind style, equal rest and work into rest with the 16) to see if that helps and maybe build up some grip and forearm endurance. Also have just got a newborn so my get up area has been turned into a playmat, nappy changing and moses basket zone so until I can reclaim some TGU space I'm relegated to swinging in my box room office.
 
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Boosh32

Level 5 Valued Member
@JamesR

I am three months into S&S and I have some bicep sensations when I lose full concentration and squeeze my grip. It might be a good idea to use the 16kg and see it you can use a good hook technique in your swings.

I would also follow the advice about longer rests to build strength. More isn't always better. One way is doing 5x20 instead of 10x10 sets another is much longer rests between sets. 300 Seconds: A Guide to Maximizing Your Rest Intervals - StrongFirst

You should be able to do half TGUs in your box room. Move very slow and hold each position for 10 seconds. It is a simple way to prepare to resume full TGUs.
 

Miguel

Level 5 Valued Member
Hello all!

Family of Strength indeed. I am greatly encouraged by everyone's attitude here and I hope in the future I can become a contributing member of kettlebell society.

I'm new to the forum and ETK, but I've been an amateur KB practitioner for 4 years. I mean total wrong approach, learned everything wrong, did everything wrong, wrong wrong etc. I finally decided to forgo mediocrity and picked up ETK, currently in week 2 of ROP.

-35 y/o male
- USMC Recon guy
- Healthy and in pretty good shape

Goals
-Pass ROP
-attend and pass SFG I certification
-get really strong
-learn how use forums

@Lew, I recently got a buddy into KBs, if you could give your top Tips to him (fixing this, doing that, more of, less of, progression, etc) what would they be? He went from lots of yoga to swinging PM with a 20lbs KB.

Thank you for your time and efforts.
 

Lew

Level 3 Valued Member
@Miguel, Welcome to StrongFirst!

My absolute top tip to fix it all, do it all, and progress very well is to spend the $$(for me, $60), on a session with an SFG1 or SFG2.

Second top tip is to attend one of those all day sessions for $200.

For the rest of us, (I AM seeing my local SFG2 soon, it is a Christmas gift:cool:) I'd go through the threads on this forum and look for folks who posted a video asking
for feedback on their form and watch every single one.
Look for responses from the likes of @Steve Freides, @Anna C., @aciampa, @Harald Motz, and anyone else with a 'strong and robust presence on the forum'
or a cool title like SFG1 or Team Leader below their handle.

I strongly recommend S&S as a starter program.
Read the book no less than 5 times, about a week apart each reading worked well for me.
It is a text book from the premier school of strength.
Nobody reads a book and absorbs it 100% the first time through.

I have read many threads starting with someone who is dissatisfied with their program, like S&S, only to read on to find they have
adapted it into something else. They aren't getting the results of S&S because they AREN'T DOING S&S.

This program was developed largely by one of the, if not THE premier Kettlebell practitioner in the world: Pavel.

1000's of hours of work and millions of swings went into the development of this program.
When someone can document more work than that, then they can change the program to fit their needs.
But it is no longer S&S. It's something else.

My goal is not to see what else I can do, although I did fall into that trap several times in the beginning...
My goal is to see how close I can get to the program.
Practice makes perfect.
But NOT if you are practicing it WRONG.

I have some mobility issues related to being 54yo, and 50lbs overweight. 6'0", 253lbs.
Original Strength is very good, and I have also hear Naked Warrior by Pavel is also a great companion to S&S.

I have read every one of the over 5000+ messages in this forum, and am confident if I don't have the answer to a question,
I know who to ask.

So you and your buddy I say,
WELCOME!
Keep reading and keep swinging!!
 
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