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Kettlebell What WTH effects have you experienced from S&S/Kettlebell training in general?

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Harry Westgate

Level 6 Valued Member
Hi everyone,

I'm just curious to hear anyone's experience of kettlebell training leading to improvements in seemingly unrelated physical endeavours.

From my own experience, having been doing S&S at least four days per week since the end of November 2015, I've seen massive improvements in my performance in glycolytic-type circuit training done at the end of boxing sessions (i.e. they still might have me huffing and puffing somewhat, but they don't burn me out anywhere near as much - no more 'jelly legs', haven't been sore the next day in months, etc.), but I haven't actually tested myself on any movements that I'm not specifically training yet (e.g. bench press - maybe it will have improved due to getting better at the get-up? Same for deadlift - being improved by swings maybe?).

Would love to hear everyone's experience, maybe your lifts have improved without training them, perhaps you're jumping higher, or you've suddenly got better at running?

Please share! :)

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Running, for sure. I can sprint faster than ever before now, at 48 years old. Distance running seems to work better also; better hip stability, better gait, better posture.

The other broad area I would say has really significantly improved is balance; one leg poses & movements, tricky things like really slow mountain biking on inclines. I guess this also relates to control of the body, in general.... In fact, all movement, all mobility has improved.

And of course, my strength has greatly improved, which applies to so many things.

I could almost reverse the question and ask, is there anything that HASN'T improved? I can hardly think of anything. Maybe my eyesight ;)

Celebrating 3 years this month since I was introduced to the kettlebell, and 2 years since I got serious about it. The benefits just keep coming...


Level 4 Valued Member
For whatever reason, my pressing remains very strong relative to my own personal bests without training them too much. For example, I can't clean and press my half bodyweight bell, the 44kg, but I can clean and press the 40kg any day of the week. I also matched my personal best bench presses twice last year, even though those two times were the only times I got under the bar.


Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
On a bet with buddy, I ran a 5k in just a hair over 22 minutes. He thought I couldn't beat 25:20 (his time). I haven't run for longer than 15 minutes prior to that since (no word of a lie) 2013. I attribute almost all of that to swing/snatch sessions. Do the odd prowler/sled or sprint work but I would say a majority of my "conditioning" or "work capacity" was due to swings.


Level 3 Valued Member
I went to a 2 Day Movnat workshop, oh, over 6 months ago now. Half the class was personal trainers going for the Cert. In a group 40-50 I was one of two who didn't raise their hand when they asked who was sore on the second day. When the group was asked where they were sore the honest majority answer "from the neck down". Me, nothin, felt great :).


Level 5 Valued Member
1 month into S and S.. And 32 days after first touching a kettlebell.(EVER)

One caveat..I do the swings,TGUs and Bent Press.

I've noticed that when my 60 lb son sneaks in and jumps on my back...from in front on the side, or behind my back takes the load quicker,and without ANY...issue...not that 60lbs is much but the load Unprepared and without any notice has twice pulled muscles the past.
No more.
Also last week had to offload a 20 ft container with 3 other guys...and I kept pace,didn't hit the wall...and woke up painless.
Weary..but not sore.

That's my what the Hell moment...although Hell..wasn't the word I used.


Level 4 Valued Member
Hi everybody!

First of, I'm Francesco from Vergato (Province of Bologna), IT. I like to write. A LOT. I remember the good old Sherdog Forum days... Ah, good times... So don't be surprised or, even worse, angry with me, please! Also, my english is far, FAR from perfect.

I think it's only fair to introduce my story with kettlebells in general and Simple&Sinister in particular: I started self-taught kettlebell training in late 2013, a few months after dropping out of Martial Art practice which I had been doing consistently for four years, because I was bored to death by dumbells and "regular" training. I purchased my first 16 kg bell and started swinging after self-teaching myself how to. Around April 2014 I made the huge mistake of speeding up things and buying a second bell: this led to also thinking ahead of my body capabilities (which are STILL very modest) and trying things I was million years far from ready to do, and consequentially completely shut down training all at once. From this time (around June 2014 which coincided with my 30th birthday) to September 2015, I did absolutely nothing to keep up with the what I call “The 30 Years Old Syndrome”. I noticed that I happily never gave a dime about what my uncle (a lifetime amateur athlete with many marathons under his belt and still able to kick my butt) who always worried about “health after thirties”, but I should have. I gained weight, was always fatigued and looked worst than ever: I had to do something. I dusted off my kettlebells, got into more serious, always self-taught training and sky rocketed my body composition back to acceptable. Around February 2016 I ordered a 24 kg bell and got to know it. I’ve been suffering from scoliosis since a was a kid, so, while I was able to keep a 16 kg in place, I thought it would be advisable to contact a school friend of mine which is an SFG II and SFL certified coach (along with many, MANY other certs that touch almost every aspect of physical training) and receive training (Let me brag for a moment and tell you he was surprised by my technique being always self taught! :D)

It was a turning point. Alessandro COMPLETELY changed my way not only of training with kettlebells, but also the idea of getting results: I switched from the “I train to look good” mentality to the “I PRACTICE to get STRONG” one. He tweaked little things that had an impact so great on my lifts, I could hardly believe. I never, ever tried a TGU because in self training I found it very dangerous and was unaware of the shear quality of this movement and the billions benefits it carries over to almost every other exercise with kettlebells, but now it has grown to become my favorite lift. I’m now into my fourth week of Simple&Sinister, I’m able to maintain both the swing and TGU time requirement with the following progression: for the single hand swings (being my strongest and safer lift, I like to start on my weakest side, the left one) 1L/1R 16 kg X 3, 1L/1R 24 kg X 2 (I’d also like to point out that I have smaller than average hands and my 24 kg bell’s got a very thick handle that affects my swings, with the ones provided in my friend’s gym it becomes much easier - I ordered a pair), for the get ups 1R/1L X 1 16 kg, 1R/1L 24 kg X 1, 1R/1L 16 kg X 3.

The WTH effects are the:

1. Rapid strength gain - I really feel like my daily physical activities are getting easier by the day;

2. Moderate muscle hypertrophy - my body tones up as the get ups amass and the swing count keeps getting higher;

3. Moderate fat loss - this isn’t as nearly as quick as the one I was observing during my running protocol, still it’s here and visible.

4. Readiness after practice - one hour after practice I can still press (my weakest lift) decently.

5. Overall self awareness - I increasingly feel like I’m “in control” of my body and, for the first time ever in my life, I think I’m underestimating it;

6. Eating like a pig, without FEELING like a pig - as a good Italian as I am, this is by far the most incredible result: when I decide to “cheat” I can eat whatever I want in VERY large quantities and yet don’t feel the numbness I felt before discovering the Strong First method.

7. TGU performances - I was nothing less than amazed as I parked the bell after my first set of two 24 kg TGUs (which happened on Easter), considering I did the first one ever less than a month ago.

Told you I like to write.

Have a nice day!
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Level 7 Valued Member
Barbell overhead press 1RM of 195lb, and push pressed 240lb after not training them in about 4 months. My old max MP was 165. Quite an improvement. I have been doing other training with S&S, but squat variations, swings, bent presses, and get ups are the core of my training.

The get up changed my life.


Level 6 Valued Member
Great stories, for me, and I'm not sure if these things are really a WTH effect because I never take for granted what may be gained from a new or different training regime, I would list the following:

Grip strength.

I injured my lower back over 30 years ago powerlifting but at the time was in an off season cycle and the injury occurred while doing high rep (20) squats. Although I still will have the occasional soreness, it's nothing like before I started doing KB swings and S&S.

This is related to the above but mobility. I can get on the floor and crawl around with my Grandson like a teenager. It's awesome. Before my lower back and hips were very immobile.

Did I mention grip strength?

I really dislike the term "core strength" so I'll use stability, overall stability. I am an avid bow hunter and the stability I have gained has improved my shooting tremendously.

Very seldom, and I'm sure if I did things more reasonably I could say never, am I sore the next day following a workout.

Last summer I completed my first half marathon. I did some running yes, one longer run each week followed by two 20 min. runs using the Maffetone method. But the real nuts and bolts to my training was kettlebell swings. Who'd a thunk? On my own I would have thought I'd have to keep increasing my milage and would have ended up injured, most likely low back or hips, (see above) but thanks to A.C. I did it and all the while getting stronger.

I've learned truck loads about improving my own training.

I've became aquatinted (wish I could say have met) some really cool people on this board. Thanks


Level 6 Valued Member
Good thread. I have only been doing it an year. I would mention some of the things I noticed. I am not experienced enough to notice carry overs into other exercises or sports.
1. I am not waking up with any more joint pains! (I am 43)
2. I can pick up my sleeping six year olds (twins) from the car with ease now
3. I can do one or two chin ups (it was zero before, and i am not practicing it)
4. My body is more coherent and I feel light weight while walking (though I have not lost any weight..I stay between 180-185)
5. And of course, gains in strength, posture, confidence...


Level 2 Valued Member
I have been training exclusively with kettlebells for the last few years. Two weeks ago, I got invited to a pickup hockey game and laced them up for the first time in six years. Felt like I'd only been off for a summer. The hands were a bit unsteady but the legs and the lungs were just fine.

Physical Culture

Level 6 Valued Member
I train almost exclusively long cycle. I do 10 minute sets, three days a week, usually at 6pm Last fall I was doing 60 reps in 10m with 2x16k. Now I'm doing 60 in 10m with 20k. I also do some easy dumbbell training with 12 lb. dumbbells: curls, French presses, lateral raises, flyes, reverse flyes. I do prying squats, but don't squat with weight. I never run because it hurts my knee. I seldom do chins anymore because they aggravate my left elbow.

Here's my WTH:

My son joined the Civil Air Patrol. Last week he asked me to do his PT test with him to practice for an upcoming test. We ran a mile at his pace: 10:20. I could have done it faster, and did not feel like this was a strain at all. We walked a mile back, then did pushups. I got 50 in one set, stopping to rest a couple of times in the upward dog position. Then I did 9 chin ups. I can also deadlift 300-315 any time I choose. I'm almost 39 and am a minister (not a physically demanding job).

I've found that high-rep timed sets of ballistic lifts with moderate weight cut a great path between strength and endurance. I can pull reasonably heavy without training deadlifts, and run a decent mile without running. I couldn't win a powerlifting meet or a 5k with either of these numbers, of course, but I think Kettlebell lifting is building enough strength and endurance that I could bring up my deadlift or my run time to a respectable number within a few cycles if I chose. I get excited thinking about the results I'll see when I'm cranking out sets of 60 with 2x24k and beyond.

Jim Lauerman

Level 6 Valued Member
This is really "out there" but one of my hobbies is handgun shooting. My accuracy has improved dramatically with S&S, which I attribute to hand, forearm, and shoulder strength and stability.

Also, I am able to ride my motorcycle much further now as my back doesn't fatigue like it used to.

My walking and bicycle riding are also stronger and easier with little post workout pain.

I'm almost 67 and can do things I haven't done in years.

In fairness, Original Strength resets are a large part of the story as well.



Level 1 Valued Member
I haven't used a barbell for over a year as I switched to S&S as an experiment.
I had a layoff due to shoulder surgery in December. I made a quick recovery and the physical therapists couldn't believe my shoulder mobility which I know came from the kettlebell. My pressing strength is almost back to where it was and my TGU is where it was pre-surgery.
My posture is improved. I work 10 hour shifts sitting at a desk.
My shooting has improved, without a doubt due to the grip strength.
I've never been into deadlifting, I tried it out on Wednesday, got 365 without any trouble.
Last fall I improved my 1.5 mile time by 30 seconds over a 3 month period with no running (11:47 to 11:13), maintained my bench press, improved my sit-ups and push-ups, dropped by 300 meter run 6 seconds.
My wedding ring no longer fits, I'm not sure if it is due to added muscle mass or calluses but I really need to get it re-sized soon or people are going to start talking.

Harald Motz

Level 8 Valued Member
I can't get rid of hearing these great stories too. When one is "on" to something, that is a matter of fact.

So my WTH effects are sort of kettlebell related:
- the (in)famous 80/20 rule: when looking back around my thump 80% of my training time over the last two years led me to get my SFG2 Cert
- since beginning of 2016 I am on @aciampa protocol 103 & 104 respectively. Somewhere he said something like this: this protocols are like S&S but something different, same, but different. In this time time my resting hr measured in the morning dropped from around 60bpm to around 50bpm significantly. No traditional cardio involved in here. WTH...
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