Your ROP experience

Matt604

Level 6 Valued Member
The ROP is designed to get men to a half-BW press.  But there are several other programs suggesting that people struggle with getting all the way there using just the ROP.  Rif’s latest article on this site, Kenneth Jay’s Perfecting the Press book, and Pavel’s own “Bench More to Press More” post all contain programs to help you move your press up when, presumably, the ROP is not working for some reason.

If you have used the ROP and achieved your half-BW press (or quarter-BW for women), I would be interested in hearing about your experience.  Where were you strength-wise when you started the ROP?  Did you continue straight through with the ROP, testing and moving up in bell sizes until you hit your goal, or did you use other programs like those listed above?  Would you do it differently if you were starting out now?

Thanks in advance -- Matt
 

TheFitLifePT

Level 3 Valued Member
Started at an easy triple with a 16kg bell. Worked the ROP as written up to an unattractive 32kg double.

Went to my RKC September '12, successfully pressed 40kg for a single each arm (47% BW), then returned to the ROP with my 24kg, with 10min get-ups on variety days. Don't stick to programs long so switched to a chins/HSPU focus for about 3 months. Returned to ROP, did 5 ladders to 5 with 24kg, rested, did some short ladders with 32kg, took a few weeks of vacation, put in another week of training, and pressed the 44kg.

So, I used it successfully, but broken up by other training, copious rest, and mid-journey learning about maximizing tension and position for a better press.

If I were doing it now, I would ROP 6 weeks, other program 6 weeks, and keep alternating until successful. It would provide enough variety to keep my training Scatter Brain satisfied, while also keeping me dead focused on the goal. GTG OAP & HSPU (full range, like on PBars or Rings) also helps immensely, plus some quality get-ups.

Hope something there helps.
 

Pavel

Founder and Chairman
Master Certified Instructor
Matt, in 99% of the cases the ROP does not work for one simple reason—the person failed to follow it to the letter (reduced the volume and added other exercises).

You have listed three other effective programs, but one has no business taking them on before faithfully going through the ROP.

 

 
 

MikeMoran

Level 5 Valued Member
I am still working on the ROP. Started last year with a 16kg. Bought a 24kg and could only get a rep or 2 out. Did the PM with the 24kg and a cycle of SCCJ with the 24kg. Now on the ROP with the 24kg. Working toward the 32kg.

 

 
 

Matt604

Level 6 Valued Member
I appreciate the input, and I hope there will be more responses.  Personally I'm planning to make it all the way through on ROP without deviating unless I actually stall out.  I was just curious whether the people who use these other programs in the middle of their ROP journeys tend to do so out of necessity or out of distraction.  So far, it sounds like distraction more than necessity.

Thanks, Pavel -- I'm sure you're right, and I plan on sticking to the program as written.
 

Sabataki

Level 3 Valued Member
Pavel,

Concerning the ROP and pressing the beast, I'm assuming (I know mother of all mistakes), that doesn't mean just completing the ROP with the 24 but also with the 32.  The first time I went through with the 24, when I finished I was able to comfortably press the 36 and had a very shaky press with the 40, but was still a long way from pressing the beast (which at 215 is half my bw).   This time I plan to move to the 32 when I finish the 5 ladders and 5 rungs in 3 more weeks.  Should I start back at 3 ladders and 3 rungs for the heavy day,  and do no reps with the 24 or work the 32 into my ladders and rungs with the 24.
 

Matt604

Level 6 Valued Member
I spent a couple months focusing on getups -- timed sets, alternating sides -- and swings -- 12 minutes, to comfortable stops -- but I can’t say I followed the PM as written because I did not always stick to 2 or 3 days per week of each move and I did not always do them on separate days.  I got to where I was using the 24 for getups and could do singles with the 28.  My swings were less good, I think mainly because my conditioning has always lagged behind my strength (such as it is).

I was able to C&P the 24 for 5 reps per side, so that's where I started the ROP, but I back-tracked pretty quickly to the 20 because I really struggled with 5 x (1,2,3) ladders on heavy days.  I plan to get to 5 x (1,2,3,4,5) with the 20 very soon, and then start over with the 24.  I expect I will have to go all the way through with the 24 and then start over again with the 28 or 32 before being able to press the 40 with authority, but we shall see.
 

Gergely Niklai

Level 1 Valued Member
Hi,

I've started 12 weeks ago with 3 ladders and 3 rungs with a 24K. When I started I could press 32K a few times. My best was 5, but that was a while back.

My week looks like this:

Monday          rest

Tuesday         heavy

Wednesday   rest

Thursday       variation (wrestling in my case)

Friday           easy

Saturday      rest

Sunday        medium

I do chin ups, and for the swings and snatches I roll the dice. With work and other stuff this is just about right for me.

As for results, I still have one week to go, then rest & test.

One thing I know is that I feel stronger. Also, I can do a chest to bar pullup which I couldn't do before. So this is my ROP experience so far. Will be back after I test.

Gergely
 

Dan Anderson

Level 3 Valued Member
Matt,

If you aspire to be pretty good with the bells  ETK will be an important season of your "Kettlebell Life." Read and study the book multiple times, highlight and take notes.  Complete the requirements and this will lay a foundation for all other kettlebell work you do in the future.

"It may take you a year, two or more to bring your strength and conditioning up to this level; take your time."

Good Luck
 

MikeMoran

Level 5 Valued Member
Wow. Just a comment on the ROP. My shoulders and abs hate me today from this mornings ROP heavy day. Hurts to laugh.:D

 

 
 

Matt604

Level 6 Valued Member
Thanks again for the comments, everyone, and for the encouragement, Dan.  I am trying to enjoy the journey and not be too focused on the goal, given the likely time horizon.  I will post again when I have some progress to report.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
What Pavel said - I did it twice, using a 24 kg, starting being able to press a 28 for a double, and finished pressing a 32 kg for a single.   Both times in my 50's, both time at 150 lb bodyweight.

-S-
 

Sabataki

Level 3 Valued Member
Pavel - Thank you very much Sir, Will Do.

Steve:  Awesome job at that weight, very strong.  Turn 50 in a month and a half, things are not as easy as they used to be.
 

gdherman

Level 1 Valued Member
A half BW press might be a moving target for me.......up 4 to 5 lbs since starting PM in December then ROP in Feb.    159 lbs, 44 yrs old......... used 24 for PM and 20kg for ROP, 24 by next Monday. You guys in the over 50 set are inspiring. Thanks to Pavel for ETK!
 

T C

Level 1 Valued Member
I have completed the ROP a few times as in finishing off at 5 x (1,2,3,4,5) and I found that it is best to stick to the plan faithfully. I was tempted to try other stuff but have restrained myself from doing so as it will not be the same program. I also find keeping a training journal helps me stay on track. So far, the strength of my presses have not failed to improve with the ROP. Like Gergely Niklai, I noticed that I could do my pull up with my chest to the bar.
 

guacadoggie

Level 3 Valued Member
After I finished my heavy yesterday, I looked back through workout log and compared my first week to the week I just finished.  This is my 9th week in my first round of ROP, and I was really amazed at how much more weight I moved yesterday compared to my first heavy day.  C&P: 20kg x 2 x 1,2,3,4 and 3 x 1,2,3 (same volume of pull-ups too) vs. my first week of 20kg x 2 x 1,2,3 with no pull-ups.

Not that this hasn't been done by plenty of others, I just find it amazing that this increase can happen in 9 weeks just by following the book.  And for that, thanks Pavel and everyone else that offers their knowledge to help others.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
And thanks from those of us who are more than 50 years old.

If you complete the ROP with a 24 kg, you should be well on your way, Greg.  Follow the program by the book - it delivers, as you've already seen.

NB: If you or anyone else reading along feels like you just ought to be stronger at pressing a kettlebell than you are, get yourself to either a StrongFirst Kettlebell User Course or a SFG-certified instructor for one-on-one or small group training.

-S-
 
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