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Because there is never too much kettlebell awesomeness, I am starting up this group again. Nothing formal, just for people who like to play with kettlebells, or want to learn more. Share what you do, accomplishments, or questions. Several people are working on Simple and Sinister right now, while others have their own workouts, and some are competing. 

 

 

Since I started the group, I'll share what I am doing. I hadn't done anything strength training related until about 4 years ago, when I joined NF. I did some bodyweight stuff, then added in some sledgehammer training, and then started with kettlebells. Right now I am working on Pavel's program Simple and Sinister. It consists of two exercises, swings and Turkish get-ups. The Simple goal for a woman is  to be able to do `100 55 lb. swings in under 5 minutes, and 10 35 lb. TGUs in 10 minutes. My personal goal is 44 lb swings and 35 lb TGU. After I hit that goal, I'll most likely switch programs for a bit, but I would like to eventually be able to do 100 55 lb swings.

 

So this challenge I will work at building up to be able to do 5 (each side) complete TGUs with the 35 lb and decreasing the swing time with my 35 lb. The swings I had to step back, even though I had already hit the 5 minute time, I was really unhappy with my form. So, I worked on my form and am now working on the goal, while still maintaining my form.

 

That's my story. Share what you are doing and your goals.

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Never too much kettlebell awesomeness, completely agree.

 

I'm one of those who competes and I also coach a kettlebell sport team. 

So I do a lot of snatches and clean & jerks.. and I absolutely hate swings and TGU's :D 

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Woot! I am doing Simple and Sinister. I just started it, and I am doing 5x10 two handed swings with my crazy 50lb weighted cinderblock, and 10 TGUs with a 20lb rock in a bag. I'll be increasing the swings to 10x10, but I can't do one handed swings with the block. I will be rewarding myself with a 35lb kettlebell (for the TGUs) if for this challenge I do the full S&S routine at least three times a week and some kind of kettlebell workout at least every other day. If I do the full S&S routine at least every other day, I'll also buy myself a 50lb.


 


The 20lb rock is super light for the TGUs, but so far I've not fixed a decent handle on anything much heavier, without it being super awkward and hanging directly over my face while torquing my elbow. 35lb is damn heavy for me for the TGUs, but I don't really want to buy a lighter one. After a month of drilling the TGUs with 20lb, I think I'll be ready to work on the 35lb.


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S&S question - Three sets of five prying goblet squats seems kind of excessive as a warm up if you spend any time at the bottom actually "prying" or curling. Am I reading it wrong? 

 

My impression was that ONE prying goblet squat involves squatting down, doing various twisting/prying movements to open the hip, and doing a few curls basically to rock back and forth, and then coming up. Are you actually supposed to do five of these squats on each of the three circuits of mobility drills? Maybe my yoga background means I wildly overestimate how long you are intended to stay in the squat each time, but it is 2-3 minutes for me to do one set of 5 of these. Even if I really blow through them, three circuits of the mobility drills is well over five minutes, and with the squats done in the way they are described it is more like ten minutes. And it does clearly say, "Do five reps, resting between them if necessary." Geez, if I took any rest between the squats, this starts being a 15 minute warm-up, for a 15-20 minute workout. And if you did 3 circuits of the finishing stretches (it says do 1-3) you'd surely be spending more time on stretches than on the main workout.

 

I realize some people do that, because they really value mobility so highly, but I'm assuming this is not the case with Simple & Sinister, because right after describing these drills, Pavel admonishes, "DON'T BE A SISSY. KEEP YOUR WARM-UP SHORT." in all caps, in bold, circled in red. 

 

I'm trying to really be good and do this program by the book, but I'm really tempted to just do one real good prying squat for each circuit of the mobility drills.

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My story is long so I'll spare you.

I practice for sport, specifically the long cycle (two kettlebell clean and jerk). I first competed two years ago. Last year was a dud in terms of improvement so I've reset my feet for this year. 

1. reexecute my Rank 1 level of lifting 24kg x 2 for 65 reps in 10:00

2. continue to refine my work on 100 reps in 10:00 with 20kg x 2

3. I should add in some goals around jerks and snatches or half snatches but I'm not quite sure what those will be so I'll take that one back to my thread with me to mull over.

 

For the record, this is my event:

https://youtu.be/9N3ADCptStI

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S&S question - Three sets of five prying goblet squats seems kind of excessive as a warm up if you spend any time at the bottom actually "prying" or curling. Am I reading it wrong? 

 

My impression was that ONE prying goblet squat involves squatting down, doing various twisting/prying movements to open the hip, and doing a few curls basically to rock back and forth, and then coming up. Are you actually supposed to do five of these squats on each of the three circuits of mobility drills? Maybe my yoga background means I wildly overestimate how long you are intended to stay in the squat each time, but it is 2-3 minutes for me to do one set of 5 of these. Even if I really blow through them, three circuits of the mobility drills is well over five minutes, and with the squats done in the way they are described it is more like ten minutes. And it does clearly say, "Do five reps, resting between them if necessary." Geez, if I took any rest between the squats, this starts being a 15 minute warm-up, for a 15-20 minute workout. And if you did 3 circuits of the finishing stretches (it says do 1-3) you'd surely be spending more time on stretches than on the main workout.

 

I realize some people do that, because they really value mobility so highly, but I'm assuming this is not the case with Simple & Sinister, because right after describing these drills, Pavel admonishes, "DON'T BE A SISSY. KEEP YOUR WARM-UP SHORT." in all caps, in bold, circled in red. 

 

I'm trying to really be good and do this program by the book, but I'm really tempted to just do one real good prying squat for each circuit of the mobility drills.

I find this confusing also. On the Strongfirst forums, they've discussed it too, with varying answers. What I've settled on is to do a mix of goblet squats and prying squats. I do the squats with the same light weight, so it's not strength it's just a warm up. I do about 3 goblet squats and 2 prying per set. Over Christmas, I just did 1 prying squat per set, but spent a couple of minutes in the squat, and I found that really helpful. From the book and other things Pavel said, I don't think he meant for people to be spending a super long time in warm up. 

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I do one good long prying goblet squat before I do anything else.  Then act like a sissy and do a long warm-up/ mobility session.  When I finally get to the S&S warm-up circuit I do the goblet squats quickly.

 

My Intro.:

 

I've done kettlebells off and on for a few years.  I've done two different class series in that time, the first was with a master RKC and the other was with a Yoga dude with a fitness KB cert.  I've also been to The Most Loathed's garage a couple of times to check my form, he seems to think it's fine, but can't get past my backward breathing.

 

Right now I'm doing S&S.  I'm doing 2h swings at 24 kg and TGUs @ 12kg.  I spent about 20 years not able to work overhead because of an injury and feel that the get ups are really helping to keep things healthy in my shoulder.

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It has been so long that I'm just going to claim Beginner Status... but I'm working on that :)

 

I bought the S&S ebook today, and am currently setting up my home kettlebell empire. 

 

 

I ordered a 10kg kettlebell to live at my parents house (where I am for the holidays + a little while I get ready to move...plus presumably every holiday for the forseeable future. so I want something to play with here. Maybe they'll use it too :) )

 

I have my Amazon.de cart loaded with a 12kg and 16lg dragondoor kettlebell ready to hit "go" the week before I move...I still have a week to change my mind on the weights though if you have suggestions!

 

 

 

Goals...STICK WITH IT, get my batcave in order, and set up a baseline!

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Jumping in over here as a COMPLETE beginner.  I like to try new things and this challenge it's going to be kettlebells because it looks fun and awesome to swing around big heavy iron things.

 

I downloaded the Simple and Sinister ebook today and did a quick read through, watched some Strongfirst videos on Youtube and I'm going to pick up two kettlebells tomorrow.  I will apologize in advance for all of my newbie questions.  I'm also really grateful someone else asked about the prying squats.  While I'm sort of excited to do them anyway (yay for squat mobility), it did seem like quite a long warm up.

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Can I get in on this?

 

Got into kettlebell training when I was training to lower my CF WOD "Helen" time in the Army, and I needed a way to train when I got out so I purchased a second-hand set and started out with Dan John's 10'000 Swings. My deadlift shot up to 400, and I went ahead and bought Pavel's book, Simple & Sinister. I've been a swinger ever since.

 

I'm training for a CF competition this month, but I'm going for the SFG in March, so I'm trying to maintain my technique in the meantime. I figure RKC Deep 6, and S&S every now and then should be the way to go. Maybe some Snatches, which seems to be my biggest obstacle.

 

Some pictures of the hardware I currently work with:

 

11215783_1682342095332020_69532826849448

 

11261246_1716928271873402_31888171180262

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Sub'd! :) 

 

Looks like my squishy joints (sprained wrist(s) a while ago) will keep me from doing a sensible S&S stint for a bit. :( 

 

I will keep going to my (hardstyle) kb classes, but modify the exercises as needed.

Any kb practice is better than no kb practice in my books. :)

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Hi all,

I'm new to NF and am looking around for like-minded strong people. I'm 62 and making a slow U-turn in my lifestyle. I'd like to level up the quality of life on this side of the hill.

 

I started training with KBs about 4 years ago when I set up a home gym. They are great for small spaces.

Prior to that, I had trained with barbells until medical problems (mine and family members') interfered. I'm a big fan of Pavel, Dan John, and Mark Rippetoe, among others.

 

The past year, I have neglected my 'bells and holy smokes, am I paying for it now. I am going to ramp up my strength before jumping into S&S again. I will follow along here and learn.

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Since I needed an excuse to share this video some more anyway (I'm ridiculously proud of it), I thought maybe you guys would enjoy a behind the scenes view of the world championships? 

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Hi all,

I'm new to NF and am looking around for like-minded strong people. I'm 62 and making a slow U-turn in my lifestyle. I'd like to level up the quality of life on this side of the hill.

 

I started training with KBs about 4 years ago when I set up a home gym. They are great for small spaces.

Prior to that, I had trained with barbells until medical problems (mine and family members') interfered. I'm a big fan of Pavel, Dan John, and Mark Rippetoe, among others.

 

The past year, I have neglected my 'bells and holy smokes, am I paying for it now. I am going to ramp up my strength before jumping into S&S again. I will follow along here and learn.

 

Welcome to the Rebellion!  I am in the midst of a slow U-turn myself and you will find much inspiration and support here at NF.  So glad you've joined us.  I'm totally new to KB, but very excited at all they offer in such a great little package.

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Can I get in on this?

 

Got into kettlebell training when I was training to lower my CF WOD "Helen" time in the Army, and I needed a way to train when I got out so I purchased a second-hand set and started out with Dan John's 10'000 Swings. My deadlift shot up to 400, and I went ahead and bought Pavel's book, Simple & Sinister. I've been a swinger ever since.

 

I'm training for a CF competition this month, but I'm going for the SFG in March, so I'm trying to maintain my technique in the meantime. I figure RKC Deep 6, and S&S every now and then should be the way to go. Maybe some Snatches, which seems to be my biggest obstacle.

 

Some pictures of the hardware I currently work with:

 

 

 

 

 

Awesome bells!

Sub'd! :)

 

Looks like my squishy joints (sprained wrist(s) a while ago) will keep me from doing a sensible S&S stint for a bit. :(

 

I will keep going to my (hardstyle) kb classes, but modify the exercises as needed.

Any kb practice is better than no kb practice in my books. :)

Sadz on the squishy joints, and yeah  at least you can get some kb practice in

 

Jumping in over here as a COMPLETE beginner.  I like to try new things and this challenge it's going to be kettlebells because it looks fun and awesome to swing around big heavy iron things.

 

I downloaded the Simple and Sinister ebook today and did a quick read through, watched some Strongfirst videos on Youtube and I'm going to pick up two kettlebells tomorrow.  I will apologize in advance for all of my newbie questions.  I'm also really grateful someone else asked about the prying squats.  While I'm sort of excited to do them anyway (yay for squat mobility), it did seem like quite a long warm up.

yay, glad to see you. Looks like we have several wise people here who can help answer questions

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Since I needed an excuse to share this video some more anyway (I'm ridiculously proud of it), I thought maybe you guys would enjoy a behind the scenes view of the world championships? 

 

You've got every right to be proud. :P

 

My KB story is short. Started about 9 months ago when I took a class (I actually had to wait half a year for a free spot....). Bought my first one before it was over. Before then I used only bodyweight workouts. Since then my regular routine is both. Played around with Simple & Sinister a little bit last year, but I was more concentrating on a general foundation for my KB work. That changes this year, so I'm doing S&S as well as other KB stuff (I do like snatching, but not with heavy ones :P).

 

Right now I do two-hand swings with 24 kg (though sometimes only 50 instead 100) or one-hand with the 16 kg. TGU I can do with a 16kg, but they are shaky and my form is not the best, which is why I'm doing them mostly with a 12kg at the moment. My goal for the next couple of months is 100 one-hand swings with the 24 kg and 5 TGU with the 16 kg in the time limit, e.g. the men's standard before moving up to higher weights. After that of course the simple goals await..... I want to improve other KB moves, too, but for those I have no measurable goals right now.

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I'm joining in here again! I started with S&S at the beginning of the last challenge, but the last few weeks have been sporadic at best. I'm doing two handed swings with a 16kg and I'm working my way up to doing TGU's with an 8kg. Right now I do the first two parts of the move (levering up on my elbow and then coming up onto my hand) with the 'bell. After I do 5 sets of that on each side I do a few sets of full TGU's with a shoe. I think I'll be ready to add on the next couple of parts of the weighted TGU in a couple of weeks.

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Since I needed an excuse to share this video some more anyway (I'm ridiculously proud of it), I thought maybe you guys would enjoy a behind the scenes view of the world championships? 

 

The snatches looked impossibly smooth, not like mine at all.

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I'm joining in here again! I started with S&S at the beginning of the last challenge, but the last few weeks have been sporadic at best. I'm doing two handed swings with a 16kg and I'm working my way up to doing TGU's with an 8kg. Right now I do the first two parts of the move (levering up on my elbow and then coming up onto my hand) with the 'bell. After I do 5 sets of that on each side I do a few sets of full TGU's with a shoe. I think I'll be ready to add on the next couple of parts of the weighted TGU in a couple of weeks.

Awesome way to progress. I worked a female student up on TGUs from zero to 10 in 10 minutes with a 16kg in about 8 weeks. We started out with an 8kg and broke it down into parts, really exploring the movement with shoulder rotations and hanging out in the positions (just the pickup and lockout, roll-up to elbow, to sitting, the high bridge, getups with a shoe, then full). We seemed to be able to progress the TGU a lot faster than the Swing, though we were doing high-rep swings, which may or may not have been detrimental to learning maximal power output.

Here is an excellent breakdown of the movement with Gray Cook and Doc Mark Cheng:

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I'm still a beginner at the TGUs but they seem like exactly the sort of thing where I'd expect a very rapid improvement in the first few months. It is a complex movement, and your body needs to learn how to organize itself efficiently for maximum power. So when you start out, it feels like, "Damn, I can barely do this with 20lb" because you are not using your strength efficiently. One you get the hang of it, even though you aren't vastly stronger, you are now using 90% of your strength to do the weight, rather than 20%.

 

Just in the past few weeks, 35lb TGUs have gone from "No f-in way" flailing like a bug on the ground to "Yeah, lets get a 35lb kb after this challenge." And that is strictly an increase in skill, not strength.

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Regarding Prying Goblet Squats - Yesterday, I tried out a few options, and decided that the bridges are held for 3-seconds, so I'll hold the Prying squats for 3-seconds, and treat the long list of movements to do while in the squat as a buffet of options rather than a mandatory sequence each time. Squat down, 3 seconds of any combination of wiggling, twisting, prying, releasing the hips, settling into a wider stance, or curling, and then back up. I think the prying squat is likely to show up in my yoga classes - we don't have kbs, but I think we might at least have sandbags to add a little weight. Even unweighted, it is pretty great.

 

 

 

Also, despite trying to be by-the-book, I've already made a few alterations. One is adding five sun salutations and five handstands to the mobility drills, because I'm doing those anyway and might as well stack it all in together. (Also, I learned the hard way that handstands AFTER kettlebells is a bad idea... )

 

The other change is the stretches at the end - as a yoga teacher, I've got a few dozen different hip openers at my disposal. I like the 90-90 with chest to foot, but with the 90-90 chest to knee I vastly prefer to straighten the back leg and roll it under into the easy variation of one-leg-pigeon pose. (The hard version puts your back foot on your head, which is just not on the agenda right now.) It gets a very similar opening in my hip, and is a lot more comfortable on my knee.

 

Overall, I think it is a really solid set of five exercises they've picked for the warm up and cool down. While I might add to them, personally wouldn't drop any of them. I was even thinking - because I can't leave well enough alone - if there is anything I'd substitute for the bridges or the halos or QL straddle, and nope, those are all solid choices. That is really a mark of a good program, because I have a good deal more mobility than I think a lot of his target market and he's not presenting scaled options. Yet aside from that one little change to the 90-90, I like this just the way it is. The 90-90 is exactly what I give students who can't manage pigeon pose, and the 90-90 is simpler to teach.

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Got a Crane Kettlebell Set with my wife Tanya from Aldi.  Yeah, the set isn't the best with plastic handle and plastic molding around concrete weights but, for $20 you get  a 5lb, 10lb,. and 15lb bell, a position/exercise guide, and a DVD.  Not a bad deal for a beginner.  Obviously when I get to bigger bells I will be going to Amazon (or somewhere) and paying just over $1 per pound for cast metal ones that are one piece.

 

I found an intermediate YouTube video that I thought I could keep up with last week.  NOPE.  I was only able to keep up with the first set of exercises and then couldn't keep up once the speed increased.  I was also sore for two days

 

Last night I tried the DVD that came with the set. The DVD  was much slower and easier to keep up with.  Still a great workout.  It doesn't have cleans or full swings, only shoulder level.  That being said, it is a start.

 

Right now my goal is mastering the movements.  Once those are down I will look to increasing weight, reps, etc.  I'm starting at 10lb to be on the safe side.

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I'm joining in here again! I started with S&S at the beginning of the last challenge, but the last few weeks have been sporadic at best. I'm doing two handed swings with a 16kg and I'm working my way up to doing TGU's with an 8kg. Right now I do the first two parts of the move (levering up on my elbow and then coming up onto my hand) with the 'bell. After I do 5 sets of that on each side I do a few sets of full TGU's with a shoe. I think I'll be ready to add on the next couple of parts of the weighted TGU in a couple of weeks.

If S&S means Sit and Stand, I had to do the modified version.  I got through the sit-up part but, the standing is another story...  :D

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