In the book “Simple & Sinister” by Pavel Tsatsouline (Pure Power Publications for the italian translation), are showed two goals, the Simple one, and the Sinister one. The first one is easily achievable by anyone, consisting in 100 swings one hand, in 10 single sets (5 on each side) within 5’, with a 32kg KB for the gentlemen, and 16kg KB for the ladies, and after a recovery of 1’, 10 Get Ups in single sets (5 on each side) within 10’, with a 32kg KB for the gentlemen, and with a 16kg KB for the ladies. The Sinister goal consists of the execution of the Swing 1H and the Get Up with the 48kg Beast for the gentlemen, and with the 32kg KB (swing) and the 24kg KB (Get Up) for the ladies. Personally, during approximately 3 months I’ve moved from the Simple to Sinister, advancing in doing both the exercises from the 32kg KB to the 48kg KB, remaining within the time limit. Here are some advices, based on my personal experience, for anyone wants to try to achieve the “Sinister Goal” and become “a man among the men” (as Pavel said). Share your path with your own mates and the people close to you, and write about it on social networks. It will help you to follow the line, to keep your motivation high, and to share your task not only with yourself, but also with the others. When you’ll reach one more step, approval and support will help in your ambitious goal. Train always in the same area or gym zone, put a safety strip on the wall at your stomach’s height, to check the correct height of every swing. Training always in the same place will make you more confident. Increase the size of the bell one set at time, both in the Swing and in the Get Up, until you’ll do it in every set regarding that Kettlebell size. For example: Workout 1 Swing 1H 48 Kg/48Kg; 44/44; 44/44; 44/44; 44/44 GetUp 48Kg/48Kg; 44/44; 44/44; 44/44; 44/44 Workout 2 Swing 1H 48/48; 48/48; 44/44; 44/44; 44/44 GetUp 48/48; 48/48; 44/44; 44/44;44/44/4; 44/44 Maintain this linear progression for 2/3 workouts, then take a day off, or decrease the size of the bell of 2 sizes and keep doing 100 swings and 10 get ups.
Focus your mind on what you’are about to do, starting with the correct mental focus is essential! Start your workouts with the Original Strength resets by Tim Anderson and Geoff Neupert, for example: March 10 Cross Crawl 10/10 Rolling 3/3 Rocking 20 Neck Nods 10 Crawling 20/20 Pump 10 Then do a single get up on each side, pretending to have a bell of the same size of that day (a heavy one). When you succeed in doing 100 swings 1H in sets of 10 and 10 get ups in sets of 1 with the target size, start to rush the clock; personally I started doing the swings every 1 minute, then a 1’ recovery and finally the get ups every 1’ 30’’. For example: Swing 1H 10 rip 15”on/30”off approximately, 10 sets, 7’30” total time 1’ recovery GetUp 1 rip 30” on/45”off approximately, 10 sets, 12’30” total time
Once again strengthen it for 2/3 workouts, then take a day off or , or decrease the size of the bell of 2 sizes and keep doing your swings and get ups.
Now you should be near the goal, decrease 15’’ from your recovery and try the test!
Swing 1H 10 rip 15”on/15”Off x10 sets,5’ total time 1’ recovery GetUp 1 rip 30” on/30”off x 10 sets, 10’ total time
Strengthen it for 2/3 workouts, then take a day off or a light one.
My progression was a little bit faster, when I felt nice and strong I increased the bell size in 2/3 sets every workout, listen to your body as usual. It will tell you if it’s ready or if it’s better wait the next workout. Another essential topic is breathing. If you don’t breathe correctly, you’ll reduce your driving power during the swings, you’ll become tired early, and you’ll arrive to engage the Get ups with shortness of breath and no awareness.
I’ve seen guys trained by myself starting the Get ups after the Swing completely pain-stricked, even forgetting the correct technique for the exercise. A student of mine, which was a former fighter, has told me that the feeling is very similar to a standing K.O.
During the Swings, inhale sharply just before the hip flexion and exhale during the hip extension; when you’ll use heavy bells, I suggest you to use a double inhalation: when the descent of the bell starts, after the floating phase, inhale from the nose and exhale from the mouth, inhale again from the nose just before the eccentric phase and exhale at the end of the concentric phase, using this double breathing pattern has helped me to finish the swings with a better awareness. Don’t digress from your target, if your goal is to achieve the Sinister train for it, remain on the line. It was a beautiful experience and I had the opportunity and the privilege to share it with my gym mates, my girlfriend Maria Antonietta and a lot of “iron friends” that gave me support and encouragement: Emanuele Conti, Mark Riefkind, Marco De Pretto, Fabio Zonin, Mark Limbaga, Simone Losoni, Marcello Toscano.
A very special thanks goes to Stefan Lofstrom, watching his video I realized that the Sinister goal was achievable, and to my Facebook friends who put “I like” on my videos, that simple “Thumb up” has given me a lot of passion and energy.
Simple & Sinister to you !
It's not about how hard you can hit but how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward!!
"I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered. My life is my own."