A highly recommended kettlebell programme for beginners. Taught by Pavel Tsatsouline, widely recognised as the “Father of Kettlebells”.
The ‘Simple’ Program
- Train almost daily, taking an occasional day off when your body or your schedule insists.
- Train at any time of the day.
- Start with three circuits of mobility exercises:
- Prying goblet squats
- Hip bridges
- Do all your prescribed daily swings and then the get-ups
- Wrap up your training session with the stretches:
- QL straddle
- Hang on a pullup bar if you have one.
- Swing training
- Always 100 swings: 10 sets of 10 reps
- Every second or third training day, replace one-arm swings with two-arm swings using the same bell or bells
- Rest actively by walking around. Breathe deep and slow, always inhaling through your nose and exhaling completely, even exaggeratedly
- Do the next set when you have recovered enough to pass the so-called ‘talk test’—you must be able to speak in short sentences.
- Give yourself more rest than dictated by the talk test after the first couple of sets.
- Use chalk
- Swing progression
- The only type of progression is in weight.
- Gradually replace the weight you “own” with a heavier one.
- “Owning a weight” means being able to do the given sets and reps with perfect technique, any day—without getting stressed out about it.
- Replace “S” with “S+” 20 reps at a time.
- On two-arm swing days, also upgrade two sets of 10 to S+
- If you sense that your grip starts going before finishing 10 reps, park the bell. Rest for 10-30 seconds while loosening up your forearm by pretending to shake water off your fingertips. Then finish your set.
- Do all sets of swings before moving on to get-ups
- Keep repeating the progression until you are able to do 10×10 one arm swings and 5×1 get-ups per arm using Simple weights, with rests dictated by the talk test.
- 100 one-arm swings in sets of 10 in five minutes (32 kg for men, 24kg for women)
- One minute of rest
- Five get-ups per arm in 10 minutes (32 kg for men, 16kg for women)
- Sinister is not the goal. But if you want to achieve ‘Sinister’, three roads:
- Continue training Simple
- Train for SFG Kettlebell Instructor Certification
- Master snatch, military press, double KB clean and front squat
- Take a detour to barbell strength
- Deadlift, military press, squat
- 100 one-arm swings in sets of 10 in five minutes (48kg for men, 32kg for women)
- One minute of rest
- Five get-ups per arm in 10 minutes (48kg for men, 24kg for women)