on 27 November 2013
I initially avoided pavels work. I found his constant references to special forces and martial arts masters slightly contrived.
But when I bought enter the kettlebell cheap to see what the fuss was about I was suprised. He gives a clear goal (rop) and challenges you to follow his program until you can achieve it. I took his advice 4 years ago and am now at 43 stronger than I have ever been. Since then I've been a fan of his methods and I've read most of his work.
If you are not used to his methods this program will seem to be too simple. But his programming excells on achieving the most with the least (time / equipment)and this book seems to follow a trend of simplification that he began several years ago.
Pavel has said in the past that his system is constantly evolving meaning his most recent works take precedence, making this the perfect place to start.
The program is easy to follow and the book is of a very high quality. (altogether 'tighter' than some of his earlier books) There is a clear progression to follow and guidelines are inculded for when and how to increase weights.
The program as presented should give you all you need to become very strong and stay there for most of your life all for a commitment of a couple of hours a week.
on 17 March 2014
If you new to the kettlebell, an experienced user or somewhere in between, this is the book you need to read. And then do what it says.
It is simply brilliant, genius even. We live in a complex world why make exercise anymore complex than it needs to be. Can it be possible that just 2 exercises can give you greater strength and mobility gains than you ever thought possible? Yes, is the simple answer.
Simple & Sinister is a stripped down version of one of his earlier books Enter the Kettlebell (ETK). Another highly praised programme, if somewhat difficult to understand for the inexperienced, and similar in tone and humour, Pavel will detail 2 moves that feature in that book. You will only do these 2 moves - the kettlebell swing and the unusually titled The Turkish Get-Up, or as he likes to refer to it more simply, the Get-Up. He then tells you how best to implement them. You will then end up strong and if already strong, you will be stronger. It isn't just a stripped down version of ETK. It's refined, tweaked and carefully sculpted into a masterpiece.
I like to mix and match my activities and sports - I want to be fit to do stuff I enjoy doing but sometimes life can get in the way and something unexpected happens or the pressure of daily living takes its toll in the many ways that it can so often. Exercising then becomes another stressor, something else to think about - do I go for a run, workout, go surfing, play football - and if I don't I'll get out of shape and be back at square one. A dilemma common to anyone who embarks on a fitness pursuit. Like a dieter forever worried about putting the weight back once party time is upon them - when compromised, what gives? Simple & Sinister steps in and takes the pressure off. Even if used as a kind of maintainence programme - to stop the rot - you will realise it is more than that. A lot more.
I'm a reasonably fit 50 year old. No sod that, for a 50 year old guy I'm in pretty good shape thank you very much. I've been relatively fit for most of my life and have a wide knowledge of fitness related stuff to appease my inner geek. I stopped bodyweight training, at least trimmed it back and stopped running for a while. I'm not new to kettlebells and already knew the swing and get-up but I stopped using kettlebells too recently. A lot has been going on in my life so I scaled it all back and somehow, can't remember how, I coincidently came across Simple & Sinister. It seemed to fit the bill. It fits the bill alright as I've gained a lot more strength in these 4 weeks since buying the book than I bargained for. Mobility? Massive improvement too. Be warned though of hidden costs - you will need to buy a bigger kettlebell sooner than you think!
The programme works by steadily decreasing the time it takes to complete 100 kettlebell swings and 10 get-ups with a chosen weight on a daily basis or when your life allows. It can be factored in to other strength training days or fitness pursuits. It works. It just does.
I've read it now a few times and I dip into it a lot. It is a simple idea for a strength programme but there are so many gems of information on every page to keep the inquiring mind happy. There is one simple goal and once ticked you will have as much strength as you will need to achieve a solid foundation of strength that will have no limits. Go further? Then soldier on to reach the sinister goal.
To maintain a good level of strength when time pressured, this is the way to do it. To be as strong as you will ever need to be, this is the way to it too. Something for everyone then? Definately. A must read, must do. A work of brilliance.
on 26 January 2014
I've loved kettlebells for a few years so a serious health problem last year was a double blow. Near death and goodbye to kettlebell training.
Or so I thought ...
After being given permission by the consultant overseeing my care, I put away the 32's and started S & S with a 7.5kg. I took a large slice of humble pie and followed the program as outlined, not really expecting much but glad to be alive and (at last) able to do something.
The results have been surprising. As I've increased the weight my muscle tone has returned, and as my strength has increased my confidence has grown alongside it. I have never felt tired - as I did when training previously - so five stars from me. S & S does exactly as promised.
Life is good.
on 9 September 2014
It works - almost too easily - to build a rock solid foundation for health or any athletic endeavor.
It should be taught in schools...
Plenty of detail to not only get you started with the exercises but to greatly improve your performance by drip-feeding 'tips' as you progress. Qualified (RKC or SFG) instruction at first would be well worth the money.
If you have a weakness or injury this will strengthen it, making it ideal for rehabilitating back and shoulder injuries and bomb-proofing the entire body - seriously it is that good. As such it IS the preparatory programme for kettlebell training, indeed lifting in general, and is the only one you would ever need if your goal is to be simply strong, lean and healthy in 30 minutes a day, two-seven days a week.
The programme lays down two challenges, adapted for men and women, which is a great idea for motivational goal setting in both the short and long-term. Achieving 'Simple' will place you above most 'gym-goers' and 'Sinister' would earn you great respect amongst the fittest and strongest anywhere.
Invaluable - buy it, buy a kettlebell set and get seriously, functionally strong, fit and healthy - in your own home.
on 15 December 2013
I've been doing Hard Style Kettlebell training for coming up to the three years now so this book is actually a hark back basically the same programme is was doing two years ago...that's not a bad thing! I lost 6 stone in nine months and changed my life with these two systems and since then I have just got stronger and fitter but sometimes my training has got muddied with other pointless ideas. This book has reminded me of how to get the most out of my Kettlebell and consequently my precious time, the additional information on stretches and breathing exercises has pushed my training on to a new level, I feel amazing. As usual one has to smile at Pavel's (what I presume to be) tongue in cheek Soviet posturing amd a couple of typos in the Kindle version but that's a trifling matter for a book than can give you the body you don't think possible. In conclusion this book is a must read for experienced kettlebell users and a comprehensive guide to anyone ready to change their life.
on 30 January 2015
After years of picking heavy stuff up I thought I had already learned everything I needed to know about strength and fitness. I have a genuine respect for the author and his work but I simply couldn't believe that the Simple and Sinister program could deliver it's stated goals. I ignored it. I continued to work with kettlebells, following Pavel's instructions, getting strong, flexible and fast. Occasionally I'd flick through S&S but still it just didn't seem right. Sure, I'd taken on board - to some degree - that simple was good. The simplicity of the kettlebell had drawn me out of the gym and into a field under a blue sky, surrounded by cast iron boulders, swinging away until I could barely keep a lung down. But this? Two movements in the entire thing? TWO??? When I finally surrendered and started the program two things hit me. First, it works. Second, Listen to Pavel. When he says do less, then just do it. The man knows what he is talking about and then some. This book is typical of Pavel's style; clear, concise and authoritative with deliver like a punch to the gut. You might think you need to supplement the program. You might think you need to learn more and go in search of peer reviewed work to back up the claims. You'd be wrong. Listen to Pavel. Do the drill. It works.
on 4 December 2013
Pavel has been on the cutting edge of fitness for years now, every time I pick up a book or an article by him I feel like I have learnt something new. :) This is NOT one of those books, this is a program for a person who has very little time to exercise,who is recovering from an injury or who lives a stress full physical life.
The program is the simplest and shortest a program can possibly be. It wont make you very strong, it wont make you very fast, it wont make you very flexible but it will give you a solid base from which to learn all these things if you desire.
On the other hand if you have an incredibly busy and stress full life then this program will help you to keep in touch with your body and help you maintain and improve your fitness despite everything else in your life going to hell.
A use full book to have on your shelf if you are a collector, a useful program to have in the back of your mind when life gets overwhelming. But nothing new.
on 16 June 2015
It seems too simple, just two exercises, do exactly the same thing everyday. The exercises are described in painstaking detail and between this and checking out some you tube videos they are easy to get the hang of. The language is clear and precise. The programme has two clear goals to aim for.
The results are amazing.
At 42 I am stronger than I have ever been. After nearly a year I have not injured myself once (apart from a torn callus) and have lost 6 inches off my waist.
Two exercises, doing the same thing as many days as you can (in practice, for me, about 5 days a week). If you find it boring - tough luck - that's your problem.
As a beginner's programme you can do at home with £50 of kit it is without equal.
on 18 December 2013
Being an office based schmuck with no real male attributes like physical strength, buckets of testosterone & earth shatteringly brutal musculature I was prompted by my devoted wife to "man up or get gone". I thought my marriage to my Welsh Dragon Queen was in peril so I scoured the heavens in search of an answer..........Pavel appeared to me in a vision and bellowed "comrade I am kicking your puny ass into shape with my own formula for strength & anti-fragility.....obey me & be King"....
Literally years later I can now do 1 pistol squat on each leg (with a 5kg weight) and my gluteus are like hardened steel. I never dared dream I would be able to dead lift a full 24kg. Children under 10 literally move to the other side of the pavement when I approach and yes I do occasionally have full intercourse with my Welsh Dragon Queen Wife.......the results speak for themselves.