Simple & Sinister

Perhaps THE MOST well-known kettlebell program for general strength and conditioning, this program was presented by Pavel in his book by the same name, "Simple & Sinister". This program alone has turned many self-proclaimed "zeros" to hero status.

"There are only two moving parts, the swing and the get-up. No other exercises offer as many all-around benefits in such a tight package."

"To build a superman, slow movements and quick lifts are required."-Bob Hoffman of York Barbell. The get-up is the ultimate slow lift; the swing is the ultimate quick lift.


  1. Proficient in the Hard Style 1-Arm KB Swing
  2. Proficient in the Hard Style Get Up

The Tasks

  • 100 1-Arm Swings in 5 minutes, completing sets of 10 every 30 seconds.
  • 1 minute REST
  • 10 Get Ups in 10 minutes, alternating sets of 1 per side

The Standards


  • 16kg Get Ups and 24kg Swings for Women

  • 32kg Get Ups and Swings for Men


  • 24kg Get Ups and 32kg Swings for Women

  • 48kg Get Ups and Swings for Men

Training Summary

  1. "Train daily, taking an occasional day off when your schedule or health prevents you from training. If you follow a serious strength training program, reduce the S&S frequency to twice a week.

  2. Start each practice with three circuits of five reps of Prying Goblet Squats, StrongFirst Hip Bridges, and Haloes. If you do not know any of these drills, purchase the S&S book or find a certified instructor near you. As an option, follow up with several get ups with a shoe or a light weight.

  3. The main part: 5 x10 1-Arm Swings per arm and 5x1 Get Up per arm.

  4. Rest actively between sets.

  5. Rest long enough between sets to assure no drop-off in technical proficiency, Get Up strength, and Swing power. Progressively but not aggresively reduce the rest intervals.

  6. When you reach the 1:1 work-to-rest ratio in one of the exercises--100 total swings in 5 minutes; 10 total Get Ups in 10 minutes--and you can do this strongly almost any day, move up in weight in that exercise. Gradually replace your current training weight with a heavier weight, one set at a time. Go at your own pace; solidify what you have achieved before going further.

  7. Fatigue or stress are no excuse for skipping a training session. Have a ligth day: reduce the weight in one or both exercises, in all or in some sets. Do two-arm shadow swings with a kettlebell close to 30% of your bodyweight or lighter. In light Get Ups, add a 10-sec pause at every stage.

  8. Every two weeks take a kettlebell one or more sizes lighter than the one you are currently swinging, and do as many swings as possible without setting the bell down. Pick any swing variation--two-arm, one-arm with multiple hand switches, hand-to-hand, mixed. Any rep that does not fulfill every one of the Swing standards is a no-count. After a brief rest, do your usual Get Ups. Do not introduce non-stop swings into your training until your training weight is 24kg if you are a woman and 32kg if you are a man.

  9. Repeat until strong."