Don’t Make Perfect The Enemy of the Good [Simple & Sinister Workout Edition]

Friends, Ninjas, Comrades, lend me your ears…

What’s up? Sam Strasfeld here (aka Kaizen Padawan). I’ve been learning SO MUCH since my MFF Trainer-in-Residency began.

Getting a little peek behind the curtain here at MFF has been incredible, especially developing a better understanding of how the classes are put together. This has helped me immensely with my own workouts and programs.

To quote Lao Tzu, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” You could also reframe this as, “Any action, however small, is measurable and beneficial.”

Drawing on inspiration from Pavel Tsatsouline and MFF’s own Geoff Hemingway, here’s what I’ve learned about the effectiveness of simplicity (and a kick-ass workout to go along with it)!

Perfection Is an Illusion

Prior to my time at MFF, I would say that I definitely fell into the camp of being a little cranky (actually, pissed) when I couldn’t get a good workout in. This is especially a challenge when crunched for time because you’re in tech for a show OR for the denizens of this city in general.

“What’s the point? I’m only working two body parts. Ugh. There’s no TIME!!! WHY?!?”

Completing my Precision Nutrition Level 1 certification taught me a lot about nutrition, but also about life. You see, unlike the American political system, we virtually always have more than two choices.

“To be, or not to be?” WTF Hamlet?! There are a ton of options in between.

Things exist on a spectrum. Sometimes, it’s about making a good decision.

Spoiler Alert: perfection isn’t real anyway. If you embrace having a growth mindset and focusing on process instead of material or fixed outcomes, you’ll constantly be seeking improvement over achievement and, therefore, be rewarding yourself regularly by simply putting in the work.

What I’m getting at here is something is better than nothing when it comes to getting our bodies moving.

Maybe it’s going for a walk during your lunch break. Maybe it’s doing some housework (who doesn’t like getting naked while scrubbing the bathroom clean and then taking a shower?) or yard work (I was literally moving large stones for my parents during my last trip home).

Simple and Sinister

Only have 30 minutes? No problem! A couple of years ago, during the run of Miss Saigon, I found my schedule jam packed with physical therapy as I recovered from a concussion.

At the same time, I was studying for my NASM certification, taking classes (voice / dance / acting), doing eight shows a week, AND training clients!

When / where / how was I going to get my workout in?!

That was when I discovered one of my favorite programs of all time, “Simple and Sinister.” As the name suggests, it’s very simple. YOU control how sinister it is. All you need is a kettlebell and enough space to do a Turkish Get-Up and some swings.

In a nutshell, here’s what it looks like. Using a single kettlebell:

  • 5 Min: Warm-Up
  • 10 Min: KB Swings (10 single arm swings on each arm on the minute; rest the remainder of the minute)
  • 1 Min: Rest
  • 10 Min: Turkish Get-Ups (1 TGU on each side on the minute; rest the remainder of the minute)
  • 4 Min: Soft Tissue Work

Full Body Glory

BOOM! 30 minutes of full body love. That’s the beautiful thing about a lot of the movements we perform with kettlebells. The majority are compound exercises which means you are getting maximum bang for your buck.

Most of us talk about efficiency in relation to the time available to get shit done, and that’s where kettlebells crush in terms of effectiveness as an exercise modality.

That’s why a one-hour class can leave you feeling like you just kicked some ass, or are becoming a superhero, or like you just went to a rad party, or are essentially AWESOME.

It’s not rocket science. It’s moving quickly and explosively, and then with complete control. You’re working your conditioning and at the same time, getting strong AF.

Take This With You

A gentle suggestion: you do not have to start with 10 minutes of each. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good!

I started with 7 minutes, then worked my way up to 10. Once I felt very comfortable with the kettlebell I was using, I increased the weight, dropped back down to 7 minutes initially, and then ramped up to 10 again.
Wash, Rinse, Repeat. Think of it as a little bit of afternoon delight. A little quickie as it were.

Give it a shot and let me know how you like it. And most importantly, keep learning!

Wanna learn how to get simple and sinister in your pursuit of health and hotness? Sign up for a Health and Hotness Strategy Session at Mark Fisher Fitness.


Sam Strasfeld discovered the Enchanted Clubhouse of Glory and Dreams in 2013 and has never been the same since. He is currently a TIR (trainer-in-residence) at Mark Fisher Fitness, and lover of theatre, kettlebells, and food. When not at the Clubhouse, he can be found performing on Broadway, soon to be seen in the upcoming revival of Kiss Me, Kate! for Roundabout Theatre Company. Follow him on Instagram at @samstrasfeld.


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