Lose Weight, Run Faster, Get Stronger: Part 2
Earlier this week, I shared warm-up exercises that are great for learning the swing and the get-up at a faster-than-normal pace. I also showed you how to perform the swing and how to approach mastery of the swing. If you missed these warm-up exercises, read part 1 first.
Today is all about “the ultimate movement” – the get-up, and the details to the program that will make you lose weight, run faster, get stronger, jump higher, and feel younger!
“If you are unable to do a non-ballistic movement slowly, you are hiding something.” – Gray Cook, physical therapist to Navy SEALs and NFL teams
The Turkish get-up can be used in so many formats such as pre-habilitation, rehabilitation, and sports performance.
Cook also described the get-up as “loaded yoga.” And also says it’s, “the perfect example of training primitive movement patterns – from rolling over, to kneeling, to standing and reaching. If I were limited to choosing only one exercise, it would be the Turkish get-up.”
When done properly, the abs will “fire like crazy” and shoulder stabilizers will get “freakishly strong.” This is how the get-up makes you stronger.
Revisiting the Arm Bar is a great place to start when discussing the intricacies of the get-up. If you fail to stabilize your shoulder, and move around that stable shoulder in the arm-bar, the get-up will be a very difficult exercise for you.
Rather than push forward aimless, spend some time perfecting the arm-bar; you’ll find it carry over to your get-up very well.
When you’re ready to learn the get-up then grab a yoga block or a shoe and do the following:
Here are some technique points for each stage of the get-up pulled from Pavel Tsatsouline’s Simple and Sinister book:
- To Elbow
- Push off your right foot, pivot on the elbow, and pop yourself up on that elbow
- “Imagine you are trying to send your chest toward the unloaded side” – Mark Toomey
- “Lead with the chest, not with the head. This will prevent neck flexion and strain and create space in the shoulder.”
- Practice sets of 5
- To Hand
- Rotate your bottom hand 90 degrees counterclockwise, and externally rotate the shoulder in order to avoid jamming your wrist – puts the shoulder in a stronger position
- Always ask yourself, “If I had to support 100lbs overhead, where would I want my hand to be?”
- Push your knee, which up until now has been pointing inward, out to direct leg drive
- Turn your head a few times to assure the neck is relaxed and the shoulders are down
- Do this at other stages of the get-up as well
- To Lunge
- Sweep your leg under you to form a tripod position. This may take practice, but that’s what we’re doing!
- Simultaneously straighten your body upright and squat your hips
- Stand Up
- Think of attaining the standing lockout only with a weight over your head
- Get Down
- Slide your foot back as if on skis rather than tight-roping it behind the right
- Load your lat from the armpit when planting your left hand to the ground
- If you’re tired or using a heavier weight for the first time, skip the down and place the bell on the ground
It’s important to note, as is the case with the arm-bar, you must keep your elbow straight during the get-up. Not for the sake of your elbow but for the sake of your shoulder.
Elbow flexion compromises the ability to pack the shoulder.
Once you’ve mastered your technique in the get-up and swing, you’re ready to attempt the Simple and Sinister Program.
To gain mastery of the movement and the lift, practice often, in fact everyday for a period of time.
Perform the warm-up drills before you attempt the actual get-up and swing. 5×10 on the swing is a good range and performing singles on the get-ups for a total of 10, 5 on each arm, is good as well.
“More is not better, it’s just more…the human body is a non-linear system meaning doubling yours swings from 100-200 will not double results.” – Steve Baccari
It should be noted Pavel credits Steve Baccari for creating this program called “Program Minimal.” Keep his quote in mind when you find yourself wanting to do more, because you will.
The program is designed for absolute quality. Be strong and powerful with your movements and you in turn will become strong and powerful.
Simple and Sinister summarized:
- Train daily taking an occasional day off when your schedule or health prevents you from training.
- If you follow a serious strength program you can still do S&S but Pavel recommends cutting down to twice a week.
- Start each session with 2-3 sets of the warm-up drills mentioned in this post.
- Stay with the same volume (5×10) until you fully recover from day-to-day.
- If you’re out of shape this might take weeks
- If you’re in great condition it will only take a couple of days
- Increase the volume on your swings by 50% (7-8×10) when you feel recovered.
- When you’re comfortable with that workout move to 10×10.
- Always perform 5×1 on each arm of the get-up.
- 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 can do this strongly almost any day, move up in weight in that exercise.
- Have a light day.
- Reduce weight in both exercises in all or some of the sets.
Achieving the following will create a great baseline level of string and fitness
- “Simple” goal for men is 32kg in both
- “Simple” goal for women is 16kg for the get-up, 24kg swings
Reach these numbers and you’ll completely transform both your mind and body!
- “Sinister” goal is 48kg
- “Sinister” goal is 24kg get-up, 32kg swings
There’s a lot of information here! Take the time to digest it, reference it, and if you’re really serious, purchase Pavel Tsatsouline’s book Simple and Sinister, as there’s far more information I left out that one should know prior to making a whole-hearted attempt at the program.
One last piece I thought was interesting and something to keep in mind when tackling both these lifts…
The verb “to work out” means “to exhaust by extraction.”
In contrast “recharge” is the name Russians gave to an “invigorating morning exercise session.”
Think of this program as a “recharge,” not a “workout.” Come in, do your swings, do your get-ups, and get out. When you’re feeling tired, go down in weight. When you’re feeling strong, attempt a set at a higher weight.
You can also keep the “wavy program” in mind when deciding how to adjust intensities:
- The harder your push on heavy days, the easier the lighter days should be.
- If you do not have heavy days, you do not need light days.
- Do not turn an “off day” into a day off – easy training is far better than no training.
If you have any questions or would like further help mastering these exercises, please feel free to reach out to me.