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Turkish Get Ups Progression?

Hi all! I restarted going to the gym last week (when they reopened) and started doing TGUs after my training. I am currently doing 5 reps on each side with 16kg. I have done them for five days and I am now finding them quite easy. Do you think it is better to increase reps to 12 and then build up to 20 over a few weeks before upping the weight or just move up to 20kg and keep the reps low?

tl;dr - better to up the reps or up the weight for progression?


Keep the reps low, and take your time through the movement. Think of it more like yoga, holding each position, that is how you’ll benefit the most from the movement.

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Hi! Thanks for the reply. Yes, I do this already but I now feel it is not doing as much as it was last week i.e. it does not feel anywhere near as difficult. So, would you advise going up to 6 reps on each side or upping the weight to 20kg?

Why are you doing TGU’s? You goal will influence which method will serve you best

Hi! Thanks for the reply. I am doing them for several reasons 1) I enjoy them 2) they are good for learning to involve the core in a holistic way in other exercises, such as the squat 3) to strengthen my core overall and 4) I am hoping that by accomplishing number 3, I will correct my anterior pelvic tilt, and thus my posture, which will make me look better.

I personally feel adding weight, and making the movement perfect and smooth flowing is better than adding reps.
Holding each position for a few breaths and tensing you’re whole body is very beneficial. Doing 5 singles on each side, but doing them very deliberately will benefit more than 20 sloppy and fast ones.

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Given your goals, @Malaka79 gave you great advice

Thanks all! I will increase the weight to 20kg tomorrow.

I saw your other question about Janda sit ups, there’s a yoga channel on YouTube called breathe and flow. It’s strength based yoga, I think you would benefit from his practices.

I like these as a pre-workout warm up. Are you doing the full get up? I like focusing on the movement rather than a progression. Do 2-5 per side before each workout and don’t sweat the weight used. Just my opinion.

I am re-reading my response to this, which has now changed after starting a program with these as a main component. I think @Malaka79 is pretty spot on with his advice of adding weight and practicing for perfection is better than adding reps. My initial advice was based on my experience of using these simply as a warm up rather than as a strength progression.

@LeMaqSportif - how is it going? Over the last few weeks I have been doing these daily and am up to doing reps pretty smooth with a 28 KG kettle bell. I also enjoy them and find them more like a “practice” than a workout, although clearly I’ve gotten much stronger at them.

As I’ve worked on these, I have began to see them as the “push” version of a deadlift, where you are starting under the weight rather than over it. My thoughts are that KB training in a conventional sense (focusing on swings, get ups, and snatches) won’t get you the hypertrophy you would get from traditional barbells and dumb bells, but seems to encompass all aspects of training: strength, endurance, power, and mobility. Doing smooth, deliberate get ups will demonstrate any holes in your overall movement patterns and strength, while suitably heavy swings (especially 1-arm) with only moderate rest will improve your endurance. I personally am finding daily KB work supplemented with a 10-15 minute bodyweight workout (pull ups and dips, or push ups and rows) to be very effective and a nice break from heavy barbell training.

So, I built up to doing 20kg 5 reps on each side quite easily in September. 24kg was still a bit too much to do with good form and then the gyms in my area closed down again and I only have a 16kg at home. The point where I realised I had advanced a lot is when two bigger lads in the gym asked me what I was doing and if I would show them how to do it so I did and they had to practise with a 12kg and were struggling with that. I think they are a great exercise and will definitely be keeping them in my routine. I will be doing light kettlebell work for cardio (16kg) followed by TGUs and then a separate session for weights over two sessions a day, doing weights just three times a week (full body).

I’ve been doing the Simple and Sinister program for a few weeks now. Did you transition into the heavier bells pretty quickly or did you do it as laid out in S&S where you work in the heavier weight for a couple sets and progress from there? I’ve been getting tempted to start to rush it but I’m trying to remain patient.

I’m currently working on 16kg transitioning to 24kg and doing daily, gtg style pullup and dip work along with 2-3x per week kickboxing on my heavy bag.

I think the best part about this style of work is I’m never sore or stiff, in fact I’m as mobile and have as much snap as when I was a teen playing basketball again (I’m 34 now). I just realized a couple days ago that my jumping ability has come back immensely and I feel like I have a lot more repeatable bounce. Definitely would recommend this type of work to anyone looking to take a breather from heavy lifting for a while (or someone who’s gym is closed for lockdown).

Hey @boilerup1986! I have been doing S&S with a 28 KG bell for a few weeks now. I started get ups with the 16 KG bell, and then over a few weeks added reps with the 28 until I could easily get all 10. I’m waiting on my 36 KG bell, and will start to slowly incorporate that.

I went several solid weeks really only doing S&S with some dips/pull ups. As I progress I am moving it to 3 or so times a week, but also keeping swings as part of my strength work on other days. I also really like! I feel great without it wiping me out, and it seems to be a godsend for fixing lingering injuries. My goal is to get the timed Simple with the 36 KG bell in the near future (but who knows how long it will take).

Keep me posted on your progress.

Awesome, I am working in 2 sets right now with the 24 kg bell on both movements, and next week is my scheduled bump up to 4 sets. I’ve been thinking I should get the 36kg bell on the way sooner rather than later since they’re out of stock in a lot of places.

Where’d you order your 36kg bell from? I really want one of the Onnit Primal bells just because it would be a fun way to go for that last big bell to hit the goal, but they’re pricey and they run out pretty often.

I put in an order from kettebells USA, which is supposed to be the “best”. I don’t really know what that will mean or if I’ll notice the difference. I ordered the 22 KG and 36 KG from them, and they’re sitting under the Christmas tree in their boxes. I already had a 16 and 28 KG bell, so these will fill in the gaps. I’ll be really interested to see what happens when I try my first get up with the 36 KG bell. I’m going to do it on the lawn in case I need to dump it and bail.

The 28 KG bell was pretty tough at first, but now I can get 10 without too much trouble. My goal is to reach the Simple goal but with the 36 KG bell instead of the 32 KG bell.

Nice Christmas present!

Ha, probably a good idea to try that first one in the lawn… I currently do the routine in my wifes carpeted office because it’s the best place for me to work without the kids messing with me. I drop a 36kg bell in there I’ll be in trouble, lol. Once things get dicey at heavier weights I’ll have to at least move to the garage. I’ve been thinking about getting a fold up wrestling/gymnastic mat for once I get into the bigger bells.

Hi all! So I had to stop in September because the gyms closed down again in my area, as I said above. I am now in a different country and the gyms are open here. The only gym available here with kettlebells is the Sheraton. I am doing the 10,000 kettlebell swing challenge with chin-ups as the accessory exercise. I am doing bench every other session and facepulls and Turkish get-ups every session. I am on a 16kg kettlebell for the swings and the get-ups at the moment but will have done the 10k swings in two weeks and then will start again with the 20kg kettlebell (the heaviest this gym has). The gyms are really shitty here but I am only here until mid-February and then I leave again and it is better than nothing. I actually have issues with my elbows but the facepulls and the get-ups are helping with them a lot. Such a good exercise!