What I’m about to say may come across as controversial.
I’m only relating my experiences to you, for your benefit.
Take it or leave it, depending on how helpful it is for you.
The Get Up did absolutely nothing to help strengthen my Press.
Zero. Zilch. Zippo. Nada.
Which is weird, because we tout it as the precursor exercise to the Press –
The one that’s supposed to lay the foundation for your press and even
make your press stronger, without pressing.
I’m not arguing that per se.
For sure this has been the case for some, if not many people.
However, I suspect, that like me, it has also failed to help many people
(I know for a fact that some people are like me, based on talking to
others in the community, I just don’t know how many there are in the
population group as a whole.)
Sure, the Get Up is a fantastic shoulder health exercise – challenging
and strengthening the rotator cuff, teaching you how to pack your
shoulder, and simultaneously improving the mobility of the shoulder,
while improving it’s stability AND in doing so, it increases the flexibility
of the muscles involved in pressing, or at least in the muscles involved
in holding a weight over your head.
So the Get Up is muy bueno for that.
But why oh why doesn’t it help some people’s Press?
I have no earthly idea.
Well, that’s not exactly true – I have an inkling of an idea.
Some people do very well with “same-but-different” exercises – using
exercises that are similar to the main exercise they’re training for.
They see the carryover between exercises.
And then there’s another group of people who do well with extreme
I think I might be one of them.
You may be too.
How would you know?
Well here’s how I knew:
When I was a kid, I could Military Press 225 for 5, seated while in college.
After college, I worked up to 275 for 2 or 3 reps behind the neck, seated.
And at the peak of my weightlifting career, I could pretty easily do
bodyweight of 225 standing for 5 reps. (I can still press bodyweight
And I had never even heard of the Turkish Get Up.
So I have a baseline that I can look back at and work towards.
And after spending months and months and months with the Get Up,
I still didn’t get anywhere close to those numbers.
In fact, my press didn’t budge.
After all, I packed my shoulder, strengthened my rotator cuff, tied
my shoulders to my core even more (so I thought).
I guess I’m one of those guys who in order to build their press, has
I think it was Russian World Champion Weightlifter Yuri Vlasov (I could
be wrong here) who said –
“In order to press a lot, you must press a lot.”
Which is funny, because looking back on my pressing career, that’s
exactly what I did.
So how exactly would you know if the Get Up directly helps your Press -
i.e.: Makes your Press stronger?
You’d simple have to test it.
Do a baseline test on your Press.
Then do a cycle of Get Ups.
Then test your Press again.
Pretty simple process.
If you, like me, already know that although the Get Up improved your
shoulder health, but didn’t improve your Press and you want to improve
your Press numbers, what should you do?
Press. A lot.
I suggest 3 times a week.
Using a pair of KBs.
Why a pair instead of a single KB?
Because the systemic demand is greater, so you’ll get stronger, faster.
Sets and reps?
I’ve found that starting with a lower volume and working your way to
a higher volume (volume = total reps * weight lifted) and then waving
back and forth between the two works great.
How well does it work?
Well I just got this from Hiroshi Yoshida:
“I waited a bit to respond, and I have the news I was hoping
I just double cleaned and pressed 48kg bells.
Before starting this I could barely press one with my right but
not the left, and was so far from double clean.
Thanks for this template.”
Thanks, Hiroshi – those are EXCELLENT results!
What are you waiting for?
Are you going to keep wishing that your Press would go up?
Or are you going to be like Hiroshi and own that sucker?
Own your Press in 2014 – Get “Kettlebell STRONG!” here.
P.S. Remember, if the Get Up hasn’t helped you so far, chances
are pretty good they’re not going to.
It’s time for you to start pressing – A LOT.
P.P.S. Remember, the Get Up is great for overall shoulder health, so
at some point they should be part of your program.
Because you want to base your performance on health, not sacrifice
the latter for the former.