Strength Monday 7/1/13


In my quest for lean superhero-ness, Dave and I are hitting the craptastic gym in our Converse to lift heavy stuff and work on skills a few times a week. (If you’re new to strength training, here’s a great overview of what all the lingo below means.)

For about 18 months or so, I’ve been using the Wendler 5/3/1 strength training program. It did a brilliant job of seeing me through my n=1 experiments and definitely increased my strength, but the way my body looks hasn’t changed the way I want it to. So in the interests of both science and vanity, I’m starting a new training program with The Movement Minneapolis that I’ll tell you all about very soon.

8:00 treadmill at 3.9 mph (1/2 mile)
arm circles, straight-leg march, air squats


kettlebell swings, 12kg –> 4 rounds: 25, 25, 25, 20 reps

front squats, 70# –> 8 rounds, 5 reps
plate pinch deadlifts –> 8 rounds, 10 reps
time: 15:25

cable row, 80# –> 4 rounds, 11 reps
Turkish getups, 15# kettlebell –> 4 rounds, 3 reps each side
time: 15:00

Two takeaways from today’s workout:
1. I LOVE front squats. I know it’s weird, but I do. I think it’s because I’m always so ready for them to suck really badly, that when they’re just uncomfortable, it makes me all the more determined to gather my resources, contract my core, and move that weight. Front squats are what originally inspired my mantra to “get comfortable being uncomfortable.” It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean grinding yourself to exhaustion. Instead, it means to listen to your body, take note of how you’re feeling, recognize the uncomfortableness of it all (and recognize the difference between that and true pain), then separate your thoughts from your body to do the movement anyway. Something like this, “Gee! This bar across my throat is kind of unpleasant. And wow! That’s interesting the way my thighs and core are really working when I squat down… and whoa! it’s a little scary here in the bottom of the squat with that demon trying to pinch my butt. But I’m just going to keep going now…”

2. Turkish getups are a delight. A Turkish delight!


Oh! How I wish I meant that kind of Turkish delight.

I don’t! I mean this kind:


(Full disclosure: I did eat the sugary, nutty confection pictured above in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina on our vacation, and it was, in fact, delightful.)

If you’ve never tried them, I’m going to encourage you to give them a shot (that is, the Turkish Getup, not the Turkish delight). Start with no weight first, just to get the movement under control, then start light… like, 10 pounds. If it goes well, you can gradually add a heavier kettlebell or dumbbell, but even with just your body weight, it’s a challenging movement. Here’s an instructional video to get you started.

Do you like Turkish getups? How ’bout Turkish delight?!

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  • Kelly says:

    I love Turkish getups! I have just started incorporating them into my programming and they are – dare I say it – FUN!

    I have no experience with Turkish delight, however.

  • Corrie Anne says:

    I did not love front squats this morning — but you’re right, they’re definitely uncomfortable. That gym looks like some I visited when I lived in the Dominican Republic. No a/c there either. Haha. I’ve done turkish getups a few times — they’re harder than they look!

  • Chris G says:

    I’ve always tried to do my TGUs heavy, even using a barbell with weight, NEVER get anything out of them. Everyone loves them and I just dont get em

  • Ginger says:

    I love Turkish Get Ups! I wanted to learn them the moment I saw my first Neghar Fonooni video. Later I was lucky enough to learn TGU technique from both from her and Clif Harski (at different times) in person. TGU’s seem simple but can be so wonderfully precise and detailed in movement, you can always challenge yourself with the technique and the weight. Since I haven’t been doing them consistently I’m only up to a 10kg kettlebell but eventually I want to go HEAVY.