Getting into turkish getups

Today a fellow climber introduced me to turkish getups and i got blown away by the amount of coordination you need to do it with a decent weight. So im gonna experiment with doing those this summer. A few questions:
What is a good rep range for those, is 1-3 reps ok?
Are they more useful as a full body warmup before session or you practice them as a strength exercise on par with weighted pullups for example?
Is there a way to cheat them that will kill some valuable benefits of the exercise?

Simple and Sinister by Pavel Tsatsouline is a great intro to KBs, and TGUs specifically. I’d recommend checking that out.


He recommends 10x getups (5 on each hand), done as a strength exercise.

But of course, it all depends on your goals.


Usually just one per side for rep range, though as you get ready to move to a heavier bell (especially if going up by the old school 8 kg) you may do two and maybe maybe three in a row. You’ll probably do multiple sets though.

I’d suggest right after a warmup for placement in the session.

The Simple and Sinister “protocol” does the 10 reps EMOM, switching sides. You’d want to feel good with the technique of the TGU before you go for this protocol.

You should be able to find lots of info on the how-to on youtube. I’d say if the weight is so light that you don’t have to be precise you are probably not getting a lot of benefits, other than that just be safe and it’s somewhat self-correcting: do it wrong, you won’t be able to get up or drop the bell…

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Yeah, thats what i liked about it, i tried to move up a bell and it immedialy showed me where im not well alligned

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Are there any standarts in TGU (non climbing related) that would say ok thats a decently strong TGU, just a number on a horizon to motivate myself? Could it be 50% bodyweight or something?

One of my favorites for sure, both as part of a warmup and a strength exercise. I often pair it with presses at each stage, snatches or some squat variation at the top, etc. Multiple reps in a row on one side with no rest, doing them a little faster and smoother, and more. It’s endless really.

The only standards I’ve seen are ridiculous, and like most “standards”, just invented from thin air.


I like the variations you listed. Might have to mix things up with my kettlebell sessions in the future!

Deliberately slowing down the movement through each phase/transition of the getup has been helpful in forcing me to use better technique/optimal body positioning. Reinforcing good movement patterns at lighter (but still challenging) loads felt a bit safer for me than making the big jump to a heavier bell.

Just throwing it out there at Simple and Sinister was a great intro program to kettlebell training, and a good program for strength in general. I can’t speak to the Power Company programs (sorry, Kris and crew), but the simplicity of the program is extraordinarily appealing, especially if you have a busy schedule (I can finish most of my sessions in 30-45min including the warmup, which leaves time for a quick hangboard session afterwards).