Press and Goblet Squat Rep Pyramid

Merry Christmas and happy holidays, everybody! I had a gap in my Christmas Day festivities, so I decided to do a quick rep pyramid workout. Basically you pick two techniques - the first set of reps for the first technique starts low, and the second set of the second technique starts high.  The reps for the first set/technique go up, while the reps for the second set/technique go down.  Then you switch the numbers! For instance, the one I picked today was with the Military Press and the Goblet Squat.

The Pyramid

MILITARY PRESS - 1 RIGHT, 1 LEFT

GOBLET SQUAT - 5

MILITARY PRESS - 2 RIGHT, 2 LEFT

GOBLET SQUAT - 4

MILITARY PRESS - 3 RIGHT, 3 LEFT

GOBLET SQUAT - 3

---PRESSES GO UP TO 5 RIGHT, 5 LEFT---

---SQUATS GO DOWN TO 1---

THEN...

MILITARY PRESS - 4 RIGHT, 4 LEFT

GOBLET SQUAT - 2

MILITARY PRESS - 3 RIGHT, 3 LEFT

GOBLET SQUAT - 3

---PRESSES GO DOWN TO 1 RIGHT, 1 LEFT---

---SQUATS GO UP TO 5---

This is a quick way to get an effective workout... especially if you don't want to look at a cue sheet for what to do! Rest as much as needed, especially when you get to the top of the pyramid (Military Presses at 5, Squats at 1). I would work with a weight that you can comfortably press for 8-10 reps each side (should be challenging, but no signs of failure to lock out the elbow). My preferred way to end this workout is to simply go for a 20 minute walk to cool down... or a nice hike if you can!

 

The Turkish Get-Up - A Workout

The Turkish Get-Up is, hands down, one of the best kettlebell techniques for a full-body workout.  As the name suggests, you lock out the kettlebell in an overhead press and "get up" with it (which obviously includes coming back down to the floor with it).  While one could do this technique alone just alternating arms for 10-15 minutes for their entire workout, I've added a few goodies to make this a little more dynamic.

Get Down With The Turkish Get-Up

RIGHT ARM

2 Turkish Get-Ups

1 Front Squat -> Military Press

10 One-Arm Swings

(DUPLICATE FOR LEFT ARM)

(3-5 ROUNDS)

It's as easy as that.  As a note, I would recommend getting training for ALL of these movements, but especially the Turkish Get-Up.  It's very easy to do wrong, and even the best of the best spend YEARS getting it right and still slip up on occasion.

 

I love keeping workouts simple and effective.  You could add many more steps to this, but I'd argue this pretty much addresses everything from core strength, to arm strength, to a little bit of quads/hamstrings.

Enjoy!

The Long and Winding (Iron) Road

When I was growing up, I played with friends that may have played sports and been active, but by and large they were mostly play-in-the-dirt kids and video game geeks.  As I grew older, I fell more and more into that latter category of video game geek, and also into that mindset of "geeks vs. jocks" in middle school and high school.  Oddly enough, I also gained quite a bit of weight over the years and weighed nearly two hundred pounds at my heaviest -- I am 5'5".


Long story short, I wasn't truly physically active to any serious degree until 2004 when I was nearly done with college and I was twenty-two.  I had just returned from Guatemala on a study-related trip where I ended up losing about 20 pounds just from being more active.  I can thank a friend of mine for helping me to keep the weight off by exposing me to mountain biking, which ended up in a lifelong passion for it and road cycling as well.  Since that point, I've investigated several modes of exercise, martial arts, and sports.  I still stuck with cycling (although not at the competitive level), but then I found out about kettlebells as part of cross training for cycling.

Since that point, I've investigated several modes of exercise, martial arts, and sports.  I still stuck with cycling (although not at the competitive level), but then I found out about kettlebells as part of cross training for cycling.


I got serious fast about training with kettlebells.  So much in fact, that it exposed a weakness in my core strength which found its way to expressing itself in massive lower back pain and shoulder issues (from compensating too much with arm muscles). This came from not giving myself the proper foundation for correct movement while training with kettlebells.  I powered through it, thinking that pain was normal with strength training or that I'd "fix it later."

After moving to New Mexico from Georgia, I found a very unique kettlebell-based gym with very high ranking trainers in that community.  I also found out from these amazing teachers that I should actually NOT be in pain at all.  This began my journey into natural healing, as I set out to feel better with knowing that I didn't want to rely on pain medication or be in more serious trouble later in life.


Through correct kettlebell techniques, a great sports rehab clinic, and massage therapy I have little to no ongoing back or shoulder issues.  In fact, training heavier at the gym now helps me to strengthen the right muscle groups and not cause more back and shoulder issues.  It did, however, take the right approach to recovery and rehab from my previous pain issues to fully realize the training potential and raw strength gains possible by using kettlebells.


I recently lost 20 pounds again, just through diet alone.  Now I'm even more serious about kettlebell training and natural healing/bodywork, and plan on getting certifications in both.  It's never too late to find a trainer near you and get started with easy, fast, and effective strength training with kettlebells --

Just make sure you're treating your body right while you get stronger!