I woke up this morning in my old bed, in my old room, in the house that I grew up in.
Today is Day 6 of “No Power For The Lopez House” and so Rozanne, the kids and I have been staying with my parents until the City of Toronto (and our infamous crack-smoking Mayor) figures stuff out.
Regardless of the change in location, I was still up at 4:45am writing on my laptop as I enjoyed a cup of coffee with my dad – the man that gave me the gift of early rising – while he read his morning paper.
After I finished writing, I packed up my 32kg kettlebell and headed back into the city to run some errands, check on the meat locker that is our house and pick up some extra clothes.
I’ve been travelling with the 32kg over the holidays because I have a goal of making it my “money” bell – the kettlebell that I feel most comfortable with.
For the past few years it’s been the 24kg, but I’m pretty confident in saying that I “own” the 24kg now.
So with 70lbs of iron in tow – I almost gave my dad a heart attack when he saw me doing get-ups with the 32kg yesterday – I’ve been fervently working to get comfortable with my new 2-pood friend.
(A “pood” is 16kg which is the way kettlebells were measured when they were used as counter weights in 19th Century Russia).
One of the ways I’m really focusing on “owning” the 32kg is by doing reps of get-ups with it.
But not just your standard Get-Up.
If you break down the Get-Up step-by-step, you’ll know that it is in fact 17 “positions” in which you control the kettlebell and move your body around it to go from the fetal position to full standing.
So to really get comfortable with the 32kg, I’ve been holding each of the positions for 5-seconds before I move into the next position.
This was a concept that I learned from Master SFG David Whitley back in 2008 when I watched him turn a single Get-Up into a fat incinerating workout.
Up on stage, he took a volunteer through a 4 minute Get-Up where the victim had to hold various positions for at least 10 seconds each!
Doing Get-Ups this way (holding it at each overhead position for 5-seconds) does a few things…
1. It makes you “comfortable with discomfort”. Holding 70lbs overhead is not comfortable, but you have to safely get out of your comfort zone to improve and progress (that’s a life lesson too). So as long as I’ve got great form, I know that I’ll be improving as the weeks go by
2. It gives you great feedback. Doing get-ups with a heavier-than-you’re-used-to weight really forces you to stay properly aligned. The weight gives you amazing feedback and let’s you know when you’re not in the right position. Heavy Get-Ups are as self-correcting an exercise as you’ll ever find.
3. It builds bulletproof shoulders. You have no choice but to keep you shoulder “packed” with this exercise. If your shoulder does come out of alignment the kettlebell will let you know right away. It’s really difficult and dangerous to try to “muscle” the kettlebell through the various positions. Keeping your shoulder packed ensures that you’re using mainly the structure of your body and the alignment of your joints to support the kettlebell.
4. It’s a HUGE muscle builder. One of the principles of hypertrophy is Time Under Tension. 5 seconds for 17 positions is almost 3 minutes of tension on your entire body for one exercise. The average set of 8-12 on a bench press lasts 30-40 seconds. Think about it.
5. It’s metabolic. The more tension your create the more your muscles have to work. The more muscles you work, the more energy is required to fuel those muscles. The more fuel required, the more calories you burn. The more calories you burn, the more fat you lose. Simple.
6. You’ll increase your BASELINE STRENGTH. Doing Get-Ups with a significant weight over your head brings your baseline strength up. What used to be difficult now becomes easy. Think about when you started training with kettlebells and were having difficulties with the 16kg. Then, the 16kg became easy and you moved to the 24kg. The baseline of your strength increased. You naturally got stronger through getting used to a heavier weight. You focused on “owning the weight” and now it’s easy.
So whether you’re doing Get-Ups with a 12kg or a 48kg beast, try this technique and see if you really “own’ the weight.
It’s an amazing way to really maximize the use of the kettlebell that you already have.
It’s true minimalist training because you’re not increasing by insignificant poundages like you would when you train with dumbbells.
Give it a shot and let me know how it goes.
Have an awesome day,
P.S. I’ve built my Flagship Program, The Kettlebell Evolution Advanced Fat Loss System around the Get-Up. It’s foundational and will help you bust through fat loss plateaus for years to come.