The Turkish Get Up is probably the most dysfunctional CrossFit movement I have ever done. You are holding a weight above your head, propping your body up to a standing position and then going back down the same way you got up. So weird to me. But last night, after taking 20 seconds off of my CrossFit Baseline (5:20 personal record) we took 15 minutes to establish our 1 rep max of a Turkish Get Up on both sides. My previous Turkish Get Up heaviest posted weight was 20kg (44lb). So let me walk you through my attempts last night. We were using Kettlebells (KB) and for my first, second, and third attempt I used as warm up weight of 25lb, 30lb, and 35lb. Just because I was successful with the 20kg KB six months ago, does not necessarily mean I was going to get it again. So, on my fourth try I took the 20kg KB and with a little help from my breathing, I was successful on both sides. So now what? Well- try the 24kg (53lb). Whoa- can a 9lb increase feel heavy or what?!? Right side- done and done. Left side- you stupid bitch. I am right handed- so yes it is my dominate hand, and I slowly, but surely got through the Turkish Get Up, and then knew what needed to be done. The left side was next. I held the KB took a few deep breaths, and started my way up. Step-by-step (“day by day” —Sorry this is a reference I hope some of you get from TGIF tv back in the day) I made my way up on my left side and then when I was descending, the KB twisted off my arm and fell onto the mat. Without hesitation, I told myself I had to try it again since I was SO close. Is the anticipation building yet? I hope so. Holding that KB with my left hand has never been so hard. Shaky. Forgetting when to inhale, and then to exhale. I got to the standing position again with all of the other athletes cheering me on. I started my descent; knee on the ground – right hand on the ground – swiping my leg out from under me – and LAYED BACK DOWN!! Success. My new 1RM for the Turkish Get Up is 24kg (53lb) – Hell to the ya.
So this got me excited about the Turkish Get Up, and come to find out, according to CrossFit BelAir (too many 90’s references right now), the Turkish Get Up, “ is a functional movement, training a wrestler/grappler to escape from the bottom position and get back on their feet in a fight. This is easier said than done, especially when the guy on top is driving his shoulders into your chest and jaw and you are gassed. The guy on bottom first needs to create space between him and the guy on top. He needs to get his shoulders and hips both off the ground and away from the guy on top. The guy on bottom’s second movement is to use his arms and or legs to maintain space and thereby keeping the guy on top from pressing the advantage. The guy on bottom’s third move is to pop up into the standing position. All three movements may involve the guy on bottom using a stiff arm to keep the heavy/fast/angry guy on top at bay.” So, if I am the guy on the bottom – hopefully the guy on top only weighs 53lb and I’ll be alright.