Turkish Getup with Pauses (exercise variation)

My personal training studio is right across the street from the Boonton Holmes Public Library. So I create presentations designed to teach people about various things relating to health and fitness, since if you want to reach people you have to teach people.

This past Friday I did a presentation about the Turkish Getup…an exercise very near and dear to my heart.

Following the presentation, one thing that was asked of me was how it would go in a “fitness boot camp” type of setting. If you are unfamiliar with fitness boot camps they usually reference some kind of circuit training type of format, often with timed intervals.

It doesn’t have to be since it’s really just an umbrella term that can refer to just about anything.

The Turkish Getup doesn’t really work with this sort of format since ideally, it would be done with grace and control as opposed to rushing through it as you would when under the stress of a timer. With the Turkish Getup, I like to have people try to go heavy (which normally needs adequate rest periods) and also recommend striving for mastery and grace.

Here is a version of the getup that promotes the latter of the two. It’s called the Turkish Getup with pauses.

When you are doing a getup, and you purposefully insert pauses during various portions of the movement, it forces you to own your potential weak points by building in speed bumps. You see, in weight training, there is something called the force-velocity curve. A quick way to explain it is that as you get the weight moving, your various muscles stop working.

Why? Think of it like this. There is a car stuck in the snow and five guys try to push it out. As they start pushing and the car starts moving a couple of the guys let up because the other guys have got it covered.

Your muscles work kind of the same way.

During your pauses, your muscles and your stabilizers are all working statically to hold you in place. It forces control in owning the movement, and when you want to go heavier, it helps you grind through the repetition because you’ll have built a bit of endurance.

And the recommendations of striving for mastery, grace and heavy are why I recommend against doing them as part of a timed interval. However, you could use it as the timed interval.

What I mean by that is make the Turkish getup itself the clock, although I still don’t really think it’s optimal, but still a decent idea.

I think it’s better to have everyone on their own custom program, just training alongside others, which is what I do. But hey, I’m biased.


EricĀ Moss is a world-record-holding modern-day professional performing strongman, author, motivational speaker, andĀ personal trainer. In the tradition of the strongmen more common during the turn of the century, he performs feats of strength such as bending steel and breaking chains as part of a show and speaks on goal achievement for corporations, nonprofits, government as well as for schools and universities. His exclusive personal training studio is located on Main Street in Boonton New Jersey, is close to Mountain Lakes, Denville, Montville and Parsippany New Jersey.

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