December 15, 2012
December 19, 2012

After spending the majority of last Sunday’s class reviewing KB swings, it probably wasn’t too surprising when we paraded out all the KBs (plus two new ones) for this Sunday’s class. Time to put that swing review to the test? Not really, since class did a grand total of ZERO swings this Sunday.

5min Jump Rope (single skip); 
50′ Lunge, 50′ Crab Walk, 50′ Squat Walk (Left), 50′ Squat Walk (Right); 2
min Jump Rope (single skip) 
Turkish Get-Up (TGU) Review 

The TGU is a great core conditioner, and unlike a lot of things we do in CF, this movement generally isn’t done for speed. However, it is still a complex movement, consisting of a very particular sequencing of movements. It can take some getting used to, and because of that, class began practicing pieces of the movement without weight, to grasp the mechanics, before moving onto the full TGU with the KBs.  Since the focus was on execution, we’ve put together the following breakdown of the movement as reference:

  • Pre-Movement Reminder: through out the movement, keep the arm supporting the weight FULLY EXTENDED – elbow locked and weight vertical – and KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE WEIGHT at all times. 
  • Bend the leg on the same side of the body as the arm which is holding the weight (i.e., if you are holding the weight in your right arm, bend your right leg so that your right foot is flat on the floor and keep your left leg extended). 
  • From here you want to press your foot into the ground while rolling to your side and posting yourself on your elbow. 
  • From the elbow, plant your hand on the ground and press up onto your palm forming and axis between the bell in the air and the palm on the ground.

  • Elevate the hips, driving the pelvis toward the ceiling which will allow you to pull the extended leg (the un-weighted leg) back through and underneath the body, placing it as close to your planted palm as possible. 
  • Now transition into a lunge position, and then drive the KB towards the ceiling as you stand up fully. 
  • Finally, after standing up, slowly lower yourself back down to the ground using the same movement you used to stand up in reverse, and fight the urge to collapse to the ground to complete the movement (every part of the movement, including the very last part of laying supine on your back, should be slow and controlled)

  • Post-Movement Reminder: through out the movement, keep the arm supporting the weight FULLY EXTENDED – elbow locked and weight vertical – and KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE WEIGHT at all times. 

As Tom made mention of during class, and a few people discovered, there’s more than one way to execute the TGU, with limits of mobility and flexibility often being the determining factor. The method taught on Sunday is the technique favored for maximum control, and therefore, maximum weight. However, regardless of the method used or the limits of your flexibility/mobility, there are two inviolable rules):

  1. Keep your eyes on the weight at all times, and 
  2. Keep the weighted arm fully extended at all times. 

(had we mentioned either of those rules yet?

Team Met-Con: 
Single-Arm Front Squats & Plank Hold

In teams of 2 or 3, complete a descending 10-8-6-4-2 ladder of single-arm front squats on both sides while your partner/teammates held a plank, and then switch. The front squats were done with (what else) KBs held in the front rack position. A quick reminder from Tom regarding the front rack for KBs was much appreciated: hand against the chest, lats tight and scap retracted with the elbow out to the side, so that the body of the KB rests in the crook of the arm between the forearm, bicep, and chest (not on top of the shoulder or cradled down against the stomach).

While every team moved quickly through the two exercises, no one was faster than the speed-demon duo of Steph and MC, who finished at just over 4 minutes (the closest team was over a minute behind). Well done ladies!

 Finisher 1: 
KB Windmills 

Since the KBs were out, and as we’d pretty much dedicated the day to working shoulder stability in conjunction with bi-lateral symmetry, we turned to 10min of windmill work.

We covered the KB windmills in depth two months ago to the day when we were out in the park (“A LINE IN THE SANDY“). This Sunday’s class followed a similar progression, beginning with single KB windmills before moving on to doubles if people felt up to the challenge. After that it was all don…J/K.

Finisher 2: 
Single-Arm KB Rows 

Before putting the KBs away for the day, class closed out (for real this time) with one set per side of AMRAP KB-rows, beginning with the weak side. Of course, there was the farmer’s carry to get the KBs down to the storage room, but we won’t count that.

Awesome weekend of classes. I know people will be starting to drift out of town for the holidays, but we will continue to have classes through next Sunday, before taking next Tuesday off (Christmas day). If you’re in town, please join us!

And speaking of holidays and celebrations, many thanks to MC for snapping half of the following collage yesterday – it was just under 5 years ago that the pic on the left was taken as Steph and Chris learned the TGU at CFDC, and it was an awesome opportunity to get an “after” photo during yesterday’s class:

Just look at the size of those DBs! And for my part, can I just say that it’s been a long, sometimes strange, but always fun, road to travel with CFDC. See you all on Tuesday.



  1. Julia says:

    Chris and Steph – so cool. Awesome photos, awesome progress – very inspirational for the rest of us! And ‘sometimes strange but always fun’ is a pretty good CFDC slogan, don’t ya think?

    Detailed breakdown on TGUs much appreciated – this is definitely one where if I lose control, the consequences are real loud and real clear real quick…

    Also wanted to say, genuinely, thank you for the call-outs en masse during my subpar squat walks during warmup… I will try harder. Also: you’re welcome for the extralong break in between the two laps. 🙂

  2. Steph says:

    I had completely forgotten that picture! Hilarious to see the tiny dbs we were using. I think I was using a 5-pounder! And I was probably sore for days after! 😀

    Very happy we got to work on TGUs yesterday. We don’t do enough of those! Hopefully we’ll get more practice in the coming weeks.

    Huge thanks to MC for working with me! Surprised we finished first and for a few seconds wondered if I had not done enough reps. I guess next time we’ll need to up the weight.

    Looking forward to class tomorrow! I know some people are already traveling for the holidays, so safe travels! Those of you who are staying in town for a few more days, see you tomorrow!

  3. Katie says:

    Nicely done on smoking everyone, Steph and MC!! If you used 16 kg I would say that’s probably too light for you two. However, I also went light at 8 kg, so I’ll give you a break…this time. :o)

    Julia, I think the only reason everyone gave you a hard time is they know you’re capable of more! If we hadn’t ever seen you do heavy squats it would be a different story.

    I enjoyed TGUs, though they’re tougher with a KB instead of a DB. I managed 8 kg. First time with windmills, which were also very fun…toughest part was remembering which leg I was allowed to bend.

    See everyone Tuesday!

  4. Dian says:

    Okay, so I’ve been avoiding reading the blog because I know I have missed so much awesomness. Bravo to our amazing coaches for coming up with such creative workouts. I’m looking forward to being back on Thursday.

    I love the flashback photo of Chris and Steph. Truly inspirational.