Question 16kg->24kg TGU transition difficulties - any advice?

Chris Wilson

My Fourth Post
Hi there,

I'm a smaller guy (65kg) and I've got to a point where I can do 16kg TGU in less than 10 minutes and feel pretty OK at the end of it. So I need to level up. I have a 24kg bell (I'm swinging with a 16kg as the 24kg was just too much to start with). I tried for the first time today, and I could barely get it to the press position with two arms. I could just about hold it overhead, but it was pretty wobbly. I just could not move beyond that. I have thought of a few things that I might do to solve this problem and I wonder if anyone has any thoughts on these ideas or anything else to try:

1) Get a 20kg bell
2) Keep trying each day and hope that I'll gradually be a bit stronger each day and eventually get there
3) See if getting my swings to 24kg helps (that would be a month or two away I suspect)
4) Have someone assist me with parts of the movement (not an option as I train at home but mentioned for completeness)

Thanks everyone!

Chris
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@Chris Wilson, welcome to the StrongFirst forum.

I'd give yourself a week or two to see how you adapt to the 24 kg. I remember when I first got mine, and I also a lighter guy at about 68 kg. It was a shock - after all, it's a 50% increase in weight - but I got used to it pretty quickly over the next few sessions.

For sure, if your swing technique is solid, that's a good route to take. And if you can clean the 24 kg 1-handed, that's also a good movement to practice, just to get used to moving the thing. So your #2 gets my vote, along with your #3.

-S-
 

Oscar

> 1k Posts
1) Get a 20kg bell
2) Keep trying each day and hope that I'll gradually be a bit stronger each day and eventually get there
3) See if getting my swings to 24kg helps (that would be a month or two away I suspect)
4) Have someone assist me with parts of the movement (not an option as I train at home but mentioned for completeness)
This is what I would do:
  1. Post here all this info required to ask for advice: Please Read Before Posting
  2. Post a video here or work with an SFG to see if form is a limiting factor.
  3. Get the idea that weighting 65 kg is a limiting factor out of your head.
  4. Before your TGU with the 16, do 1 or 2 reps with the 24, going as far as you can comfortably. Do this once or twice a week.
How long have you been with the 16?
 

Bauer

> 1k Posts
Just to add to Steve and Oscar:

In SnS Pavel says that you should stay with any given weight a bit longer because you will continue to get stronger with it anyway.

As for technique: Really squeeze your pinky as this helps with shoulder stability. And pretend that your 16kg weighs 32kg and ramp up the tension accordingly. This has helped me a lot. You might try this in a GTG fashion to really practice feed forward tension.

And maybe do your TGUs at a different time, as it is more difficult to go up in weight after a swing session - at least in my limited experience.
 

Chris Wilson

My Fourth Post
Hi everyone,

Thanks for the great replies!

I had my second go with the 24kg today and couldn't get anywhere on the left, but I managed to get to standing on the right. I decided to stop there than get down but that's definite progress and I'm really pleased with that!

@Steve Freides - Great to hear from another guy on the lighter end of things, it's good to know how you felt with it and that it's not just me feeling it's a massive jump!

@Oscar - Thanks for the advice. I'll see if I can get some time with an SFG, else I'll post something here. Thanks also for the pep talk on the weight! I've been with the 16kg for about 3 months.

@Bauer - Thanks for the reminder on staying longer with the weight. I think I have a bit as I've been a bit scared of the 24kg! Thanks also for the technique tips, I'll give them both a go tomorrow.

Thanks again everyone, I'll report back how I get on!

Chris
 

Felix Hotz

Double-Digit Post Count
Hey Chris, good effort. I had the same issues on my transition to the 32 kg KB. I solved the problem with Half-Get-ups with the heavier bell, Dr. Mark Cheng's and Grey Cook's Speed-Bump-TGUs (see attached videos) and Bottom Up Getups with the lighter weight.
Have fun and be save and patient!

 

johanness

Second Post
Hi Chris,

I worked the 16kg until it was easy to rush through with bad technique. At that point you know you can step up - for me it worked.
When it got "unchallanging" I did things to make the work harder, like the 3s count from the video above. Or you can do 3 TGU without a break...
At that time I didnt own a 24kg bell, so the motivation to train and get variety was certainly high, because I could not take the next step.

rgds Johannes
 

Mark Limbaga

> 2k Posts
Elite Certified Instructor
I'm about the same weight as you.

Work on 3-5 second pauses each step before moving to the next..

I do agree with everyone please upload some vids so we can give better feedback..

And if possible, work with an SFG even if online
 

Van Der Merve

Double-Digit Post Count
I'd say get 20 kg bell. Alternatively, if you have access to small barbell plates (say 2.5 kg) stick it to your kettlebell with a duct tape.

Large jumps in weight are not for everyone, and incremental increases work just as well. In any case, TGU is a complex lift and should not be wobbly or done with the effort close to maximal.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor

Van Der Merve

Double-Digit Post Count
No, they do not.


That doesn't mean we never use small changes in weight, but it is not usually the option of first choice.

-S-
If you can show me research supporting what you say I am all ears. If I remember correctly Pavel had something positive to say about the use of fractional plates in Beyond Bodybuilding. Which is beside the point: Chris Wilson is having problems with 24 kg, so the simplest and in my opinion safest solution is to settle for smaller increase. I am not sure is someone in their right mind would advice to go from 100 kg deadlift to 150 kg, why then 50% in kettlebell weigh is something to strive for?
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@Van Der Merve, I've given you an article to read and I have no need to convince you. This is not reddit.

If you have something from BB to cite, please post a page number and we'll discuss.

A barbell is not a kettlebell and vice versa. One of the strengths of the barbell is the ability to load it precisely; one of the strengths of the kettlebell is the lack of that same thing.

-S-
 

Van Der Merve

Double-Digit Post Count
@Van Der Merve, I've given you an article to read and I have no need to convince you. This is not reddit.

If you have something from BB to cite, please post a page number and we'll discuss.

A barbell is not a kettlebell and vice versa. One of the strengths of the barbell is the ability to load it precisely; one of the strengths of the kettlebell is the lack of that same thing.

-S-
Steve, with the greatest respect, you don't have to convince me or anybody else, but we are talking about a person asking for advice, and this advice can either make him stronger or get him injured. That's why this discussion is quite important.

If someone asks a coach: I am struggling to lift this weight, what is the standard answer? Lift lighter weight. Why is it different in this case? Especially in the case of turkish get-up, where the weight passes through really awkward positions?

I have a lot of respect for Pavel, but the article you posted is an opinion piece, and its every point is debatable. The work by Arkady Vorobyov that Pavel quotes as the reasoning for large jumps in weights was done on weightlifters training with barbells, and Pavel had no problems extrapolating the results to kettlebell training. Barbells are different from kettlebells, but training with either follows general principles of weight training.

The lack of precise loading is not the strength of the kettlebells, it's the side effect of the Soviet industry. In girevoy sport coaches use kettlebells in 4 kg increments at the most, and in 2 kg when resources allow it.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@Van Der Merve, please learn something about StrongFirst before arguing with its methods. Read the earlier messages in these threads, where several posters suggest different ways of becoming better with the 16 kg before moving to the 24. I recently coached a couple of people on the getup, and once we got up to a 14 kg bell, I handed them a 20 kg, and they both did fine for a single rep. I am not saying it should be done this way in all cases, but I am saying it is our preferred method here at StrongFirst. (The 14 and the 20 kg bells were what we had.)

We do not abide by
the standard answer
unless we find it in keeping with our way of doing things because we are always trying to improve upon the standard answer.

If you wish to offer the standard in response to someone else's questions, you will us disagreeing with you on a regular basis.

-S-
 

Mark Limbaga

> 2k Posts
Elite Certified Instructor
Gentlemen if I may,

for the vast majority of those who struggle working past the 16kg for getup, the answer will almost always be its a technique issue...

So all we can do now is wait for the thread starter to upload a vid for us to give feedback.

Also, even if we do allow him to microload, if the technique gaps are not addressed then his true strength potential will be greatly limited

Just my humble 2 cents.. let's now carry on
 

Van Der Merve

Double-Digit Post Count
@Van Der Merve, I recently coached a couple of people on the getup, and once we got up to a 14 kg bell, I handed them a 20 kg, and they both did fine for a single rep. I am not saying it should be done this way in all cases, but I am saying it is our preferred method here at StrongFirst.
That's what I am trying to say in my last two posts.
 

Van Der Merve

Double-Digit Post Count
Gentlemen if I may,

for the vast majority of those who struggle working past the 16kg for getup, the answer will almost always be its a technique issue...

So all we can do now is wait for the thread starter to upload a vid for us to give feedback.

Also, even if we do allow him to microload, if the technique gaps are not addressed then his true strength potential will be greatly limited

Just my humble 2 cents.. let's now carry on
Someone who by his own admission "could barely get it to the press position with two arms" and "could just about hold it overhead, but it was pretty wobbly" clearly has strength issues.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@Van Der Merve, if you would take the time to get to know how this forum works and familiarize yourself with StrongFirst, I don't think you'd post like this.

If you read the reports of our participants, you'll learn a few things:

The ability to work with a heavier weight is a shock at first, but for many people, the shock is overcome by improved technique within a short period of time. I can speak from personal experience - when I first tried to use a 24 kg bell, I didn't think I'd ever be able to do anything with it, but patience and perseverance won out. I was working on my press, and within about 10 days (if memory serves), I was able to press it for a single, and that single became 10 reps, and that led to the Rite of Passage with the 24 kg and being able to press a 32 kg for a single on both sides. The process, from my first kettlebell, a 16 kg, to pressing the 32 kg at my first certification, took about 2 years. I am not alone in having travelled this journey, and others can, too. At the time I was in my late 40's and weighed 68 kg.

The getup does not require pressing strength, it requires supporting strength. We have ways of improving the problem at hand - multiple getups on each side (an article here goes into detail about that approach), practice 16 kg floor presses with one arm or 16 kg supports for time after a 2-arm press if the one-arm press isn't yet possible with the lighter weight, overhead hold and overhead walks with the 16 kg for time, and eventually, some work with the 24 kg.

The OP hasn't yet worked with an SFG or posted a video to the best of my knowledge - both of those thing will help and without the need for an in-between size kettlebell.

I could go on; I'll stop here.

-S-
 
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