Strength Training for Picking People Up


First Post
I've been training S&S for several months now, and have nearly "owned" the 24kg with Turkish getups, and have already started transitioning into the 32kg for swings (following the protocol for repeating a rep/set number for 3-4 weeks before moving up). Previous training history has mostly involved rucking, running, and light calisthenics, so S&S has been my first foray into consistent strength training. My goal has been to reach the "Simple" standard before moving into the ROP as this is my first year getting serious about kettlebell training.

What's changing, however, is that I'll be moving in with my parents for a few years to pay off some grad school debt while helping them make their own transition as they get ready to fix up and sell their house. My father was in an earthquake many years ago that, long story short, resulted in some long term health and balance problems. He falls quite often (multiple times a week) as he is trying to avoid a permanent return to a wheelchair for as long as he possibly can. He often needs help being moved even when he is using the wheelchair. I'm able to pick him up (from the floor and back into bed, from the garage back to his room, or back into a chair, etc.) much easier when he's lucid, but it's much more difficult when he isn't.

My question for the group here is regarding a change in my strength training goals given this situation. He often needs help getting picked up off the ground, sometimes he is lucid but oftentimes not so much. He weighs around 210 pounds. I'd prefer to continue training S&S given that there's not much room for a barbell-centric home gym and I've been able to train much more consistently from home vs going to a gym. If my goal essentially still GPP but also having the capacity to be able to help pick him up, what might be the best focus?
  1. Strict continued focus on S&S
  2. Introduce something like Deadlifts, Sandbags, Double KB's, etc.
  3. Shift focus to Barbell training and figure that out.
Any insights you might have would be helpful.

Steve Freides

Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
IMHO, barbell Zercher Squat is the lift for you.

If only a kettlebell, carries with it held in front of you, ideally with nothing but part of your upper arms in contact with your torso, thus your elbows, forearms and hands all in front of you. 2nd best is elbows against the body body everything else not touching. My real preference for this exercise is a 20 or 25 kg plate, not a kettlebell, but a 20 or 24 kg kettlebell works just fine, obviously more or less weight as appropriate for you.



First Post
Thank you so much, everyone! This is exactly what I needed. I'll experiment with integrating these along with looking up some additional resources for lifting techniques.

@rwleonard love the video.

william bad butt

Level 6 Valued Member

I agree with getting some sandbag work in. Heavy ones, approaching the weight of a human.

I recently had to euthanize my dog. He was 80 lb (the little one). So not quite as large as a human but fairly heavy. For the last 2 months, he had to be carried around a lot (my house has lots of stairs). I also have a 125 lb sandbag. Think about this, because it came up with my dog. You must be both strong AND GENTLE.

What does strength training teach? To crush the bar or handle, white knuckle, right? Obviously, when I pick up my 80 lb dog, I cant crush him. I had to practice lifting him, gently. I saw a vet lift him and struggle (I wasnt allowed for liability reasons). She wasnt as gentle as me because she was giving it her all (80 lb was heavy for her). Maybe when I do my sandbag lifts, from now on, I will do a few gentle reps. Act as if the bag is precious cargo. It was just a thought that occurred to me.


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