Today, I want to share one of my favorite tactics to use during large group training formats. What’s that you ask? Straight Sets is exactly what I’m talking about. Straight sets for those of you that may not know what I’m talking about, or using different terminology, is performing each exercise back-to-back for 3-4 straight sets.
Why do I like this method? That’s a good question, so let me explain. Using stright sets really lets your clients feel that “burn” and get extremely fatigued. This is great. Our clients are always looking to get smashed and leave feeling like they really got their a$$ kicked. Using straight sets tends to give them a pretty solid butt whoopin’.
However, even though your clients may leave feeling that way, I look at the entire training session as a coach to ensure this method meets my standards of quality vs. quantity. Straight sets do more than just kick your clients butt during the workout. Let me elaborate on what I’m seeing as a coach. Here’s a list of benefits from using straight sets:
Keeps the group organized and eliminates chaos from having people move all over from station to station.
Increases in form. Clients have the time to really learn and feel each exercise. This method is great for any fitness level. It gives beginners time to learn the movement while pushing your more advanced clients to that point of technical failure (usually ends up in drop sets and unloaded versions)
Great for a hypertrophy phase. With most of our clients wanting to improve body compostion, this is another great quality.
Clients LOVE them!
Those are a few of the highlights of WHY I like using straight sets in my programming. I usually use them during hypertrophy phases, but also like them when we see a large influx of new clients coming in at once. A few times a year, the fitness industry is hoppin’. New Year’s Resolutions, Back to School, Running Groupon or other DOD sites, Transformation Contests, and other methods of marketing can really increase leads within your business. Using straight sets allows each new member really learn the exercise being performed, so they leave with a sense of success and accomplishment. This is a great way to help improve your sales as well. It’s much easier to have someone stick with your program if you can improve their successes while eliminating most of their failures.
If you’re not using straight sets, give them a shot. I love them, and plan to keep them a staple of my program. Don’t get me wrong, I love my circuit formats, supersets, tri-sets, etc… I just wanted to shed some light on the straight set format. Personally, I don’t think we use this training format enough. Give it a shot and let me know how it works for you.
If you’re currently using straight sets, or see the value in them, please leave a comment below. We would love to know why YOU like them as well. Even if you don’t like them, we would still love to hear that as well 🙂
The Turkish Get Up is one of the most powerful exercises out there. However, incorporating it into your group training classes can be a daunting task if unprepared. So why go through all the hassle? Why not just leave it out and choose something easier and less coaching intensive?
The answer is simple. The Turkish Get Up works mobility, stability, kinesthtic awareness, coordination, strength, conditioning, and a nearly every positive effect you’re looking for out of an exercise. We honestly can’t think of an exercise that gives you more bang for your buck than the Turkish Get Up. In addition to all of the positive training effects listed above, the Get Up also can be used as a movement screen.
If you don’t believe us, try doing a GOOD Turkish Get Up with a big weight. Go nice and slow. Own each phase of this powerful movement. Control the bell during each phase. Take good solid breaths during each specific phase. If you can do that and you still don’t think it’s worth implementing, then that’s probably a wise decision on your part.
We’re not going to go into much depth about how to do a complete TGU in this article. There are plenty of good resources to learn how to do a proper Turkish Get Up. Our best recommendation is forking over the cash and getting Kalos Stenos : Kettlebells From The Ground Up. You can find more information on this DVD at www.dragondoor.com or www.functionalmovement.com. This is a quality DVD that breaks down the Get Up into 7 distinct phases. As stated earlier, the TGU can also be used as a movement screen. Gray Cook and Brett Jones do an outstanding job of teaching you the in’s and out’s of the TGU and how certain faults within the movement correlate to faults on the FMS screen.
If we’ve convinced you to give the Turkish Get Up a shot, let’s talk about how this is possible. First and foremost, you need to learn this exercise and how to break it down into certain phases. Not only do you need to learn it…you need to perform it yourself…you need to own it. The better you can do this exercise yourself; The better your coaching will be.
After you own the TGU yourself, begin to think about the phases you want to teach, and then how those phases can be incorporated into your program to get the desired results. We’ve toyed around with a few methods of teaching this to groups, and honestly…it’s not all that hard. We recommend breaking it down into 5-7 phases depending on how you want to teach it.
Here is a video of us teaching the Get Up to a group. This is being performed as a warm up before one of our group kettlebell classes. We’ve had great success with teaching the Get Up during warm ups. This video is breaking the Get Up down into phases. We’re performing each phase for a duration of 45 seconds. We broke it down into 5 phases doing each phase for 45 seconds with a 15 second transition. Perform one phase on the left, use the 15 second transition to properly move the bell to the right, and then perform that same phase on the right. Going through each phase from right to left in this manner takes us about 10 minutes to perform. Each phase is performed for 45 seconds, so the individual performing the Get Up will really get some time to start perfecting form through each phase. After that…it’s a breeze to put it all together.