Is Your PR Safe?

28kg Get-up_v2

It’s exciting to hit a Personal Record or a Personal Best in your training session, but is your PR safe?

You see all sorts of ridiculous, unsafe, feats of strength on the internet. Many that make me shake my head and wonder why someone would risk injury for one unsafe PR.

No matter how strong and skilled or advanced a lifter you are, safety should always be your number one priority in training, especially when you are going to attempt a lift with a new, heavier weight for the first time.

I have been working towards a 32kg (70lbs) Turkish Get-up. I have tried it a few times, but the bell still feels so huge on my arm that I cannot get past the roll up to my forearm.

Last week we received a shipment of 30kg (66lbs) kettlebells and since 28kg (62lbs) get-ups have been feeling strong in my training lately, this week I decided to see if I could do a get-up with 30kg.

How did I approach this PR attempt to ensure that it was safe?

First I warmed up by doing single get-ups starting with 22kg (49lbs) and then moving up a weight ladder of 24kg (53lbs), 26kg (58lbs), and then 28kg (62lbs). If the 28kg felt strong I was going to try 30kg.

The 28kg felt strong so I then asked Eric if he was available to spot me for the 30kg get-up. You’ll see in the video below, as I went through the lift, it felt very strong and I felt confident that I didn’t need him on high alert through the lift. Even though I communicated this to him, I still asked him to stay there and spot me just in case.

30kg – 66kg Turkish Get-up, Right Side


I also tried the left side, and even though the roll up looks strong in the video, my left arm did not feel quite as stable as my right and I was fairly sure that I might lose the bell after I stood up or on the way down. So, instead of risking this I decided to stop the lift. See the video below for how I did this… I will try it again on another day when the left side feels just as stable and strong as the right side AND when I have someone to spot me.

30kg – 66kg Turkish Get-up, Left Side Attempt


Some things to keep in mind to ensure a safe PR:

  • When attempting a lift that requires a spotter, such as a Turkish Get-up, Kettlebell Bent Press, or Barbell Back Squat, make sure to have a spotter and to establish with your spotter BEFORE you start your lift how you will communicate with him or her if the lift goes bad.
  • When attempting a lift that is hard to have a spotter help you, such as a Heavy Dead-Lift or an Overhead Kettlebell Press, if you know the lift is not going to be successful, aim for a “successful failure”. Don’t risk injury and continue to pull weight if you lose your form with a dead-lift. Stop the lift immediately and lower the weight to the ground or drop the weight.
  • If you are attempting a max overhead press but you are pushing your body away from the bell, leaning too much, and using your back to get the weight up, then don’t waste energy or risk injury on pushing a heavy weight through a bad pattern. In the case of a kettlebell press, stop the press, lower the bell to the rack position, put it down and walk away.

Below is an example of a “successful failure”. This press was not going the way I wanted to go, and rather than waste energy and risk injury on a bad lift, I stopped the press.

Successful Failure


 These are just a few suggestions and examples to help you keep it safe in your training.

Stay safe and lift STRONG!


If you would like to learn more detail as to how I structure programming specific to turkish get-ups and how they help to build symmetrical strength, or to train for a half bodyweight turkish get-up then I hope you’ll join me for my workshop I Am Not Afraid To Lift on November 8, 2014 at Iron Body Studios in Needham, MA.

If you have a current strength goal that you are working towards, or need help deciding on one, this workshop will help you to decide on a strength goal and learn programming to work towards that strength goal.

I look forward to lifting with you on November 8!


Read more about I Am Not Afraid To #LiftNYC HERE!

Learn more HERE ==>

Register HERE under EVENTS ==>

Early bird pricing through October 1 – $149.00

Regular price after October 1 – $199.00

I will see you on November 8 & I look forward to lifting with you!



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