I spend so much time helping others work towards their heath and
fitness goals that sometimes I forget about mine. Over the last few
weeks I’ve been dialing in my workouts. As I’ve written my own
training cards I realized I had left off a tried and true workout which
is great for everyone.
The Program Minimum
A variation of the original creation by Pavel Tatsouline of Strong First,
this modified program minimum is a simple workout that is
just…swings, turkish get ups, and inverted rows or pull-ups.
The Program Minimum is a 21-minute workout designed to
MODERATELY challenge you.
It is not intended to be a max effort workout nor is it intended to be
the only workout you are doing.
It should be performed once to twice a week on a consistent basis
and is designed to COMPLIMENT your current training program.
The most important benefit of the program minimum is it’s ability to
maintain your training volume. No longer will missed training weeks
leave you falling behind in your fitness goals. The program minimum
will help maintain/improve your strength, power, cardiorespiratory
endurance, joint mobility and joint stability.
The beauty of the program minimum is it can be tailored to your
abilities. Simply changing the way you breathe, through your nose
instead of your mouth can be extremely challenging to your fitness
levels. There are more details on how to progress the program
I encourage you to incorporate the Program Minimum into your
Basic design of the Program Minimum
o 1 st : 5 minutes of Swings
o Perform 10 kettle bell swings at the top of every 30s for 5
o 2 nd : 1 minute rest
o 3 rd : 15 minutes of Turkish Get up (TGU’s) and inverted rows/pull-ups
1 st minute perform a R arm TGU
2 nd minute perform a L arm TGU
3 rd minute perform 10 inverted rows/5 pull-ups
4 th minute perform a R arm TGU
Progression of the program minimum
o Level 1: 2 – arm swings (breathing through the mouth)
o Level 2: 2 – arm swings (breathing through the nose)
o Level 3: 1 – arm swings (breathing through the mouth)
o Level 4: 1 – arm swings (breathing through the nose)
o Go up in weight
Goals on the program minimum
Females perform swings with a 35# kettle bell and TGU’s with a 26# bell.
Males use a 53# bell on both.
Females perform 1-arm swings with 53# kettle bell and TGU’s with a 35# bell.
Males use a 70# bell on both.
Females perform 1-arm swings with 70# kettle bell and TGU’s with a 53# bell.
Males use a 105# bell on both.