Just grab your towel and go.

Hitchhiker’s guide had it right, all you need is a towel.

I have used it to add intensity to my sandbag/bodyweight workouts
to do isolation movements, curls, triceps extensions
and all kind of grip training (you can never have to strong of a grip).

Cinder blocks weigh in at around 20-40lb, have convenient holes in them and are usually being thrown away at any construction site.

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Don’t forget to do your pullups!
Over a branch or railings. The towel creates a forgiving grip were needed so not to tear your hands to shreds and strengthens the grip.

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Wrap the towel in a thick bundle and hold for time.

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Tie a solid knot and lean back as far as you can for time or do rows, it’s hell on the forearm.

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For a quick 20-40 min workout I’ll go running with a towel and scan for spots to do pullups, extensions, pushups, pisolsquats 8-15reps at every stop for 3-6 stops in total.
Be creative and get some work done!

Train for life.

How much stronger can I get for $100 or less? Part 1

The answer is a lot.
Not just strength, but stamina and mental toughness.
People have been doing it since long before the sissy ass globo gym was invented.
Simply by hauling logs, stones and each other.

If you think you need a barbell and the latest machines to build a strong,
fast, asskicking physique, you are dead wrong.
Look at gymnastics, talk about strong and it’s almost all bodyweight training.

I decided to try out an minimalist approach to training last summer
and the results are anything but minimal.
My work capacity has never been greater, not even when I was a competitive boxer.
I’m more agile, faster and injury free.
When I started lifting again I was moving more weight than before.

This is how I train my clients and they are staggered by the results they are getting.
That is with the actual workouts rarely lasting longer than 30 minutes.

Let’s talk equipment.
You really don’t need anything, you can get away with a branch
and a few stones but these things help and are relatively cheap.

Rings or TRX:
After having my $15 plastic rings break during a muscle up I recommend splurging on quality rings, mine are dense hardwood, easy on the hands, will last a lifetime and cost around $60.
Amazon or eBay is your best bet.

The TRX you can make yourself for 10-20$ here is a good how to.
http://rosstraining.com/blog/2010/01/13/homemade-suspension-trainer/

Canvas army duffelbag or similar heavy duty bag.
I bought mine on EBay for $10 and I have loaded it to more than 200lb without problem.

So with good straps for my rings my “backpack/take anywere gym” costs $85. Not bad.
It weighs in at 15lb, so it’s a nice weight to run with on your back.

Just remember that simple does not mean easy.

I will be describing a few of the workouts and technique in future posts.
So stay tuned.

Train for life

Dealing with a bad day

We all have a bad workout day.
A day were the bar just seems heavier then usual.
Most drudge through the haphazard workout and plan on making
up for it on the next one.

Next time it happens, try this.
Pick two large movements.
For example: Kettlebell or dumbbell swings
and some kind of deadlift variations.
Do a circuit and make short max (10 min) and intense.
You are more likely to crush the workout,
and you can be guilt free. Not that you should feel any.

Another thing I do is I note down my mood,
nutrition and sleep even weather.
And soon I can see why I am not up to the workout.
Now I can make conscious effort to avoid things that mess me up.

If you are having “bad workouts” frequently I suggest you do this.

Lack of sleep, being sick or injures are usually things out of our control.
You just have to roll with it.
BUT
Staying up late to watch TV, eating crappy food, having a few drinks
or being stressed are all things you can actively avoid.

Now for the difficult part.

Ask your self.
Am I making up excuses and putting up mental barricades.

Oh it’s so gray outside and raining of course I’m tired.
It’s been a long day, it’s ok to take it easy.
It’s going to be a long day, I need to take it easy.

IT’S ALL TOTAL BULLSHIT!

If you need a restday take one, that’s fine but ALWAYS crush the workout.

Train for life

Choosing a trainer.

When choosing a trainer the inclination is,
“he’s ripped and fit he must be good”
He did it, he can teach me to do it, right.

Well the thing is that he could have great genetics.
Be naturally athletic and coordinated, meaning he learned
The movements fast and easy. And builds muscle easily.

And the truth is many personal trainers have no hands on experience
Training when they start, they pass a test and think now I have learned
All I need to learn.

I was one of them.

When people are natural at something they don’t go through
A learning phase, they acquire skill to easily.
and therefore have a hard time teaching the movements to “regular” people.
They never learned any teaching cues.

Make sure your trainer is someone who has worked
on his or her skill, that way he is better suited to teach it to others.
I found this out the hard way.

For me it was frustrating when I was trying to teach movements
In boxing and lifting.
I had learned by watching and doing.
Why can’t you. Arghhh!!!

The fix.

I finally realized this when coach deconstructed my movements,
he said “you learned to squat on your own didn’t you.
You do it well but it so instinctual that you can’t break it up into it’s basics”.

That’s it I thought, I learned a movement so easily that I
Expected everyone else to get it easily too.
That’s why I dove into Olympic lifts and kettle bell movements with different coaches.
Threw away my ego and started my schooling all over again.

Starting from scratch I learned all my lifts again taking in all the
teaching cues and developing my own on the way.
By now I had been training others for four years.

I now go on a regular basis to different coaches and start again.
With all my movements in both lifting and boxing.
I always take something new away from it
and it makes me a better coach.

If I get too comfortable with something I drop it for a while.
Then going to a coach and get him to teach it to me as if I was a novice.
It’s humbling and hard on the ego and necessary for everyone.

Stay away from “I know it all” people and certainly don’t become one.

Train for life