It’s always interesting to me when people get frustrated from having a lack of equipment or access to a gym in order to train. Last I checked strength doesn’t come from a gym membership it comes from knowledge and effort. Today I want to look at where we should be looking when excuses start to creep in to keep us from training just because there may be a lack of equipment and resources.
The Only Gym That Matters
I think the culture of training has shifted over the years to a place where people feel they need a piece of equipment in order to physically obtain lean muscle, or to develop a body like the one they see on the latest issue of your typical Muscle Magazine.
You see the thing about strength and fitness is that it’s the natural state of our physical existence, or at least it should be. The problem with society is that we’ve all been dumbed down by the access and variety of choices through the explosion of health clubs and various other media outlets concerning alternatives to fitness.
The fact is that there is just no such thing as a magical solution. I don’t care how much equipment a gym has to offer you, or how much you pay for the membership you’re not going to make any progress without knowledge and effort, period.
Ok coach so if there is no equipment then what?
Don’t let that excuse start creeping in! As a strength and conditioning coach one of the rules that I have with my athletes and fitness students is that they must earn the right to lift free weights. In other words, they must first work to develop a significant level of total body strength by first mastering their own body resistance.
At the most basic level this can be achieved by not having to have access to any equipment whatsoever. As a matter of fact I tell them that when they are out on their own looking for a gym to go and train that they don’t need to look any further than the bathroom mirror. There’s your gym…problem solved.
Now don’t get me wrong equipment is great, but I’m just making the point that not having access to a gym full of all of the latest bells and whistles doesn’t have to be a roadblock for your strength and conditioning time.
For starters push ups are great and even as you progress to enhance your push up skills you can modify how you do them in order to achieve different results. You can also continue this path to introduce new and dynamic challenges for yourself as you are earning your right to lift those free weights.
The good news about approaching your strength and conditioning in this way is that it can be applied almost anywhere and at anytime. To ensure your basic push up technique is rock solid here’s a little video I did to address some common issues associated with this very well known exercise.
As you can see there is more to executing a push up than meets the eye. Mastering the ability to maintain rigidity and to move the body up and down as a solid unit is something that a lot of people are incapable of doing to a satisfactory level. Sure many claim to do push ups, but in many cases they aren’t truly executing a push up with strict technique.
This is why push ups are so valuable. If you really want to seek out and achieve a level of mastery and control with your body you can’t initially look outward to a gym for all the answers. You’ve got to be willing to train outside the box.
The truth is that you’ve go to look within. You’ve got to be willing to do things to master your own body mass and to do so with confidence and drive first. Push ups are the starting point for helping you to do just that.
Like I said equipment is fine and when you are ready to start making the transition to including free weighted resistance you can do so by adding in dumbbells and kettlebells for developing very dynamic push up complexes such as this.
This drill forces you to create additional stability while also serving as sort of a modified chest fly by internally rotating the shoulder as you drag the weight across the ground from one side to the other. Just make sure to drag the weight with the arm on the side the weight is placed. So if it’s to your right drag it across with your right arm.
It’s a simple addition to the drill that will drastically intensify the exercise for greater body control, stability, and overall strength.
The thing you want to remember is that when pursuing strength and fitness it’s not necessarily about what equipment available to you. The real value comes from what knowledge you have to foster greater creativity. Combine this with good old fashioned effort and you have yourself a recipe for obtaining strength by training outside the box!
Stay strong and keep training smart. Please feel free to post up in the comment box below.
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