There was a song a number of years ago by Johnny Cash, “I’ve Been Everywhere”.
As I sit outside on a gorgeous Fall day here in Wisconsin, I got to thinking about how fitness has evolved over the years. It wasn’t all that long ago that a workout only took place inside of a commercial gym. Sure, there were some outlying people here and there, maybe some underground gyms that were doing some really great stuff, but for the most part, a membership style big box gym was the only place to get your hands on some equipment and train. At least that is what most people thought.
Gone are those days.
I haven’t trained in a big box gym for 5 years running.
At first, it was hard. Looking back, I have to assume that it was a far more mild withdrawal than what a smoker experiences when they go cold turkey, but it really was difficult. I felt lost trying to figure out how I was going to create a sustainable training plan without all of the equipment that I had become so accustomed to using.
I think that a lot of people go through these feelings when they think about organizing a training plan that doesn’t involve a gym. I can assure you that the thought that you need thousands of dollar worth of equipment to get a quality workout is a myth.
Does equipment help? Yes, absolutely.
At some point, it is nice to have access to a traditional barbell, some dumbbells and a nice cable machine. But you can survive and progress for a really long time without it.
I had 4 kettlebells, a first generation suspension trainer, some resistance bands, a foam roller, a Tiger Tail, chin up bar, and a jump rope. That was my gym.
After thinking things through, I realized that I really wanted to try and create a training regimen that I could use to preserve the muscle, strength/power, soft tissue health and solid quality of movement that I had built over the years.
My training really went to another level once I took my training wheels off and left the gym. I came to the conclusion that if a person clings hard to the fundamentals and principles that really great programs are built on, you can get an unreal training effect no matter what equipment you have available, or your environment.
I’ve trained everywhere.
Outside in backyards, parks, school tracks, football fields, etc. Inside in a room that’s slightly larger than a small bathroom, a guest bedroom, a hotel, etc. If you have a few feet of room in all directions from where you currently stand, you can make it happen. Trust me, I have done it.
Not on purpose or as a topic to brag about in conversation, but out of necessity. I have made the commitment to a physical lifestyle. It makes me happy and keeps me challenged to see what I can do next. When I travel or when we are away from the house, I feel comfortable knowing that I can engage in some quality physical activity no matter what the environment is.
Winter in Wisconsin is a bitch.
But even then, you have options to get a training session in.
So when I start ranting on and on about people’s lame excuses for not getting a sweat in on any given day and how weak that this, now you can understand where that is coming from. You can train anywhere with anything, you just have to WANT to.
I aim to always be a resource for all of you. Sometimes you what I write about will really hit home for you and your situation, sometimes you may be offended by my tone or sometimes you may think my article is so boring that you hardly make it through the initial few paragraphs.
Either way, I aim to create change and get you to think…