When I initially read Alwyn Cosgroves post (shown above) I immediately felt that it was too good not to share.
Once I established my training philosophy, I was set for life. I was set to teach others and also to execute for my own benefit.
It doesn’t matter what equipment is around, what I have access to or what I don’t have access to.
I can accomplish something even though I don’t have everything.
Sure, my ideas and preferences will evolve, but I think that much of what I believe makes a great program and workout is solidified. I am not sure (at this point) how it can get much better, without sacrificing certain things that I morally cannot consciously sacrifice. One of those being safety of myself, or the you guys.
I write about kettlebells and suspension trainers on this blog A LOT.
But it’s not for any other reason than I believe whole heartedly that the combination of kettlebells and suspension trainers make for insanely effective workouts, especially since they fit into my training philosophy so well.
Kettlebells provide loaded (resistance), ground based movements that are primarily (not all) completed in a vertical standing position. The bold print is a part of my training philosophy. I could substitute “kettlebells” for a whole host of other fitness equipment, and things would be just fine.
Movements like kettlebell swings and turkish get ups are world class for building a variety of qualities, at the same time.
Suspension trainers are an entire gym in a box, weighing in at less than 2lbs tops. Equipment-free bodyweight training is great, but suspension training makes it better. Suspension trainers allow for the leverage of a person’s bodyweight against gravity. My favorite benefit of the suspension trainer is the fact that you can PULL! Inverted rows (aka: body rows) and chin ups (supinated and neutral grip) are all made possible by two straps with handles.
Get rid of that shoddy kitchen chair set up that you’ve been using for so long…
But as stated in Alwyns commentary above, kettlebells and suspension trainers are just tools that I use to to implement my philosophy of what makes a great workout, program, etc. I am not exclusive to any piece of equipment. That’s not my style.
The fact is that most equipment works wonderfully.
It’s the user (aka: you) that has the opportunity to make the magic happen.
I know a lot of people that own a complete set of kettlebells and the best suspension trainer money can buy, but they don’t have a philosophy, or any sort of guidance on how to use it. In turn, they are stalemate in their efforts, or on to the next fashionably trendy workout tool.
For most people who are beyond their days of athletics, the total body approach to training is probably best. I know that there are upper body/lower body splits and a thousand other ways to organize your weekly training, but total body is effective in short windows of time.
Time is probably our most precious commodity. We can never get time back. Once a minute passes, that minute is gone. Same with days, weeks, and months. Time keeps moving forward at the same steady pace regardless if we want it to slow down or stand still.
That being said, leveraging a total body workout, using a smart philosophy to structure the workout is (in my personal opinion) the best approach for accomplishing goals of fat loss, building all around strength and many other athletic qualities using time management.
But, it must also be said that paying attention to your nutrition, specifically what you shove into your mouth and drink, is the most time effective way to stay lean.
My advice to all of you is this: Treat tools are tools, not philosophies.
Gravity decides what an object is going to weigh, humans decide how the object will be shaped, how the weight is distributed and to some degree how the tool should be used best. An example of how a tool should be used best is in fact, the kettlebell. You can swing a dumbbell, sure. But your first time swinging a kettlebell will lead you to believe that dumbbell shouldn’t be swung.
Kettlebells are the standout choice for swings and many other exercises.
But I can in fact swing a dumbbell. I can also perform a turkish get up with a dumbbell, or a sandbag, or a filled milk carton, or a loaded backpack, etc. It might not feel the greatest, but I can do it because it has weight and a handle to grip.
The tool is not the philosophy. It is an augment to the philosophy. A supplement to your training philosophy.
Again, I can perform a squat with any tool, or no tool. If I don’t have a two, it’s bilateral air squats or for an added loaded and challenge, it’s pistol squats.
Therefore, pay attention to more important aspects of your workout such as:
– Consistent progression of loading.
– Time under tension
– Range of motion
– Heart Rate
– Movement patterns
– Exercise progression
– Your goals, needs, abilities and dysfunction
These are things that can you can use to imprint your own philosophy of how an effective training session or long-term program should be designed, regardless of what equipment you have or don’t have.
Very simple thought pattern yet often overlooked. Thanks Alwyn…
Cheers to philosophies and sticking to them…