Finding your Hidden Strength Reserves

It’s amazing really, so many indirect actions are perfect metaphors other areas of your life. Take exercise for instance. From my observations, your level of dedication to your workouts indicates:

-How disciplined you are in other daily or frequently recurring activities (uh, diet anyone?)
-How much effort you put into those activities, or barring that:
-How hard you push to complete or push those activities to the next level

Of course, regular workouts can also contribute to your well-being on a daily and ongoing basis, but I’m talking about the less frequently connected dots in life. For instance, little victories in life tend to lead to, or contribute to a belief that you can, accomplish small (and large) victories in other areas of life.

Take a look around the fabric of your week after a good workout or two. What did you accomplish in those workouts? What did you attempt? How did you challenge yourself?

Often, we find that the best victory (especially as you push past 40!) in a workout is finding out how much effort we could give. Realizing, ‘damn, I didn’t know I had it in me!’

Sometimes, it doesn’t matter that you didn’t reach the goal, or complete the WOD. What matters, and what is most exhilirating, is discovering a power within you that had been dormant or undiscovered. A power that surfaces through the expenditure of energy from a synergy of mind and body.

That is what lifts you up. That feeling is what drives you on. Empowerment makes you realize that you have barely tapped your own potential, and damn that feels good.

Here’s my empowering workout from today. I really didn’t know I had it in me, specifically that many pullups in one workout. I have been struggling with consistency and setting up the right combination of home gym equipment in my garage and backyard. Now, I can’t wait to load up another 50 lb. sandbag and add weight to my pullups!

Warm-up at track:

-Joint rotations (see instructions here. Just scroll past the first paragraph for the videos.)
-3 laps (jog/walk; sprint/walk; sprint/walk)
Coupled those with:

Finger-only pullups: 3 sets of 3-4 (on a fat steel beam, thus the fingers only)

At home:

5 supersets of:

-Kipping&strict pullups: x 3-4 (not to failure)
-Sandbag ‘hug’ lift from floor, 100# x 1-2 (not going for failure)
-Single arm ‘gas-mower starters’ with 80-120# power band x 5 each

So now it’s your turn. Go out and start exercising. Do what you do, Crossfitter, runner, triathlete, whatever. If you don’t do anything, just walk. Really push yourself. Reach deep. When you want to quit, keep going. After you ignore that quitter a few times you might just forget about it altogether.

Chances are, you will discover something about yourself that was long forgotten, or perhaps you never even knew about.


Your Cheap Garage Gym is all the Home Workout you Need

What does a random pile of homemade indian clubs, kettle bells, some flat resistance bands and an ab wheel do for you? It is one hell of a home gym workout, that’s what. I found my own pile next to my dresser today. Actually it has been there everyday for weeks; the remnants of a workout week where these exercise tools were the main ingredients.

Let me be clear; my home gym space is technically in the garage, but it can also be wherever the mood suits me, or wherever I need to be to get things done and stay motivated. As I was walking past this pile for perhaps the 12th time in a week, it occurred to me that the exercise equipment there was all anyone needed to get strong, fit and healthy. Here is what was sitting in my gym tool mess:

-One homemade indian club made from a plastic bat and filled with sand. It was wrapped with wrist weights to make it heavier (total about 12 lbs.)

-Two 10# kettlebells; cheapies from Walmart that I’ve owned for almost 4 years.

-Two 20# kettle bells, same as above.

-1 45# GoFit Kettlebell

-A $10 pack of ‘stretch bands’ marketed for Pilates and Yoga stretching, but great for a thousand things besides.

-One ab wheel, a super cheap version from Valeo.

On the surface it all looked like a colorful hodgepodge of stuff I should have put away. Then I started counting off the exercises I could do with this small collection and thought, “this is all a person needs for a home gym, or a variation of this; and it takes up a space about 2 feet square.”

Here is a (short) list of exercises you can do with just this equipment:

-indian club mills
-indian club swipes
-indian club Jori swing
_indian club torch press
-anything you can do with a club!

-kettle bell swings, snatches, turkish get-up, floor press, overhead press, bent press, goblet squat, shall I go on?

-Resistance band rows, presses, flyes, curls, high pulls or deadlifts (these last two are effective and tough exercises; from a box with three pretty resistance bands, go figure.)

-Ab wheel rollouts from the knees or from standing. Bear crawls, plank pulls (feet on handles, arms fully extended, pull all the way in with elbows, repeat.)

The list is extensive, and if you have these tools, here is a great whole body functional workout you can try with them. Do the exercises as a circuit, and repeat as many times as you can. 3-5 rounds is a good number to shoot for.

-Jori Swing to Torch Press
-Club mills
-Kettlebells swings
-Kettlebell snatch
-Alternating “bottoms up” standing shoulder press.
-ab wheel rollouts (from knees or standing to full extension.)

This little collection is so versatile I have decided to leave it next to my dresser for a while. The workout routine combinations are endless, and if I throw in some pushups and pullups, I won’t have to step back into the garage for a few weeks.

Next time you see what looks like a collection of insignificant gym equipment or homemade gym tools, take a second look. it just might be the perfect exercise equipment for your next few workouts!


Find great home gymnastic rings equipment and workouts here:

Use these excellent workout routines with little or no equipment:

Home Gym Workout Routines with No Equipment

Leg Muscle Training that Works Without Weights