THE OFFICIAL BLOG OF RAHUL HARSH RAJE

Sharing nuggets of knowledge and ideas accumulated on health, strength and fitness based experiences. While here, feel free to hit the comments section and share your invaluable feedback about the blog's betterment. Have fun.

Saturday, 9 May 2020

MAKE YOUR TRAINING PORTABLE

You prize your squat like its dearer than life herself.

And it's no joke. Hoisting 600 pounds on your back when it is trying to not only crush you, but bury you deep underground is a serious affair for anyone anywhere.

It's all fun and games though until you suddenly have that unplanned road trip. Or worse, you need to fly for work to places where you might need to walk miles to find even something remotely looking like a dumbbell, let alone a squatting set up. Even the most well equipped hotel gyms across the globe may not be able to fancy your Deadlift PR goal, I'm sure.

LET'S ADMIT, THIS HAS BEEN A SIGHT OF HORROR TO SO MANY OF US!
I think it's about time we begin to ask ourselves:

CAN YOU CARRY YOUR TRAINING PROGRAM WITH YOU?

When it comes to training, only portability can guarantee really long term consistency.

Let's face it. In the long run, only things we have been doing almost like second nature can win us the shape we want to be in.

During my childhood, I used to be enthralled looking at the phenomenal abdominal development of construction laborers. My then developing brain did not allow me though to realize how it wasn't any super specialized six week abdominal training program that chiseled those marbles. Rather it was those 50 plus kilo cement and sand bags those hard working men used to carry up several flights of stairs tirelessly for almost his entire adult life. Over their lifespans, they end up acquiring wiry, ripped frames that could envy any fitness model.

YOU MIGHT WANT TO RECONSIDER YOUR CAREERS AFTER NOTICING SOME CONSTRUCTION WORKERS' RIPPEDNESS
This was just a fancy way of introducing the power of consistency to you.

SO, WHAT OPTIONS DO I HAVE?

To cut it all short, here are the categories of movements you must start considering as soon as you can to be added to your strength programming:

1. High Tension Bodyweight Drills - Remember, these are not just plain push ups and bodyweight squats, rather their more sinister uni lateral varieites.
2. Resistance Bands/Spring loaded strands/Any other similar cable training portable apparatus
3. Kettlebells. Enough has been proven about their formidable nature. They are a concentrate of that entire dumbbell rack into one cannon ball with a handle. That should help explain their portable power.

THE ANYWHERE TOOLS
Whether you might enjoy hearing it or not, you can design a world class strength training program using just these 'anywhere' tools.

Of course, this is in no way a limited list and your imagination would be the only limit when it comes to devising effective training plans using anything available around you. Sandbags, pieces of furniture, bricks, towels, odd shaped objects... Just think in terms of, would you be able to continue this during a long, unexpected road trip. The answer to this question might enlighten you towards a fool-proof program design.

Think of it this way. You expand your horizons once you let go of the conventional possessions of strength training. You break that invisible string that has tied, rather, 'chained' you to the power rack for years, making you sacrifice the finer joys of life such as meeting your people and planning adventures with them.

SO THEN, WE CAN JUST, DITCH THOSE BIG BARBELLS AND DUMBBELLS? JUST LIKE THAT?

This is no way to state though that big barbell lifts have no place in a trainee's life. This is to ascertain that those big lifts are still a rare luxury for so many of us and should be treated so. You can include a handful of the big barbell lifts in your program when you're home, but always ensure to keep the body weight training as an integral part of training. You can use regular barbell training programs during a 6 to 12 week period when you are highly convinced, life isn't going to throw an air ticket or a long drive to a new place towards you.

Another way is to keep testing your Squat, Dead and Press numbers on a periodic basis to assess how your 'other' training is helping them. Believe it or not, you can improve your deadlift without training it directly.

And by the way, not all of us are anyway made to be doing conventional squats, deads and bench presses. Case in point, the day I started toying around with the barbell Zercher squats, I have seldom looked back. The irradiating realization and swarms of aha moments made me question my sanity in not choosing this remarkably productive, beneficial and safe lift all these years. I haven't got my hands across a Trap bar yet, although a similar exclamation would go out for the conventional deadlift deserving to be replaced by a more upright version such as the trap or hex bar deadlift. Maybe a behind the back deadlift should suffice till then, but that's a different blog post for a different day.

WON'T I LOSE ALL MY GAINS?

If you choose the right bodyweight training exercises, you wouldn't. I didn't too. What exercises should you pick up? Total Body tension drills.

Exercises such as the Ab-wheel roll out is a killer variation that fits this bill like a superstar.



This drill can give you a long-time achievable goal while delivering benefits all this while.

Handstand Pushups, Pull ups on a ledge or anything sturdy to hang from, single leg squats and push ups are all fantastic categories with enough progressions to keep you hooked for a lifetime.

When you come back to training the big barbell lifts after a month or two, you will be astonished at how much better you are under the bar using all those total body tensing techniques you learned.

IS IT REALLY THAT EASY?

Nobody said that. Okay, well, if you consider staying on the course for weeks and months doing the basics to be easy, then a resounding YES. Stay prepared to get bored. It's not a 'I'm gonna see visible gains every session' kind of journey. It's more of a 'Ah, after six sessions, I finally see some light' kind of journey.

Make these modifications to your current program and reap benefits of exercise and strength training while you are also enjoying that view of the valley on a hill or mountain range you do not know the name of.

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