How to get the most out of what you have

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How to get the most out of what you have

Perfect has always been the enemy of good. People trying to set up the perfect gym, have the perfect nights rest and the perfect stress free day.

Sadly, it does not exist. Here are some practical tips to some real problems.

 

My gym is basic, I can only afford a basic gym, my gym doesn't have X machine

We get a version of this almost daily. To be absolutely clear, the basis of a workout is to cause your body stress, from which it recovers.

Your muscles do not care if that stress is from a 20 year old barbell or a top of the line leg press.

This completely different from your mind. For many, it many many times harder to train on equipment you do not like. Its hard to feel like its 'fair' when you see people with 'nicer' things. You can't beat yourself up for being human, but you can see it as a opportunity to trick yourself.

If you are mentally in a position where you are frustrated with your gym setup but can't afford to upgrade it, use this for good, not bad. Say, when I squat 120kg, I get a new pair of lifting shoes - write it out, hold yourself to it.

When I do 20 chins, I get a lat pulldown attachment, or whatever version of this your want.

Bargaining or reward has been a proven tactic for as long as its been studied. From making people work a zillion hours for a potential pay rise, to the promise of a pay cheque for being a professional sportsperson, they are all versions of the same thing.

 

But I actually don't have equipment

The line for training at home is a bar, some bands and some 10s. If you want to train at a gym, there are lots of very low priced options.

With bands, you can mock up almost any movement, and in many ways its superior. For example, a banded one arm lat pulldown has many advantages over a lat pulldown machine. You can use the band for leg extensions, assisted chins, hamstring curls, more resistance in push up (search the blog and we have a bunch of band workouts).

 

If you don't have sufficient weights, add tempo, pauses and reps to achieve the same result. A bar with 10s (so 40kg in total) for a set of 5 second down, 2 second pause squats is extremely hard, and you are a impressive person if you can do 20 reps of that.

 

I don't have time

This would be the second most common thing we here. If you children, a job, a partner, it all ads up.

If the transit is killing you, set up a home gym, or a home gym option (ie, some limited equipment).

You can do a genuinely hard workout in 45 minutes. To illustrate this point, today my training session was 45 minutes, It was

Deads - 60, 100, 140, 180, 200x3 x 3 - 7 sets - 3 minutes between each - 20 mins

Romanians - Stripped bar back to 140x3 - done in 10 mins

Rows - Stripped bar back to 100x3 - done in 10 mins

Chins - 5x5

This was genuinely unpleasant, but with 45 minutes till I had to leave for a meeting, we made it work.

Deadlifts are by far the best bang for buck when time crunched. The warm up is far less than squats due to reduce mobility needs, its hard and it works. You could do the above workout once a week and then next time, replace the second half of the workout with bench and overheads, and that would be e pretty good week of training in 1 hour 30 per week.

 

I don't have any motivation

Rather than simply stating you don't have motivation, a great place to start is understanding motivation. This video is a great start. Knowledge of knowledge can allow you to intervene is integral. Understanding the mechanisms of motivation allows you to change the levers that may leave you feeling unfulfilled.

 

 

Three big issues, we hope this helps

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