Saturday, 21 January 2012

Gym? I don't need no stinking gym!

I hate gyms. Not as much as I hate running, but the strong negative feelings are there. There was a time when I was a young cut/ripped gym rat but just like Star Wars it was a long, long time ago. As nice and helpful as people can be I'm just not a fan of them. There's always a snicker or a whispered cut-down and I'm just too old and grumpy to get out of a situation like that without causing someone some embarrassment. It would probably be me, but I'm sure I could drag a couple of folks down in the process.

So how do I get in my required strength workouts? I just use myself against myself. Better put, I use my own body weight as the resistance instead of a big chuck of iron. I use a modified version of Mark Sisson's Primal Essential Movements routine that can be found in his free e-book Primal Blueprint Fitness over at Mark's Daily Apple. In my case I substitute situps for the pullups as situps are a required part of the AF Fitness Exam and that it is my goal to pass by the first week in December 2012.

Now since I have zero upper body strength from years of sitting at a desk editing photos and writing I needed to start VERY simple just to get my body used to doing things it hasn't done in a very long time. The upside to this is I can do it anytime, anywhere!

Wall push-ups- feet together about 3 feet from the wall, hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Lean forward until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle then press back. I started off by doing 1 set of 50 and am now working on doing 2 sets. As you progress move from the wall to a lower object as a counter top and then lower still to two chairs (facing each other). Finally make it to the ground and keep pounding out the sets of 50. Be sure to keep your spine straight, don't stick your butt up in the air or let your belly scrape the ground (most embarrassing). Since my goal is a maximum number in one minute I'm shooting for a fast set of 50 (I get max-points at 44 in a minute).

Squats- feet shoulder-width apart, keeping your back and neck aligned lower your butt until your legs are parallel to the floor then press back up until standing with your arms crossed over your chest. Hold onto a chair or other object if you need to. I'm currently on 2 set of 25. Feel free to cry at any point along the way but mind you that whimpering is strictly forbidden.

Planks- assume the push-up position on the ground and hold your abs, butt, everything tight for as long as you can and as straight as a, well... a plank. I do two sets until failure and am shooting for 2 minutes. Start on your knees if you need to like I'm doing. When you're consistently hitting this mark start working your obliques by tilting your upper body to one side while pointing your arm towards the ceiling. Repeat for the other side.

Sit-ups- you know the drill here. On your back, knees bent and arms across your chest. Use a couch or a partner to hold your feet. Tighten your abs the pull up your head and then your chest towards your knees until your arms hit your knees or thighs. Initially I'm doing 2 sets to failure. I'll do 'em until I can do 50, then work on doing them faster. Big Blue (the Air Force) can put a bomb through a window but they're still schlepping along with situps instead of crunches. Apparently they're looking at the fitness of my hip flexors. That's sarcasm in case you didn't catch it.

That's pretty much it. The strength exercise no-gym get fit fitness routine.


  1. Ahhhhh ha! You found my blog! And I didn't know you started running. You should enter the Red Dress Run (April 15th). Thousands of Japanese put on red dresses and run. We are going to wear red tutus and tiaras and run the 10k. I say good sir, you should join with us. It would be felicitous to see you in a red tutu. ( I am reading Pride and Prejudice BTW.)

  2. Don't you be using them big words with me young lady, there's children in this house! Send me the info, if I'm running any appreciable distance I've give it a shot.

  3. I have no info for you. :( I sign up through the Striders, and they send out race times and sign up for you. Sadly, we were supposed to submit entries by last night. Looks like I am going to have a ton of fun without you!

  4. Wow, that's a long lead time! Good luck!