Yesterday I spent the best part of the day on London’s Southbank with MaxiNutrition spreading the work about training outdoors and not relying on the gym.
A few weeks ago I was asked to visit this location behind the ITV studios, look at the equipment there and come up with a number of exercises to create a Street Gym. The idea was to avoid using any normal gym kit. The only thing we decided to bring in was some scaffolding to allow pull-ups.
We had a couple of sessions in the morning for the main players like Men’s Fitness, Men’s Health, FourFourTwo, Healthy for Men among others, to come and take part.
We not only ran series of exercises (Press-ups, Incline knees to chest, Calf raise/single leg, Pull-ups/inverted row, Reverse ab curl on bench, Step ups, Single arm incline press, Squat jumps, Bench dips, Plank, Split squats, Pike press, Woodchop, Walking lunges and Sprints) as part of a circuit. We also included a few Royal Marine classic warm-up games as well as a fireman’s carry teach.
Each exercise was demonstrated by myself, Kimberley Wyatt or Dan Lambert prior to the group performing the circuit and having a go at each one, one after the other to the timings of another group member performing the sprints. The faster they sprinted; the less reps their associates performed.
To ensure the session was more about muscle building than CV fitness (which most people think of when training outdoors), instead of performing each exercise as fast as possible, every exercise was performed with a thought on the eccentric portion and slowing that down. The downward portion of each exercise was slow and controlled over at least a 3 count.
The idea was to show that you can take the muscles to fatigue and get a good workout, without a gym – even in the cold of January. Not only that, but most people think you can’t exercise the legs properly without a squat rack, olympic bar and leg ext/curl machines. We wanted to show this to be incorrect. Personally, I didn’t use a gym for 5 months over the summer months. My leg training involved slow split squats and pistol squats. Pistol squats are a killer if performed correctly, with a slow tempo and progressed rep wise week after week. We also used the fireman’s carry squat (performing a fireman’s carry and then squatting the person) to show that it is possible to lift some pretty hefty weights. I was lucky enough to squat all 110kg of Dan Wheeler (shown on the left carrying me).
The day was really enjoyable, so it leaves me simply to thank everyone at Pretty Green and MaxiNutrition for making it happen and for anyone who came down and took part. Big thanks all round.