Back To Basics? No Problem.

keep-calm-and-get-back-to-basics-5What is the most basic workout you can do to “survive” as an athlete? Injured, out of focus, surgery, distractions, University we all come up against times in our life when we need to get back on the wagon and maybe going straight to the gym isn’t the preferred method. Maybe a gym isn’t available, maybe at home is where the work needs to happen. If that’s the case then we need to take a quick look at what components we need to succeed. First let me say that anyone can afford the bare minimum of workout equipment which is a 25lb kettlebell for women and a 40lb KB for your average man. This is your health we are talking about and since you won’t be spending $8 a pop at Starbucks any more, the KB will be yours in a week. There are a MILLION youtube videos about kettlebell workouts, I don’t need to cover them here. Let me just say that the greatest full body movements there are involve kettlebells.

You can read this for a start!

The basic components of a successful eating plan are:
No sugar. Period.
No grains if possible.
Plenty of protein and quality fat.

The basic components of an at home workout of the most basic type are:

Here’s a basic starter workout that can be done every other day:

30 Jumping Jacks
20 body weight squats
10 push ups (on stairs)
20 stair dips
20 walking lunges
10 Burpees
10 dumbbell rows (using a gallon milk jug or a cat)
30 second plank
20 body weight squats
30 Jumping Jacks

If you have access to a bar:

5×5 chinups
5×10 leg lifts

Here’s the kicker for the pushups and the bar work.

Start your pushups on the stairs, hands on the 3rd or 4th step up, nice easy incline. Each 2nd workout move down one step until you are doing them on the floor. Then, every week, progress up the stairs with your feet until you are basically doing 45 degree incline pushups like a boss.

For the bar, if you can’t do a strict chinup yet, start with kipping or beat chin-ups to help. Eventually you will be able to do 5 without stopping. Every other workout try to do one or two sets with maximum reps just to see how many you can do.

Leg lifts can be done as tuck ups at first and then bent leg lifts then straight leg.

This is a beginner workout and should be done for 4 weeks MAX. After that amount of time (or before) your body will be requesting more activity. As you go, you can increase the rep count as you see fit. FOR EVERYTHING not just the stuff you like.

By week 4 you should be doing something like this (it should be noted that these totals will be broken down into sets of 10 or so NOT INCLUDING THE JACKS)

50 Jumping Jacks
40 body weight squats
25 push ups (on stairs)
40 stair dips
60 walking lunges
25 Burpees
40 dumbbell rows (using a gallon milk jug or a cat)
60 second plank
40 body weight squats
50 Jumping Jacks

If you have access to a bar:

10×5 chinups
10×10 leg lifts

After 4 weeks it’s about time to step up the intensity and you should start to look at interval training and weight training. If you still don’t have access to weights you can still get a kick ass workout with bodyweight (or buy a kettlebell for $20):

Tuck Jumps
Military Pushups
Pistol squats (One leg)
Hindu pushups
Feet on stairs shoulder press
Vsnaps with power crunch
Plank hold with hip touch
Pushup tuck jump pancake burpees

There is plenty that you can do in “Bootcamp” format to get into formidable shape. In fact, you can click on the tag cloud on the right and select any of the bootcamp tags or search bootcamp in the search box at the top of the page and find literally dozens of pre-made, pre-approved and successfully tested bootcamp workouts.

You Need To Know This – Health and Fitness 101, The Basics

I guess I should expect it given where I came from…

I get asked with great regularity about my exercise, diet and motivation. I consider it a privilege to share my knowledge and in that spirit I have put together a basic list of the things that have influenced how I think. Some are my original thoughts, some are not, but it’s all part and parcel of what made me who I am today.

First, let’s get the diet out of the way.

Most of you already know my diet is paleo. It’s what I do and it is what I recommend. Even for kids I don’t see the value in eating grains that are processed and have very little in the way of nutritional value. Eat whole foods, drink water.

Eat like a predator, not prey
What are my reasons for eating paleo? (Other than losing 65lbs?)
Why I eat paleo (By Fitbomb)
Refined Carbs are Just Plain Bad  – including the part about exorphins, or why your body craves carbs like an addict craves coke
Its Carbs not fat that are the problem
Why Paleo isn’t low carb

Now you know how to eat and why let’s quickly address the darling of the weight loss myth – Cardio.

Kettlebells Vs Cardio - The dishonour of cardio
Forget what you think you know – Why cardio is killing you (especially this: 10 reasons I don’t do aerobics)
Why do HIIT – A special nod to my gym girls

The mental game. Why it’s critical to develop mental focus, strength and have a healthy work ethic. Fear and motivation are two topics that come up a lot with my gym girls, and it’s also something I see in the faces of my bootcamp participants. Fear is good, fear is healthy, fear is there to tell you that you are about to become better.

For the kids – Some things you should know…
Fear – Face it, defeat it. Over the years I have had kids who were afraid. Most aren’t any more because they know better.
A big enough WHY? Find your reason, without it you are lost.
Stop listening to yourself – long but well worth the read. PROTECT THIS HOUSE!

So there you have it for now. Some stuff I have written, some links to very good information out there on the web and some stuff I admit I stole because I think it will help you. It’s all important, come back again and again to take what you need and as you do, learn how to coach yourself through life and be the best that you can be for you, your family and those with whom you can share the knowledge.