Twitterchat Recap: Training with Minimal Equipment
Twitterchat #49: “Training with Minimal Equipment”
Hosted by Scott Bird
January 20, 2010 at 8pm CST
@scottbird: Welcome Derek, thanks for joining us today. Should be a great discussion on Training with Minimal Equipment.
@bodybydrock: Psyched to be here. Thanks Scott.
@scottbird: Firstly, a quick definition. What sort of things do you mean by ‘minimal equipment’ – stuff you can carry with you?
@bodybydrock: “Carry with you?” Yes. As well as basic barbells, dumbbells, etc.
@scottbird: The obvious time to use the ‘minimal equipment’ approach is when travelling. What sorts of things work well when on-the-road?
@bodybydrock: These tools need to be lightweight and packable. Resistance bands, a jump rope, even a towel are all good on the road.
@bodybydrock: Bodyweight exercises are also valuable when traveling.
@scottbird: I also like to carry an empty sandbag, and fill it when I get there.
@jhashey: I like to put my thick rope into a duffel bag, and then use that as a sandbag. Two for one plus no leaking
@bodybydrock: Good ideas. And if you can make it water-tight, you have more options to fill it up.
@brandonnugent: the jump rope has become one of my favorite tools
@bill_long1: Body weight exercises never fail
@THull: I love the TRX, can use it over a door or outside with a tree, etc…
@brandonnugent: what’s your ideal blend between eqpmt, reps, sets and single mode activities?
@bodybydrock: I don’t own a car right now, so everything I take must fit into my backpack or a duffel.
@bodybydrock: Speed is your friend for times like this: Do all your regular movements faster than normal.
@scottbird: How about when training in the local park, or at the beach? Depending on where you live, you can probably take a little more.
@bodybydrock: Kettlebells & sandbags are great for the beach.
@Dewyleaf: If you have kids, playground equipment is awesome!
@bodybydrock: Very true. And if you don’t have kids, wait until no one is around to use it.
@Dewyleaf: We had a Siberian husky, hubby would harness her to the bike and they’d take off. Stability work, for sure!
@bodybydrock: Also, don’t be afraid to lift heavy rocks. Rocks come in all sizes and are fantastic for everything!
@scottbird: perfect. I knew I was forgetting something.
@scottbird: Now for a familiar place – a commercial gym. When you can’t do what you planned, how do you make use of ‘minimal equipment’?
@bodybydrock: Man! I do this every day… It’s vital to understand body mechanics and plane of motion.
@bodybydrock: Gravity, tempo, acceleration, deceleration – Use one dumbbell (for example) for as many movements as you can.
@bodybydrock: As a trainer, I also make sure I know 4+ ways of hitting any muscle group I need to, so I have options.
@Ogedei: You can do a lot with a single DB or KB. Squat, Snatch, Row, Press, dead, jerk, push press….
@bodybydrock: Exactly! And then start changing speed: Faster, slower, etc. You can also adjust your rest periods to change intensity.
@scottbird: sounds good. do you incorporate TRX, bands etc in your gym routines?
@bodybydrock: My favorite is the “big rubber band” style resistance band. 1-inch and 1/2-inch sizes are very useful.
@scottbird: yep, definitely a fan of those. for use by themselves, with free weights, and even with machines (great with leg press).
@bodybydrock: And there are ways of wrapping the band around your body to create resistance. Very cool for explosive squatting.
@scottbird: bands are extremely versatile things.
@bodybydrock: Rope, though, is great. A big, fat 1.5-inch rope is always useful. + get your grip work in!
@bodybydrock: I don’t use TRX as much as I could.
@scottbird: how about rings or straps? similar exercises.
@bodybydrock: I’m more comfortable with rings, perhaps because of my gymnastics background. TRX bites into my arms way too much.
@scottbird: For your basic bodyweight workouts (in a park, gym – anywhere) what sort of basic equipment complements it well? (shoes, slides etc)
@bodybydrock: What do you mean?
@scottbird: bodyweight workouts are great with a couple of extras, like slides, VFFs and so on.
@scottbird: enhancements overall, rather than offering extra resistance.
@bodybydrock: Ah! I got ya. I’m a firm believer in barefoot training. If you can train without the shoes, go for it! Especially on sand.
@DeanCoulson: a weighted vest or a weighted rucksack is gonna add plenty resistance to any bodyweight movement
@bodybydrock: Good call! I want an x-vest so bad…
@DeanCoulson: me too but the shipping of one to the uk is an astronomical cost
@bodybydrock: I’m gonna say a stopwatch/timer is a great addition to any routine. Racing against the clock, tabata circuits, etc.
@Dewyleaf: Yes! The GymBoss is one of my most valued pieces of training equiment!
@bodybydrock: Totally. Mine is breaking; I’m going to need to replace it soon..
@DeanCoulson: if you have a heavy bag, you will get one hell of a workout all on its own. Anyone else pound a bag in training?
@Dewyleaf: Absolutely! Have a bag at home.
@THull: love to hit the heavy bag, good workout and stress reliever
@scottbird: I actually use mine like a sandbag, more than hitting it :)
@bodybydrock: I’d love to get one of those MMA bags that you can ground-and-pound.
@combattrainer: you can just use a regular bag to do the ground and pound drill
@DeanCoulson: just unhook any bag and lay it down, thats what I do :)
@bodybydrock: You’re right. But they make a specially shaped one too I’ve seen. A normal heavy bag is cheaper and heavier though…
@m2wsdestro: how about a hammer and a tire?
@bodybydrock: A sledgehammer is fairly portable and inexpensive. And you can find tires anywhere!
@m2wsdestro: exactly kind of a good deed to score a trashed tire from the side of the road
@scottbird: agreed – both sledgehammers and tyres are firm favourites.
@bodybydrock: And don’t forget that you can also throw, swing and slam the tire on its one, so hammer required.
@combattrainer: buy 2 small slege hammer hand held ones get a tire and you can do ground and pound drills with the hammers on the tires
@bodybydrock: Now that’s a cool idea!
@foodnfitness: use the back of an open staircase to do pullups
@brandonnugent: I use a portable pull-up bar – just need a few good tie down straps, a place to hang it, and you’re good to go
@Ogedei: what about door pull up bars ala IronGym
@Dewyleaf: Love those! We have two in our condo apt.
@scottbird: I’ve never found one I like. any recommendations?
@Ogedei: on the pull-up bars? What don’t you like? I have only tried the IronGym, which I thought was a good add to my stuff
@Dewyleaf: I’ve used my kids as weights for stair climbing.
@GoodyGirl77: I also use my kids! On my back for squats & calve raises, on my feet to do extensions etc & they love it & laugh @ my pain
@Dewyleaf: Exactly. And it keeps them occupied too.
@DeanCoulson: I have been known to sling my son on my back for pushups, squats, pull ups, core work, he just laughs and asks me to do it again LOL
@DeanCoulson: how about hill sprinting or hill carrys as part of a partner drills?
@scottbird: yep, hill sprints are fun – particularly on sand dunes :)
@bodybydrock: Martin Rooney has some great partner drills in his book.
@brandonnugent: if you’re leading minimal eqpmt workouts how much do you bring, and how much do you expect your clients to own/bring?
@bodybydrock: Personally, I never expect my clients to own any equipment themselves. I also never assume I’ll have everything I need
@brandonnugent: I’m with you there, if you expect your people to bring their own stuff, it will be hard to convince to go heavier
@foodnfitness: I used to own a small car and would have my clients push it while I had it in neutral
@bodybydrock: …and then tie a rope to it have have them pull it back!
@foodnfitness: Good idea! I could even have them prop their feet up on the curb and just engage the upper body pulling the car n rope
@DeanCoulson: how about isometric training? my old man is a welder and has made me stuff, including isometric bar/chain/standing plate
@combattrainer: i have read alot about including iso training have yet to do it want to try it
@bodybydrock: That’s great stuff too. Holding positions for time, etc.
@scottbird: Derek, thanks very much for this – and to everyone else here. Great discussion. Where can we see more of your approach to training?
@bodybydrock: All my info in on the website: https://bodybydrock.wordpress.com I do a weekly web TV series now on all sorts of topics.
@bodybydrock: I also have a monthly newsletter as well as occasional updates, tips and tricks. Sign up here: http://bit.ly/drockslist
@Dewyleaf: Thanks for the chat! Thx Scott & Derek! Great discussion!
@combattrainer: good night everyone!!
@THull: Thanks guys, another great talk
@bodybydrock: Any time Tim. Thank you.