Are You A Prisoner To Your Workout?
We all struggle with making workouts a consistent habit. Motivation and willpower aside, sometimes life gets in the way and we don’t always have the optimal circumstances to workout.
If you want to be successful in achieving your goals, you need to be consistent and committed to your efforts.
You don’t only train when it’s convenient, when you’re in the mood or when you have nothing better to do. In order to reap the benefits of training, it has to become a part of your lifestyle.
“Enjoying success requires the ability to adapt. Only by being open to change will you have a true opportunity to get the most from your talent.” ~ Nolan Ryan
This post will raise more questions than answers. Don’t worry, I’ll get into specifics in future posts, but for now I invite you to start thinking about the “bigger picture” of a life-long commitment to your training.
To be successful, you have to be prepared to adapt your training methods to the circumstances in your life.
“The wise adapt themselves to circumstances, as water moulds itself to the pitcher” ~ Chinese Proverb
Are You A Prisoner To Your Workout?
When people become “locked in” to a certain type of training, they become imprisoned by their regimen.
For example, if the only time that you practice your martial arts or self-defense skills is when you’re at your regularly scheduled class, your fitness and skills are outside of your control.
If you are away from home or can’t get to the gym, that shouldn’t prevent you from training.
If you can’t workout unless you have a kettlebell on hand… or an olympic weight set… or a heavy bag… or a sparring partner, then you become a victim to your preferences.
You should be able to maintain your commitment to training regardless of your circumstances… I also believe that this ability to “create and adapt” will deepen your commitment to training and benefit you in other aspects of your life.
Three Premises About “The Adaptable Workout.”
This post is about being able to train regardless of your circumstances. It’s based on three premises…
1. You will not always have access to your preferred training environment and equipment.
2. Your body and skills plateau when you sustain the same type of training for too long. It is better to mix up your workouts to keep things interesting, productive and “adaptable.”
3. You’ll resort to training that you’re comfortable with. You need to develop a game plan and appropriate skills IN ADVANCE in order to “get into the groove” of a productive training session.
Five Realms of Training
To give you an overview of how to approach “a training lifestyle,” I’ve divided the circumstances into five categories.
Naked – Naked training is working out with NO EQUIPMENT whatsoever. If you were stripped naked and placed in an unfurnished room, you’d still be able to perform a thorough and productive workout.
Environmental – environmental training involves the creative use of your surroundings to design your workout.
It could involve using a tree branch or swing set as a pull up bar, a picnic bench or chair, or even a heavy rock on the beach for lifting, swinging and throwing drills.
Portable – Portable training involves small items that you can toss in a carry-on bag or knapsack and take with you…
If you know you’re going to be away from the gym, and you still want to train, you can plan ahead by bringing a few simple items with you…
Examples are a skipping rope, resistance bands, focus pads and bag gloves, running shoes etc.
Transportable – Transportable workouts involve equipment that CAN be taken with you… but there is are difficulties and limitations involved.
Transportable equipment is great but it has its limitations. Examples include a kettlebells, dumbbells or perhaps a portable chin up bar.
These things are usually suitable to throw in the trunk of your car, or drag out to the park, or perhaps keep at the cottage… But they can be a “pain-in-the-ass” to move around in many “travel light situations.”
Fixed - Fixed workouts require a gym or training facility and usually expensive, immovable equipment. Your workout should not be dependant on whether or not you can get to the gym.
Most people who train exclusively in this realm, usually have their own gym to go to… If they are away, perhaps they can stay at a hotel with a gym or find a gym nearby. But if they can’t, (and don’t have an adaptable game plan) they’re “hooped!”
Which Realm Is Best?
I’m not suggesting that one realm is “better” than another or that you should commit exclusively to one form of training. Why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of a fully equipped gym in your hotel while on vacation? Why wouldn’t you want to drag a couple kettlebells to the park or cottage?
Think about the 5 realms as a hierarchy. Having a simple, ready-to-go game plan such as a solid “naked workout” in your bag of tricks can go along way in maintaining your commitment to training when your workout options are compromised. Then consider your environmental options, your portable options and so on. If you approach it like that, you’ll never be at a loss as to how to get your workout in.
The purpose of this post is not to provide you with all of the answers…. but to get you thinking about the question… “How can I maintain my commitment to training regardless of my current circumstances?”
A Real World Example
To give you an example of some “do anywhere” workout options, here is an excellent example of naked/environmental circuit by Steven Maxwell:
Do you have an adaptable training game plan to maintain your workouts?
Please feel free to weigh in with your thoughts on the matter. I’d like to hear your opinions.
About Randy LaHaie
I’m the founder of “Protective Strategies,” a training and consulting company providing self-defense and combative fitness solutions to law enforcement, high-risk professionals and private citizens since 1994. I am a retired police officer, court-declared expert in use-of-force and critical incident performance, and a life-long student of self-defense and combative fitness. “My Thing” is to help people incorporate functional and minimalist workout strategies to improve their health, fitness and personal safety.