How Often Do You Train Naked?
Naked Training Defined
Before you take me for a pervert or a weirdo (I’ve been called worse)… allow me set context for the provocative title of this post.
By “training naked” I’m not talking about working out with your clothes off (although what you do in the privacy of your own home is your business).
I’m talking about a workout that’s not dependant on where you are or what you have with you. It’s about doing what you can with what you have. It’s about equipment-free exercise. No benches, boxes, balls, bands or bars… Just you, your body and a piece of the ground.
“Use the body you have to build the body you want.” ~ Mark Lauren
Always Be Prepared
Training isn’t something you do when it’s convenient. It should be part of your lifestyle. There will be times when you can’t get to the gym or access the equipment that you’re used to. Business trips, holidays, summers at the cottage are just a few examples. That doesn’t mean that you can’t maintain your training.
If you don’t already have a “naked component” to your training, I encourage you to make it part of your regimen.
I was first “exposed” to the term “naked” in relation to training in the awesome book and DVD package, “The Naked Warrior“ by Pavel Tsatsouline. He writes:
“You will make your best gains if you have access to quality hardware: barbells, kettlebells, pull up bars, and so on. But, unless you live the predictable life of a greenhouse plant, sooner or later you will end up in a situation in which you have no iron around.”
I can tell you this… if you leave the idea of a naked, equipment-free workout on the back burner until you need it… it’s unlikely you’ll do it. You need to practice and develop the conditioning and skills involved in order to get a great bodyweight workout in.
Travel Light, Train Anywhere
Don’t be tied to or restricted to something you don’t have.
“Sorry I can’t workout today, I forgot my ( __________ ).”
“I need to get my ass back to the gym, I’m getting fat!”
If you have been following this blog at all, you’ve undoubtedly read references to my “travel light, train anywhere philosophy.”
Simply put, I like to base my training recommendations on simple and versatile training methods that produce maximum results with minimum equipment.
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
Training Naked Is Natural, Functional And Liberating
Don’t think of an equipment-free, body weight workout as inferior or “better than nothing.” Body weight training is a phenomenal way to get in great shape and contributes directly to your combative conditioning and performance.
Who’s stronger… a guy who can lie on his back and do a 200 pound bench press, or someone who can do a one-armed, one-legged pushup?
Obviously the latter is much more functional as it incorporates the entire body, balance and skill. A good body weight exercise is like that.
Naked Training Doesn’t Replace Other Training
You could get into phenomenal shape doing NOTHING but body weight workouts… but that’s not the point I’m trying to make…
Adding a “naked component” to your training will bring another dimension to whatever else you’re doing to stay in shape. Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Add a “naked day” into your week and keep doing what you’re doing for your other workout sessions.
- Replace some of the equipment-based exercises with naked variations… pushups in place of a bench press for example.
- You could dedicate a period of time… 6 to 8 weeks for instance, where you take a break from your other conditioning program, and concentrate on training naked.
- Equipment-free exercises can be easily incorporated into the conditioning portion of a self-defense or martial arts training session.
Three Types of Body Weight Exercise
I divide body weight exercise into three categories:
Strength – When people think of strength training they usually think of heavy iron and equipment. By manipulating leverage in a body weight exercise it’s possible to turn it into a tremendous strength builder… Think of one-arm push ups, one-legged squats (pistols) or a handstand push up.
Metabolic – Metabolic training is more focused on conditioning and fat loss… Full-body, explosive, high-rep exercises like burpees, mountain climbers, and other drills that simulated grappling involve a lot of muscles, require a lot of energy and burn a lot of calories.
Mobility & Flexibility - Equipment-free exercises can also be used to increase range of motion, improve quality of movement, enhance joint function, and prevent injury. Yoga, joint mobility drills and stretching all fall into this category.
I will be writing more about specific body weight exercises and workout protocols in future posts.
However, if you’re interested in incorporating a “naked component” into your training, here are the best resources I’ve studied and recommend… in order of preference.
The Naked Warrior – Master The Secrets Of The Super-Strong Using Bodyweight Exercises Only (book & DVD)
Pushing The Limits – Total Body Strength With No Equipment (eBook)
Convict Conditioning – How to Bust Free of All Weakness–Using the Lost Secrets of Supreme Survival Strength (book)
Note: These resources incorporate some equipment in their training recommendations… boxes, pull up bars, etc… But they also provide training options that you can practice without equipment or with things that you can find in your environment.
Build a naked workout strategy into your training… BEFORE you need it… That way, you’ll not only develop a whole new dimension to your training but you’ll never be without a tried-and-proven workout program that you can do anyhwere…
What would do YOU do to stay in shape if you didn’t have equipment to train with?
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.