Emergency Home Workout – Man uses household objects to build strength!
Stuck at a house, no car to get anywhere, and with the calendar ticking, I did what any regular 4HB follower would do – invented my own home workout to substitute for an Occam’s Protocol/Geek to Freak gym session. Read on to discover how I managed to do a full workout of dips, incline bench press, squats, overhead press and myotatic crunches, without any gym equipment at all.
At first, I thought I should give up hope, and resign myself to missing 2 weeks of workouts. Not satisfied with that, I thought maybe I’d be able to get one in, somehow, and then do some running in between, to stay feeling alive (as compared to couch duty watching Dr Oz).
It was Kat, however, who poked me about doing workouts at home – she challenged me that surely there was a way to do them here, even if it wasn’t with the machines they have at the Y.
And so, the challenge was on. A full split workout, at home, without equipment, of any kind.
I looked around the house, and found that there was an exciting sense of adventure to what I was doing. No longer was I being offered these perfect weights, with perfect handles, I was having to find my own resistance, and find my own handles, or grips.
Two things worked in my favor:
- We had just arrived by plane, so I knew my suitcase had weighed in at 41 pounds, and was now missing some underwear – so I figured it was an even 40lbs deadweight.
- We have just received our New Grips hand grips (replacing old weights gloves) and they have built-in pads, which means most surfaces are potential hand grips (more on them in another post though)
I looked at my workout log, and I had the following to complete:
- Incline Bench Press
- Overhead barbell press
- Mytotatic Crunch
- Cat Vomit
And so the fun began…
Searching the kitchen, and then the basement, I found my first solution:
Incline bench press becomes… (very) elevated feet push up – timed to a 5/5 cadence.
My feet were on top of a deep freeze that’s around 3 feet high. It was tricky at first, but I got the hang of it.. and it was challenging! To ensure total failure, I did two sets of 6.
Dips becomes… boring dips in the corner of the kitchen using the counter
Probably the least exciting, as we’ve all done these before.
Dips becomes… dips using 2 bar stools
This was far more exciting, and made even more so by the creaking coming from the chair under my left arm, which made we question the strength of my chosen apparatus and whether it would withstand my action.
Squat becomes… perfect-form squat (Thanks to Al at Terminal City Training, Vancouver) with a 40lb suitcase overhead.
Ok, on this one, I could have backfilled the suitcase with some serious weight, but then my form would have suffered. This time, I was actually happier to hit a higher number of reps (13) using a 5/5 cadence and perfect form for each exercise, because I could feel it targeted the weak zones I normally avoid by using heavier weights and compromised form. Result – a workout, and a correction in form too! Bonus!
Overhead barbell press almost becomes… Giant otterman overhead press
Until I realized I probably couldn’t even squat with it over my head because it weighed so much. So…
Overhead barbell press becomes… overhead Rubbermaid Roughneck storage container press
I’m not sure what it weighed.. probably around 40 lbs, but its awkwardness made up for any lack of weight. This one is especially useful, because it’s almost the same action as you’d use for putting one of these things on the top shelf.
Myotatic Crunch becomes.. sofa cushion (unstable) myotatic crunch
Not finding a BOSU ball handy (here’s an example), or a swiss ball for that matter – I had two options. The household cat, or some cushions. I went with option b, fearing the revenge of the claws in the middle of the night. (I strongly suggest not using a cat). I figure the instability of the cushion-tower just makes the exercise more functional and activates more stabilizing muscles.
Cat Vomit becomes.. Cat Vomit with actual cat looking at me with glazed eyes
Almost in a ‘I pity that you are even attempting to do anything I do‘ type of look. Clearly, the vomiting torch goes to the real cat of the house, and my imitation did not bring any furballs to the floor. It did, however work my transverse abdominus just as well as it does in the gym. And I had less girls looking at me awkwardly.
As far as workout efficiency goes, or how challenged I was, I think I achieved at least 80% of the workout that I would have at the gym. And I had a lot of fun doing it.
If you find yourself stuck in a situation without your regular equipment, be that a kettlbell, a weights room at a gym, or perhaps a bike, think creatively about other ways you could challenge your muscles to their limit, and I’ll be you have some fun finding some new ways to workout.
Have you been stuck, and found a great alternative? Leave a comment below!
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