The awesome spring weather this week has prompted me to move my clients outside and away from the posh, cushy environment of our gym. Hah, I can’t even type that with a straight face…even indoors I don’t let my clients get comfortable, much less posh or cushy – those things have no place in a gym!

But I have been taking my client outside this week and that has inspired me to write a post about maximum effort, maximum results and minimal equipment. A famous strength coach once said, any trainer worth a damn could get results in an elevator. I take prode in being able to do just that, and now I want to share with you some ideas that might help you.

First, I’ll go over a session I did outdoors with a client this week, then we’ll look at other options/ideas.

  • 1-arm KB reverse lunge
  • 1-arm KB shoulder press
  • 1-arm KB rows
  • band scarecrows
  • 1-arm KB snatch
  • 1-leg KB RDLs
  • Footwork and agility work with a ladder and dot drills

As you can see, all we needed were 2 Kettlebells (you could do this 1), a micro band, and some chalk or a rock. I happened to use a rock to draw our ladder on the ground.

We used to have an agility ladder in a Nike Sparq Training Kit, but we no longer have access to it. Many of my athletes and clients are looking for cheaper ways to acquire training tools, so here you go…sidewalk chalk = $5 and duct tape is even cheaper. Use one of those options to draw or outline an agility ladder or dot drill pad.

If you’re the type of person interested in training in this fashion here are a few ideas and small investments you can make that will have HUGE payoffs in your training results. Here’s the objective…Lift heavy stuff, sprint, jump, and throw shit. Look at all the ways we can do that. All you have to provide is the desire and some elbow grease…

  • Sidewalk chalk or duct tape to make agility ladder
  • Large heavy stone: heavy carries, deadlifts, shoulder presses, rows, etc
  • Sandbags: cleans, presses, rows, loaded carries, whatever you can think of
  • Homemade sled: Old wheelbarrow with wheel removed and rope attached (run rope through lifting belt for “harness”) for weighted sled dragging
  • Local Park: Every park has monkey bars for ab work, pullups, and more. Nicer jungle gyms (note the word “gym”) have nets to climb up and plenty of obstacles on which to perform bodyweight exercises or jumps.
  • Kettlebells: hundreds of movements possible
  • Large Tire: tire flips, jumps, incline pushups, sledgehammer swings
  • Sledgehammer: See above
  • Suspension Trainer (TRX, blast straps, gymnastics rings): suspended bodyweight movements and great attachments to sled or prowler for eccentric-less moves
  • Prowler: sprints, heavy pushes, leg work, eccentric-less volume work with suspension trainer (above)

There really are no excuses for being slow, weak and out of shape. You’re only limited by your creativity and imagination. There are plenty of way to build strength, power, explosiveness, and get the body of your dreams without the conventional gym membership. Effort sold separately...

Think of anything I left out…Add to the list in the comments below!