my current workout system
Friday, November 22, 2013 at 19:31
Eric in fitness

Managing to stay fit with two kids, living on a sailboat in a developing nation, and holding a job has been... interesting. But like fitness everywhere it's about priorities. For awhile I'd wake earlier to dodge the heat, but then the mosquitoes would be out in force. So then I needed to go in peak tropical heat, dead noon. Then I got heat exhaustion and almost fainted. So now I drink some salt water before I go. In the end, it's all about how bad you want it and how much shit you're willing to put up with.

Anyway, here's my routine and I'm pretty happy with it. I feel it's pretty balanced and has been helping me on a lot of asymmetrical problems: chances are you're weaker on one side of your body than the other. Everything I have fits into a backpack and I spend maybe a total of two hours a week working out, which breaks down to about ~45 minutes every couple of days. Sometimes I get lazy/busy and stretch it to three days.

Pack light.As far as gear goes, I pack light. I'm much more comfortable with barbells and although I have some kettebells onboard, the ability to cover distance and go somewhere good is critical. In order of importance is my bluetooth speaker, gymnast rings, chalk, map 3500 backpack, jump rope, and water bottle. Not pictured is me in some sneakers, gym shorts, and T shirt.

Location is everything. I find a place that has a load bearing horizontal bar that I can toss my ring straps over. Anything that's 6' - 15' off the ground will work which is actually an awful lot of stuff. Playgrounds in particular are target rich environments. Screw trying to workout on the boat: it's ridiculous. Even active sailors spend ~90% of their time not underway. So grab your bag, get your ass moving, and put your time in.

Upper body push: ring dips and clap pushups. I hate doing high reps so these are a great combo for me. Ring dips are just freaky awesome in general and if you can do 30 pushups you won't be able to do half of that with claps. These are the muscles, bones, and connective tissue that allow you to push things around with your hands.

Upper body pull: front and back levers, and pullups. Pullups really don't need a video. These are the parts of the body that let you pull things with your hands. If you're just getting started with rings I'd recommend focusing on the support position and inverted (supine) rows.

"Core": I hate that stupid term, but I do some planks and the single leg Romanian dead lifts make my abs hurt so I figure that's helping. If you do a lot of full body exercises you don't need to really worry about doing "core" work. If anyone starts talking to you about "core" exercises just walk away from them. Or mug them and take their money because you can safely assume they're not that strong.

Lower body push: pistol squats, vertical jumps, split jumps. These are the muscles that let you jump, kick, and lift your body off the ground. I use the jump rope a lot too, but mainly because I feel like Rocky Balboa.

Lower body pull: single leg Romanian deadlifts. These awesome little guys should be in anyone's arsenal regardless of the fitness equipment that might be at your disposal. They are deceptively simple but require staggering amounts of single foot balance and motor control. Plus, they're the only bodyweight hamstring exercise I know of that only requires a floor. These are super important and you do not want to have funky legs where your quads are strong but your glutes (ass) and hamstrings are weak: knee problem central.

I'm always tweaking my exercises, in large part because I like new challenges and it feels nice to progress up the food chain of increasing complexity. Hopefully some of this will help some other fitness-minded person out there struggling with ideas on how to not turn into a blob of goo when sailing around in whacky locations.

Update on Friday, November 22, 2013 at 21:16 by Registered CommenterEric

A book I can completely recommend is Bret Contreras' Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy. Before that I was stumbling around with You Are Your Own Gym which I found to be lacking in a lot of areas. 

Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy however provides a no-nonsense and scientific (read: safe and effective) guide to strength training with bodyweight exercises. 

Bret Contreras is also the guy in the Romanian single leg deadlift video above so not only did he write a great book but he's also running around trying to help people (for free) learn how to increase their fitness. 

Article originally appeared on Rebel Heart (http://www.therebelheart.com/).
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