In case you don’t know Angry Trainer Fitness is based on the East Coast – I’m in Connecticut and my site producers Richard and Roger are in Hoboken New Jersey. And unless you live under a rock, you know that Hurricane Sandy just made her presence known in many areas with high winds and flooding taking down trees, power lines and leaving many of us in the dark – literally. I’ve been really lucky with just a few minutes of power loss, but others haven’t been so fortunate. And all across the area the Internet is offline and cell service minimal. So I’ve wondered what should we take away from this? As always I find myself thinking of a link between what many of us are currently facing and fitness.
What would happen if we no longer had power, gas for our cars or supermarkets full of food to buy? Yes what would happen if you actually had to walk or run a few miles? I look around my town and see downed trees, roads blocked and people standing around shaking their heads as if they don’t know what to do. With so few of us involved in a healthy, fitness driven lifestyle, many people would simply perish if our creature comforts went away. That’s a little scary don’t you think? I hate to say it but those of you who center your workouts around functional and circuit training would fair best if this situation ever came to be.
I’m not suggesting the end of the world is near or that you should plan your workouts only for if Armageddon were to happen. I’m merely making an observation based on current events and wondering what if? If you had to lift tree branches overhead out of the way – could you do it? If you needed to run and chase or track your food – could you? If you had to climb rocks and pull yourself up a ledge – do you have the functional strength to do so? Can you even crawl for ½ mile? In my opinion you should be able to do those things, after all it’s what the human body is designed to do. But as I look around the gym I see many who can’t even perform one good pushup! What are the chances they’d make it?
I’m amazed at how many people have posted on Facebook that they’ve missed workouts because they couldn’t get to the gym? WHAT? That’s ridiculous! And it’s another example of how ignorant some of us are when it comes to true fitness. What’s stopping any of you from working out in your house, say in the garage or living room? You don’t need a gym to get a REAL workout in. What about running stairs, air squats, burpees, push-ups and sit-ups? You don’t need a gym for those. As for weights – look around your house. Everyone has buckets somewhere, water jugs, paint cans, gallons of milk or even rocks outside. Well pick them up and use them as weights. Remember a weight is a weight. And how about broomsticks – use those for overhead squats. Do you have a ladder or stool, maybe some chairs? Pick them up and press them! There are all sorts of tools around for you to use.
In fact lately I’ve been looking at the gym and all of the gadgets we exercise with as quite artificial to be honest. Our movements are never as structured, evenly loaded or as organized as when engage in our workout ‘routines’. But true fitness and strength comes from the non – routine movements, the organic and primal strength that’s required to accomplish tasks without thought. Do you see my point? Go swing an axe and chop wood for 30 minutes to see what I mean. It’s a killer full body workout. Or grab some downed branches and stack them in a pile for about an hour. That’s real world fitness.
Storms like Sandy will come and go but I think you should exercise in a way that includes true fitness. I’m not suggesting you abandon your current routine, but I would like to see you incorporate more non-traditional exercise into your program. When things calm down and power is restored (for those of you affected), go for a run through the woods or on a trail. Jump up to a tree limb and try to pull yourself up, or grab a few pull-ups. Stop along your way and throw some small rocks, pick up downed tree limbs and jump up on some boulders (carefully!). I guarantee you’ll get a great workout and will realize that Mother Nature provides the ultimate gym!
To those of you without power or who have suffered damage and loss – I wish you a speedy recovery and return to normal life. We’ll be posting pieces as we can, so bare with us while we too wait for things to return to normal.
What about you? Have your workouts been sidelined by Sandy?
Be safe and be well.