March 01, 2006
Whether you’re a soldier or a civilian, finding yourself in an austere location is no excuse for skipping workouts, writes James Decker. He offers tips on how to keep training.
Make up a small portable workout kit. I always try to bring at least one set of rings, a small pair of parallettes, a 55-pound dumbbell, and a stopwatch. On remote trips, you can get really creative with your surroundings.
Trees: Do pull-ups on branches or use as a handstand push-up support station. Rocks: Substitute for kettlebells in swings, use for shot-put practice and for heavy lifts and carries Logs: Do caveman Olympic lifts, caber toss, use as balance beams Sandbags: Substitute for kettlebells/dumbbells, use for farmer’s walk, employ as ballast for other apparatus (for example, in wheelbarrows, or on improvised pulling sleds) Buckets (with weight): Use for sumo deadlift high pulls, thrusters, Turkish getups, one-arm “dumbbell” snatches, weighted box steps
Prepare before you go, keep your eyes open when you arrive, and don’t be restrained by conventional thinking. How productive and stimulating, not to mention fun, these workouts will be is limited only by our imagination and creativity.