Cast your mind back six months: chestnuts were roasting on open fires, Jack Frost was nipping on your nose, somebody whose name you can’t now remember won X Factor and a lot of you were making a pact with yourselves that this time things were going to be different.
As soon as 2015 began you were going to join a gym (or start using your existing membership), and you did… for a few weeks. Every gym in every town in the land sees an influx of new members as New Year arrives, all promising themselves that the were going to start work early on their ‘summer beach body’.
Well, what happened? I am on my summer holiday right now… and being as diplomatic as possible, there isn’t much evidence to show that everyone succeeded in keeping their New Year resolutions.
In theory, it’s easy to make resolutions that involve going to the gym more. In reality, it’s even easier to find an excuse not to. January is winter for a start – it’s cold and miserable. Everyone is skint and depressed as their credit card bills arrive. It’s dark when we get to work and dark when we go home. Plus, the gym is full of ‘newbies’ with the same programme that was given to you by the same trainer, requiring you all to use the same machines on the same days – chaos ensues, nobody achieves anything, motivation plummets and you end up going straight home after work instead.
But our winter of discontent is over and summer is here! Summer is a completely different ball game. It’s warm. You can’t stay awake late enough to see it get dark. Best of all, you can drink cold beer at sporting events that last five days. It’s also the perfect time to train. No excuses.
I have put together a workout that requires no fancy equipment – just a towel, a partner, some stairs and something to hang from. I guarantee that within a 10/15-minute jog from your house/workplace there will be somewhere you can practise everything in this article, whether it’s a children’s playground, a football goal in the park or the fire escape staircase at the back of your office.
With some imagination and determination you can get out in the sun, soak up the vitamin D, get some fresh air and become strong… really strong!
There are five ‘strength’ sections, each with two exercises to suit different ability levels; squat, lift, push, pull and core. Then there is an additional cardio section.
Either your 10/15-minute jog from home/workplace to somewhere that has a children’s playground/football goal (or wherever else you find that’s suitable for the exercises over the page) or a couple of trips up some stairs will get you nice and warm.
Not quite as much of a life/death matter as people think. If you compete at a high level and know whether you want to build strength, power or endurance, then just transfer whatever sets/reps you already used to get you to that high level.
If you are just starting… then just start – anything is better than nothing. Do as much as you can manage without your head exploding, and over time increase your workload by either adding resistance (strength), completing same number of movements in less time (power) or performing each movement for longer (endurance).