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Train Where You Are With What You Have

One of the obvious themes throughout this site is our ability to exercise with minimal equipment. As I have stated many times before, much of my training is performed with homemade tools or objects that were not initially intended for exercise. I am a firm believer in the simple premise that if you want to exercise, you have everything that you need to get started. It does not matter where you are or what you own, there is always something that can be done.

To convey this point, I naturally use myself to demonstrate the potential of low-tech training. Walking the walk is important to me so I will always practice what I preach. I don’t waste time talking about things that I won’t do or haven’t done. Training with minimal equipment is a way of life for me. There are few things I’d rather do than exercise outdoors and enjoy the fresh air around me.

Fortunately, I am not alone in my quest to spread the potential of outdoor exercise. People from around the world have embraced the concept. For instance, an individual from Slovenia recently passed along the following video of him and a trainer partner. You will see a variety of exercises performed throughout their town. I particularly enjoyed the wooded area that can be seen at the 3 minute mark. That short segment has given me several ideas that I hope to build in the future.

In summary, it is always nice to see people from opposite ends of the world who have embraced the same concept. It doesn’t matter where you live. We are all people. When we learn from each other and share ideas, it doesn’t just benefit us, but also those around us. The downstream effect can be significant.

If more people promoted the potential of outdoor exercise, we’d have more people up and moving. And getting more people to become more active will ultimately benefit everyone. It would be amazing to live in a world where the majority of people were healthy and active. I doubt it will ever happen, but making exercise more cost effective and accessible is certainly a step in the right direction.


Related Entries:

Outdoor Pull-up Bar

Outdoor Workout In Germany

The World Is Your Gym


Simplicity of life, even the barest, is not a misery, but the very foundation of refinement. – William Morris


The Homeless Bodybuilder – Jacques Sayagh

It has been a few days since the video below went viral. In case you missed it, you’ll see a 50 year old homeless man who exercises on the street and competes as an amateur bodybuilder. He trains primarily with resistance bands and a variety of bodyweight exercises.

When I first saw the video, I knew there would be mixed reactions. Some people would be inspired by the man’s ability to exercise without a gym, while others would question his place in life. What I didn’t expect to see were so many insults directed towards a man who is homeless. I’ve seen this man called everything from a bum to a steroid abusing piece of crap.

When I read these comments, I can’t help but wonder if a homeless poet or artist would elicit such strong reactions. Call it a hunch, but I’m guessing that the haters would have skipped over the story and instead found someone else to bash. For some reason, strong reactions are the norm when discussing a man or woman who exercises. Maybe the haters are jealous that a homeless man has developed an admirable physique. Perhaps they’d rather see him drinking alcohol on the corner rather than buying supplements and exercising. I honestly don’t know. Regardless of the reasons, I’ll never understand why certain people waste so much energy arguing about a man whose life is different from their own.

Focus on your own shit

I make these comments not to suggest that you should be inspired by Jacques Sayagh. I hardly know anything about the man. I don’t know his life story and I’m not here to judge. I do however know some hard working adults who ended up homeless. It wasn’t by choice. Life isn’t always fair or easy. It’s certainly easier to sit behind a keyboard and cast stones without knowing the full story. But once again, what’s the point of criticizing the man? No one benefits.

I actually know a homeless professional boxer. If you’ve ever been to a boxing event in the northeast, you may have seen him. He’s fought on a few of the cards that I’ve worked at in Connecticut. We even shared a dressing room with him a few years ago. He lost that night, but he fought hard and earned the crowd’s respect. He scored a knockdown in the first round against an unbeaten prospect, but eventually lost a decision.

Afterwards, I saw him shaking hands with people in the crowd. I even saw a few kids ask for a picture. He may have lost the fight, but he won over the crowd. No one knew he was homeless, but even if they did, there wouldn’t have been any insults. Most people who insult others online have very little to say when that person is standing in front of them.

In summary, rather than criticize a man like Jacques Sayagh, why not instead use that time to better yourself and others around you. All I take from his story is that it is possible to stay in shape without a fully functional gym. I already knew that to be true, but Jacques certainly provides a unique reminder. As for whether or not he takes steroids, I don’t know and don’t care. Regardless of what he does or doesn’t do, he has clearly developed his physique with minimal equipment. Criticizing other parts of his life won’t benefit anyone, so why bother? How does insulting a man prove to be any more worthwhile than what you have insulted?

Time is limited for us all so don’t waste it stepping on a man or woman who is already down.


Absorb what is useful, Discard what is not, Add what is uniquely your own. – Bruce Lee


New Training Interview – Ross Enamait

Below is a link to a new training interview that I recently conducted for a German website. Throughout the interview, I answered a variety of questions that some readers may find useful. A few of the topics include dealing with bad days, mental strength, and strength training for fighters.

As always, if you ever have any other questions, you are welcome to message me directly at [email protected]

New Training Interview – Ross Enamait

Ross Enamait interview


Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned. – Peter Marshall


Movement Is Medicine

The video below was recently passed along to me and it is certainly worthy of a look.

The basic premise does not receive nearly as much attention as it deserves. Whenever health and fitness is discussed, the conversation typically focuses on those activities that are performed as part of a formal workout. Little attention is directed towards the remaining 23+ hours each day. Consequently, there are people in today’s world who exercise more frequently than those from previous generations, yet still perform less overall movement.

I make this point not to diminish the potential of brief workouts, but instead to remind you that there is more to movement than exercise. I know all about being busy with work, parenting, and life in general. I could be the poster child for the effectiveness of short workouts. Much of my training is performed via brief, mini-sessions. Like many busy adults, I don’t always have extended periods of time that I can dedicate to exercise. Thus, during those hectic times, I make the most of shorter blocks at various points throughout the day.

I do not limit my movement to exercise however. I am a big believer in getting up to move as often as possible. Whether I am walking my dog, wrestling with my kids, splitting wood, shoveling snow, raking leaves, or mowing the lawn, there are always opportunities to include movement within the week.

Movement is medicine

Sadly, regular movement seems to be shifting towards the exception, not the rule. As I stated in past entry, the average person spends 4.4 hours of leisure time in front of a computer, tablet, or phone screen. And unfortunately, the 4.4 hour estimate comes from data collected a few years ago. Call it a hunch, but I’m willing to bet that the time spent in front of a screen has already increased and will continue to do so.

As a parent, I am also seeing more and more kids with smart phones and tablets. Kids learn by watching their parents. If a parent is always browsing his or her phone whenever they have a moment of free time, how can we expect children to act any differently? Kids learn by what you do, not by what you say to do.

When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait to get home from school so I could head outside to play. Nowadays, there are kids who rush home to download a new app. The world has certainly changed, and much of the change has not been for the better. Our population as a whole continues to move less, and that is a problem.

The human body has evolved to move. Let’s not allow technology to change that. Most people could benefit from more movement throughout the day. Even many exercise enthusiasts could benefit by following some of the suggestions presented in the video above. Movement is medicine and everyone needs a regular dose. And please note, I am not suggesting that you live in the woods without electricity. I am simply encouraging you to budget in more time to get up and move. Your body will thank you for it as the years pass.


Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it. – Plato


Mental Toughness In The Cold

In previous articles, I have discussed several facets of outdoor training in the winter. I have not only highlighted the potential of outdoor exercise, but I’ve also emphasized the significance of dressing appropriately. Extreme temperatures are nothing to take lightly. It is always important to prepare yourself for the elements around you.

For instance, last year I wrote the following:

It’s vital that you keep the hands, head, and feet warm. Personally, I opt for waterproofed boots, gloves, and a winter hat. I also wear a ski mask if the wind is strong and always dress in layers. I prefer to wear three layers. The first layer is for wicking, the second for insulating, and the third for external protection…

Considering that advice, I was not surprised to see some questions after I shared the following pictures to Instagram.

Winter training - pushups

Winter training - pull-ups

Many people asked if I had a change of heart in regards to winter attire. The reality however is that I still believe it is important to protect and prepare yourself for the elements around you. Over time, I have simply conditioned myself to handle temperatures that may have been too cold for me previously. As a result, there are times when I go outside in a t-shirt or even barefooted as seen above. I don’t stay outside too long, but I am able to perform some exercise without succumbing to the elements.

What’s The Point?

A natural follow up would be to ask what’s the point of conditioning yourself for colder temperatures. Personally, my initial reasons were unique to my situation. During the winter months, my gym becomes quite cold. The temperatures inside the gym are typically lower than outside. Once it gets cold, it stays cold throughout the season.

In previous years, I brought in small heaters to help warm the gym. Heat isn’t cheap though. It gets costly to warm a frigid garage gym. As a result, I eventually decided that I would train without heat. It has now been a few years since I used any heat for myself when training. Early on, I needed much more time to prepare for the cold. Gradually, I was able to improve my tolerance. Now, I am able to train in the frigid winter months without any problems. It isn’t an issue, where in previous years, I couldn’t wait for the summer.

Mental Toughness

Another reason that I conditioned myself for the cold was to challenge myself mentally. I am always looking for new ways to test mental toughness. Conditioning yourself to perform in extreme temperatures all but guarantees a mental battle. At some point, you will be forced to operate outside of your comfort zone. Training in the cold has improved my ability get comfortable being uncomfortable.

A great video that touches upon this topic can be seen below. Former Olympian Cary Kolat shares a story about a Mongolian wrestler that he encountered during his first trip to the world championships.


Final Thoughts

There will undoubtedly be readers who question my sanity after reading this entry. Before anyone comments, let me start by saying that I am not urging anyone to train in the cold. It is not necessary for most people to condition themselves for extreme temperatures. It is also worth noting that there are certain environments that can be potentially deadly if you are not dressed appropriately. Extreme heat or cold should never be taken lightly.

I am only writing this entry to share what has worked for me. My decision to train in the cold began as a money savings idea to reduce my heating bill. To my surprise, I was able to condition myself for colder temperatures than I would have ever imagined. I am quite pleased with the results as my outdoor sessions continue to improve from year to year.


Mental toughness is to physical as four is to one. – Bobby Knight


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