Below is a short clip of Herschel Walker sharing his early involvement with bodyweight exercise.
Unfortunately, many will watch the clip and instantly shift the discussion towards genetics. That’s not my reason for posting it however. I’m not here to suggest that pushups and sit-ups will propel you towards a successful NFL career.
I am posting the clip to once again highlight the potential of low-tech exercise routines. The average person can do quite well with little or no equipment. Herschel Walker isn’t the first athlete who thrived with a minimalistic approach. Similar stories have been posted about other NFL stars such as Walter Payton, Ray Lewis, and Jerry Rice.
Does anyone honestly believe that the average adult cannot get in shape with basic activities such as running and calisthenics? Imagine if it was common to wake up and work through a series of pushups, pull-ups, dips, squats, burpees, lunges, and so on. Such an approach to exercise not only works well but can be performed anywhere without anything.
Unfortunately, the low-tech approach doesn’t receive as much love from the fitness community. After all, if everyone exercised at home without equipment, much of the industry would suffer financially. Equipment manufacturers and gyms would rather have the masses depend on their services. And as I say this, I’m not knocking the entire industry. There are certainly quality products on the market that are potentially beneficial. It is worth noting however that such tools are rarely a necessity, particularly when discussing the Average Joe or Jane.
I found myself caught up in a perfect example of this idea on Sunday. I was at the beach with my kids. We were catching crabs underneath a dock. My son randomly looked up to the dock and asked if I could do pull-ups from it. I’m not sure what prompted the question, but I jumped up and started knocking off reps while my kids cheered me on.
My 4-year old daughter then made an innocent comment that the beach is a gym. The next thing I knew, my kids are running on the sand. An afternoon of crabbing and fishing suddenly shifted towards running up and down the beach. With nothing more than a dock and an open stretch of land, there was more than enough to perform a challenging, yet enjoyable workout.
I was only playing with my kids, but I could have easily had a full session of running, swimming, pull-ups, pushups, and more. A busy afternoon filled with such activities would be more than enough to keep the average person healthy and physically capable.
Training doesn’t need to be complicated. Get up, get outside, move, and don’t get lost in unnecessary complexity. Getting in shape is a simple process. You just need to get up and put in the work. Showing up (anywhere) is more than half the battle…
The person who is waiting for something to turn up might start with their shirt sleeves. – Garth Henrichs