I know I have mentioned this in a couple previous posts, but if there is one thing I love about bodyweight training, it’s that you can do it just about anywhere. There is nothing stopping you from doing push ups, lunges, squats, sit ups, jumping jacks, etc., at any time of the day no matter where you are. While at times bodyweight training does have some requirements for things like needing a pull up bar, unlike using specific equipment in a gym like free weights or machines you can oftentimes find a way to adapt what is available in your current environment to your needs. This past week I found a way to do this when I needed a pull up bar.
The Silver Bay YMCA Conference Center in the Adirondacks, where I am working for the Summer, has a weight room on campus here, but unfortunately no pull up bar. I recently decided I wanted to start working to increase my pull up reps, so I went on a search around campus for someplace suitable to do pull ups at. It took a while, but 9 times out of 10 I find there is a solution to something I want to do if I look hard enough.
All Hail the Sturdy Support Beams!
What I eventually found on campus is a sturdy beam at the building the ERC, which is the Employee Recreation Center where employees for Silver Bay can hang out and swim at during downtime. This happened to be the last place I looked on campus after seeking out and testing every slightly promising ledge for pull ups I could find. This beam couldn’t have been more perfect in terms of height and the quality of hand hold it provides.
And just like that, almost immediately upon finding this beam, I started doing pull ups, and managed to do 27 reps over the course of my first work out. Normally this many reps could be easily achieved with 3 sets of 9 reps. But I still have a hard time doing even 5-6 reps and 9 just simply isn’t possible yet. So I took the approach of doing 9 sets of 3 reps with 1 minute of rest in between. It’s amazing what you can achieve when you switch things around. And over the course of the week using the ERC as a work out spot has really grown on me. It’s nice to work out in the outdoors and breathing fresh air. I can honestly say that the view from the ERC has NOTHING to do with why I like this spot for pull ups so much…..
A Simple Solutions Says a Lot
But what I like most about having found this beam is that it is both proof that there are always available alternative options to using fitness equipment, but for me also serves as a sign of personal commitment to following through with things, even if they might not be as convenient at first. Two years ago I would have said, “I guess I won’t be doing pull ups after all…” upon discovering the gym here has no pull up bar. I would have been so fixed on needing to work out in the weight room because that’s where you work out, that I would have failed to understand that location and convenience are secondary to problem solving.
It would have been all to easy to have just gone to Walmart and bought a $20 P90X door pull up bar, but I think that getting used to finding solutions that are already available for free, is in the long run, much more beneficial and rewarding. If I can find a pull up bar here at Silver Bay that I can use anytime I want, then I can find a different one somewhere else too if I look long and hard enough. It’s good feeling to know that.
Why do I like bodyweight training? Because when done right, it becomes liberating in more ways than one.