I am a massive sports guy. I love playing football, boxing, playing American football…basically any sport. I love competition, but I also love being athletic and fit, so one thing I absolutely can’t live without, is the gym. I love it. But sometimes things can get a bit stale. This happened to me recently, so I decided to kick it old school and go back to the absolute basics. Back to the iron!
I go to the gym about 4/5 times a week and normally I’m on some kind of programme that either I, or one of my friends have knocked up. We’re normally quite good at sticking to a routine, but sometimes it’s just nice to train with someone different and do something completely new, even if it’s just for one workout.
There is a basic principle of bodybuilding that you need to shock your muscles in order for them to grow. This is why dedicated gym soldiers change up their routines and constantly try and push themselves to new levels. So physically it pays off to change it up. What is often overlooked is the mental side of things. If you’re going into the gym and doing the same old exercises day in and day out, it’s very easy to get bored. You should feel enthused to hit the gym!
So I decided to go and train with my girlfriend’s dad, Nick, in his garage gym. Everytime I go in there I feel like I’m going into a Rocky film; it’s so basic and raw. Nothing fancy. A chin up bar suspended by judo belts. A bench and barbell from before I was born. Just some free weights, some ropes and the feeling that this is how it used to be.
Nick has been working out for 40 years so he knows his stuff. He’s a former amateur bodybuilder (he won ‘Mr. Swindon’ back in the 80’s), former army PTI and is a 5th Dan black belt in Judo. He runs his own successful self defence/judo company called ‘eudo‘ and at 55 still gets up at the crack of dawn three times a week to run 3 miles and then hit the weights. So the dude knows his shit is what I’m getting at.
So anyway, we did a back/shoulder workout based around intensity and a lot of body weight exercises. We started with a variation of inverted rows. Using a rope hanging from the roof we did 4 sets of 12/15 which worked great as a warmup.
We then did a variety of different pull-ups and chin-ups. The aim was to work different parts of the back. We did 3 sets of each variation for 8-12 reps.
We then did some dumbbell shoulder presses as well as some clean and press. Nick is very strict on form and is constantly looking to improve technique so even though I know what I’m doing most of the time, he still has small insights that make a lot of difference.
It was just good to get away from the gyms I normally use that are full of nice shiny machines and the latest equipment and just get back to basics in an old school gym. Now I feel motivated to get back to hitting it hard. Never underestimate what a trip back to the old iron can do for you.
Time to get on it!