Day 030-3 (W, 130130) — You Don’t Need to Buy That


Keeping Up a Theme.  Last Friday, I talked about wanting to switch to a barbell-based workout, away from the bodyweight stuff I’ve been doing.

A big part of my hesitation is the expense of building up a sufficiently challenging set of weight and racks at home.  Maybe I’m over thinking it . . .

You Don’t Need That Fancy Shit

Listen: you don’t really need $100 athletic shoes. You don’t really need Under Armour compression gear. You don’t need a Nike Fuelband fitness tracker device. Nor do you need a Saucony running arm sleeve.

There is not one single product manufactured by Lululemon that you need to buy under any conceivable circumstances.

. . . You do not need to pay for an Equinox membership. Or even a Crossfit membership. Some of the baddest athletes in the metropolis work out on monkey bars in school playgrounds. . . .

In order to “work out” to a hardcore degree you will need the following things: some old shorts, old shoes (optional), old t-shirt (optional), caffeine, and a will to achieve that burns like a fire unto your very soul. The total cost of these items is about five bucks, give or take. It’s nice to join a gym, if you can afford it, because they have barbells and cages and hundreds of pounds of iron plates, which you probably do not have in your apartment. But if you can’t afford it, you can carry some god damn rocks and sandbags and gallon jugs of water. You say that I need to pay a hefty fee in order to come into your “fancy” gym? I say that I’m right on the public sidewalk outside, doing pushups until I develop tetanus in my palms, absolutely free, until the police are called. Now who’s fancy? You are. But I have fewer expenses.

You do not need a motherfucking nine dollar bottle of juice. People in Thailand kick banana trees. You should be ashamed of yourself.

The niceness of someone’s gym outfit is directly inversely proportional to their hardcoreness. Do not get caught out there like a sucker in your too-white new shoes and too-bright spandex and too-sweet performance energy glucose glucosamine patented workout mixturade. Take your cues from the tiger: Solitary. Dirty. Naked. And fucking up anybody who comes by acting all ostentatious, especially monkeys—which are a lot stronger than they look, so you do the math.

Much of what this guy talks about is beyond my concerns — I work out barefoot in old shorts and free “I Gave Blood” t-shirts — but do I really need to get a squat rack, barbell, and weight plates?

Maybe I just don’t push myself hard enough, or often enough, on my bodyweight workouts.

Can I get stronger, and by that I mean stronger, with just bodyweight work?  Or do I really need to be moving heavier things in different ways?

What do you think?



5 responses to “Day 030-3 (W, 130130) — You Don’t Need to Buy That

  1. FWIW….I’ve been doing a scaled back version (i.e., only twice per week) Starting Strength program for a few months. It’s great but gets old fast, so I recently switched to a different cross-training approach (kettlebells, some bodyweight, intervals, but with a foundation of barbell squats). Some bodyweight exercises are fabulous – pullups, chinups come to mind. Pushups just aren’t as efficient as bench pressing. And situps are known to be a complete waste of time. So I guess it just depends on goals are. If I had the space, I would definitely invest in a power cage (or build a simple rack), barbell and weights, bench, and a pullup bar. Unfortunately I don’t have the space so I’m a member of a globo-gym that has tons of machines but only one proper squat/power rack. Fortunately I’m one of the few who actually uses it.

    • Thanks for the information, Mark. It’s that very lack of efficiency for push-ups and squats that’s bothering me.

      Convict Conditioning uses leg raises for its ab work and bridges for back conditioning. They seem to be helping. I’m just about to start on the hanging leg raises next week. I can feel a difference in my core so that’s a good thing.

      I know SS will get old but figure I can stick with it for a few months to get that initial boost in strength, then add in variations and alternatives to keep my interest / keep my progress coming along.

      Like I told D, I will just have to piece together an affordable set up (squat rack, bench, and weights) slowly over time and keep up my bodyweight workouts in the meantime. I tried pushing myself harder on Monday and liked it. I plan to keep that up and see if I can’t make my bodyweight exercises more effective until I can get some iron into the house.

      Thanks again,

      New John

    • And I do have a Power Tower, and it’s great for pull-ups, dips, and the like, but I don’t have anything for squats or presses. Thus the desire for the Squat Rack with a bench.

  2. Hey John, oh, you most definitely can get wickedly strong by picking up big rocks in various different ways always moving on to bigger rocks and in some ways the lack of standardization makes it a better way. (

    However, you also need to be honest with yourself. For me, I will *NOT* go out and pick up rocks and logs and do bodyweight exercises. I just won’t.

    Instead, I’ve got a bunch of money tied up in gym equipment in a 9’x12′ heated, insulated shed. The thing is, I’ll go out there twice a day and strain and struggle against the iron. I know this about myself.

    I know a woman who will *NOT* go to a gym. She knows that about herself. So, she has a couple of pieces of exercise equipment in her condo and she looks amazing. I will *NOT* work out inside my house. I have to leave my four walls. Shrug. YMMV

    • I am sure the rock thing works, D. The problem is I don’t have big rocks, either. o_O

      I know I can workout at home or at a gym, but the gyms around here suck. I’d rather find a way to complete a setup here at home and make it work.

      I guess it’s a matter of going slowly, picking up pieces here and there as I can, and continuing my bodyweight stuff while I search.

      Thanks for the comment. Have a good one. =)

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