One foot in the door at the UEFP studio and you realize you’re in a different kind of gym. The words that usually come to mind is “unconventional training,” or unconventional exercise although I simply call it “strength and conditioning.” Thanks to mainstream fitness and gym owners who have no business owning a gym, much of America has a misconception as to what a real training studio should look like.
Most gyms are loaded with cardiovascular equipment: expensive stuff packed with smart phone attachments and televisions. If your goal is to get in shape, then stay off those things. Besides that, most gyms are crammed with machines as well, the reason behind this is because gym owners don’t want to pay an experienced health professional to teach members how to use a barbell and dumbbell. Plus most gym members don’t have the patience and would rather walk on the treadmill. Hence the small area that’s dedicated to free weights and medicine balls. What many don’t realize is that people have been getting in shape long before the treadmill was invented. Interestingly, according to Dr. Joseph Mercola, our obesity rates doubled at the exact same time that gym memberships doubled. Food for thought…
What some call “unconventional exercise” is what has been going others in tip top shape. Kettlebells, ropes, medicine balls, farmers carry’s, huge friggin tires……the list goes on and on. But mainstream research and fitness is coming around to this unconventional awakening of gyms: one research study done with kettlebells found that subjects reported a 57% reduction in low back pain following an exercise program (1). In another study, researchers found that doing a simple burpee had the highest metabolic cost when compared to free weight exercise and battle ropes (2).
What’s the point of all this? Well, if you’re stuck at home and can’t get to the gym, or can’t afford a membership to a gym that has tanning beds, it doesn’t mean you can’t get in shape. Bodyweight exercises along with buying a lone barbell can go a long way to getting you in shape. After all, unconventional tends to stand out, and what better way to stand out than by getting in shape?
1. Jay, K. Frisch, D., et al. “Kettlebell Trainign For Musculoskeletal and Cardiovascular Health: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” (2011) Scandinavian Journal of Work Environmental and Health 37;3, 196-203
2. Ratamess, N. et al. Comparison of the Acute Metabolic Responses to Traditional Resistance, Bodyweight, and Battling Rope Exercises. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research