Sunday, October 3, 2010

Playgrounds vs. Mega Gyms

There are a lot of people that believe the only path to having a athletic body lies through the doors of monolithic mega gyms, and the only way to get strong involves innumerable machine circuits and bicep curls. This is, of course, the complete opposite of the truth. There are many reasons for this statement, and I am only going into a few of them right now. The truth of Athleticism and real functional strength is found outside of mega gyms. This type of ability is found in small warehouse gyms, gymnasts, mountaineers, back yards, and playgrounds.

How would a playground be better than a mega gym? The mega gym has air conditioning, a snack bar, rows of fat weak people plugging away on the cardio equipment and wasting years of their lives on rows of clinking gleaming machines, that never seem to make them stronger or better than they were, a week, month, or year before. Cardio machines are boring and terrible for fat loss. Machines are set in fixed planes of motion, requiring very little work from stabilizing muscles, they are as far from natural movement as you can get. Someone who can press 200lbs on a chest press machine may not be able to do one proper push up let alone 10, or 50, or 100. Tell me, how is sitting in this machine useful to their bodies? To answer; it isn't, and neither is the atmosphere of the mega gym, If I want to see lame guys get burned when they try to pick up women, I will go to a bar on Friday night.

Enter the playground. Maybe you distantly recall playing on them as a kid, crawling over the monkey bars, pulling yourself up through them, swinging upside down, falling down and not giving a shit. All of these things involve moving your body through natural movements that your body was designed for ( just try to minimize the falling), unlike a machine that takes your body through an artificially fixed range of motion. Play grounds have equipment that can easily be used to drastically increase anyone's strength, speed and athleticism. If you add some heavy sandbag work on different days you can have a world class workout program that keeps you out of the awful commercial gyms and splits your workouts between your apartment and the playground. You can save buckets of money and get amazing results that will allow you to use your body the way it was meant to be used; Sprinting, jumping, climbing, and trowing.

Here is a very simple and effective playground workout that I put myself through last weekend. It is a conditioning workout, but could easily be modified for strength by increasing rest, and maybe adding a little resistance to the body weight movements ( I sometimes carry a few 9kg chains in my back pack).

Check out the video Here:

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