Maximum Output w/ Minimal Equipment (All-Around Strength & Conditioning)

Shai Hulud

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Is anyone here a fan of minimalism when it comes to training for conditioning? I'm looking for kindred spirits.

Budget constraints keep me working out on my loft for the better part of my life. I've since given up on trying to maintain my gym subscription, and as of this last weekend, have settled for nothing but a yoga mat, two pairs of kettle-bells (2x 16kg, 2x 24kg), a pull-up bar above my bedroom door-frame, jump-rope, and my trusty pair of running shoes. I've ditched the gym trainer as well, needless to say.

On M/W/F I have a simple workout that comprises of alternating 1-minute sets between Kettlebell swings (conditioning) and jump-rope work (active rest). This only takes up 20-30 minutes of my time, but is enough to work out a terrific sweat and get me gassing quick.

On T/Th it's a combination of running and pull-ups. I'll run about the equivalent of 5km around the immediate area before retiring to my bedroom for 6 sets of 5 crisp, snappy repetitions each.


Saturdays are my day for strength training with the KB's (after my Keysi lessons). I'll fire myself up with kettle-bell snatches (I'm holding fast at 25 straight per arm, but I'm setting 50/50 as a goal.), and then move to a combination of a kettle-bell clean and an overhead press using two kettle-bells (5 sets of 15 reps with both arms). I'll wrap up with Turkish Get-Ups: slow, good form, and focused. 5 reps tops per arm.

Sundays are for rest, but every other day of the week I'll squeeze in 6 sets of push ups and squats respectively, 5 reps per set. These are done slowly, with maximal muscle tension and primarily my little strength training circuit every day.

Three days in and I'm liking it so far. It's not too draining as to drive me to burn-out point, and I'm actually spending less time working out than I used to back when I was still at a gym, where I burned about 2 hours daily on the treadmill and with the cables/suspensions. I've since been reading a lot of books about kettle-bell training and body-weight-based training (I'm using gymnasts as my subject).

Anyone else here finding themselves in the same situation - wanting to get into shape but haven't the funds or the time to do so? What are your goals? How are you coping? Let's share notes!

Cheers,
Ally
 
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Flatfish

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When I started exercising again after quite a few years of being lazy, I first started off with cardio at the gym, lost some weight, gained some air etc. Started getting bored with cardio and started mostly bodyweight training type stuff (still at the gym......because that's the only space I have for working out). Lots of pushups, planks, pull ups, kettle bell swings, jump rope, etc. SOme running and cardio type stuff as well. It certainly worked and got me to a point that the MA classes would not wear me out too much (except for sparring which I'm not used to yet). One fun thing I did was the 100 pushup challenge (there's an app for that....). Trains you to do 100 uninterrupted pushups in 6 or 8 weeks. (Beware though, the final week is brutal, the last training day before the final challenge calls for a total of 342 pushups). There are similar apps for pull ups, too.
About three months ago I started a real strength training program (I know outside the scope of what you're asking) and am enjoying that immensely and have seen nice progress. I couple that with HIIT once a week and bag work. I think if you were able to hang a bag in your flat that could add a lot.
 

tshadowchaser

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Just doing the exercises you can do in the home ( push ups, situps, pull ups, etc) combined with your running and kettle bell work out is fine. There are so many exercises that can be done in the home and so many workout programs on the market now ( some good some not worth anything) that a Gym is not nessicary unless yo like that atmosphere or want a big weight room and can afford it
 

donald1

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I'm in recent shape, though there is room for improvement. I too would like to get in better shape for me ill probably practice empty hand katas (5 times each per form) other days practice weapon forms (5 times per form) and pushups (50 per rep; palm, fingertips, and knuckle pushups) throughout the day
 

Dinkydoo

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I too have ditched the gym membership and only train at home and class now. I try to keep a balance between consistent fitness and conditioning with flexible technique-based training - e.g. one week my solo practice might focus purely on Mantis and the other on nice, tight kickboxing.

Every training day - usually Monday to Friday - as part of my warm-up I do 20 squat kicks, 10 plyo pressups, 10 reps of 3 other pressup variants (so 30 in total) and then hold an L-sit for 30 seconds. Sometimes I substitute the Lsit for 20 V-ups or 50 situps.

Then my main training for the evening follows. A typical week might look like:

Monday - 7k jog, padwork and about 20 mins worth of sparring with friends (3 minute rounds).

Tuesday - Kickboxing class: 45 mins of some kind of circuits, 30 mins of sparring, 15 mins cooldown.

Wed - 4k jog, go through the set forms I know without much of a break inbetween sets before moving on to bag work/shadow boxing/technique repetition (pick one) at home.

Thur - Kung Fu: 2 hours of 7 Star Mantis

Friday - 2 hours of set form practice (includes isolating techniques and lines, these usually feed through into the bagwork/shadow boxing and attempted in sparring the following week) or another kickboxing class - I tend to alternate between weeks.

Our Mantis teacher also teaches Wing Chun but there isnt much demand for that in our class so what I've found so far is that we'll do Mantis for 9 months of the year and then blast WC for 3 months solid (keeping up with the style we're not doing in class at home).

I like to be flexible out with class nights - apart from the 7k jog on a Monday - and change things up depending on what my focus is at that time. Right now I'm trying to improve my kicking (again!) so on a Wednesday I'm doing 30 reps for each kick per leg. I mostly only use 8 kicks but that works out at 480 reps!

I like to think that this works well for me but happy to take onboard any advice/tips that people have.
 
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Shai Hulud

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When I started exercising again after quite a few years of being lazy, I first started off with cardio at the gym, lost some weight, gained some air etc. Started getting bored with cardio and started mostly bodyweight training type stuff (still at the gym......because that's the only space I have for working out). Lots of pushups, planks, pull ups, kettle bell swings, jump rope, etc. SOme running and cardio type stuff as well. It certainly worked and got me to a point that the MA classes would not wear me out too much (except for sparring which I'm not used to yet). One fun thing I did was the 100 pushup challenge (there's an app for that....). Trains you to do 100 uninterrupted pushups in 6 or 8 weeks. (Beware though, the final week is brutal, the last training day before the final challenge calls for a total of 342 pushups). There are similar apps for pull ups, too.
About three months ago I started a real strength training program (I know outside the scope of what you're asking) and am enjoying that immensely and have seen nice progress. I couple that with HIIT once a week and bag work. I think if you were able to hang a bag in your flat that could add a lot.
I could definitely try and get my hands on a heavy bag - only about 20 quid that.
 
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Shai Hulud

Shai Hulud

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Just doing the exercises you can do in the home ( push ups, situps, pull ups, etc) combined with your running and kettle bell work out is fine. There are so many exercises that can be done in the home and so many workout programs on the market now ( some good some not worth anything) that a Gym is not nessicary unless yo like that atmosphere or want a big weight room and can afford it
Precisely. Sometimes I actually think that it can give people a false sense of security that they're working hard or "living on the edge" expressly because they regularly go to a gym, which I don't always find to be the case. The evils of excessive isometric free-weights training.
 
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Shai Hulud

Shai Hulud

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I'm in recent shape, though there is room for improvement. I too would like to get in better shape for me ill probably practice empty hand katas (5 times each per form) other days practice weapon forms (5 times per form) and pushups (50 per rep; palm, fingertips, and knuckle pushups) throughout the day
I've always sort of viewed knuckle push-ups as a kind of sports-specific training. Is it definitely safe, won't give me joint problems later on in life? To date I've only done standard clipped push-ups.
 
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Shai Hulud

Shai Hulud

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I too have ditched the gym membership and only train at home and class now. I try to keep a balance between consistent fitness and conditioning with flexible technique-based training - e.g. one week my solo practice might focus purely on Mantis and the other on nice, tight kickboxing.

Every training day - usually Monday to Friday - as part of my warm-up I do 20 squat kicks, 10 plyo pressups, 10 reps of 3 other pressup variants (so 30 in total) and then hold an L-sit for 30 seconds. Sometimes I substitute the Lsit for 20 V-ups or 50 situps.

Then my main training for the evening follows. A typical week might look like:

Monday - 7k jog, padwork and about 20 mins worth of sparring with friends (3 minute rounds).

Tuesday - Kickboxing class: 45 mins of some kind of circuits, 30 mins of sparring, 15 mins cooldown.

Wed - 4k jog, go through the set forms I know without much of a break inbetween sets before moving on to bag work/shadow boxing/technique repetition (pick one) at home.

Thur - Kung Fu: 2 hours of 7 Star Mantis

Friday - 2 hours of set form practice (includes isolating techniques and lines, these usually feed through into the bagwork/shadow boxing and attempted in sparring the following week) or another kickboxing class - I tend to alternate between weeks.

Our Mantis teacher also teaches Wing Chun but there isnt much demand for that in our class so what I've found so far is that we'll do Mantis for 9 months of the year and then blast WC for 3 months solid (keeping up with the style we're not doing in class at home).

I like to be flexible out with class nights - apart from the 7k jog on a Monday - and change things up depending on what my focus is at that time. Right now I'm trying to improve my kicking (again!) so on a Wednesday I'm doing 30 reps for each kick per leg. I mostly only use 8 kicks but that works out at 480 reps!

I like to think that this works well for me but happy to take onboard any advice/tips that people have.
I'm liking how you've sort of narrowed down those body-weight exercises down to the bare essentials. Admittedly I don't have a plyometrics routine - I probably should now.

I don't think I'd have 2 hours to burn in a day for conditioning/training since entering graduate school. :/ Do you have these sessions in the evening? Can't imagine doing something that draining at the start of the day.
 

Touch Of Death

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I don't know what belt level you are at, but your stances probably suck, and doing some basic forms with your head at the proper level will kick your ***. I promise. :)
 
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Shai Hulud

Shai Hulud

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I don't know what belt level you are at, but your stances probably suck, and doing some basic forms with your head at the proper level will kick your ***. I promise. :)
Are you addressing me?

I don't overlook art-specific technique. When I'm not drilling or sparring at the centre on weekends, I practice either one-step or three-step counter drills (training method I borrowed from Xingyiquan) with a gal mate of mine who's also training under the same instructor. :) We take turns circling each other and moving around to keep things from going too static. No pads or gloves for us (not enough money for it, hence the title of this thread). Just bare knuckle blocking, swings, kicks, checks, traps and trips/reaps/throws.
 

Touch Of Death

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Are you addressing me?

I don't overlook art-specific technique. When I'm not drilling or sparring at the centre on weekends, I practice either one-step or three-step counter drills (training method I borrowed from Xingyiquan) with a gal mate of mine who's also training under the same instructor. :) We take turns circling each other and moving around to keep things from going too static. No pads or gloves for us (not enough money for good equipment, hence the title of this thread). Just bare knuckle blocking, swings, kicks, checks, traps and trips/reaps/throws.
I'm saying work your stance and transitions, anywhere and everywhere you go. :)
 
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Shai Hulud

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I'm saying work your stance and transitions, anywhere and everywhere you go. :)
I may be guilty of not maxing that one out. I get about half .5-1 hour of that Mondays to Fridays, except on days when she heads home (We both study here in Wrexham; I'm based here, but she's from Buckley up north). Sometimes we'll squeeze in about 15min to half an hour between classes or during free cuts, but nothing on the scale of 2 or more hours a day. :)
 

Touch Of Death

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I may be guilty of not maxing that one out. I get about half .5-1 hour of that Mondays to Fridays, except on days when she heads home (We both study here in Wrexham; I'm based here, but she's from Buckley up north). Sometimes we'll squeeze in about 15min to half an hour between classes or during free cuts, but nothing on the scale of 2 or more hours a day. :)
This exercise, and habit requires no partner. It is just you and gravity. :)
 

donald1

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I've always sort of viewed knuckle push-ups as a kind of sports-specific training. Is it definitely safe, won't give me joint problems later on in life? To date I've only done standard clipped push-ups.

The only things I know about sport martial arts is there's rules, a point system, and I met a TKD instructor that teaches it...

What I've been told it's to improve punches, I've been told it makes your knuckles tough but i think the instructor was referring to practicing on concrete

IMO as long as it's good pushups that's all that matters :)
Best of luck
 
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