I recently got the question from one of my readers:
“Am I at a disadvantage by not using a gym?”
One client of mines, James Blackshaw, lost over 20lbs and built his strength up dramatically, training in hotel rooms.
He works on trains around England and gets back home to his family in Scotland at weekends, so, lives in hotels most of the time.
So, I hooked him up with a training plan to get him strong with mostly just his body weight.
We also worked on improving his diet to the best of what he has available to him.
Don’t get me wrong…
I LOVE training in a gym and lifting weights, but it’s NOT essential.
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Sometimes I take 3 months of the year to do bodyweight only training.
Cus it’s fun (and it works).
Here’s What You DO Need
There’s only 3 pieces of kit I’d say are essential…
1) Pull-up bar.
2) Suspension trainer.
3) Ab roller (Not so much essential, but it’s cheap, portable and builds great core, lat and shoulder strength).
You can get them all off Amazon, dirt cheap.
These let you train your back muscles, biceps, and grip properly with pulling excises like inverted rows, chin ups, pull ups, 1 arm rows.
Then ab roll-outs a little bit later when you build up some strength on simple planks, first.
Don’t focus on the mirror, or the scale, those take a LONG time to change.
But your performance improves fast.
So, if you take a simple exercise, like press-ups and get to a standard of 30 reps without stopping.
Every rep slow, controlled and done properly…
You’ll have a lot more strength and muscle in your chest, shoulders and triceps than you have now if you can only do 5-10.
Catch my drift?
Here’s 6 basic exercises with standards to aim for:
1) Press ups: 20-30 reps.
2) Inverted row @ 30 degree angle: 20-30 reps.
3) Chin ups: 5-10 reps.
4) Squat: 40 reps.
5) Split squat: 15-20 reps.
6) Plank: 2 minutes.
^^ once you can do all of those with slow, controlled, picture perfect form…
Here’s some tougher goals to aim for:
1) Hand-stand press-ups: 5-10 reps.
2) Pull ups (overhand grip) 5-10 reps.
3) Skater squat: 10-15 reps.
4) Pistol squat: 5-10 reps.
5) Ab roll-outs: 20-30 reps.
That’s enough to give you at least 2 years of training.
Master all of those, and you’ll be strong AF (and look epic when you’re at the pools with your kids, too).
It’s always nice to vary things up, though…
So, I recommend investing in a weighted vest to make you even stronger on the above exercises.
Then a pair of adjustable dumbbells to add in some shrugs, farmers carry and Romanian deadlifts to build your traps, hamstrings, and glutes some more.
But those last ones are just icing on the cake.
There ya go, my mate…
All you’ll ever need to turn yourself into a home-made athlete.
Get after it.
PS – Whenever you’re ready, here are 4 more ways I can help you strengthen your mind, transform your body and be the fit Dad who leads from the front:
1) Have me personally coach and mentor you:
I have spaces in my Fit & Strong For Life program for men, where I’ll help you shift the ‘Dad bod’ and get a strong looking physique.
Send me a message via my contact form, or a PM on Facebook and we’ll have a chat about your goals.
2) Check out my videos:
I’ve posted hundreds of live videos on my Facebook page to inspire, motivate and educate men like you become the best version of themselves.
Go here to check them out:
3) Read the articles on my blog:
Learn how I transformed my habits and body, how I help my clients transform theirs (and how you can do it too).
Go here to read it:
4) Have your questions answered:
I’m always looking for content for my videos and emails.
If you need any help with anything regarding fitness, nutrition or mindset.
Send a reply to this message with ‘Question’ as the subject line.
and I’ll get to it.
Dean McMenamin is an Army veteran, father, dog-lover and online nutrition & exercise coach helping busy men transform their bodies, regain self-confidence and be healthier role models for their kids. He's also a big eater of ice-cream.