So in the past few days I’d be lying if I told you I haven’t been thinking more and more about the process of innovation, especially as is pertains to a strength training environment and the availability of equipment. Look this past weekend my friend coach Brad McLeod (pictured above) and myself put on a very informative Kettlebell Power And Speed clinic in which one of the segments was devoted to innovation in terms of teaching one to utilize their surroundings and available resources for some hard hitting strength training tools and strength training tactics. I’ve got to tell you this segment was my favorite and I’ve got to give credit to Coach McLeod for bringing this to the table.
No Equipment, NO PROBLEM…
As a strength coach I can tell you that all of us love the idea of having access to a fully equipped strength and conditioning facility stocked full of bumper plates, olympic bars, kettlebells, dumbbells (the iron kind, not the human kind), and a battery of athletic performance tools geared towards speed, agility, and power development. In certain scenarios this is possible, but in the real world this is not always the option. If Coach McLeod taught both myself and our students anything it’s that you don’t always have to have the nice manufactured equipment to maximize your strength training program.
I mean let’s face it, if your military unit is stationed somewhere on the side of a mountain in Afghanistan you may not have the availability of some cast iron kettlebells or a full rack of dumbbells for your strength training needs. What if you just don’t have the financial means for a gym membership, or even much of an in home gym? It really doesn’t matter.
This particular segment of the clinic was geared towards teaching the trainees how to recognize how to use the resources that are available to them. It also taught them how to build solid equipment out of cheap durable materials and if the equipment starts to break down then it can continue to be improved by adding on with more and more cheap durable materials.
A truly effective strength and conditioning program is one that is innovative in it’s design in the first place. It takes creativity to move and to challenge the body to move in the most efficient ways possible based upon its need. Every sport and every life situation requires different physical needs and as a result a solid strength training program should address those needs, not the fancy availability of equipment from a fully stocked gym…at least not always.
If you have ever seen the TV show Man vs. Wild it’s kinda like that, except it’s Man vs. Gym! By the way this is really the only full episode of Man vs. Wild ever watched from start to finish and I think Will Ferrell taught Bear a thing or two about survival! 😉
The point is that if you can remain cool and focused you can find use of your own environment to address your strength training needs rather than letting your lack of access to an “ideal training environment” deter you from getting in your work time. The bottom line is that if you want it bad enough you will find a way much like we demonstrated with the end result we show here in an environment without kettlebells and medicine balls.
As you can see there was a finished product from the picture you saw at the beginning that resembled a functioning kettle bell. It may not be the same as the ideal manufactured version, but it has it’s uses and offers it’s own value! Once again the key to a smart strength training program is the innovation that goes into it and that even involves the equipment!
The only way to foster innovation is to stimulate your creative mind. This comes from building onto your knowledge. In terms of an effective strength training program with limited resources and limited equipment it means building your knowledge of strength. If you need help with that then I have a great deal for you here if you get your own copy of my Brandon Richey’s Better Than Steroids ebook. Oh and by the way I have now slashed the price of the ebook by almost 50%!!! Yep, knowledge bombs are now dropping on your head at a great deal! 😉 It’s even a little more of a discount if you order here from Amazon.
Have you ever been innovative in your pursuit of strength? If so in what way did you get creative? I want to hear about it and so do my readers! So please drop some of your own ideas on us in the comment box below this post! Remember that most anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart my friend.