The current harsh economic conditions have caused many of us to scale back on some of the luxuries we used to take for granted. While physical fitness is undoubtedly more of a necessity than a luxury, how we achieve it can easily be scaled back and achieved in a more cost-effective manner. There is no need to continue to pay for expensive health club memberships when some old school strength training techniques can provide the same results for free.
What Is Old School Strength Training?
Old school strength training is as much of a philosophy as a discipline. It refers to the relationship between muscle and metal, assisted by gravity, rather than the relationship between muscle and complex machinery, assisted by electricity and a computer. Metal is very inexpensive and gravity is free.
Machines and computers of sufficient quality to yield concrete results cost a lot of money. While a basic set of free weights can be obtained quite inexpensively, gym-grade machines require either an extremely robust bank account, combined with a significant amount of floor space on which to park them, or an expensive gym membership in which you are essentially renting time on the machines.
Your muscles will not care which method you choose, but your bank account will surely prefer the old school strength training approach. While free weights and a set of adjustable dumbbells will greatly assist your training, many exercises can be added to a fitness regimen that require no equipment at all, such as abdominal crunches, push-ups and plain old jogging.
How Do I Get Started With Old School Strength Training
First and foremost, you must make the commitment to work out on your own and develop the mental discipline to do so on a regular schedule. Obtain a set of metal free weights and a few pieces of basic equipment, like a weight bench and a squat rack. Decide what your ultimate physical fitness goals are and do some basic research into which exercises will best achieve them. The classic weight training system of performing a fixed number of repetitions of an exercise (typically 10 to 15), and repeating them three times, with a few minutes of rest in between, still produces the most reliable results.
With an old school weight training system, you do not need a computer to tell you when you have exercised enough, your body will let you know all by itself once you have learned to listen. Work until you are very tired and a bit sore, but not until your muscles ache painfully. Rotate your exercises so that you allow each muscle group to rest a bit while you work on a different area of your body. For example, do not do all your arm exercises in series and then switch to your legs, as this will likely produce strains, which can result in discouragement and time off from training while things heal.
As any Spartan can tell you, physical fitness has never required complicated electronic devices. With a little discipline, some inexpensive equipment, and a little basic knowledge, you can throw away your pass card to the gym and get better results at home through old school strength training techniques.