Training is hard. Even for the most dedicated fitness enthusiasts, there are many days where it is a chore to get to the gym. You punch the clock, get in and get on with life, happier because you lived up to your standards. You’ve earned the endorphins, the energy, and the confidence that is only born of strong action. This discipline is required for any fulfilling life endeavor. Plan and act, regardless of how you feel. Reinforce the habit of willpower. Still, it can’t always be monotonous drudgery.
Novelty is essential or we may lose passion or fall off completely. Furthermore, repetition may be the mother of skill but only a very narrow set of skills. We have to, occasionally, veer out of our lanes and leave the safety of our normal patterns in order to see where our blind spots lie.
When we break out of our comfort zone and try new things, we are forced into a beginner’s mindset where learning is amplified. Here our perceptions and fitness approach may be altered forever. I can’t imagine where I’d be had I never read Ultimate Athleticism or Simple and Sinister. Even if we don’t change at all, we have a new experience set to draw upon and a renewed appreciation for the old.
So today, break free of that over-sanitized, over-compartmentalized gym where Tony is always hogging the only power rack for his curls. Leave behind the Wal-Mart superstore of fitness. “Do you know where I could find toner legs? Oh, over there in the leg machine section. Why thank you. Instead, get a great workout in the great outdoors.
This total body workout combines locomotion with every movement pattern: push, pull, knee dominant, hip dominant, and the carry. All you’ll need is a kettlebell or dumbbell. If you have access to a couple of sizes, you’ll appreciate the variation, otherwise, it is no big deal. Just be aware that you may have to go longer or shorter depending on whether your bell is too heavy or too light.
The Locomotion Workout Warm-Up
Remember when you used to do line stretches every day before athletics? Not a bad idea. For this moving warm-up, we will go 10 yards and back with every exercise.
- Walking Knee Grabs
- Quad Stretch and Reach
- Lunge with a Reach
- Sweep the Floor
- Bear Crawls
- Squat to Lateral Shuffle
- Skip with Hug down, Backwards Skip (with backstroke) back
- High Knee Carioca
- Straight Leg Walk down, Straight Leg Skip back
- Power Skips (for height)
The Locomotion Workout Main Event
Rather than working with sets or reps, we are going to work with distance. That is the fun of a moving workout. It is a mission. You are trying to get somewhere. If you don’t know the exact distance just walk it off the best you can and throw a shirt down as a landmark.
Five rounds of the following:
- KB Walking Swings – x10 yards down and back (face the same way going back)
- Goblet Walking Lunge – x10 yards down and back
- Plank Pulls – x10 yards pulling bell forward and 10 yards pull bell backward
- Walking 1-Leg RDL – x10 yards down and back
- Dragon Crawl – x10 yards down and back
The Locomotion Workout Finisher
Pick a single arm carry variation and go for 4-minutes straight. When you can’t safely hold any longer just switch hands. Options include bottoms up walk, waiters walk, rack walk, or suitcase carry. Feel free to vary between carry variations.
Become More Functional
There you have it—a way to train all those same movement patterns but while really moving and covering distance. You are now a more adaptable, resilient beast. I encourage you to keep getting out of your comfort zone and trying new things.
You won’t win any powerlifting competitions in this manner, but you might be healthier, more functional, and have more fun training.