This is the second of three emails on our new exercise DVD, “The Sulaxmi Method.” In the first email, I talked a little about the journey. This one talks about the tremendous value of bodyweight exercise. When you rely on your body instead of machines, you are training “naked.”
At Brownstone Fitness, one of our major goals is to get people moving the way humans were meant to move and to help them perform their daily functions in an effective, pain-free, and powerful way. Bodyweight exercise is an important tool to accomplish that goal.
A mistaken belief – that is reinforced by big gyms and equipment manufacturers who want you to spend a lot of your money with them – is that you can’t get the same results with your own body that you can with machines. Many people think that bodyweight exercise is too boring with only squats, pushups, and pullups (which most people can’t do anyway!) in the arsenal.
Well, resistance is resistance, whether from a machine, a barbell, kettlebell or your body. Changing body angles and leverage can increase or decrease the difficulty of bodyweight exercises. As far as boredom, you’re only limited by your imagination when it comes to using your body as your exercise machine.
I’ve done it all – Nautilus, Hammer Strength, barbells. Everything has its place. Machines can have an important place for people who are trying to rehab an injury, or an elderly person who hasn’t exercised in a long time, if ever. There is no better tool than a barbell for an athlete who wants to get strong and powerful in as short a time as possible.
If you want to lessen your chances of injury, work your body in the way it is designed to move, have control over your body as it moves in different directions under various loads and speeds, have a fat burning tool that can go with you on vacation, and save on a gym membership, then bodyweight exercise is the preferred vehicle. This is something that gymnasts, elite military operators, and prisoners in state and federal penitentiaries have known for years.
Its unnatural to separate the body into a collection of bodyparts. Do you want the coordinated, supple strength of a leopard or the physique of a Frankenstein? Shouldn’t we train to move and look better instead of improving our ability to lift more weight?
Years ago, I was like a lot of people who decided that I wanted results as fast as possible. When I was growing up, my home was the residential drug treatment center that my parents started and ran. A lot of the men coming through the program were ex-felons and Vietnam veterans. For those who exercised, weightlifting (specifically a lot of bench press and curls) was the way to go. This influence, along with the advent of Nautilus machines got me heavily into weightlifting and eventually bodybuilding.
A few things in my life caused me to reevaluate my training methods. Leading students on work trips to places like Sudan, Senegal, India, and Nicaragua left me with little choice other than to improvise with calisthenics. I saw how lean and strong I became during my military training with nothing but bodyweight exercise. Becoming a father, and starting independent schools in two countries left me with little time to go to the gym. A severe knee injury where I tore my quadriceps tendon also limited my options. I got firsthand experience of how you can not only maintain conditioning but increase your lean muscle and energy through the use of bodyweight exercise.
I now use several tools for both myself and my clients but bodyweight exercise remains central to any program I use for them or myself. Not only is it a way to develop the kind of body that most people want but it’s a way to improve balance, coordination, creativity, a sense of play, and awareness. What better way to become Strong, Sexy, and Serene?
Next time, I’ll give you the inside scoop on how we came up with the name, “Sulaxmi.” Until then, go ahead and order the DVD here and become eligible for a free, half hour quick start coaching session by phone.