If you’ve been following along with Paleo Quick Tip of the Day for the past 23 weeks, you are surely seeing and feeling big changes in both your body composition, (Less fat; more muscle!), and just feeling amazing! It doesn’t take that long- usually 3 weeks is the point where folks start to really feel and see it making a difference! Also, this is the point when your lifelong addiction to processed foods, wheat products and sugar is broken, and you no longer feel like you are in withdrawal... because you really were an addict! AND NOW YOU ARE NOT- HALLELUJAH!!
This first 23 weeks has been mainly about dialing in your nutrition and sleep- walking and some exercise, especially virtual and self-resisted exercise have been added into your early morning routine, right after you make your daily paleo green smoothie. Also, you are probably progressing on your pushups and straight-legged situps...
But now it’s time to up it a notch- add in a weekly workout to really maximize your lean muscle, and build up a real, symmetrical physique that is not only attractive, but very, very functional and healthy!
I’m not big on exercise apparatus at all- I’ve tried most of it in my mis-spent youth, and I am quite anti-weight lifting! It is just not necessary, and builds a physique that is really quite unappealing, but most importantly is fraught with injury, and I mean injury that is UNAVOIDABLE if you continue lifting heavy weights!!
So, what can you do to really build your body in an aesthetic, healthy, classically symmetrical and pleasing way?
Get some gymnastic rings!!
I have a set in my cellar; since my farmhouse is well over a century old, and constructed of giant blocks of stone, the cellar has ceilings over 10 feet tall with exposed joists above- so, simple to hang some rings! If you don’t have a place to hang them, it is easy to hang them from a tree branch, or a swing set, or a jungle gym in a playground- there are lots of ways to make it work! You could take them to the park on Sunday, do your rings workout, and take them home... no big deal! And you will feel GREAT!
Here is my Sunday Rings workout:
Pushups- pushups on the rings are MUCH more difficult than regular pushups, and MUCH more productive and beneficial than a bench press with weights- your scapula rotates completely as you go all the way down, and the handles rotate with your hands, taking all harmful stress off of your joints (elbow, wrist, shoulder) and maximizing the positive stress on your chest, shoulders, triceps, abs, and especially your tendons and ligaments, that are largely ignored in traditional weight lifting since all of the stress is linear; i.e. up-and-down- here, it is all around!
I do pushups, and then flies on the rings, and then pullovers by moving forward and lifting my torso with straight arms for reps, followed by triceps extensions by lifting my torso again with bent arms... you get the idea!
You can easily move from exercise to exercise- do rows, chins, dips, and my favorite- chins in an L-sit position, working your lats and abs to the maximum, all at once!
What’s that? You can’t DO a chin up? Not even one?
Well, my friend, man or woman- now you can!
You just set the rings low enough (they are easily adjustable), and assist with your legs just enough to complete your chin- or dip- or row...
and, if you can’t do a full, down to the ground pushup on rings (most can’t, at least at week 23!), set the rings higher- as high as you need! And do your reps!!
There is something very satisfying and primal about rings training- It’s like barefoot sprinting on grass- it brings me back to my childhood, running around with my friends, little 8 year old Jay, out in the fresh air and sunshine, having a BLAST!
Rings are like that, too- basic movement, like playing on the monkey bars when you were a kid, climbing trees, pulling yourself up on branches- just plain experimenting with moving your body, like a cat!
Cats never give up on this movement training, why should you?
Get yourself a set of gymnastic rings. Hang them up in the playground this Sunday. After your fun, experimental workout, go for a few barefoot sprints across the park!
Isn’t it great being a kid again?