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Old 03-12-2007, 01:00 AM   #1
Benjamin Cook
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Location: Tianjin  Tianjin
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I'm teaching English in China right now. I am very busy, the air sucks, and I don't have access to any of the recommended equipment.

I will be returning to the US in about 6-8 months at which time I will be trying to get a job as a cop.

The folks over at can't say enough good stuff about you guys.

I am in moderate shape right now. I am about 5'10" and I'm guessing 180 lbs. I have lean strong legs and a nice set of love handles. In China you walk a lot and I can walk with my pack for miles without much difficulty.

My joints feel weak and sloppy (especially my knees, shoulders, and lower back). I want to start gradually.

What can I do while I am here without equipment so that when I get back and have access to the equipment I will be ready to dive in?

I need some solid structure from people I can believe in (like you guys) that I can just start doing.

I want (and need) to get this started as soon as possible. I have read over your website and did not find anything really related to my current situation. I did find the section on substitutions but most of them require some form of equipment. I have the trim around the door jam to hook my fingers on for pull-ups. If I missed the section for no equipment I apologize but I did look for it.

What can you guys do for me?

Thanks for you time,

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Old 03-12-2007, 05:32 AM   #2
Jason Needler
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Location: Fort Carson  CO
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Cook, I'm by no stretch of the imagination an expert, but here's what I can suggest:

Check out age=0 for a long list of bodyweight exercises.

Without equipment, you won't be able to do the WODs (Workout Of the Day), but if you have the determination you can put together an effective workout on your own. The keys are intensity and variety. Look at some of the WODs to get an idea of how to "randomize" your workouts.

One more thing. I suggest setting goals - this helps many people stay focused. Try the CrossFit Bodyweight Max to evaluate your current ability. Then set specific goals to achieve in, for example, 3 months. 3 months from now you can re-test and evaluate your progress, and tweak your routines.

Good Luck, and stay with it! Effort is the number one ingredient!
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Old 03-12-2007, 05:34 AM   #3
Jason McCain
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Learn to do the basic movements first and foremost. In the long run it will speed your development.

Once you learn a couple movements you can start to use your imagination for a lot. I mean just look at today's picture of CF Kenya...stuff like that blows me away. You know your situation better than anyone and know where you can adapt things to suit your fitness purpose.

Here are a couple workouts to help you get started that require no equipment...I got them from the board here.

With a broomstick complete the following:
Back Squat X25
Front Squat X 25
OHS X 25
Run 400 M
Shoulder Press X 25
Push Press X 25
Push Jerk X 25
Run 400 M
Hang Clean X 50
Run 400 M
Snatch X 50
Run 400 M

Run 400M
25 Squats
Run 400M
25 Squats
25 Push-ups
Run 400M
25 Squats
25 Push-ups
25 Walking Lunges
Run 400M
25 Squats
25 Push-ups
25 Walking Lunges
25 Burpees
Run 400M
100 Sit-ups

Fill in the blank
How many rounds can you complete in 20 minutes of:
5 reps ???
10 reps ???
15 reps ???
These should help get the juices flowing and give you an idea of the type of workouts you can invent for yourself.

Remember, you can break this workouts up into smaller segments if you are unable to do them in full at this point.
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Old 03-12-2007, 12:18 PM   #4
Mikki Lee Martin
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Eva T posts great NEN workouts on her blog at
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Old 03-12-2007, 08:31 PM   #5
Will Nuse
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Location: Monterey  CA
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Eva's blog would be perfect. Also, check out the September 2003 (how to built parallettes), March 2006 (training in austere conditions), and May 2006 (training without equipment with Roger Harrell) CFJs. The parallettes CFJ has a list of gymnastic positions that will take me a very long time to accomplish.
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Old 03-13-2007, 08:36 AM   #6
Nick Cruz
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Dont forget:

Tabata Squats and Tabata something else.
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Old 03-13-2007, 08:42 AM   #7
Kevin McKay
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Old 03-13-2007, 06:08 PM   #8
Kevin McKay
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o and this is great

and but this is more geared for beginners kinda like cross fit training wheels
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Old 03-13-2007, 06:46 PM   #9
David Aguasca
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, kevin, you beat me to the beastskills plug.

anyway, i second that...start learning gymnastic skills. handstands, handstand pushups, pull-ups, front/back levers, pistols. it's all there.

if you can, build yourself a pair of parallettes:

also, take a look at (ws/fs) for more ideas.

now's a great time to increase your body awareness!
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Old 03-13-2007, 07:05 PM   #10
James Besenyei
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Take advantage of not having equipment!!! You'll become more kinesthetically aware, will increase overall strength, and by the time you are able to workout where equipment is available you'll be way ahead of the game. I can offer no better advice than what has been offered above, but consider the lack of equipment a blessing, an opportunity to be creative. Good luck.

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