Low Budget Training

RunFAST - SAPT's Secret Program Development

I’ll be honest, I’ve got a secret... it’s about a new program SAPT is developing. We’ll actually be launching all the info about it next week, but I’ve got to let on about it at least a little! I’m simply way too pumped up and have had a little too much coffee to keep this under my hat any longer.

It’s so exciting and will introduce yet another innovative, high-octane training method to the area via our resident performance coaching geniuses at SAPT.

This is the type of program that is born from those really special places that foster high-levels of both creativity and respect. An incubator for ideas where art and science merge. The type of place that values quality, service, and creativity above all else. That’s where these kinds of innovations come from.

The program is called RunFAST... that’s all I’m going to mention, as I think the name tells enough.

And, I have to also tell you this new innovative approach we’ll launch next week is just the tip of the iceberg. I wish I could let on about all our projects. But, for the moment, I’ll simply leave you with SAPT’s Big 3: Purpose, Vision, and Mission. Read into them as you like...

Our Purpose: Strengthening bodies and minds to support excellence in life.

Our Vision: People of all ages, abilities, and resources will have access to, appreciation for, and engagement in regular physical fitness training that will lead to improvements in all aspects of daily life.

Our Mission: To develop, research, and share our comprehensive approach to physical fitness training that fosters long-term engagement, promotes excellence in life, nurtures human relationships and inspires the lifelong pursuit of health through exercise.

Please stay tuned to next week on the blog... we’ll be devoting the whole week to RunFAST details!

10 Uncommon Rowing Variations that Don't Require Dumbbells or a Cable Column

It's no secret that a sound strength and conditioning regimen should be buttressed by a healthy dose of rowing. I don't care if you're training for powerlifting, athletic performance, fat loss, or for post-rehab purposes, you've got to include your rowing.

It's borderline ironic then that rowing exercises are one of the toughest to employ when either:

A) Traveling, or B) On a tight budget

The most common tools to use for rows are dumbbells and cable columns, and guess what are also extremely difficult to travel with, and cost a boatload of cash? Yep, dumbbells and cable columns.

When traveling, it's super easy to make do with the innumerable pushup variations at your disposal, or to include glute+hamstring work that can be accomplished with the simple addition of furniture sliders.

If you train in your garage, a squat rack and barbell will fit virtually all your needs for upper body pressing and for all essential lower body training. So, how do you achieve your rowing quota for the week in if all you have access to is a barbell (and is not your standard bent-over barbell row), and are divested of any remaining cash to spare?

Fortunately for you, we at SAPT are the kings and queens of training with minimal equipment. One of the first things people ask when they enter our facility for the first time is, "Where are are the dumbbells? Wait, what about your cable columns? Where are those?"

We've been using the dumbbell-less and cable-less rowing variations below for a number of years with our athletes, clients, and in our own training. While far from an all-inclusive list, I hope they can get you started in the right direction:

Dumbbell Row Substitutes: "Landmine" Rows

You can easily use a barbell to sub in for a number of common dumbbell variations. The following five exercises depict this.

1. Bent-Over Landmine Row

2. Bent-Over DEADSTOP Landmine Row

3. 3-Point Landmine Row

4. 3-Point DEADSTOP Landmine Row

5. 2-Point Landmine Row 

Cable Column Substitutes: Band Rows

In a number of ways I actually like band rows better than cable rows. They add a really intense contraction at the top, right when your scapular stabilizers are working on overdrive.

6. Seated Band Row, Neutral Grip

7. Seated Band Row, Neutral Grip with Towel

Use this one if you don't have an actual V-handle, or if you just want to fry the grip for masochistic purposes.

8. Seated Band Row, Pronated Grip

We initially used a dowel rod for the handle on these, but then there lies the risk of the handle snapping on you mid set. You can use a barbell instead, which also adds a unique challenge for the shoulders.

9. 1/2 Kneeling Band Row, Neutral Grip


Other Odds and Ends

10.  T-Bar Landmine Row with Towel

While not technically a dumbbell or cable substitute, here's one that combines a core stability element with heavy grip demands:

11 (Bonus): Make Your Own Suspension Trainer

Finally, you can make your own suspension trainer, which will open the door for a host of other rowing possibilities, be it for travel or for home purposes.

Heck, even if you DO have easy access to dumbbells and/or cable stacks, I recommend giving these a shot as you'll definitely notice a slightly different (and fun) training stimulus, and may decide to keep a few in your permanent rowing repertoire.


How to Get in a Good Lift on the Road

I’ve noticed a common theme lately with people who have stepped outside the matrix and into a real training facility. It becomes harder to figure out what to do in the gym when they then have to step BACK into the matrix for a quick visit.  Usually this occurs on a vacation/business trip and they have to train at an awful hotel gym or a piss-poor commercial gym for a short period of time. They are left dumbfounded as to what to do when all they find is a sea of useless machines and a bench press to squat rack ratio of 20:1.  Don’t worry that’s why I’m here, to show you how you can make the best of a crappy situation. All in all it’s really not that difficult to get in a good workout at one of these places; we can take advantage of the machines, light dumbbells, and the absurd amount of benches.  Below is a sample workout that I put together that someone could do when they find themselves in the predicament I just described.

A1) DB Bench Press 4x7/side
A2) Goblet Squat to Box 5x8
A3)* Lat Pulldowns 40 reps total
B1) Pushups 3xLeave 2 in the Tank
B2) 3 Point DB Row 4x10/side
B3) BSS 3x9/side
C1) Facepulls 2x20
C2) Plank 2X1 min.








*to be performed throughout entire session

There are three key factors in making this sample day a good off site workout…

  1.  A lot of volume is always fun when you are on vacation or even a business trip.  Excuse my meat headedness but it’s an awesome feeling when you get done with a high volume workout and then proceed to get your George Jefferson walk going on with your shirt off at the beach.  Since there probably won’t be that much weight to throw around in the weight room you’re at, take advantage, and get a high amount of volume in.  You’re on vacation, have some fun and get your pump on (we all know that’s what your dying to do anyway).
  2. Take this time to iron out the movement pattern.  Moving heavy weight is the best thing in the world other than a Chipotle burrito.  The only problem is as a movement becomes progressively more loaded overtime bad habits can form and technique can falter.  So again take advantage of the lighter weight and higher volumes and use this as practice time; groove the pattern of the main lift (in this case a squat) so that when you come back to the real world you can get right back to throwing around weight
  3. The third factor is keeping it simple and quick.  Whether you are on vacation or a business trip it’s safe to say you don’t have a lot of time to spend in the weight room (unless your Stevo and Kelsey who choose to spend their vacations at a training facility).  Don’t try and get too crazy with your workouts and spend all your time thinking about what machine will give you the greatest amount of glute med activation.   Just stick with basic movements, get in and get out.  This is not the time to program 20 different lifts either; again just stick to the basics.

I hope this helps everyone out who finds themselves in a similar situation.  Whatever you do don’t use business or vacation as a reason not to train!


As a side note SAPT IS OFFICIALLY MOVING FACILITIES ON FRIDAY JULY 6TH! Anyone is welcome to come out and lend their support! Check out our newsletter for more details... SAPT got some new digs!