For Video 4 of our Lockdown Video Series, Dame Kaalia of Black Guard made a Workouts 101 video.
Gear starts at 00:42
Exercise basics starts at 4:43
Nutrition starts at 09:11
The basics A body and a floor. You can get a lot done with just a little bit of space and the body you started with. Your body is a great weight and you can push and pull it to great gains. You don’t need a lot of equipment or special gear to get in a good workout, but some gear can help.
Shoes for weightlifting Firm sole, solid, sticky base with a wide toe box to allow your toes to fully splay. Obviously specific for weight lifting shoes are good, some cross training shoes are good as well. Also good for weight lifting: being barefoot! Allows your toes to fully splay and helps you grip the floor. Just be safe and don’t drop weights on your toes! Bad for weight lifting: running shoes.
Yoga mat or camping pad are nice to have, especially if you have concrete floors or carpet (rug burn sucks). Especially for exercises where your knees or back come in contact with the ground, something squishy but grippy is your friend.
Weights - Kettlebells are really versatile and what Kaalia recommends here. You can also use gallon jugs filled with water or sand as a makeshift kettlebell. (DIY Kettlebell suggestions)
Box - good for box jumps and step-ups. An adjustable version is helpful for doing different kinds of exercises as well as increasing intensity based on your increasing abilities. Alternates include a very FIRM coffee table, a step ladder that is wide and firm...it needs to be solid, not move or fall over, and handle your weight IN MOTION. Jump ups are a great alternative for running and get you some good cardio.
Always start low and go slow. Last thing you want to do is go too hard and too fast and injure yourself. Be sure you’re always using the proper techniques. If you don’t do the movements correctly, you aren’t going to get the gains you’re looking for and you are at a greater risk of injuring yourself.
If you’re seeing yourself plateauing in your workouts or you’re not gaining results at the pace that you were, it’s likely you’re not using progressive overload. In order to get your body producing the gains you’re looking for, you need to ramp up the intensity over time. How is this done?
Increase the weight of the movement (heavier stuff)
Increase the tempo of the movement (do it faster)
Increasing the reps (do a greater number of the movements in a set)
Increasing the sets (do a greater number of groups of the movement)
The idea is you increase one of these metrics in stages so that it starts out hard, your body adjusts, and then you increase the same metric again.
If you find that you’ve plateaued, look at those metrics and figure out which one you can increase.
Training to Fatigue
You want to be working with a weight, tempo, reps, sets to get you to fatigue, but not beyond.
Fatigue - when you are no longer able to get through the full range of motion of the exercise with full technique.
The idea is you calibrate your workout to get you just to fatigue and stop. If you are reaching fatigue earlier in your workout than you planned, stop, and adjust your expectations. Cheating your reps or doing bad reps will not get you what you’re looking for!
Macro Targets - the macro-nutrients you need to get to achieve your nutrition goals. Things like fat, protein, carbs are all macros that you need to understand to reach your goals. These are complicated and you should work with a nutritionist if you want to know what targets are right for you! They depend vastly on body composition, what your workout goals are, what type of exercise you’re doing, etc.
If you’re looking to cut weight/increase muscle definition, nutrition is going to be 90% of that battle. You need to function at a caloric deficit and it’s easier to reduce intake than increase use with exercise. You’re not going to get a six-pack from doing crunches, you’re going to get a six-pack from cutting weight by functioning at a caloric deficit.
If you’re looking to gain strength/muscle, you need a different macro target set than for cutting weight. You need calories to put on the muscle. Another good one to work with an exercise scientist.
Anabolic window/supplementation - if your nutrition is good for the types of goals you have and you’re eating good quality food, you should not need to go and buy expensive supplements to see gains. You should be able to get enough protein with your regular food intake and you shouldn’t need to eat it at a specific time of day. You can use some like whey protein because it’s easy to add to things like shakes in the morning for convenience, but it’s not something you NEED to do to see gains.