Getting Fit with Limited Equipment

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The best way to get fit on limited equipment

Whether your budget doesn’t allow for adding a bunch of fitness equipment at home or for getting a gym membership or if the the current state of buying at home fitness equipment has you um unable to get anything within the next month um here’s your here’s your short answer number one is

Get good at… The Basics

You know everybody needs to be good at doing some basic body weight movements before they move on to more advanced programming styles or more advanced movements. Let’s just start with the movements you’ve got to be good at:

  • Air squats
  • Push-ups
  • Sit-ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Lunges

Those are the top five. in terms of building strength, overall conditioning and there’s definitely other ones that are valuable to us. Some of them are just a little bit less valuable when building your fitness base.

Set your standards

You should be able to do (without a shadow of a doubt) a minute straight of any of these exercises. You should be able to feel “free” to move in any of the positions of those movements. For example, in the air squat, you may feel free to move while standing at the top but when you get to the bottom of a squat you feel like you’re stuck there. That is not mastery, that is the beginning. No matter what stage you’re in, it doesn’t really matter… Our goal doesn’t change. We’re trying to move forward, feeling free at any position is a flexibility standard. It’s also a control standard, it just says “Hey, I’m able to control my body” that’s a representation of the function of the joint in your body. You should also be able to test each movement at speed, with load, with volume and still be able to do quality reps! Often times we’re teaching beginners, during conditioning workouts we ask for B+ quality to A- minus quality movement. You know that it’s a little subjective because we’re not sitting there grading every rep but it’s the perceived quality. In order to have the greatest success we need to be able to give up a little bit of perfect technique to move faster or to move with load or to get more reps in but when we’re actually drilling the reps we should be shooting for A+ quality! The difference between the two is super important because there’s times to do each and the the value of training without ever doing less than perfect reps, is likely to be low.

Best practices for mastery

Quality of movement

We get more out of quality movement than we get out of poor quality movement. We should always be striving for quality (not necessarily perfect) movement but we do need to set some sort of benchmark for how how fit are in our current movement quality, so next up…


We need to take objective measures before and after our program in order to know if we’re getting better or not. Example do air squats for two minutes and see how many we can get done. We have to have some minimum depth set so if you need a depth check or something squat to a box or to a ball or to a low chair um but get as many as you can in two minutes. Now, push-ups do as many as you can… without having to stop. You need to again you have to have a standard depth and lockout so like taking your chest all the way to the ground without your knees touching and then all the way backup to the top plank. How many can you do unbroken? How many can you do in two minutes? Those are benchmarks, set them for yourself. This will help you know when you’re moving toward mastery of some of these basic movements!

Expansion of possible

We benchmark to have a starting point. I talk to my Post Physical Therapy Rehab clients all the time about this is… well really, all clients. In the world of progression we just have to figure out where you’re starting. Then we chart the course for progress. We start on the conservative side as opposed to the aggressive side most times. If you’ve never had success with a fitness program before we’re going to imagine your possible as a tiny little ball… representing your current experience and capabilities. Then we start to expand outward so we talk about it as like this little tiny ball you imagine like “I can do one push-up” or maybe it’s “I can’t do one push-up” but what ends up happening is we learn. If I can do one then maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to do two and then after progressing more… maybe i’ll be able to do 10 in a row right!? We’re always dialing up the intensity by: volume (the total amount of reps in a set or workout), by speed (of a set or entire workout) and load (in bodyweight movements it’s the ability to control position at the most difficult positions). To keep it really simple is there’s only three three factors: total number of reps completed in a workout, the speed at which any of the reps are completed and the ability to control the movement. The ability to control and manipulate those variables is.

Why interval training works well

Let’s say I ask you to do 100 push-ups and it takes you 20 minutes. The rate is five push-ups a minute or one every 12 seconds. If you do a set of max push-ups in a minute… you’re likely to be able to do 20+ in the first minute. That one minute of push-ups was more intense than any one of the minutes during the 20 minutes that it took you to do the 100. What’s important about that? It’s more relative intensity and that’s where the results come from! You know in all sorts of training you have to push the envelope somewhere, that can be done on a micro or macro level in a minute, 30 seconds or you can do it across the entire an entire week of training. Tabata is a great way to implement intervals with intensity and is very simple! When just getting started it’s really like let’s just expand this little circle just a little bit today (with relative intensity) and a little bit tomorrow and a little bit the next day. When you’re trying to master basics on limited equipment interval training is very important.

Final Recommendations

If you’re at home and you don’t have any equipment and you’re not already training with a coach… get your benchmarks done!

  • two minutes of squat
  • max push-ups –
  • 2 minutes of sit-ups
  • max pull-ups –
  • 2 minutes of lunges

Write those numbers down and then you’re going to mix and match those movements together over the course of the next month. Then do those benchmarks again and see how you improve it’s just really important and actually most important that you stay consistent! Strive for mastery of those movements and have a start and an end. The best way to get fit on limited equipment: master the basics, do some benchmarking and make sure you’re increasing the intensity each day!



Improve your physique at any age!

So you want to improve your physique… can you still do that at your age?

The answer is: YES!

In our experiences, all individuals (male or female, ages ranging from 5 – 89 years old) have the ability to improve your physique in some measurable way. Whether you are looking to get stronger, add lean body mass, and/or decrease body fat percentage your age is not a limiting factor.

Evidence of Chris' improved physique as seen by him holding up his old pants that are now way too big
Click on Chris’ photo to learn more about his journey with us! Chris is in his lower 50’s!

Here at CrossFit Jungle Gym we can utilize tools, such as an In-Body Scanner, to provide objective measures that allow us to develop a specific plan to assist you in reaching your goals and improving your physique. We’re not asking you to take our word for it. We will provide data to show you that you are getting Unlimited Gains and not Plateaus and Stagnation! This idea of data driven fitness is not new. It is at the root of what CrossFit, and by extension our training, is all about.

More on this idea in a CrossFit Journal article, “Understanding CrossFit”. Described is the methodology that drives CrossFit.

With coaching there’s no age limit on who can continue to improve. It’s not too late to make a big difference! We’re going to be able to help you improve your physique by adding lean body mass, getting more fit, and reaching your goals!

Read, watch and listen to over 100 Client Success Stories!


The Fastest Way to 6 Pack Abs

The Fastest Way to 6 Pack Abs

If you want to get 6 pack abs fast you need to dedicate your efforts into 2 primary areas: Nutrition and Exercise. Each realm of getting to 6 pack abs is important what you need to focus on more as an individual can vary greatly from other individuals. Either way, getting 6 pack abs quickly will likely take work on both right away.

What measurements do we need to track?

You should start your 6 pack abs journey with a measurement of body fat percentage. This will most accurately depict where you’re starting from and improvements in body composition (even if you can’t see abs yet) will be the stepping stones on the way to 6 pack abs. Setting your expectations… some folks can see their abs at 17% body fat… some can’t until they are in the single digits… which will depend greatly on where you carry most of your extra body weight. We recommend hopping on an Inbody scanner as it will read this and some other helpful data that we’ll talk about later in this article.

Body Fat Percentage

This is going to be the key metric we’re trying to change. Overall decreases in body fat percentage will drive you toward ab definition you’re looking for. What keeps the abs from appearing? Body fat that is sitting on top of those muscles

Muscle Mass

Passive Caloric Output

Gains in muscle mass increase the amount of passive caloric output known as basal metabolic rate. This is the amount of calories you output without doing anything. You can get on our InBody Scanner (and get a whole load of other biometrics too!) or get an estimated BMR.

Nutrition for 6 Pack Abs

The single most important area of focus for getting amazing 6 pack abs starts with your nutrition plan. A lot of people say “abs are made in the kitchen”, good news you don’t have to go in the kitchen if you don’t want! Here are the nutrition factors that matter: Caloric Intake, Macronutrient Balance, Nutrient Quality and to a lesser degree Nutrient Timing.

6 pack abs male
Dave crushes it at our 6am class!

Caloric Intake

Generally… those looking to get 6 pack abs need to lower caloric intake. You should get started by paying closer attention to the foods you consume… processed foods contain far more calories than natural whole foods so it’s easy to over consume them.

Macro nutrient Balance

Know what your current balance of Protein, Carbs and Fat are… we recommend 40/30/40 as a good starting point. Check out this article about balancing them.

Nutrient Quality

Quality is a big factor in satiety… because you and eat endless volumes of vegetables and it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever consume more calories that your goals allow for.

6 pack abs female
Valerie is a runner and improved composition and performance with nutrition changes!


Active Caloric Output

Exercising burns energy, but you want to make gains not just burn energy and that is important.

Passive Caloric Output

In order to shift the tide in our favor quickly we want to be burning more stored energy while we’re in a resting state. The best way to do that is to have as much muscle as possible. Muscle requires energy to be maintained, which means it’s constantly burning off available energy. The more you have the more of that, that happens on automatic. Improvements in BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) will come from good strength training.

Exercise selection

Exercise selection and programming will be important to gaining 6 pack abs quickly.

For active caloric output

Functional Movements are the most effective for a variety of reasons but ultimately they create the most power burn the most calories in addition to improving your physical skills.

For improving passive caloric output

For toning the abs

What now?

Get started on your own or with us and let us know how it goes!

Brian Zimmerman

Owner of CrossFit Jungle Gym