No Equipment. No Problem.

By Jack Newcombe

November 26, 2014 5 min read

Go to almost any Starbucks in Los Angeles or New York and you will find people sitting on communal furniture, working on their laptops.

It's death, taxes and people on their laptops at Starbucks.

Some write screenplays, and others update resumes. Some surf Facebook, and others have fallen far down the Wikipedia rabbit hole.

All of them are together.

Most people do not sit and stay at Starbucks for the free Wi-Fi and iced caramel macchiatos. They stay because life is meant to be a shared experience and they do not want to be alone. By sitting next to a stranger, they are creating an environment that energizes them and helps them be more productive and feel better about themselves. They overcome the mental hurdle of not wanting to feel alone by surrounding themselves with other people.

Similarly, the biggest hurdle for people when it comes working out is their mind.

Our minds are extremely powerful. They can come up with amazing excuses. "I don't have the time. I don't belong to a gym. I don't own any equipment. I don't like running."

There is a simple (not easy) way to get an amazing, full-body workout with zero equipment. But first, you must get your mind in the right state.

Let's start with space. If you're climbing over baby toys, you're not going to be mentally focused. Clear some space. You do not need a lot. At least the size of a beach towel or yoga mat.

Next is sound. Get some music going. If you really want to get in the zone, put your ear buds in and crank the music loud. Our senses are related. If you are hearing high-energy music, your natural energy level will increase. Conversely, if you listen to a lecture on paint drying, your energy will decrease.

Another alternative to pump-up music is something that will distract you. Find a series on Netflix that you missed. Discipline yourself to only watch it while you work out. You'll blow through "Breaking Bad" and fit into a smaller size before you know it. It's a win-win.

Look the part. Put on workout clothes as if you are going to the gym. It is like working from home. Yes, you could stay in pajamas, but forcing yourself to take a shower and put clothes on will help you get in the right frame of mind to do work.

Once you have your space, your tunes and your threads, you are ready to work.

There are four basic exercises that you can do with no equipment.

First is the squat. This works the majority of the legs, especially the front (quadriceps). Keep your chest lifted. Stick your backside out. Go as far down as you can and come up. One trick is to stare up at the ceiling. This forces you to keep your head up and have proper form.

Next is the lunge. This works the back of the legs, specifically the hamstrings, groin and glutes. When you step out, make sure that your ankle is in line with your knee. You want to create a 90-degree angle with your front knee and back knee.

Working our way up the body, we have come to the core -- specifically, the plank. Hands are directly underneath your shoulders. You want to create a flat, diagonal line with your body so that your hips are not too high or too low.

Finally, we have the pushup. Starting in your plank position, lower your body all the way to the ground and push up. Elbows should go back (behind you) as you lower yourself down. You can drop down to one knee or two to take the pressure off your upper body.

There are limitless variations and derivatives of those basic exercises that can be found with a quick Google or YouTube search. An easy tip is to add jumping to any exercise to make it harder.

That's the thing. It isn't about the workout. It never is. Everyone knows you could go for a jog or do pushups, and you will get tired eventually. It's about getting the right mentality and getting yourself psyched, but more importantly, focused on what you're doing. Once your mentality is there, you can work out anywhere (except Starbucks).

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