Unconventional Training – What is it?.
I was first introduced to the term “Unconventional Training” by Mark De Grasse, through a previous website and magazine publication that he created called My Mad Methods. He has been a super inspiration to me, in particular giving me 100% certainty on my career direction in the fitness industry. Mark now writes for a company called Onnit, he has since started up his new website http://markdegrasse.com/ and I urge everyone to check out his stuff.
Unconventional training includes the use of training tools that typically are not so common in our conventional training gyms. These include sandbags, kettlebells, battling ropes, sledgehammers, tyres, etc. Body weight training is also a huge component of unconventional training methods, and include some of the most basic exercises that will blow you away with regards to how effective they are.
Personally I never owned a gym membership until I was 34. At this age, I finished playing rugby and no longer had sport as my means of keeping fit, so I tried out going to the gym but was far from satisfied. Doing bench press and bicep curls just didn’t cut the mustard. It was nowhere near as much fun as when I was training with the team on the footy oval. Flipping or dragging tyres, squatting and fireman carries with a team mate sitting on your shoulders, commando crawls, leap frogs, burpees, agility drills, sprints, etc…I loved it and it was this style of training that formed the foundation for our strength and conditioning.
These days however, Australian gyms are starting to catch on and there appears to be a movement in the right direction. Many gyms are making way for a portion of their floor space to be dedicated to these functional and fun training methods. In my mind, whilst I have so much more to learn, I do believe mainstream gyms have a long way to go.
Now, the exercises I mentioned above on the training paddock at rugby may not appeal you, but the good news is, that unconventional training is limitless and I guarantee it will have you covered with exercises suitable for every level. Unconventional training is also fun, and is such a break from the norm. You get such a great feeling of accomplishment after you have learnt some of these moves, let alone the feeling you get after you’ve done an entire workout. Exercises that you may think are beyond you, I can tell you they aren’t. It takes just a little bit of education and some practice, then viola and away you go.
The best thing about unconventional training, and equal to its “fun” factor, is it’s effectiveness. This style of training is arguably the most effective way to achieve peak physical conditioning. These methods are used by many different groups for whom there is no option other than to be at your peak. Some of these groups include: