Friday, 20 August 2010


I have spent the last week in London on business.  Training has had to adapt.  Hotel rooms are dull places and hotel gyms are as far from paleo as you can imagine - typically comprising of a small room with a long mirrored wall, piped music/wall-mounted TV, some dumbells with biscuit-sized weights on each end, a stationary bike or treadmill and that is about it.  The gym at the Copthorne Tara Hotel in Kensington was no exception.  No pull up bar is a real shocker, even for a Crap Gym.

However, there are a broad range of bodyweight exercises that you can perform on the wild plains of your room and (if you are prepared to pull the desk out), even the odd body lever and table-climbing workout is feasible.

My exercises of choice centered around planches, press ups and pistols.  A couple of nights I did 3-5 sets in good form, with reps in the 20s/5-8 range (and assisted/made difficult when/where necessary).

Having planned/executed my main workout, as an extra challenge I tried an HSPU.  To my amazement I found that I can do a quality HSPU against a wall.! Taking around four minutes I managed another and on one occasion I did two - through a full range of motion and in complete control.  I think I did around 8 sets  in all. 

Too the man with a hammer, all the world is a nail!
So, having figured that I can HSPU (albeit against a wall), I have taken to a greasing the groove approach and am nailing one at regular opportunities throughout the day, most days. 

I am not sure where this ability has come from (I have managed them over a limited arm movement range since last year, and with a bit of heel-assistance), but am keen to develop it.  My shoulders are feeling good and the levers are progressing.  Planches less so.

It is about time I mixed up my training schedule again so that will be this week's task.  Emphasis will be on strength and on nailing the 2xBW DL and getting the OAC before Christmas.  Third place will go to progressing on my planche, but as my legs and butt get bigger due to the DL and Pistol work, planching is only going to get harder!


Methuselah said...

Well done - full handstand push ups against the wall are something I aspire to. I have spent many a night in hotels making the best of what's available - this is one I sometimes do, although you take your life into your hands with some of those flimsy desks!

Asclepius said...

Yeah, a full HSPU - even against a wall - is a big tick (I am 84kgs). Got to nail the freestanding version now!

There is a nice intermittent stage to work towards where you go from a handstand (freestanding) and do a kind of flicked reverse leg lift to get up in to a handstand.

As furniture goes, flimsy desks indeed offer an adrenaline packed piece of hotel room training! Think I will be a bit more discerning in my choice of hotel in future.

Ian - HomeWorkoutBlog said...

Nice work on the HSPU.

I have been adding partial rep HSPUs at the beginning of each of my workouts as part of a warmup, and have been impressed with my progress over the last couple months.

Shoot, 9 months ago, I separated my shoulder and could barely do wall pushups!

Anyways, nice work with the travel workout. Those hotel gyms are pretty depressing...

Thanks for the post,


Asclepius said...

"Shoot, 9 months ago, I separated my shoulder and could barely do wall pushups!"

Ouch! Sounds VERY painful.