The pandemic has made prisoners of us all in one way or another. This blog is read across the globe so your home country may allow you freedom to roam or you may be in your second or third lockdown, memories of the trail and its infinite possibilities for adventure becoming more and more distant.
If your usual way of keeping fit involves your love of the outdoors it’s highly likely that you’re not in the best shape of your life right now. Calling all climbers, kayakers, hikers, trail runners, downhill mountain bikers, and every sport and hobby in between that requires the great outdoors to function. Let’s not lose the physical power of our bodies as we slowly evolve into armchair adventurers.
If you want to become strong whilst becoming ‘fatigue resistant’ as our featured hero says, read on to find out how you can get insanely fit at home with no gimmicks or sales tricks using very little to zero equipment. Be warned though, these workouts are hard as hell but the rewards could last for a lifetime.
The Making Of a Man
Artur Shvartsberg is a Russian immigrant who moved to Brooklyn, New York at just seven years old after the fall of the Soviet Union. By the time he reached his teens, Artur was lost and confused, swallowed by the big city, getting into a lot of trouble and lacking discipline and direction. The heady mix of hormones and situational problems became the catalyst that inspired him to join the US Marine Corps.
This intrepid Marine’s first introduction to calisthenics was during his first deployment to Afghanistan in 2009. “Our patrol base was in a very rugged and austere environment. Myself and some of my fellow marines built a pullup and dip bar from some scrap wood. I quickly learned that you need minimal resources to be physically fit and so my journey began” says Shvartsberg.
Artur is now known to many as Iron Wolf, his YouTube persona. He may be a small fish in a huge ocean in Youtube’s standards as he has recently reached 100,000 subscribers. But his channel is growing fast day by day thanks to his ‘zero fluff’ approach to fitness.
His workouts always feature sickeningly high numbers of reps which unlike other YouTube channels he records in full, showing off his own incredible cardiovascular endurance and well-conditioned strength. Every rep is executed in perfect form from the first to the thousandth.
It’s essential to watch his videos before taking on the various routines and workout plans that you will find in his Community section. There’s a whole bunch of new lingo to learn associated with military-style calisthenics, and Wolf’s videos help you understand the meaning of these alien exercises.
It takes a little while to get your head around the difference between a six-count burpee and a five-pump burpee. Then bodybuilders, flutter kicks, and pullup variations come into play, never mind the soul-crushing and collectively dreaded navy seals. Don’t worry if none of that made sense to you; just watch a couple videos, and you will soon be schooled. For those who are really curious though, here’s what a navy seal burpee is:
Squat down, place your hands on the floor and kick your legs out, perform a pushup. Left knee to left elbow and back again, perform a pushup. Right knee to right elbow and back again, another pushup. Bring your feet back to your hands and stand up.
Note that Iron Wolf has a few videos where he performs 500 of these.
Iron Wolf’s channel features what is definitely one of the most motivational, polite, and informative communities on YouTube. His fitness fanatic fans and converts are affectionately referred to as the Wolf Pack. No other comment section on the video hosting goliath is as reliable and consistent with its positive approach to fitness.
Iron Wolf himself is active in his videos’ comment sections, where he often answers questions and replies to future video requests. This one-man band really does want to inspire his fans to become more disciplined in their fitness routines.
He often performs live workouts where he will interact with his audience via chat. He also hosts Q and A videos and shorter segments highlighting tips and tricks such as the right supplements to take to maintain good joint health. All of these videos are filmed at the various locations he is stationed at during his military career.
Reps for Adventure
Are you inspired or petrified? Iron Wolf’s channel could be mistaken for a strange place where you can watch a man do a thousand burpees in a row while you snack yourself silly from the comfort of your own home. But his videos are really a testament to these routines’ realness and the results they can deliver. Eat clean, train hard, and you will become the well-oiled machine you once were.
So, where should you start? The channel may be a bit of a minefield at first but for a zero to hero routine (some conditioning is recommended before starting any package), try one of the three following routines from last December:
If there’s any new terminology in these routines that you don’t understand, just search for the exercise in question on Wolf’s channel, and you will soon see for yourself exactly how to perform it. The exercises are all very basic and can be picked up quickly, however as Artur states, “simple does not mean easy.”
Vaccines are now rolling out globally; countries such as Georgia are even opening back up for international travel. The whole globe is waking up, and life with any luck will soon be returning to normal. When you get that first phone call off a fellow outdoors addict to hit the trail or do some open water swimming, make sure that your body and mind are ready.
Embrace a new mantra and become ‘fatigue resistant.’ Now that you know what can be achieved within the same four walls that have imprisoned you during the pandemic, there’s no excuse.
It’s time to train, the wild is calling.