No Excuse to Squat!

“Creativity doesn’t wait for that perfect moment. It fashions its own perfect moments out of ordinary ones.” — Bruce Garrabrandt

When government announced lock down and gym must be closed few weeks ago, my soul cried inside! I was finally in the ‘gain’ moment  after months of stagnation…. and if you’re not a beginner lifter anymore, you know how valuable that moment is…..but hey – it is what it is. I can’t be too selfish, complaining about gym closure when we have bigger issues to solve.

So – I sucked it up and tried to find alternatives.

I live in a typical London flat with limited space and after sometimes, I managed to create a workout station on my balcony. This is the first time I’m thankful living on the ground floor flat as that means less worry about breaking my neighbour ceiling.

First step is having a barbell. I only had a barbell (15kg, olympic barbell) on week 5. I know bar is one thing we should invest (as in, buy they very good quality one) but I still didn’t feel to get the high end one such as Eleiko as I don’t have a proper gym space. I tried to be patience waiting for a more affordable one. After searching, waiting, and stalking on as many website as possible, finally, I managed to get it from Strengthshop UK. This bar is not bad for the price and it was delivered within 3 working days! It holds 90kg max for weightlifting movement which is more than enough for me at the moment (considering my clean and jerk is still at 70kg!). The surface is a bit rough but it gets better overtime. It ripped my trousers and hands in the beginning but it becomes smoother over time.

Second step is getting plates. Damn man! I got this on week 7. I ordered from Fitkit and it came after 3 weeks. Not the fastest one but it came eventually. I got the Jordan brand ones and it is okay. It’s the rubber one with black colour like what most commercial gyms have.

When I got those 2 main gears, I felt ready to lift again. This is my second week of training with weight and it felt so good.

However, three important things I have not had yet: squat racks, good flooring, crash mats (or something else) that can reduce the noise when I drop the bar.

Now… this is time to get creative.

I use old pillow that doesn’t really help much as crash mats. This been said, this means I can’t really drop the bar and try to put the bar down nicely on every reps and sets. Painful but better than nothing.

For squat rack… things get tricky!

Homemade squat rack. Not the strongest but it does the job.
Homemade squat rack. Not the strongest but it does the job.

I can’t always clean my back squat weight. It’s also get very tiring! Thus, I’m trying to be creative here. Obviously, since this is only the second week I’m back from 5weeks off, my weight is moderately light. If your squat is 200kg, it might be harder to put it on top of a box like that. (If you try it tho, let me know – I’m curious!). I’m silently hoping when the intensity increases, gym will be open or I will have squat rack by then.

I am highly aware that not everyone is lucky enough to have a space to do things they want. So, I’m more than thankful to gradually have things I want to do things I love. And today… I’m so proud of finding away to have my home made squat rack! Not perfect, but we’ll get there.

So – hey dull moment, you lose! I successfully made it more colourful with my creativity!



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