Reconsider what it means to be truly strong because this new way of training kicks sand in the face of conventional gym work, giving you a higher calorie burn and a body impervious to injury.

Lifting your bodyweight or doing gym workouts is a pursuit rife with symmetry, balance and equilibrium.

EXPERT: Kevin Kearns
Nutrition consultant, author of Always Picked Last and strength and conditioning coach specializing in aging (


Non-gym workout using unconventional equipment for the 40+ guy

While that’s an excellent place to lay down a base of strength, often you need the power to shift objects that aren’t weighted equally.

Life happens and is fiercely unpredictable so you need to prepare for it wisely.

Changing a flat tire, lifting the new couch off your roof racks or helping one of your crew move house, will suddenly teach you that you’re not quite as fit or prepared as your conventional training methods would lead you to believe.

Let me tell you when that happens, you are going to wish that you were working with some odd objects that are closer to the challenges you’ll find out there in the real world.

The good news is: you don’t need to spend too much in cash to get this kind of injury-proofing power, because there’s a good chance all you need is a trip to your shed.


Equip yourself

The entire list might set you back a whole $100, but it’s worth getting friendly with local junkyards and tractor tire places.

They always want to get rid of junk and will dump it for zero. Here are some sample workouts that will get you ready for anything.

Do 1-3 sets on each move for 30-60 seconds and repeat this 3-4 times per week, with little or no rest between the exercises.


1. Roof blocks with sledgehammers

Holding two small 2-4lb hammers, stand with your knees slightly bent.

Take your opposite arm and fold the hammer down as you swing it around the opposite side of your head.


2. Lunge and iron T

With the small sledgehammers still in your hand, place them behind your head with your elbows bent.

Now lunge forward and extend the hammers with your arms to your sides.


3. Thor’s hammers

Sitting on the floor with your legs elevated and knees bent with your bully button pulled in to protect your back, join the hammers together as you roof block them around your head.

Then repeat on the opposite side.


4. Jug swings

Do this just the same as a kettlebell swing. Stand with your knees bent, leaning forward with your back flat and the jug between your legs.

With one explosive motion, snap your hips and swing the jug until it’s at shoulder height, then return the jug to its original position.


non-gym workout


5. Jug snatch

In the same position as the previous move, place the jug between your legs and with one motion, pull it up to the extended arm position by exploding through the feet and pulling from your traps.

Then, return to start.


6. Heavy tire carries

Stand holding the tire with your hands in a reverse grip. Squat down then lift it up with your legs and upper body.

Either try walking with it or return to the floor and keep repping out.


7. The famous tire flips

Squat down on one side the of the tire. Get low and fit your hands in under the tire.

With head up and back flat, use your legs and upper body to lift the tire up until your body is in a position to tip it over. Then repeat again until you throw up.


8. Beer keg slams

Take the empty keg, lift it over your head and smash it on the soft floor. Take care not to hit your knees.


9. Cinder block farmer carries

Hold a cinder block in each hand and walk a designated amount of yards.


10. Water-filled stability ball

Grab the stability ball if you can, then squat down and press it to your chest, then overhead.


11. Rope jumping jacks

Hold the rope loosely in your hands and then perform a jumping jack.


12. Manhole cover pick ups

Grab the manhole cover where you can and try and squat down as you hold it in any way comfortable.


13. Sandbag rotational side-to-side toss

Hold a sandbag in your arms then squat down.

As you rotate, throw it to the other side and catch it on the opposite side. Now go back and forth.


What about the bench?

Bench pressing is great when you have a fridge parked on your chest. This drill turns into skills when it’s needed most for the over-40 guy.

Your body is changing and if you stick to uniplanar activities you are more likely to get injured. Most injuries happen in the rotational and lateral planes of motion, unlike most gym exercises.

Activating the three planes of human motion ensures your body will be ready for any activities. Such as picking up a basketball or softball.

By using more muscles, you cull more calories and waste less time in the gym.


Why it’s good for the 40+ guy


1. Boredom buster

There are plenty of new firsts on offer with this equipment which challenges body and mind.

2. Monster calorie burn

Kick your ass into his gear and burn more calories, since awkward lifts force you to adjust and use muscles you did not know you had.

3.Mental toughness

“Hey, I carried a 250lb tire 100 yards, so I can do anything I put my mind to.”


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