QnA - Workout at Home with this One Piece of Equipment

Friday QnA with Strength Coach Drew Jamieson

Question: I’m having a hard time getting to the gym these days, if I had to invest in one piece of equipment to workout with at home what would you recommend?

Dale Howes, Maryland

Answer: Believe it or not even without equipment you can get in an amazing full body workout. However by adding a pull-up bar there’s no part of your body you can’t hit.

That would be my “bootstrap budget” suggestion if you’re looking for an easy way to stay fit and lean in the comfort of your own home.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to build some muscle you are going to need something a little heavier than your own body. For this I’ll digress to Tim Ferriss and his experiments in his book the 4-hour body.

He found the one and only piece of equipment he needed was a kettlebell of around 40-50 pounds. By working out 3 times per week for 20-25 minutes performing the kettlebell swing for 75-150 reps total (he worked up over several weeks), he was able to get ripped and pack on muscle. It should also be noted that beside the kettlebell swing he did body weight push ups, pull ups and abdominal work.

If I was strapped for cash (which I am, being a student) and wanted a makeshift gym for my house I’d invest in 2 things: a kettlebell and pull up bar. With those 2 pieces of equipment you can train for virtually anything.

Not sold on kettlebells and pullup bars… try this body-weight program designed by my good buddies Adam Steer and Ryan Murdock.

Question: My girlfriend really wants me to do this 10 day cleanse with her. I read that Sean did one a few weeks back… Will I lose muscle during the process? Is there an easy cleanse or detox for beginners?

Mich Salesbury, Andover, MA

kettlebell home workoutAnswer: With so many detox options out there these days i feel your pain when trying to decide which one will serve you best.

10 days seems to be a common factor among detoxes and they can often be quite costly. It will be a strong test of willpower, as not eating for that length of time is a challenge mentally and physically.

My suggestion would be start with a 2-3 day master cleanse detox or a 2-3 day juice fast. The reason is this- I would prefer to start with an achievable goal (2-3 days) before setting the bar high at 10 days, especially if you are a beginner and have not had any experience with detoxing in the past.

Once you know what it is like to go without food for a couple of days you will have a better understanding when you shoot for the full 10.

The master cleanse is very popular in the detox world and involves 8-12 (8 ounce glasses of water) with each glass containing 2 tbsp of lemon juice, 2 tbsp of pure maple syrup and a pinch of cayenne pepper. It’s also suggested that you take a herbal laxative tea before bedtime and first thing in the morning to keep things moving with the lack of food you will be consuming.

The juice fast option is the one I prefer, ensures you still give the body a break but also provides all the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs. This protocol comes from one of my favorite strength coaches- Chad Waterbury where he says to drink the following concoction 3-4 times per day: 2 carrots, 1-2 celery stalks, 1-2 beets, 1 large cucumber. Juice those all together and throw in a pinch of salt.

Back to your original question on losing muscle over the course of 10 days…

It’s hard for me to flat out say no. The weight you lose during 10 days without eating will contain some muscle, as protein is essential and will be needed by your body at some point. However if you don’t make a habit out of detoxing all the time and continue to train with weights the effect will be negligible and your body will thank you.

Great questions, keep them coming.

Stay Strong,


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