I was working out at the gym in between training sessions a few years ago, and this really wiry older guy who often came in with cut off jean shorts and a red tank top was doing one of his unique workouts. The exercises within his workouts were different each time he came in, but the workouts were always brisk and he typically moved straight from one exercise to the next with little to no rest.
On this day he was doing all of his workout within one of the squat racks; push-up’s, squats, abdominal movements, and lots of various stretching I had not seen before (or since). They seemed to be a hybrid of Ballet and Caoperia. As he did rapid side bends, (using momentum to violently extend the stretch,) I curiously asked what kind of workout he was doing today. He talked really fast, and left out the last letter of each word, but was easy enought to understand; “Man, my buddy worked in a nuclear submarine, all he said all you need is a 4 by 4 foot space,” he replied before diving down into a rapid set of close grip push-up’s. “Yup, this is all you need,” he remarked as he mimicked having only five feet of head room and proceeded into a set of squats, where he only rose up 3/4 of the way.
His methodology may have been unorthodox, but his message was 100% true even if he didn’t say it; “it’s not the space that defines you.”
Anyone who has participated in a martial arts class, bootcamp style class, any type of bodyweight training, or most any Eastern style workouts can attest to this truth. Yet so often when working out a commerical gym, you’ll hear someone lament that they don’t have a certain piece of equipment. Sometimes it’s a valid complaint (no squat rack, medicine balls, or jump rope!?) other times it’s the wish that some fancy piece of equipment were available that wasn’t. Or it could even be at home doing a workout, “If only I had that set of spanx I’d be making my way through this workout soo much more efficiently.”
Truthfully though, you can get as ripped as you please, without all the unecessary necessaries. Sprinting, Push-up’s, pull-up’s, squats, lunges, step-up’s, box jump’s, swimming, stair climbing, are just a few examples of the very best exercises you can do and none of them require any equipment-just a little creativity (tree limb for a pull-up bar, truck bed for a box jump landing, a hill for incline running, etc.)
As long as the consistency and intensity is there, then the definition will be too, it doesn’t matter the space.