What is unconventional training and how to get started
The word ‘unconventional’ is defined as meaning ‘not based on or conforming to what is generally done or believed’. And it is the same with unconventional training methods. Welcome to unconventional training 101 – your quick reference guide!
What is unconventional training? Well, unconventional training is going against the norm, or the standard. Breaking the mould and moving in new, innovative and more healthy ways. We can also view unconventional training as functional training.
How do we work with unconventional training? We use compound movements that we use in everyday life and add in different stimulus in different ways as opposed to the standard.
But how does that benefit us as athletes? Well, for starters it means we master movement, and the ways in which are body moves throughout life, not just in the gym. Unconventional training also keeps our work varied, as we use differing pieces of equipment and planes of motion. This means that our body is always adapting to new stimuli, which means we will build muscle mass and strength more efficiently whilst also strengthening our connective tissues and improving our joint health.
Is there equipment I should be using? The wonderful thing about unconventional training as that there are so many options here, depending on what you enjoy! We can use Kettle bells, Maces, Indian Clubs, Skipping Ropes, Ankle Weights, Battle Ropes, Squat Ramps and more. All of which are available at Gravity Fitness. We have a dedicated store for unconventional and functional fitness, go check it out
If you want to be able to practice unconventional training at home, or on the go outside of a gym environment, you can’t go wrong with Indian Clubs, a Skipping Rope and Squat Ramps. These three pieces of equipment can help you master full body unconventional training.
Squat Ramps allow us to practice lower body movements, by elevating the heel or the toe, to increase range and work different musculature through the VMO Squat & VMO Glute Squat, the ATG Split Squat, the ATG calf raise, Jefferson Curls and the ATG squat. Being an ATG qualified coach myself, I know the importance of lower body work, and using squat ramps has helped my clients improve their joint health, build strength and alleviate pain.
A Skipping Rope allows us to build endurance, work on our cardiovascular health and keep active, and it can be done in a small space, plus get outside in the fresh air! There are different steps and feet movements we can work on, which also helps our hand eye coordination. We can use Skipping as an interval too in our workouts to maximise effort and helo our speed and power.
Indian Clubs are a fantastic way of building all round joint health as they allow us to work unilaterally (one side of the body) or bilaterally (both sides of the body) with maximum range of motion. Mostly used for shoulder and wrist work, Indian Clubs can also be used in squats and lifts too!
To sum things up, unconventional training is the best way to keep all round body health and fitness at your maximum level, allowing you to work on building strength, muscle, strengthening your connective tissues and improving your joint health. You can get started in a gym environment or at home! We’d love to see your unconventional training styles so tag us @gravity.fitness so we can see how unconventional you can be! And check out the Gravity Fitness YouTube channel for helpful tips and tricks on all things unconventional. Also check out our unconventional training store page for all your unconventional training kit needs.
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