Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Basement Gym Series Part 2 - Plywood Wall and Abmat

Now for Part 2 in our Basement Gym series.... [did you miss part 1?  Click here]

Part of the inspiration for my basement gym comes from CrossFit R5 in Wayne, PA.  I've been to visit their sister gym CrossFit Mainline in Ardmore and both have a very clean and industrial, yet finished look.  What do you think?
Hammerhead Fitness specializes in outfitting gyms just like CrossFit Mainline in Ardmore, PA.  Need great equipment and great service?  See us.
Plywood on the rear wall and columns is both stylish and functional.

The plywood on the walls and on the support columns is a stellar idea.  When I think of what Wall Walks, Handstand practice and HSPU do to drywalled walls, the plywood is a perfect solution and it looks great.  And to add to the look, CrossFit MainLine took some silhouettes of their trainers in various exercise positions then painted in the outlines.  Brilliant.

So, the next addition to the Basement Gym is a 4' x 8' sheet of plywood that isn't quite as stylish as I want it to be yet, but we'll get to work fancy-ing it up in the coming weeks.  And with the plywood, I'm now able to work on Wall Walks, Handstands and Handstand Pushups which are an outstanding exercise for building shoulder strength.

I bought a book a few years ago titled "Building the Gymnastic Body" by Coach Summers.  It is an absolute gold mine filled with static holds, upper body pressing, multi plane pressing and other movements along with the proper progressions to build to some very advanced movements.  From L-Sits and Mannas to the Planche and Levers, this book is a really handy reference and guide.  By following this book I was able to build the strength a few years ago necessary to pull from the floor to a ring Muscle Up with hardly a kip.  And two great things about this book - minimal equipment is needed [parallelettes and gymnasics rings go a long way] and the workouts are quiet.  My wife and kiddos like that part - no dropping of weights in the basement at 5:30am :D

Along with the plywood, I'm opting to add an abmat to help with all the Handstand Pushups and Headstand practice that I'll put in over the winter.  The top of my head said 'thanks.'  Additionally, it will get plenty of use for several variations of sit ups.  As a side note, I heard some great advice from Greg Walsh, owner and head trainer at +Wolf Brigade Gym in Rochester, NY.  Greg and I were shooting some video [yep, more on that later] on different bodyweight exercises and while we were shooting the Abmat Situp, he told me how important it is to keep the Abmat behind you rather than underneath you.  When positioned under the hips [ie, you are nearly sitting on it], the abmat acts more as a fulcrum, providing assistance to the movement.  But, when placed visibly behind you as it is meant to be, the movement takes substantially more effort.  That was a great tip.  I definitely noticed a big difference.

So, now with a set of Gymnastics Rings, a plywood reinforced wall and an Abmat, I'm on my way to slowly building a great Basement Gym.

We've got a bunch more planned to build out the gym so stay tuned or better yet, subscribe  to our blog and get an email each time we publish.  Have a question on a product or want tips on how to install?  Just comment below and we'll get right back to you.

Now what are you doing?  Get out there and train!