Over the past two months I’ve built over 100 at-home workouts.

That’s not many (I’ve done a lot more) but considering every client had radically different equipment (not to mention different goals and needs) I can honestly say I’ve never had my programming skills challenged to such a degree.

But it’s my coaching skills beyond the programming that have been really put to the test.

For years I’ve written about stress and how training programs should be based upon lifestyle and available resources (i.e., free time, sleep), and not the other way around.

I thought I had a pretty good grasp of it.

Then along came Covid-19.

Suddenly life stress and uncertainly were cranked up to 11, while at the same time our ideal coping strategies (the gym, physical contact) were cruelly pulled off the table.

A perfect storm for stress. You can even see it on this very medium — every discussion quickly devolves into over the top posturing and ego-driven dick swinging.

It’s been especially apparent in my client checkins, where I can drill down a little.

The connections between life stress-sleep-training-diet-cravings-body composition-scale weight jumped from the screen.

I used to say “everything is connected.” I had not idea how much.

– – –

What does that have to do with building a home gym?

Once you’ve been around a while you figure out that the rewards from training aren’t found at the finish line but in the daily process.

You also realize that it’s so much more than sets and reps and endless selfies on social media.

Yet after seeing the effect of the gym getting taken away from so many clients (including myself), and then watching them flourish again with just basic equipment and good programming, I realized something:

The gym is YOU.

Much like you don’t have to go to school to be a student or even go to church every Sunday to be a person of faith, the gym is whatever you make it.

You, your dedication, your commitment to the daily process — you ARE the gym.

The barbells and benches and dumbbells are just helpful tools. They don’t do a damn thing on their own.

Don’t believe me? When the lights get turned back on go join any big, well equipped fitness center. Take note of the physiques you see.

Now disappear and come back a year later. Most of the same people will still be there.

And despite the incredible array of equipment available, most will look exactly the same.

Because the real gym, the one housing your discipline and commitment and work ethic, is inside you.

– – –

Having made this mental shift I’m very excited for the future of training and fitness.

One that puts effort, commitment, and expertise above equipment, ego, and small-minded bullshit.

I’m excited to guide my clients through the journey, no matter what they have for weights.

And I’m even exited to start a new 12 week training block of my own, with just few a basic tools in my little basement bar turned gym.

Okay now a gym + post workout bar #WhiskeyIsAnabolic.

I know now for certain that I’ve got all the equipment I need.

So do you.