Do you know how to take any workout and make it work for YOU?
We’ve seen it all over the fitness industry…
30 day workout programs that HAVE to be followed exactly as written.
Gyms that show the workout of the day, but don’t provide alternative options.
The problem is that when you’re told over and over again that your physical movement MUST follow a perfect set of rules - it can feel impossible to accomplish.
Nothing about your lifestyle is perfect.
You’re busy running around from work - to kids - to errands.
You get sick, cater to injuries, and experience massive shifts in your daily rhythms.
So how are you supposed to follow a “perfect plan” and take care of your body, while living a chaotic, less than perfect life?
It’s time to throw out the lie that you have been told - that fitness has to be all or nothing.
It’s time to give yourself permission to find confidence in making “customizations” to your training plan.
It’s time to allow room for more than nothing to be enough sometimes.
So, what exactly do we mean by “customize”??
Know the intended stimulus and then customize the workout so you can meet that goal.
When we write workouts for our Street Parking members, we have the goals and intended stimulus for each workout mapped out. So yes, there is a strategy behind our programming and we are looking for specific intensity levels, rounds, reps, how much work you’ll do in that time period, pace you want you to keep, etc.
But...with over 30,000 people looking at the same framework of a workout, if everyone did the workout EXACTLY as written, they’d get something completely different out of it.
Here’s an example of what we mean:
20 min AMRAP
(As Many Rounds and Reps as Possible in 20 Minutes)
4 Strict Pull Ups
8 Push Up + Tap + Tap
12 Air Squats
Score: Total Number of Completed Rounds + any Additional Reps
Goal: 12 - 16 Rounds
In order to meet this goal you need to complete 1 round every 90 seconds or so for the entire 20 minutes. You should not be doing 1 round a minute - or faster.
So, let’s say you see this workout and as of right now you can do a pushup, but in between your first and second pushup attempt you need a 10 second break. In order to meet the intended stimulus goal of this workout (move with a steady pace the entire time), do you think you should attempt to do the 8 push up tap + taps as written - OR - would it make more sense to customize that movement and perform those push ups from your knees, since you can do sets of 4 pretty easily?
Realistically for this workout, we’re looking to perform those 8 push ups in a maximum of 2 sets, so customizing to bent knee push ups would be a great choice for you on this workout. You would also see the option to take it even further to an elevated push up + tap + tap if needed.
Are all of these movements easy for you? No problem. Street Parking Members would see options to increase reps, weight, or put on a weight vest - if they need an extra challenge to keep them in the goal range (because we have some pretty impressively fit members in our ranks).
You then use that same logic for the pull up - maybe choosing a banded pull up or ring row instead. Not making them “easy” - but kept at the pace this workout is looking for. Maybe you squat to a target - or lower the number of reps for the squat.
You really can’t mess this up! Even if you choose the wrong customization for any given workout - you should feel you have the freedom to call an audible halfway through. Or, simply take note of where you could have made a better choice for next time.
Look at the intended stimulus and goal for that day and customize the movements, reps, or weights to match today’s needs.
Customization allows you to implement pieces of equipment and/or movements that aren’t programmed in the workout.
- Does the workout have barbell squat cleans programmed but you’re on a work trip and only have access to a hotel gym? Swap out the barbell for dumbbell squat cleans. (We provide this type of information to Street Parking Members every single day).
- Slam a tire with a sledge hammer instead of doing slam balls. Flip the tire in place of programmed power cleans.
- The workout has 4 rounds of 50 double unders but you want to jump over the dumbbell in its place? How do you calculate how many dumbbell jump overs you should do? Test it out. Set a timer, see how long it takes you to do 50 double unders. 45 seconds? Ok cool. Now during the workout, jump over the dumbbell for 45 seconds in place of the 50 double unders.
- Instead of doing a clean and jerk with a barbell, pick up and toss a sandbag over your pullup bar.
There are so many different ways to switch out equipment pieces and movements to make a workout match your needs, environment, and desires.
Really struggle with knowing how to switch out equipment and movements? The main goal is to notice similar movement patterns. An explosive pull from the ground in the power clean is the same as in a tire flip, or a sandbag over the shoulder. See what we mean?
Inside the Street Parking Members Only Facebook group, there is a lot of coaching and member support to answer these types of questions.
Remember why you’re doing this in the first place.
A simple way to figure out how to customize your workout for the day is to ask yourself why you’re working out that day in the first place.
- To feel like you did better than someone else you may not even know?
- To get a certain body composition?
- To get your mental health in the right place and feel more confident in your body?
Take that into your workouts and it can help you adjust your workout based on your goals. (Btw, it’s ok if this changes day to day.)
Some days your kids will be in the garage so you’ll swap out the barbell for a sandbag for safety reasons.
Some days you won’t want to warm up so you’ll pick a lighter weighted dumbbell and just jump right into the workout.
Some days you’ll want to test yourself. The toe to bar rep scheme says 12 but you’re just learning how to do them so instead you’ll make a goal of stringing 3 together. But you also don’t want to miss the intended stimulus goal so you’ll customize it by doing 3 toe to bar + 9 V ups.
Don’t let a variety of options overwhelm you.
Inside the Street Parking membership, we have a solid selection of workout options. This isn’t to confuse our members. It’s to provide them with the options that best suit their current fitness needs and desires.
So instead of getting overwhelmed by the options, just figure out where you’re currently at.
- General fitness and body composition goals? Hit the main, daily workout with intensity. Start there and commit to doing that and only that for the next 3 months.
- If you love lifting, throw one olympic lifting workout into the mix (we release a new OLY workout every week in the Accessories section)
- How much time do you have? 20 minutes? Do the daily, general workout. 60 minutes? Do the daily, general workout and add in one of the push up accessory workouts 3 times per week.
Our purpose is to provide any and all options that help you maintain consistency with your fitness. Our variety of options gives you choices and those choices help you pick what’s right for you, right now. Pick whatever option makes your heart happy, take your time, and most importantly, be consistent.
Customize your workout in the MIDDLE of the workout.
If you’ve been conditioned to view your fitness as an all or nothing deal, this one can really kick you in the butt mentally.
Especially when you’re in the middle of the workout, you’ve already committed to what you’re doing.
So what can you do if you’re just not feeling it today, the weight is too heavy, the weight is too easy, or you realize that you need to adjust the rep scheme in order to hit the intended stimulus of the workout?
Exactly. You can customize your workout in the middle of doing it.
- If you are having a day where you’re really not feeling like working out or you’re just lacking time to get a good warmup in. That’s fine. Pick a lighter weight and jump right into the workout. This is essentially using the earlier rounds as warm up rounds. Then as the workout progresses, stay where you’re at, or if you really want to, switch to a heavier weight
- Let’s say you’re in the middle of a workout, realize you put way too much weight on the bar, and you’re positive you’re not going to hit the intended stimulus of the workout. Shed some weight off the bar and keep going!
- Maybe you start the workout with the weights you’re accustomed to using, but somewhere during round 2 you realize this weight feels easier than usual. Awesome! You’re getting stronger! Go grab a heavier weight and keep going!
Do you see how easy it really is to customize your workouts to make them work for you?
The options are there. You just need to give yourself permission to ditch the lie that your fitness has to be perfect and allow yourself to enjoy your FITNESS FREEDOM, over and over again.
At Street Parking, we want you to eventually get to a point where you’re able to look at a workout, see the goal and stimulus, and then customize it based on your current skill sets, current needs, and desires.