How to Work out Low Tech

Sig Kleins gym 1940

Sigmond Kleins low tech Gym Circa 1940

“Effort is between you, and you, and nobody else”

Ray Lewis

I got inspired to write this piece today by reading a current blog post from Ross Enamait’s blog site at www. The article that intrigued me was about low tech training and how many athletes throughout the world, wrestlers from India, boxers from Uganda, and Mai Tai fighters form Thailand, train to become champions with little to no equipment while training in what we consider to be low tech gyms. I would like to agree with Mr. Enamait by writing about my story and humble beginnings into the world of muscle building and fitness.

Its funny how, as time moves on, we forget how we started on the road to a fitness lifestyle. Today we see all of the fitness gurus espousing the latest gadgets that we must have to get in shape. We see commercials for ab gadgets and also information downplaying the classic exercises like sit ups, which many say hurt our lower backs; so they say. You see, the exercises that worked 100 years ago like the classic sit up still works today. Your back should not get injured if you are training your back. If the great Otto Arco was alive today, try telling him that sit ups do not work for abdominal development. Arco built his body when there were no ab machines or all of the equipment advances we see today in many gyms; that did not exist back in the 1920’s.


Take a good look at Sigmund Klein’s gym from the 1930s and 40’s.

Sig Klein gym 1940 b

You will notice that there are no hammer strength machines, nautilus machines, universal multi-station machines and loads of angled benches and such. You will notice its simplicity. This tells us that all you need to succeed in building your body is desire; burning desire.

When I started training, I did not get my start in a commercial gym. I was born and raised in the ghetto and there were no gyms back then in the ghetto. All I had was a deep desire to build my body and build up my muscles. It all started back in 1980 when I was twelve years old. My mom bought me a grey and golden plastic set of weights totaling 110 pounds from a department store.

vinal weight sets

The weight set came with a little instruction poster on how to do the basic exercises with the weight set. I did not have a bench. What I did was go down to the bodega and ask the store keeper if he would give me two milk crates.


He did, and this became my bench. I put a folded bed sheet on top of the milk crates to lay on when doing bench presses and other pressing exercises. The exercises in the poster along with some body weight exercises are all I had to get started building my body along with a strong desire. The first actual bodybuilding book I ever purchased was Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder. In that book Arnold gives some basic routines to follow, which I did all in my little bed room. I would always workout after I came home from school and after a little nap. As time went on I obviously advanced upwards.

I have trained in many commercial gyms, but the bulk of my bodybuilding training takes place at my basement gym. I have trained in many places, mostly in low tech basement gyms, and I can truly say that my best training sessions were in basements and small rooms.

All you need is a deep burning desire to build your body. Once you have that everything else happens to appear.

Here is what you need for those wanting to get started this new year of 2014.

First, get yourself a good weight (barbell and Dumbbell) set (note: read The Home Gym Set Up).

Second, a multi purpose bench that inclines flattens and declines.

Third, squat stands for squatting and all of your pressing movements. You can also place the bar on the racks for chin ups.

And fourth, your body weight for push ups, chin ups, one leg pistol squats and handstand push ups along with many other great bodyweight exercises.

That is all that is needed for you to begin and make great gains. You see, simple and no fancy stuff.

Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy. Isaac Newton”

Go forth and be the man God meant you to be. Start training. A burning desire and the basics presented here is all you will ever need.

Happy New Year and God Bless.


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