Since starting this site, I have been getting new readers from all around the world.  It is always a great experience when I get to connect with them.

Learning about how readers are incorporating the Viking Muscle training techniques into their own lives. 

A reader, Peter,  emailed me with his own very unique training system he was able to develop.  What makes  his situation interesting is the fact that Peter is currently working as a contractor in a small village in the Republic of Georgia, he has no access to a gym, treadmill, or any of the modern fitness facilities we so often take for granted.  This hasn’t stopped him from staying lean, fit, and Viking Strong!  Read his story below:


Long time reader, first time writer – howdy.

I’ve been reading your posts on Viking Muscle and they motivated me to get back into training mode. See, I am currently living in a remote area of the Republic of Georgia and the nearest gym is in Armenia, about 50+ miles away. I let the absence of a gym be an excuse not to work out, and just gave in to the country’s appetite for bread, dumplings, wine, and vodka.  After reading your Roaming Viking post on hotel room workouts, I realized I what a jackass I was … and how tubby I had become. So, I walked around my village looking for quality work out areas, and I found a trashed out old Soviet soccer stadium with a pull-up bar. From there, I found several other “tools” available to utilize as workout equipment. With the assistance of the Rocky IV soundtrack, I was able to get back in the game.

I created this workout based on the very limited tools I had at my disposal.

Below is a video I made of the workout. I tried to film everything, but I work out at 5am, and the footage was too dark to come through.

Peter broke his workout outline  into 3 sections:

  1. Forgotten Past of the Soviet era:  The primitive tools he used
  2. Rebirth in Capitalist Democracy:  What he used them for
  3. Training Montage: The prescription for using it in his workout.

Tool: The Pullup Bar

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The Pullup bar

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-Peter refers to Pullups as “The Staple of human civilization for strength“, The pullup bar was the cornerstone for his workouts as he describes below:[/column]

His routine looked like this:

  • Day 1: Five maximum effort sets. Rest 90 seconds between each set
  • Day 2: Pyramid Day. Start the pyramid with one repetition, the next set has two repetitions, the next has three. Continue in this fashion until you miss a set.
  • Day 3: Do three training sets with a normal overhand grip. Then do three training sets gripping the bar so that your palms are toward your face. Rest 60 seconds between each set.
  • Day 4: Do the maximum number of training sets that you can accomplish.
  • Day 5: Repeat the day that you found to be the hardest in the previous four days. This will change from week to week.

I went back to my Armstrong training that served me well while training for the Marine Physical Fitness Test (PFT). There are several available sites to check this out; but in short: Five sets to max out, Pyramid, then some variations overhand, under, mixed, then repeat.  I’m now back to doing 21 pullups when I max out!

Tool: A Heavy Stone

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American Style Stone Swings

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-Peter used a heavy stone to serve as a kettlebell, he used it to perform what he referred to as ‘American style Stone Swings‘:[/column]

I found a fairly heavy stone leaning between a tree and several broken beer bottles, in other words, I found gold. After dusting off the shattered glass, I had the perfect “ kettlebell” to do American over the head swings (none of the Russian crap).

Tool: Remains of stadium scaffolding

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Old Scaffolding

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-Peter used the remains of some stadium scaffolding to do Dips, GHD back extensions, and GHD sit-ups:[/column]

With a wooden plank laid across rusted out scaffolding, I could provide the proper platform for bent knee dips. Then, sitting or laying on the wooden plank, I could perform GHD back extensions and GHD sit-ups.

Tool: 40 year old running hurdle

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Overhead Press

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-Peter used a large old running hurdle to use as a bar for overhead presses:[/column]

This old hurdle stranded on the side of the stadium track was worn and heavy. Made of solid oak with iron legs, it was perfect for maxing out reps on overhead press.

Tool: A stadium of broken dreams

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The Stairs

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-Peter used the stadium to focus on his daily conditioning, running the stairs to supplement his workouts:[/column]

Granted, I did only a little of this given my inability to have high impact on my hip, but I would try and do some stair running to warm-up before a workout (though the broken glass and tumbleweeds made for tough terrain)

The world is our gym

Peter managed to squeeze a workout in several times each week.  He was a foreign contractor with no gym access and a very demanding schedule.  He shows us that with a little creativity and determination you can stay fit and healthy regardless of location or convenience. He ended his letter with this:

..Now, if I could only start following your “diet” posts, maybe I could lose some of the extra baggage. But for now, this Viking shall remain a little buoyant.

Thanks for the motivation, and reminding me that the world is our gym – it is up to us to utilize it.



If you have your own story or have a question for Peter, leave a comment below (or contact me)

Categories: Training

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