From Ultimate Party Animal to Physically fit like an Animal
So you spent yet another weekend partying with your friends – the keg was tapped around mid-afternoon on Friday and the beer kept flowing freely until the wee hours of Sunday morning. It seemed as though the festivities would never end, but upon slowly and painfully rising during the afternoon light of Sunday, you came to the sudden realization (again) that you simply can’t do this to yourself anymore.
You’ve made a vow to steer clear of the all night booze fests that only end in headaches, dehydration and mild memory loss in favor of a healthier lifestyle that will give you the ability to go strong for twenty four hours without being fueled by alcohol.
So, what’s your first logical step toward the more health conscious you? Some might say throwing that empty keg into your trunk and hauling it back to the liquor store in hopes of ridding yourself of bad memories and future temptations – I say that taking that keg back is something that you should never do, and here’s why…*
What you’ve got in that empty keg isn’t just memories (or lack there of depending on just how many you personally drank from it), a keg also happens to be one of the ultimate workout tools – seriously. An empty keg is one of the most versatile training tools that you can own, and you won’t incur any additional expense as you change the weight, there are no additional purchases required to make full use of this amazing training tool.
An empty keg weighs about forty pounds which is pretty light, but at this weight the keg can still be incredibly effective. You can deadlift it, clean and press it, perform bent over rows with it, perform overhead squats with it, shoulder it, pick it up and carry it, etc., etc., etc. In fact you can pretty much perform just about any exercise with a keg that you can with a barbell. With the empty keg, you can cruise through circuits of these exercises at reps in higher ranges to develop your conditioning and melt away the extra pounds that you put on with all of that beer consumption.
If you’re reasonably new to working out, an empty keg might be just fine for the first few weeks – you’ll be able to perfect the lifts that you choose because the weight of the empty keg will be manageable for you, but much like a kettlebell, you’ll never fully outgrow your keg. Even at forty pounds an empty keg can swung or thrown and remains useful to even guys with well above average strength.
The stronger you get though, the more weight you’ll be able to lift and forty pounds isn’t a whole heck of a lot of weight for a strength training session – but that doesn’t mean that your forty pound empty keg is no longer good for you for strength training, because a keg is also one of the most adjustable pieces of training equipment available. Unlike an Olympic barbell, with which the weight can only be adjusted by 5 pounds at a time (2-½ pounds per side) you can literally adjust the weight of your keg by ounces at a time if necessary – and increasing the weight of your keg won’t cost you a dime, you don’t need to have a ton of weight plates, collars or any other extra equipment around to change the resistance of your new training tool.
You can increase the weight of your keg with any of the following: water, sand, rice, pebbles, lead weights or a mixture of any of the above – pretty much anything that you have available that will fit inside can be used to adjust the weight of your new training tool. Having the capability to adjust the weight of your keg with all of these readily available methods ensures that you’ll have a useful and versatile training tool for as long as you are willing to get up and get moving towards your health and fitness goals.
Unlike barbells which remain consistent all around as you add weight, your keg will become more and more unstable as you add your filler to it – this adds a whole different element to your training days. The filler material that you use to increase the weight of your keg will never be in perfect balance as the keg is moved (especially if you use water). Every time you pick up, swing or throw your keg your filler material will slosh around in the cavity forcing you to call many of your stabilizing muscles (that normally wouldn’t be getting any work in regular barbell lifts) into play, making your workout much more intense – and much more productive.
Once you start using a keg in this manner, rather than in the way that you are more familiar with, you’ll begin to see dramatic results in how you both look and feel. You’ll never have a boring (or easy) workout again.
* If you don’t have an empty keg from this past weekends all nighter, you can still greatly benefit from some keg training. Hit up local liquor stores Sunday afternoon or early Monday morning to see if they’ve got an empties lying around, some stores will charge you the deposit fee (ten to twenty bucks), which is still a great price for a training tool that is this versatile – if you’re lucky some store owners may even give you one for free.
About Jeff Wilson Jeff Wilson has been involved in some form of sports and athletic training for more than two decades: as an athlete, a trainer and a writer.