T Nation

Training In Kenya

Last week, I accepted a summer internship in Kakamega, Kenya. I’ll be doing medical work in Western Kenya for about three months before I head east and south to Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro… While in Kakamega, I’ll be staying in a very rural area–no electricity, no running water…

Consequently, there’s no gym for about a hundred-fifty miles…haha. I’ve been training consistently for about five years–five or six days a week of running or lifting. I want to continue strength training while I’m in country and was wondering what the best body weight exercises were that you all knew about. I’m open to bands and other gear, but it must be light enough to haul in a pack… Thanks!

I’ve heard Cape Buffalo drags are very challenging.

haha…I’ll keep that in mind. I’ll do that right after the elephant tusk dips.

Funny timing, I just got back from climbing Kilimanjaro yesterday morning, I’ll put up a thread soon I think. Gyms will be nonexistent unless you’re in a big city, as I think you realize. You will lose muscle, gonna have to resign yourself to that, it sucks. I’d say buy some bands from Elite, chains will be too heavy for luggage, and then go to Ironmind, they sell a book on tough bodyweight exercises that isn’t bad, even though it’s kinda thin. Maybe try Crossfit, don’t know much about them, but sounds tough at least.


i climbed kili at the end of this last summer, and it was pretty sweet. def keep an eye on what you eat and drink, there are some nasty viruses there.

for ways to keep in shape: archives probably have tons of things you can do with bands to keep in shape. also, you can try using single arm or single leg stuff to keep your body weight challenging. this is a good chance to get back to the basics, pull-ups, dips, push-ups, that kinda thing.

good luck

If you can read french you can buy Olivier Lafay’s book.

it’s all body weight training and some people got some pretty nice results with it. Endurance, force and hypertrophy wise.

But if you can’t read french.

Then I guess you can do Dips, one hand push ups, Inclined Push Ups, Declined Push Ups, Pull ups, Chin Ups, One leg Squats, etc.

There are tons of exercices you can do… And I doubt that if you have a good body weight program that you will loose muscle.

Yawn, I did it that, bare foot and blindfolded walking backwards … twice.

lol jk

Good luck! Look foward to reading about it.

GDollars & Hunter-- Thanks so much for your replies…Hey I would love to hear more about your experiences in Kenya or Tanzania…and on Kili! Congrats yall on the hike up–and I’ll definitely keep everyone posted on my own adventures…Beautiful pic, by the way…

Ruffio-- Unfortunately, I can’t speak French…though I’ll def take a peek at that LaFay book–good tip. And yeah thanks again to yall for your replies–I’m going to be sifting through the t-archives for a good body weight/band training program while I’m in country.

To Panik–haha, you’re more of a man than me…

Any large rocks over there? That seems like a tool.

Get some cheap military duffels and build sandbags.

Buy a set of powerblocks and a find a bench.

I bet you could use this opportunity to get more ripped than ever.

Figure out a way to do chin ups, dips, step ups, bulgarian squats, back extensions, glute ham raises, handstand push ups, etc.

Set some goals for those exercises, for instance if during those 3 months you came back and were able to perform 3 sets of 20 chin ups, 3 sets of 50 dips, 3 sets of 50 elevated push ups, and 3 sets of 50 bulgarian squats you’d probably have some new muscle.

Also, what a great time to focus on power too. Incorporate plyometrics like sprints, depth jumps, broad jumps, plyo push ups, etc. into your routine.

Bring some bands with you and find something heavy, like a cinder block or a giant rock or a duffel back filled with sand to lift overhead and cradle while you do step ups, lunges and bulgarian squats.

I bet this experience will be the best thing for your physique since you probably won’t have access to any junk food and you’ll have plenty of down time to focus on your training.

you should get the TRX Force Training Kit or blast straps or olympic rings or something that you can throw around a tree limb and do push ups and pull ups and dips and stuff with. or you could wrestle lions. I mean, if you can wrestle a lion and win then fuck resistance training. just keep fighting lions.

Bret-- thanks for replying…great tips and I agree that this is a great opportunity to get back to the basics. Too often, we’re so caught up in moves, gear, schedules, nutrition, supplements–yada yada–that we forget about the simple stuff: discipline and mental fortitude.

FightingScott, I looked at that TRX kit, kinda expensive, but definitely looks worthwhile–thanks man…

I can’t wait to challenge myself with a whole new approach to training…Hey what doesn’t kill me–only makes me better looking…haha.

Currently, I am designing a training program for myself that combines body-weight exercises like variations on pushups, dips, squats, and plyometric elements.

In order to push myself, I think I’ll try to focus on maintaining a high level of intensity during these circuit work outs as well as incorporating balance, control, and power into the moves. Bands, straps, and whatever else I can fit in a pack will have to be my gym until I get back to the States. Can’t wait for it all–please keep the suggestions coming!

yeah the trx kit is absurdly expensive. I think you could make one yourself by putting some loops in some climbing rope. Best of luck out there!