When former Aussie Naval officer Anthony Richardson and his team used to deploy - sometimes for 6 months at a time - the Navy would spend a significant amount of money on gym equipment so the officers could stay fit. Needless to say, when metal is on a ship for an extended amount of time it rusts and then needs to be thrown out which is hugely wasteful.
They then moved on to ‘pump bars’ – a 20kg metal rod that’s used widely in the military internationally. Unfortunately for the Navy, these turned out to be a major trip hazard, as when the officers put the bars on the ground they would roll to the other side of the deck.
That’s why Richardson created AUSFIT Torsion Bars – a rust-proof alternative that has caps on the end to help it stay put. We spoke to former British Marine Commando Mike Webby about his love for them and why he thinks they are the most versatile piece of equipment you can use – especially when travelling.
1. They are great for destabilisation exercises
Destabilisation exercises are often forgotten about in traditional workouts, but in the everyday world, we don’t move in one plane of motion, even though many of us often train that way, especially in a group training environment.
However, they are becoming more prevalent among certain groups from trainers to elite athletes, commandos and military, physios and those who are more forward thinking with their training.
Destabilisation exercises are used to throw your body off balance, forcing you to engage your core and build your strength in order to stabilise your body. Similar to the practise of yoga, your body tends to struggle when its balance is interrupted and therefore is forced to engage inner core strength in order to reposition its balance, thus creating a destabilised movement. They are also important because in the real world our body moves in multiple directions, so if you are just training on one plane of movement all the time, it is not exactly ‘functional’.
Destabilisation exercises can be established in already existing gym routines or at home workouts.
2. They are durable
These bars have been tested over and over again with various military groups. In fact, even the Pentagon and Norfolk Naval base (the biggest in the world) have placed a number of orders. They have been tested against getting dented or destroyed when getting thrown around or banging into something else that is sturdy.
This means that even if you were stranded on a deserted island in a shipwreck, you can still workout because your bar will survive.
3. They do it all
Like a kettlebell, these bars come in certain weights, lengths and widths so you just buy the ones you are after. If you want to work on your grip strength you can get a thicker bar, if you don’t you can get a thinner one. You can get weights of 2kg, 4kg, 8kg, 10kg, 12kg, 16kg or 20kg.
The military love them for this reason - and because you can perform more than 1,000 exercises with them, it’s no wonder they are popping up in studios, gyms and of home gyms everywhere. (There is even a spin bike company in the USA who are building a holder into their bikes for the AUSFIT Torsion Bar.)
So, now that you know how versatile they are, here’s a workout to try:
Winter Warmer at-home workout:
This winter warmer session will be over in less than 25 mins including warm up and cool down. It will get your metabolism firing keeping you burning fat for hours after the workout
Jog on the spot 30 sec
Star jumps 30 sec
Dynamic stretching flow 2 mins
Burpees x 10
5 mins AMRAP (as many rounds as possible):
ATB Hip bridges x 8
Press ups x 8
ATB Bent over Row x 8
1 min Rest
5 mins AMRAP:
ATB Squat thrusters x 8
ATB Russian Twist x 8
ATB Overhead press x 8
1 min Rest
5 mins AMRAP:
ATB Deadlifts x 8
ATB Burpees jump over x 8
ATB Bicep curls x 8
4 mins cool down:
Lay on your back
Deep controlled Nasal Breathes filling your belly for 1 min
Stretching for 3 mins