Category - Motivation

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Bar Brothers Workout – Workout From Anywhere and Get Strong

Bar Brothers Workout

The Bar Brothers workout system is one of the most effective home calisthenic workouts available anywhere.

Bar Brothers Workout (Lazar)

Bar Brothers (Lazar)

Bar Brothers Workout (Dusan)

Bar Brothers (Dusan)

Home fitness is catching on so quickly that even some of the heavy hitters, like Reebok and Nike, are noticing.  Products are dropping out of the sky, claiming to do what none other can, by getting you fit from home.  But maybe you don’t need to buy any physical product at all?  Wouldn’t that be something?  You may have heard of the Bar Brothers (Lazar and Dusan) from their web site or from their YouTube channel.  They are rising stars in the home fitness world, and while they do have a nice store of gear, their philosophy doesn’t revolve around selling physical products.  They’ve developed a world class 12 week calisthenic program for anyone to use which has become one of the premier at home fitness and strength program in the world.

Don’t believe us?  11 million viewers can’t be wrong.  Watch for yourself!

The Pull-Up Bar: Mission Critical

While nothing in life is guaranteed, we have seen first hand the results of this program.  The Bar Brothers workout program consists of a 12 week program that you can do anywhere you can find a pull-up bar.  In our post about outfitting your home RefuGym with a few essential equipment items, we recommended a solid pull-up bar as the foundation.  The efficacy of the Bar Brothers workout program proves why the pull-up bar really is such a critical tool.

But you don’t necessarily have to go out and buy a pull-up bar.  You can go to the park (a little sunlight and Vitamin D might not hurt after all) and use publicly available equipment.  You can even suck it up and go to the gym.  We don’t like globo-gyms, but hey, we won’t judge you if you’re doing solid workouts like the Bar Brothers workout.  There are many places where you can find bars to pull yourself up and over on.  For safety’s sake, make sure it’s solid before trying anything on it, obviously.

The Bar Brothers Workout Program

Once you’ve found a good bar to use, the sky truly is the limit.  The Bar Brothers workout program will guide you through an intense 12 week calisthenic course.  It will show you the ropes and teach you some basic pull-up bar moves and techniques so you can keep up.  This program will help you along the way, above all else, regardless of your experience.  Can’t do a pull-up?  That’s ok!  Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Train hard.  You will see the results!

If you’re a refugee, just now escaping the globo-gym, or if you’re a couch potato who is tired of not seeing their toes, you can take advantage of this awesome program!

The philosophy that the Bar Brothers embody is everything we here at RefuGym stand for.  Their fitness is not just for looks.  It is functional by its very definition.  And you can see that their form truly does follow their function, as each of the Bar Brothers appears to be chiseled from granite.

Why Not Just Use My Own Programming?

We’re not saying you can’t but do you really want to reinvent the wheel?  There are many ways to achieve peak physical fitness.  Home programming is one of them.  If you’re interested in following along without doing a ton of mental work to figure out what you need to do next, then this program is for you.  They’ve done the programming and they’ve done the research.  All you need to do is the work!  Do the work and you’ll see the results.

If you have questions about programming, or your progression through the system, the Bar Brothers have a great online presence and a growing community of participants eager to share knowledge.  Once you find a system that works for you, you’ll want to share it with others, which is exactly what the Bar Brothers have done.

Why Bar Brothers?

Bar Brothers WorkoutThe rapid growth of their philosophy and program outpaced their ability to keep up.  Understandably, they grouped their programming into an impressive, affordable online package, which can be accessed on-demand and 24/7.  This benefits you as much as them by allowing you easy access to world class training.

Why should you invest in this program in particular?  We believe the Bar Brothers workout truly is reflective of our core values here at the RefuGym.  World class fitness shouldn’t be something you pay for; it should be something you work for.  It’s something you don’t get by buying a gym membership that you don’t use, or a personal trainer whose job is to take your money.  You may have to spend some money here and there but it should be spent on something that is effective.

We can hands down say that this program works and the results speak for themselves.  The community behind the Bar Brothers workout system is strong and aggressively advocates its effectiveness.

No one will get you fit, functional and strong except you.  There is no hidden agenda.

Drop the words “can’t,” “quit,” and “stop” from your vocabulary and you will never know failure.

Bar Brothers Workout

Click here to sign up for the program and hear their story.

Need special guidance on nutrition?  Click here to take advantage of the Bar Brothers step-by-step guide to eating healthy, burning fat, and building muscle.  Use it in conjunction with their 12 week program and watch the transformation occur.


Tried it out?  Saw results?  Let us know in the comments!

Barefoot and Minimalistic Running Principles

POSE running

“Chronic Cardio,” as Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple and The Primal Blueprint calls it, is, according to us, one of the greatest fallacies of the modern fitness industry.  Improper form in pursuit of cardio for the sake of cardio has created the need for further knowledge in barefoot and minimalistic running principles.

Everyone tells you that to get better at running, you just gotta run.  If you were reading the bestseller Outliers: The Story of Success, you might agree.  Maybe if you just put in the 10,000 hours required to master a skill, you’ll be one of those “natural runners” everyone always talks about.  The type of runner everyone envies.

The truth is, there’s a lot more to running than just doing it.  More importantly is how you run.  Over thousands of years, the human locomotive machine perfected the art of bipedal movement over land, through the natural selection of positive traits catering to it.  Just as our gut evolved to work in symbiosis with the billions of bacteria that line it, and our immune systems evolved to conquer disease that would otherwise extinguish the human experiment on Earth, the human musculoskeletal system evolved to effectively move us from point A to point B… in search of food, shelter and expansion.

So why is it that after thousands of years of fine tuning, “scientists” (read: shoe and fitness manufacturers) have determined they can do it better?  They believe that in the span of a few decades, they can improve on, or even negate the thousands of years of comprehensive troubleshooting we’ve already been through.  And so, with the signing of a check, and contracting of a factory, the big shoe companies sold us on the idea that we aren’t designed to run… but that we can be… if we use their products.

Barefoot and Minimalistic Running Principles

Ever watch a child squat?  It’s perfect.  Ever watch an adult office worker?  No?  That’s because the vast majority can’t.  To that same degree, there is a stark contrast between someone who has never worn shoes, and someone who was raised wearing Nike’s.  The entire form of their motion is different.

Not only is it different.  It is more efficient.

In Dr. Nicholas Romanov’s Pose Method of Running, available on Amazon, a name is given to what we believe is the humans’ natural running form:  “Pose Method.”

The “POSE” Method

The method involves what we like to describe as a controlled, supported fall.  In essence, the body leans forward at all times, commensurate with the rate of intended speed.  As the body falls, the runner will pick his or her trailing foot up, directly underneath themselves.  At the same time, the runner’s lead foot will extend directly underneath, replacing the support, and landing between the mid-foot and ball of the foot.

This “Pose -> Fall -> Pull” method is easily seen with sprinters.  Since we are already conditioned to run incorrectly, it is harder to master at slower speeds.  The benefits of this method largely revolve around the lessened impact of the lead foot.  By landing midfoot to ball of foot, with the foot directly underneath the runner’s center of gravity, any remaining impact is effectively absorbed by one of the body’s largest built-in shock absorbers:  The calves and hamstrings.

Runner Heel StrikeInstead of a heavily impacted “heel strike” (pictured), in which the shock of the impact is not so much absorbed as it is exploded upon the bones and joints of the lower leg, the forefoot strike provides a natural absorption and bounce, allowing the runner to nearly float on the surface they are running on… provided they maintain a forward lean at the ankle.  When we talk about barefoot and minimalistic running principles, we are envisioning the POSE method.

The Wrong Footwear

The major shoe manufacturers would have you believe the correct way to run is by striking the heel of your foot on the ground as you push yourself forward with your trailing leg.  They will also tell you that the reason behind your shin splints, stress fractures, and chronic knee pain, is that you don’t have enough padding on your $100+ running shoes.  When you go to buy your fancy shoes, they come with anywhere from 1″-3″ of heel padding, which encourages you to strike with your heel even more, and thus perpetuates the cycle.

Instead of correcting the flaws in your running form, which were causing your injuries to begin with, the major shoe manufacturers encourage you to mask it with temporary corrective measures, all the while encouraging you to develop worse and worse chronic running injuries, and forcing you to buy shoes which allow you to compensate over and over again.

It is a brilliant marketing scheme, but unfortunately it is damaging generations of recreational runners by completely ignoring the essential barefoot and minimalistic running principles.

As a refugee, you should feel great without shoes on!  It’s our natural form, and with a little practice you’ll find you enjoy running much more.

Fixing Your Form

Read Doctor Romanov’s book to start.  Watch some videos to get a better idea of what it should look like.  But ultimately, the best thing you can do is practice.  Do not confuse this with meaning “more is better.  The quality of your practice is much more important than the quantity.  You must focus on mastery of the barefoot and minimalistic running principles in order to make this work.

We suggest you start barefoot on a soft grassy surface.  Run no more than 400m at a time for the first few days or weeks.  This will help the small muscles and bones in your feet get used to not being cushioned by layers and layers of superfluous padding.  You will develop callouses and calcifications.  Your tendons will stretch and heal.  Pay close attention to your Achilles Tendon, which often times is the first sign of injury when you have begun the switch to barefoot running too quickly.  Tendonitis is difficult and painful to recover from, so pay close attention, and if you notice pain, stop and rest.

Vibram Fivefingers KSO

If you are concerned about rocks, glass, sticks, etc.  Or maybe you just don’t want to get your feet dirty.  In this case our favorite minimalist shoes, which still encourage the proper running form are the Vibram Fivefingers KSO (men).  The KSO stands for “Keep Stuff Out,” and just means they ride a little higher to keep out debris.  They offer no padding between your foot and the ground, and provide a remarkable feeling of connectedness to the world you’re running in.

Your toes are individually pocketed, which allows your foot to completely bend, flex, grip and push off of every detail of every surface it touches.  You will know instantly whether your form is in need of improvement.  Without the padding of your ineffective, expensive shoes, your foot will provide you with instant feedback.  It will tell you whether or not you are running and impacting the way you should be.

There are multiple models of Fivefingers available for selection as well as a few knock-off brands.  Although we often sacrifice brand name for price, the original Vibram Fivefingers have earned a reputation worthy of our endorsement.  Do not skimp here.

The shoes are also available in women’s sizes:  Vibram Fivefingers KSO (women)

Nike Free Trainer

If old habits really die hard for you, and you just can’t shake the idea of wearing an actual shoe, then we think the Nike Free will fit your bill.  Unfortunately, there are a few caveats.  You’re going to have to pay the price that the major shoe manufacturers have milked out of the shoe industry.  They’re not cheap.

But they are an effective alternative.  Although they don’t replicate the ideal barefoot experience, they are an order of magnitude better than the standard foot-fare.  They still encourage proper barefoot and minimalistic running principles on the whole.

The Nike Free comes in a few different models, from 1.0 to 5.0 and up.  These numbers correspond to the thickness of the padding and cushion on the heel.  We believe that less is often better, and being minimalistic and effective is one of the RefuGym mantras.  If you can stomach it, go for the 1.0.  They are stylish and at least marginally effective at improving your running form.

The Takeaway

You can’t run effectively if you’re running wrong.  This is why barefoot and minimalistic running principles are so important.  Lots of major manufacturers tell you that you can fix what nature never broke, by funneling money to their pockets.  Minimalistic running has been in and out of the mainstream, and unfortunately still has a faddish cloud surrounding it.  But try it for yourself and see the difference.

Always remember to listen to your body as you transition into new training methodologies.

If it hurts stop and rest.  Adjust your form if needed.  Read up on your POSE Method literature, pick up some Vibram  Fivefingers or Nike Frees and practice effectively.

We will cover treadmills and running alternatives in other articles.

In the meantime, stay free and enjoy your run!