Working Out in My Winter Garage Gym (Feeling Boss on the Floor Press)

We are well-nearing the longest night of the year here in the Northern Hemisphere, and it is damn cold in the garage where I lift. Getting started at 6:15am, when it’s 34oF outside, the iron plates and bars are accurately conducting the absence of heat to my fingertips.

I lay down on the concrete floor which gives me information about the near-permafrost below, and I do my first set of floor press. Everything is cold!

I keep a little oil radiator in the garage and turn it on as I begin. About 10 minutes into my set, I can thaw my fingers over the top of it and get some feeling back.

My hands tell me that I’m doing something insane. I keep tucking them into my sleeves, into the pocket of my hoodie, or down the sides of my sweatpants to get feeling back into them before the next set.

Doing deadlifts or squats, my toes through the cloth of my lifting socks tell me there are better uses of my time. Bracing myself, I can see each exhale in a plume of vapor.

I know these are not ideal conditions to get the work done for optimal results. I won’t go as long or as hard as I might later in the day or in warmer conditions. And yet, I find myself in a rare moment of feeling like a badass, which could seem a little ironic given how flexible I am with my lifting these days. However, if you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I value consistency over optimization. I’m still doing it. I’m still getting some reps in. I’m reducing barriers and showing my commitment to doing the work, choosing progress over perfection.

So, how are you doing in less-than-ideal conditions? Are you finding a way to continue to do the work? Stay warm out there my Northern friends.

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