How to Get Fit Without Joining a Gym

Young man exercises in front of a wall.

Joining a gym can be awesome no doubt. The gains and benefits are parallel to none. However, most of us lead such busy lifestyles nowadays that taking the necessary time out to make it to the gym on a daily basis takes its toll on us.

We either get pressed for time or get too occupied with other things to dedicate time to the gym, and then also we find that memberships can be pretty costly in the long run.

Oh, and of course, the COVID-19 pandemic makes it all the more critical for most of us to avoid gyms and still get fit or stay fit.

Well, no need to fear. Man has been building his physique for centuries with hard physical work. It’s how we were designed. We needed no gyms and clubs and weights then. And if we think hard we don’t even need them now. At least most of us don’t unless you’re planning to beat Ronnie Coleman’s and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s record of 8 and 7 Mr.Olympia titles respectively.

Enough of the small talk. Let’s deal with this like real men would. Check out the following effective and result bearing exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home without costly gym membership fees and heavy weights.

  1. The Plank

Yep, you gotta do it just like the name sounds. Choose any level area of floor your home. Get into pushup position except that instead of your hands you need to rest your elbows on the floor. Hold this position for 20 seconds. The rest for 10 seconds. Repeat this until you have completed a minute. The plank tightens the abs, back, legs and chest. More importantly it builds endurance, strengthens the core and burns fat. Increase the minutes as you get better and build stamina.

Man doing plank exercise. Source: Pexels

  1. Pushups

The king of body weight exercises. Get on the floor with your hands under your shoulders. Feet should be together with the toes and balls of your feet on the floor. Lower yourself stopping short of the floor two inches. Hold for a second and then push back up in one smooth motion.

Young man doing pushups on the road. Source: Pexels

In the start, you will probably be able to do just 2-3 pushups but that’s ok. Rome wasn’t built in one day. Daily do one more than you did the previous. Build yourself up to 12-15 pushups in one stretch. Pushups tighten the chest muscles, abs, triceps, back, and glutes. Ideally, you should be able to do 10 in a row then rest for 30 seconds, and then 10 more.

  1. Jump Squats

A very effective lower body builder. Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder width. Sit as you would into a chair while keeping your back as upright as possible. Stop when your hamstrings are parallel to the floor. Then explosively push yourself up using the balls of your heels. Ideally your jump should take you 4-6 inches above the floor. Land flat on your feet and immediately get back into the parallel to the floor position.

Man doing jump squats at an outdoor location. Source: Pexels

Jump squats build explosive strength and endurance. It’s great for building your calves, glutes, hamstrings, and quads. Ideally, you should be able to do 10 in one go with a 30 second rest period. Do 3-4 sets. Front jump squats are an advanced variation that builds more explosive power.

  1. Standard Ab Crunches

This exercise cannot be missed. It’s very simple and you can reap tons of benefits. Lie flat on the floor,. with your legs drawn in and knees pointing to the ceiling. Fold your hand behind your head for support and using your back and stomach muscles raise yourself 8-10 inches off the floor as if you’re trying to get up without using your hands. Remember to feel your stomach muscles working.

Do not pull on the back of your head for support or you risk strain and injury to your neck. Ab crunches tighten your upper abs while also making way for those six-packs. They also strengthen your core. Ideally, you should be able to do 3-4 sets of 10-12 repetitions each building up to at least 100 crunches in one workout session.

  1. Leg Raises

Another great six pack builder only this targets your lower abs, unlike the standard ab crunches that target the upper abs. Lie on the floor with your palms down beside your hips for support or grab something heavy for support. Legs should be straight out. Now raise your legs and use your hands to support yourself.

Your legs should ideally be pointing to the ceiling but a 45-60 degree angle will also do. Bring them back down but do not let them touch the floor. Stop just an inch or two above the floor and do the raise again. You should be able to do 3-4 sets of 10-12 repetitions each building up to at least 80-100 crunches in one workout session.

  1. Skipping

Since we’re working out at home and don’t want to spend much on an expensive treadmill but we also need some form of cardio to build stamina and endurance while depleting those fat stores then skipping is the king of the indoor cardio workouts.

Rope Skipping. Source: Pixabay

All your need to buy is an inexpensive skipping rope and clear a small space in your house. Watch out for the ceiling fan! Go at it for 30 seconds with a rest for 30 seconds. Try to build yourself to be able to skip for at least 2 minutes in one stretch. Its great for building stamina and burning fat not to mention the great set of calves that get developed.

  1. Set a Goal

You must have clear concise goals. Write them down where you can see them daily. Write down your weekly workout plan. Above are 6 exercises listed that can be done mixed daily or every alternate day and they target almost every major muscle group. Each of the 6 can be also done six days of the week with one day of rest.

Related Resources

  1. RunKeeper – Excellent app to track and improve your running time
  2. Workout Music – Gym Workout Music at SoundCloud
  1. MyFitnessPal: You can use it to track your calories and set goals that can motivate you to lose weight and get fitter.
  1. Eat Healthy

This is a no-brainer. I can assure you that even if you continue to eat what you already were eating, once you start with these workouts you will see and feel a change in your body. Your muscles will be more toned and your energy levels will be higher. You’ll even get better sleep.

Fruit salads in plates. Source: Pexels

However, do cut down on fatty and fried food. Junk food should be once in two weeks or once a month. Cut down on processed foods and sugary stuff. Opt for whole grains and lean meats. These small minor tweaks will be very beneficial in the long run and the results you will see within few weeks of including them into your daily routine.

  1. Hydrate

Water is life. Eight glasses a day is minimum. Also, drink one glass before each meal as it helps keep you fuller reducing your need to consume more food.

  1. Outdoor Activities

Join the local football club. Play a game once a week. Got a community swimming pool? Swim there once a week. There are plenty activities and sports that can be opted for over the weekend. These contribute to your overall fitness plan.

How to Do It?

Set x RepMondayTuesday (Rest)WednesdayThursday (Rest)FridaySaturdaySunday Rest)
3 x 10PushupsLeg RaisesPushupsLeg Raises
3 x 10CrunchesSquatsCrunchesSquats
3 x 10SquatsCrunchesSquatsCrunches
2 – 3 minutesPlanksPlanksPlanksPlanks

Above is what a sample of the above exercises looks like when done on a weekly basis.
Before anything do some light skipping for 3-5 minutes as a warmup. This gets your heart pumping, blood flowing and body sweating so you’re prepared for the harder stuff that follows. Once you’re done with the below exercises on the specific days continue with skipping but only this time do it for 12-15 minutes with a little rest between minutes.

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