Getting Fit Sans Gym

We know the gym is the like the capital of the fitness world. Its dominated by fit people, and its where people go to get fit. Its the resource for exercise of all types: cardio, strength training, and group classes. It houses machines, free weights, cables, bands, mats, bars, benches…all that stuff to support your physical transformation.
But we know it’s not the only place you can get a good workout. It’s not the only place you can do the physical activities required to transform your body. It’s nice that so many resources are in the same place, but they aren’t necessary for a healthy and active lifestyle.
So Where do you go? And with what “equipment”?
Cardio. Cardiovascular activities are activities that get your heart rate up with repetitive movements. With such simple criteria, you can get your cardio almost anywhere with a variety of activities. Examples: running or jogging outside, jump rope, swimming, biking.
HIIT is also a great way to get your heart rate up! More on that in a bit…
Strength Training. But at it’s core, strength training is basically just moving a joint(s) through it’s range of motion against a resistance. (Think: a bicep curl is resisted elbow flexion, a leg press is resisted hip+knee extension and ankle plantarflexion) So, why not use your own bodyweight as resistance? It’s free, mobile, effective, and realistic. (I mean, we have to carry our body around everywhere all the time. So train for real life?)
See if your “open chain” exercises at the gym can be replaced with “closed chain” exercises using your bodyweight!
Leg Press-> Body Weight Squat
Bench Press-> Push-Up
Lat Pulldown -> Pull-Up
Shoulder Press -> Shoulder/Handstand Push-Up
Row -> Body Weight Row
With training, you’ll eventually get strong enough that you’ll be able to do 12-15+ reps per exercise! At this rep range, you’re working more on muscular endurance rather than strength. So look for ways to make it harder and challenge yourself! You can do this by decreasing your rest time, adding a plyometric element (something quick/explosive, like jumping), modifying the exercise to single arm/single leg, or doing the exercises in rapid succession. You can even use the exercises to set up your own HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout!
Finally, there are many internet resources out there to give you an “at home” or “no equipment” workout. These include workout cards or even YouTube videos! Give it a search and give them a try.

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