5 Things You Should Do If You Don’t Have a Gym
What should I do if I don’t have access to a gym?
This is a question that many people find themselves asking.
Lacking a gym also invites other worries as well:
Can I get results?
What exercises can I do?
How do I make progress?
Will I be wasting my time?
And much more.
Today we are going to squash those fears.
I’m going to share with you 5 things that you should do if you don’t have access to a gym.
Let’s jump right in.
#1: Remember that Diet is the Main Key for Fat Loss Anyway
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big believer in exercise and it’s a requirement for achieving your best body. However, if all you care about is losing some weight, then it’s a good idea to just get the ball rolling.
Zero exercise is required to start losing weight. In fact it’s a bad idea to rely solely on exercise for getting lean because you can’t out exercise a bad diet.
Instead, you should focus the majority of your efforts on improving your diet. It’s much easier to just control your calories by eating less than it is to hop on the treadmill and get to work right after overeating.
Once you start losing weight and decide that you want to improve your muscle definition, then you can start worrying about a gym membership. Until that point, keep it simple and focus on diet and whatever exercise that you can do.
#2: Consider Building a Budget Home Gym
The summer going in to my junior year of high school is when I started getting serious about fitness. I didn’t have much equipment at the time, just some ankle weights and a pair of 10-pound dumbbells.
So I decided to sell my X-box and all of my games to buy a bench and weight set. From there, I would slowly add pieces that I wanted during my birthday and Christmas.
I now have a pretty nice (and fairly inexpensive) home gym set up that I can use at my parent’s house. Granted, I mostly workout at the gym by my apartment now, but it was a good investment nevertheless.
The good news is that you can do the same thing even if you’re on a budget. The key part is to start with the bare essentials and then go from there.
If you have less than $100 to spend, just get some adjustable bands and a chin-up bar. You can do a variety of different exercises with them and increase the resistance as you progress.
If you have a little bit more money than that, consider getting a bench and some adjustable dumbbells. I recommend just saving up and getting a nice pair that’ll last you for life from the start.
It’ll be much cheaper than buying the dumbbells individually as you progress. After that, you could get a barbell weight set and a squat rack if you so desire.
However, you can get by with just a heavy pair of dumbbells so keep that in mind. Aside from that, you wouldn’t need anything else to have an effective home gym.
#3: Do Bodyweight Workouts (That Actually Work)
If you don’t have a gym, you’ll at least have access to bodyweight workouts no matter where you are. The problem is that people don’t challenge themselves enough when they’re doing bodyweight workouts.
Doing an endless amount of lunges isn’t going to get you very far. Instead, you need to focus on making the movements harder instead of just doing more reps.
Here’s how to do that with push-ups from easiest to hardest:
- Push-ups standing up with your hands on a wall
2. Push-ups on your knees
3. Regular push-ups
4. Push-ups with feet elevated
5. One-arm push-ups
6. One-arm push-ups with feet elevated
With bodyweight squats:
- Squat onto a chair
2. Regular bodyweight squats
3. Single leg squats onto a chair
4. Single leg squats (while holding something stable for balance)
5. Single leg squats (no balance support)
Aside from making the movements more challenging, you can do bodyweight workouts in a circuit where you complete all of the movements and then rest. This’ll achieve a number of things:
- Keep your heart rate elevated
- Complete more work in less time
- Burn more calories
Here’s a good workout that you can do:
Do each exercise for 20 seconds and rest for 1 minute after all of the exercises are completed. Repeat for a total of 3 rounds.
- Jumping Jacks
- Lying Leg Raises
The cool thing about a workout like this is that you can modify it based on your current fitness level. If 20 seconds is too hard, then only do each exercise for 15 or 10 seconds.
If it’s too easy, then do 30 seconds and complete 5 rounds instead of 3.
#4: Get in Touch with Your Creative Side
Yes we all know that you can do bodyweight workouts if you don’t have access to a gym.
Here’s the kicker:
Bodyweight workouts can be hard to continually progress with and keep things challenging. There’s only so many ways that you can make an exercise harder before you need to start incorporating weights.
But who’s to say that you can’t find other ways to lift weights without actually having real weights?
Here are some examples to get your mind rolling:
- Use a sturdy tree branch for chin-ups.
- Use a gallon jug filled with water for dumbbells.
- Fill a backpack up with textbooks and do exercises like push-ups, lunges, and squats.
- Do dips using 2 chairs placing textbooks on your lap.
The point here is to get creative and find ways to make things more challenging once they get easy. Are curls with a milk jug ideal?
Of course not, but you just have to make due with what you have.
#5: Don’t Let it Hold You Back
Look I get it. If you don’t have a gym it can be easy to just say, “Oh well there’s nothing I can do about it.”
But that’s the wrong kind of attitude to have. Not having a gym is only an excuse if you let it be one.
There’s absolutely no reason why you can’t be more active with bodyweight workouts or by running outside. Sure will push-ups give you a 300-pound bench press?
No, but again you just have to make the most out of it. If you consistently do home workouts 3-4 times a week, you’ll be better off than most members of a gym.
Because let’s face it, having access to a gym doesn’t mean that you’ll use it 😉