Growing up, I never really spent much time at the gym. Even when I was doing cheerleading several days a week, most of our workouts were body weight or HIIT circuits along with our usual stunting and jumps. This type of workout style fueled my love for body weight exercises because I knew that I could still get a great burn without needing to use weights or expensive equipment. I never sweat so much during a workout than I did when we finished off each practice with thirty minute conditioning session.
Now in college, I have discovered the possibilities that a gym has to offer, but I haven’t shied away from my weight-free exercises. I am an avid runner and have an intense hatred for the treadmill (maybe because it gave me shin splints my freshman year of college). Though I like to take advantage of the gym when I have it, I know that each summer I will be home with no gym membership, and I actually love it. I can get back into my favorite body weight exercises and really challenge myself with different workouts I couldn’t do at the gym.
A gym membership may seem like the only way to stay fit, but working out should have to cost money. Here’s why I don’t have a gym membership.
YouTube Workouts Are The Best
One thing I don’t like about working out at the gym is that you really can’t play a workout on YouTube on your phone without disturbing others around you. Following along with trainers on YouTube is the kind of motivation I really need for my workouts. I thrive on the concept of a coach pushing me to my limits.
When I am home for the summer, I become addicted to doing workouts from my favorite trainers on YouTube, and there are so many! You know what the best part is? It’s 100% free! There are a lot of phenomenal workouts on YouTube, and there are videos for every single type of workout you desire. Want to do a fifteen minute ab circuit? There are thousands of those. Want a weight-free arm session? There are tons of those too.
Another great thing about following workouts on a video is that you are given a strict circuit that you have to stick to. I love coming up with my own workouts, but sometimes I run out of ideas and just need someone to do it for me. These are great because you can set it up on your phone and watch Netflix on your computer or TV while you sweat.
Some of my favorite workouts come from vloger, Sarah’s Day, but I also find a lot of great ones by just typing in my preference in the search bar.
As you may have read in my previous fitness post about my fitness goals for this summer (click here to read it!), I really want to try out different styles of workouts this summer. The great thing about not having a gym is that you are forced to be creative with your workouts and step out of your comfort zone of normal weight lifting sessions for routines that can really sculpt and work your entire body with just one move. You will begin to use muscles you never knew you had.
I don’t know a whole lot about yoga, so I love watching videos or finding yoga workouts on Pinterest. These can be super challenge with each of the poses you must hold. Sure there are yoga workouts for flexibility, but I really love the yoga ab exercises because they really focus on stability-type moves which I think burn my abs more than any other type of ab workout. I also love looking up ballet exercises. The moves are a lot different than what I am use to, but I find they are really great at working muscles I didn’t know I had. Neither of these workout styles require hardly any weights either, so they are perfect for busting out at home.
I really love Tera Stiles’ yoga workouts on YouTube. They can be really intense but she has such a great calming voice that helps me get through them.
There is also the possibility of doing fun workouts like going for a bike ride, shoot hoops, playing tennis, walking on a path or hiking. The summer is filled with fun ways to do exercises that don’t have to be super strict. I always like to do at least one fun workout each week.
The Great Outdoors
I had mentioned earlier that I really liked doing workouts outside. This is something that I really miss when I do a workout in the gym. There’s a stuffy feeling that I get from most gyms, and sometimes I just really want to embrace the warm weather and get a good sweat.
I love doing workouts on a yoga mat in my backyard because I get to hear all of the sounds of nature around me. It is a very calming feeling added to the therapeutic qualities of working out. If you get nervous working out around other people, working out at home is a great option. Just make sure you are learning the correct forms for each move and you won’t have to worry about grunting lifters around you.
Ditch Your Treadmill
As I mentioned, I am an avid runner. Sure I might have to wait until the evening to do my runs since it’s so hot during the day, but it’s much better than a treadmill. They can be very bad on your knees as opposed to regular ground, and I think they are really boring.
With running outside, my body just feels better about it, and when I really start to up my miles I know that my knees won’t suffer. You can also do great run/walk circuits outside or include different exercises in between. In high school, I had to do sprints to each side of the gym with some sort of ab workout or leg workout on each end. They were really hard, but it’s a great style of working out that really burns.
There is also nothing quite like running on fun new paths. Sometimes during the week, I will drive to a park in my city and run on the path there instead of my usual one. It’s a nice change to the regular scenery, and I think it can be a lot of fun running in new places. You can even bring along a friend to chat with on your runs. It’s a great way to catch up with friends while getting a workout in at the same time.
Save Some Cash
As I mentioned, not having a gym membership is a MAJOR money savor. Membership costs can really stack up in a year, and I just don’t want to be spending so much money when I could be doing workouts at home. Sure sometimes I could really go for a good lifting session, so then I just use the weights I have at home or tag along with a friend who has a membership. If you are looking for ways to save cash, I would really recommend trying out workouts from home instead. You can still get a great workout from the comfort of your own home.
What are your favorite types of at home workouts? Comment bellow! Also, share this with friends or family who have been debating over their gym membership, and hopefully it will help them realize that forking over the cash isn’t completely necessary to have a great body. Finally, make sure you sign up for the email subscription so that you are notified every time a new post goes live (check the side bar!).
Shoes: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34 Running Shoes ($110)
Water Bottle: Lokai Water Bottle ($28) – similar (10% of net profits funds clean water projects)
Headphones: Sony Earbud Headphones ($8)
Dumbells: 10lb Dumbells ($17) – check Goodwill for very inexpensive weights