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How to Get Ripped for Free Without a Gym

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Editor’s Note: I met one of the guys behind GymJunkies.com out at a conference earlier this year. I thought it would be great if they were able to put together a guest post where they explained how you could get a good workout without spending much, or any, money at all. Here’s a guest post on how you can get in shape without the help, or membership costs, of a gym.

This is a guest post from Vic Magary of GymJunkies.com . Vic does some pretty crazy workouts and shows you how to lose fat with high intensity circuit training.

I’m fond of saying “getting in shape is simple, but simple doesn’t always mean easy”…

While most trainers and diet pill companies are promising you an overnight fix or a magic bullet, I prescribe a different medication – short, but intense workouts coupled with a straightforward nutrition plan (none of that calorie counting bullshit). You’ll start to see results in seven days. By the end of 31 days, family members might not even recognize you :)

How to Get in Shape Without a Gym

Globo-gyms across the world have lulled us into believing we need their fancy machines and treadmills to get in shape. Most of us end up spending the $49 per month membership fee only to never step foot in the gym. So I’m proposing an easier home and outdoor solution anyone can use to get a great workout.

These workouts are all designed to jack your heart rate through the roof. This accomplishes two things – it increases the amount of calories you burn while you’re working out and your body continues to burn calories the next 18-48 hours after your workout. This is something long slow runs on the treadmill and elliptical machines just don’t do.

How to Workout Outdoors

If you love the outdoors, or just need to get out of the office more often, outdoor workouts will really amp you up.

Here’s an intense workout you can do in the park:

Workout 1

  • Bodyweight Squat – Do as many squats as possible in 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat this cycle for 2 minutes.
  • Find a tree or pull up bar and do a pull up ladder. This means you do 1 pull up in the first minute, 2 pullups in the 2nd minute, 3 pullups in the 3rd minute and so on. See how many minutes you can go on for. If you can get in the 8-9 minute range you’re in pretty good shape.

Workout 2

  • Picnic Table Jumps – Find a picnic table at your park and jump onto it as many times as you can in 20 seconds – take a 10 second rest after each 20 seconds and repeat this for 2 minutes. If you can’t jump onto the picnic table, try making it easier by jumping on to the seat part. Or just find a wooden stump or bench that you can jump on to.
  • Push Ups / Plank Superset – Crank out as many pushups as you can in 30 seconds and then follow that by doing a regular plank for as long as you can. Do 3 sets of these.

Workout 3

  • Do 100 burpees for time. Bring your stopwatch or your cellphone and time how long it takes you to complete 100 burpees. If you are out of shape, start with 30 burpees. Return 2-3 weeks later and try the workout again, you’ll see that your time will have improved (if you have been keeping up with your workouts).
  • You can probably complete the 100 burpees in under 20 minutes. It’ll make you wonder why you thought your 20 minute treadmill run was hard :)

You can get 8 more videos of home workouts on my site here.

How to Make Your Own Equipment

Remember in Rocky IV when Rocky trains for a fight against Ivan Drago by running in the snow, pulling a sled, sawing a log, moving rocks, and doing pullups in the barn? (if you forget, here’s a video montage to remind you of American ingenuity) Well, you can use that same creativity to supplement your workout.

If you want to throw some equipment into the mix, I highly recommend making your own. You can make a sandbag for under $20, and you’ll be able to do every worthwhile exercise known to man.

Plus this “underground” style training is a lot of fun and just flat out makes you feel manly.

Here’s a workout I did with some home equipment. This will give you some ideas…

What You Need To Do Now

Whether you have open space to workout in, or you are cramped up in your tiny one bedrooom apartment, there’s NO EXCUSE for not getting in shape. I just gave you three workouts that can be done in under twenty minutes at your park.

Getting in shape doesn’t have to be fifty minutes of boring cardio. Try something new, and keep your budget inline while doing it!

If you want more workout advice, come read my blog or follow me on Twitter @gymjunkies.

{ 27 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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27 Responses to “How to Get Ripped for Free Without a Gym”

  1. Casey says:

    These workouts sound remarkably similar to the type of workouts described as part of the “CrossFit” program (www.crossfit.com). Specifically the 20sec on – 10sec off, and the general emphasis on high intensity workouts over short durations.

    I have to admit, these types of workouts really kick my a$$.

    • Vic Magary says:

      Yeh Casey Im a big CF fan (level 1 certified)

      I was a huge fan of this training before learning about Crossfit, but CF has definitely brought it to the masses and I think its been awesome to see the masses finally learning what a real workout is like.

      - Vic

  2. Corey says:

    How about a picture of a female with her shirt off too?

  3. This is an excellent post on a PF site. It’s a good reminder to learn the art of working out without (or at least before) investing a ton of money into the “best” equipment availble.

    If you don’t workout without equipment, you’re unlikely to do it when you do have it, then, money wasted.

  4. Studenomist says:

    I agree you can get ripped for free but the reason I pay for my gym membership is because it is a kick boxing/MMA gym. When friends ask me about what machine is best for abs, I reply with “the floor.” A note of caution, the picnic table jumps look simple but WATCH OUT! If you don’t think your legs will go up for the last rep then do not jump. Too many have I seen people (including myself) bang knees on something while trying to push that last rep. Great article overall, going to to try the 20 second squats right now!

    • My Journey says:

      I used to rock out Krav Maga (look it up its freaking bad ass), but had to stop when it got really really nutty with live sparring and at a cost of $125/month it was a little too much.

  5. Diasdiem says:

    I go to the gym because I don’t have the will power to work out otherwise. If I’m at home there are a dozen other things for me to do besides working out, and I say “I’ll work out in a little while.” Next thing I know, it’s time to go to bed. But at the gym, I’m there for a reason, and there’s only one thing for me to do there: work out. Even if I quit halfway through a workout and go home, it’s still more exercise than I would have gotten if I didn’t have a membership and tried working out at home.

  6. Sondra says:

    Good workout, but not designed for a 60+ woman!
    Any ideas?

    • carrollgroup says:

      Sondra, I have to disagree with you. I do CrossFIT five days a week and we have a 71 year old woman working out with us. Now she doesn’t jump as high, or lift as much, or move as fast… but she is in amazing shape and does all the same exercises that we do. Her skintone has tightened, her cardio is improved, and she is back to running where all she could do before was walk. Don’t sell yourself short. It will take some time, but doing the squats, short jumps, push ups, even burpies are all possible and you’ll see results. Best of luck to you!

    • johnny says:

      start doing power walks then work your way up to jogging

  7. Kamil says:

    When I was in my early teens I used a few bricks tied up with a twine for bicep curls,the door jamb and tree branches for chin ups and running up/down the 60 degree steep slope behind my house to develop stamina and my quads! Nowadays I use my club gym(free)twice a week!!

  8. I did end up buying a gym membership, but it’s only $16.05 after sales tax. If you’re looking for a membership, shop around. The price varies dramatically from place to place.

  9. Damon Day says:

    Hey Jim,

    Very timely post for me, I just sold off my entire exercise room as my family and I are making a move to another state and it was way too much equipment to pack up and take. However, it is going to be another 30 to 60 days before we go and now I have now more equipment :-) One thing, what the heck is a burpee? :-) I am definitely going to have to go watch that video to figure out what that is.

  10. Vic Magary says:

    Jim thanks for letting me guest post!

    I hope I can convince some of your readers that you dont need a fancy gym and equipment to get in shape.

    If you have any questions leave the here and I’ll answer them. Or head over to GYmJunkies and leave me a comment… I respond to all of them :)

    - Vic

  11. laure says:

    if i jumped over picnic tables at the park – they would arrest me or at least question me – the $49.00 might be worth it

  12. Daymon–I had the same question (the burpee). I’d explain it to you, but it’s best to watch the video. It’s a combination of excercises that looks like it would hurt like all get out if you weren’t really limbered up to begin with.

  13. Mike says:

    LOL!!

    Just TRY one of these workouts…TRY IT OUT.

    There will be no more mockery of such said physical exercises.

    You will be BEGGING for that sturdy cable and comfortable AC cranking at the gym. Those beautiful chrome dumbbells with all the cell phone activity going on around you, texting between sets…just cozy as a cushion.

    There is NO TEXTING when you do a reverse ladder from 20 burpees, 1 sledge hammer all the way to 1 burpee and 20 hammers. if you can do that at your gym, renew your membership.

    Tire, free. Hammer, $15.99.

    I still have a gym membership, grandfathered in at $11 a month! Damn straight im keeping it…but I use it about 2 times per month…and a few others just to stop by and shower.

    Awesome post.

    -Mike

  14. Caitlin says:

    Great post! I love how you actually gave some workout examples! Lots of posts on PF blogs about saving money on exercise equipment just tell you a few things to use/make yourself, and then a couple examples of how each item can be used. Spelling out a few whole workouts (short, though intense) is a nice touch. Some of us fall into the lazy trap because we just don’t know what to do with ourselves when we try to exercise.

  15. Ron says:

    What the heck is a burpee ?

  16. Loy says:

    Squat placing palms on floor. Shoot legs & feet straight out back. Do a pushup. Rotate body 90 degrees into a side plank on your right palm & right outside edge of right foot, left arm straight out opposite right arm. Rotate back to pushup start. Rotate body in opposite direction 90 degrees into a side plank on your left palm & left outside edge of left foot, right arm straight out opposite left arm. Rotate back to pushup start. Bring feet & legs back to squat position. Leap straight up as high as you can off the ground. Modified burpee squat.

  17. Where there is a will, there is a way! Nice to see you don’t have to spend big bucks!

  18. Patrick says:

    Really great post. People often get caught up in the having to go to the gym to get in shape when there are so many other ways. We also don’t need all the huge machines at the gym just to get our cardio in. You can run, jump rope and riding a bike are just a few ways you can get cardio in without needing to go to the gym.

  19. David says:

    Great post. Another option is John Carleo’s “No Equipment” workout. I’ve been using it and it’s amazingly effective. http://www.johncarleo.com/videos.htm

  20. Morgan says:

    I just did P90X some of the workouts take a little bit more time than others but you see results fast(: But you have to be committed cause if you have never worked out before then it’s gonna be a lot harder for you than other people.


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