I love lifting, I love the feeling of weight, the struggle, the easy goal tracking. I love that it doesn’t leave my knees in ruins the way running was starting to, I love that I am getting stronger the more I lift. The problem with lifting is that it’s hard to do without a gym. Gym memberships can be expensive and you might not be able to justify the cost. Or you might be in a situation where you don’t have access to a gym. Here are five ways to lift without a gym that will help get you fit. They won’t be perfect, but they are better than nothing and a great start.
1.) Water. Water in containers to be more accurate. Fill jugs of water, big cheap 3 liter containers, and you have some light weights to do shoulder or arm work with. Try to carry a few more and you can actually get something pretty heavy. A bonus point is that by trying to hold the water jugs you will also build grip strength.
If you are feeling adventurous try filling big plastic tubs with water, add a few ropes or handles and do some carries or even upright rows if you can manage it. Be creative and you can use the right combination of water and container to add weight to any workout.
2.) Cans. If you’re starting out or are trying to add a little more oomph to your cardio grab some cans (soup, sauce, veggies the heavier the better). One in each hand while you run up and down some stairs. It won’t get you jacked but it will work your arms and keep everything toned. The bonus comes here in carrying the cans, the act of holding them in your hand helps with forearm toning as well.
3.) Farmer Walk. Speaking of cans, another easy way to lift without a gym is by carrying groceries. Grab some sturdy grocery bags and fill them with cans and other heavy objects. Now carry these bags back and forth a ten meter stretch until you can’t any more.
A Farmers walk works your traps, shoulders, forearms, biceps as well as glutes quads and calves. It also works your core and back. Who knew that carrying stuff was such a good workout?
4.) Sandbag. If you’re willing to invest a little cash then build yourself a sandbag. It doesn’t even need to be fancy. If you’re careful you can just buy a bag of sand and carry that around. Use it on your shoulders for squats, grab it for bicep curls and skull crushers, press it for chest, run with it, or use it for a farmers walk. A sandbag is probably one of the most versatile alternatives to lifting.
5.) Grab a friend. Get together with a friend of equal strength and size and use each other as weights. This is known as a prison workout but it really works and is free so why not? This is a lot easier with a friend you are close with as you will be carrying, pressing and lifting one another.
Do squats with your friend on your back (or have them press down on your shoulders if you’re not strong enough to squat them). Do bicep curls with your friend pressing against your arms. This works their triceps and your biceps (Use a towel as per video below to make it easier to regulate the force). Friends can offer weight and resistance which is all lifting is about.
So who needs a gym to lift? You can do it with zero budget and some determination. Excuses are just complicated ways of saying no. Let me know of anything you have tried that works in the comments below.