Yes, you read that right. I am a personal trainer and I will be the first to say you can get a great workout without the gym.
For a long time I thought that the biggest part of “getting in shape” was signing up for a gym membership. Many of my clients have expressed that same idea! I’ve had several gym memberships throughout my life, but I never found myself going often enough to justify the expense. It turns out that my best workouts happen when I visit the biggest, most affordable gym of all—the outdoors!
Whether you’re looking for a more comfortable gym alternative or just giving your bank account a break, here are some methods I’ve learned over the years to get a great workout without the gym.
Turn creative cardio into a full-body workout
You already know how to get your cardio without the gym—running. Right? Well, sort of. Running is definitely a great way to ramp up your heart and breathing rates, but for all of us out there who don’t love it or are looking for a more complete workout, there are plenty of other options!
I like to do high-intensity interval training using a variety of compound movements to get a full-body workout that burns a ton of calories. One of my favorite HIIT programs is Tabata. Using this method, you’ll push yourself as hard as possible for 20 seconds and then rest for 10. You’ll repeat this eight times for a lightening fast but totally killer full-body workout! Some compound exercises that work great if you’re doing Tabata outdoors are burpees, squats with a jump, lunges with a twist, push ups, and pretty much any plank variation.
Read my article all about how to get in your cardio without running by clicking here!
Discover fitness opportunities in your own neighborhood
I’m lucky to be located in Denver, where I enjoy a variety of free outdoor workout spots. If you’re in the area, click here to read about some of my faves. Of course it wouldn’t be a complete list if I didn’t include the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater!
If you aren’t near any of these spots, don’t worry! You can still get a great workout without the gym. Is there a park nearby? I’d be willing to bet there are paths you can walk and run and areas where you can enjoy a game of basketball, tennis, or volleyball. Often times you can sign up for sports leagues and fitness classes at your local park, which is another affordable way I love to add fresh air and variety to my health and fitness routine.
Even if your closest outdoor area is just the campus of a large organization like a library or college, there should be plenty of stairs you can sprint up and benches on which to do muscle-building tricep dips and step ups!
When nature gives you trails—go hiking! Or biking. Or paddling...
It’s no secret that Colorado is home to excellent hiking no matter what level of fitness you’re at or you’re aiming for. Here are the three best hikes I’ve found in the Denver area that will provide a variety of difficulty as well as amazing scenery.
Even if you aren’t in Colorado, most states and cities have outdoor areas that offer all kinds of opportunities to get a great workout without the gym. Is there a path around that large lake downtown? Bike it! Been meaning to make it to that scenic overlook? Park a little farther out and hike the path less traveled! Do you always wonder about that river you pass on your way to work? Who knows what you could discover if you rented a canoe or kayak and paddled around for a few hours!
Your health and fitness are not dependent on having a gym membership. There are plenty of ways to get a great a great workout without the gym when you look at the world around you. Having trouble making the lifestyle changes necessary to reach your goals? That’s where having a compatibility partner and coach can really come in handy. Contact me for a free session and find out how I can help you improve your eating habits and actually enjoy working out—no matter where that is.