No Gym, No Problem!

When I began working out consistently about a year ago, I really wanted to join a gym. I think most people have a perception that gyms are the best place to get into shape. I was shocked, however, at the high cost of membership. Many gyms have a sign on fee, a monthly fee and even fees for classes or using amenities. I decided to build my own workout plan using online resources rather than shell out the money for a membership. Follow my guide to build your own fitness routine.

Set Your Goals

First, you want to set your own fitness goals. How much weight do you want to lose? Are you just looking to build endurance? How about learning to run? Once you have your goals set you can start to work towards them. My goal was to gain strength and loose some weight. Buy a journal or notebook to keep track of your progress. Another tool I use is MyFitnessPal which lets you track your workouts and your diet. It helps you estimate how many calories you burn doing each activity. Set up a doctor’s appointment and share your goals and make sure you are in healthy enough shape to start a fitness routine.

Start Small

A huge piece of advice I can offer is to start small. If you start working out full on right away, you will risk injuring yourself. A good goal is to start with twenty to thirty minutes of fitness per day every other day. You can slowly increase to more minutes per day and more workouts per week. What I liked about starting small is that I could add workouts throughout my day, like on my lunch break, instead of devoting a lot of time at the gym. You will want to make sure you have plenty of rest days, because that is when your body recovers and rebuilds muscle. I initially injured myself by working out for two or three hours at a time every day. It sidelined me for a few weeks, which ultimately set my goals back a few weeks, too.

Watch Videos

YouTube was a great resource for my workouts, and I simply searched for beginners workouts. Pick a style of workout that appeals to you. If you like cardio, choose a cardio workout, but if you’re into another type of fitness, choose that instead. If you can’t complete all of a video because it’s too challenging, take a break or modify it to your abilities. If you keep at it, eventually you will become good at that particular video and have to move on to more challenging work outs. I like to mix up my workouts and do yoga, pilates, cardio and strength training.

Use Your Body

Some workouts don’t require a video or instruction at all. If you can, take a short walk every day. It requires no equipment and is great not only for your body but nature can help calm your mind. I like taking a long walk when the weather is nice as a warm up to more intense workouts. Crunches, push ups, squats and other basic calisthenics don’t require equipment or instruction either. I like adding these into my workout as well, and set monthly goals for how many of each I can do. Its good to see improvement and is a fun way to challenge yourself.

Fitness is important to your health and it can help you lead a more exciting life. Working out has helped me lose weight, gain energy and also gain confidence. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on a gym membership to get fit, just grab your computer or device and watch some videos or even just take a walk. You could soon be on your way to reaching your ultimate fitness goals and setting new ones.

Three Standing Abdominal Excercises

Experts often point to weak core muscle structure as the root cause for hip and back pain and injuries to the lower extremities. Strengthen your core with these three tummy toners performed in a vertical position.

Side to Sides

Grab a dumb bell or medicine ball and stand with feet hip width apart. Pull tummy muscles in and elongate spine. With bent elbows, hold weight about 12 inches from body. Rotate rib cage and shoulders from left to right, keeping hips stable.

Standing Cable Crunches

Using a cable column, place rope handle above shoulders. Stand with tail bone against column. Place rope over shoulders, holding ends in hands against upper chest. Draw in tummy and crunch forward using abs, not your hands, to pull. Select a moderate weight that enables you to maintain form without involving the lower back.

Tick Tocks

Holding a 4-foot dowel or broomstick, fully extend arms overhead with feet positioned a little more than shoulder width apart. Holding tummy tight and facing forward, bend as far to the right as you can. Feel the stretch along the sides of your body. Return to start and repeat on left.

Exercise strengthens and firms muscles, but to see a ‘six pack’ you must reduce body fat. Make it happen by changing your diet and performing fat-burning aerobic exercises several days per week.

Workout Plans For Lean Muscle Gain

So you are really serious about this huh? You want to gain muscle right? Well you’ve come to the right place because I will show you the best workout to gain muscle. Firstly you must take the muscle builders creed. You MUST commit yourself to this because results are long in coming, however once they do… it seems like a cascade of new striations and fascinating little bulges here and there! You HAVE to stick with it and make it a permanent/long-term lifestyle choice. If you are looking for a quick fix, sorry pal, you won’t find one here.

So what’s the best workout to gain muscle? Some call it German Volume Training but it has many variations. This is mostly because in its original form its deadly difficult to do as it would take so long for a newbie to finish it if they survive past the first few sets. Also, there is a high chance that your body will go into catabolism. So the variations! Well there are two forms. High Intensity and High volume. High intensity involves doing a combination of explosive exercises with very heavy weights for short bursts in order to gain muscle. High volume on the other hand involves doing two or three exercises for extended sets with HEAVY weights (10-20 sets). Sounds easy? No! THESE HARDCORE but MIGHTY EFFECTIVE workouts to gain muscle rather quickly. I won’t beat about the bush. Here’s what a BASIC High intensity upper workout will look like;

bench-press @ 4-6 reps
rows + chin ups + pull-downs @ 4-6 reps
military press + Upright rows + lateral raise @ 4-6 reps
incline press + pull overs + dips @ 4-6 reps

There are many techniques you can employ like pre-exhaustion, rest-pauses, negatives and pure negatives.

A high volume workout is much tougher and need only be performed a maximum of 3 times a week. You need core and compound workouts to get maximum benefits with this workout to gain muscle

Deadlifts
Squats
Bunchpress
Chin ups/pull ups
Military press
Rows
Clean & press
Dips.

This workout regime requires huge focus because of how taxing it is on your body. You need lots of sleep, lots of good nutrition and you will need to listen in to your body and see if you are over exerting yourself. You will also need to balance it properly for your body type. This is my favourite workout to gain muscle and it is what I used when I started out.

It’s simple and easy to follow. You need about 50-60% on your one rep max to perform this.

However there are more effective variations to this which will give you a much much easier ride. Get rid of the exposed ribs and fight the flab and expose those fab abs! This is the holy grail of mass building and quite simply the best workout to gain muscle out there. Don’t be left behind. Your new body awaits!.

Exercises That Work Your Arms

Toned arms are sexy arms. Think about all the outfits and pieces of clothing that can show off the arms. First, there is the sexy tank top. These are perfect for exercise, for summertime, for lounging around the house and even wearing under other blouses. Now think dresses. You can show off your arms by wearing sleeveless dresses or even sun dresses, if you like the look of your shoulders as well. Now here are some exercises that can help you tone those arms.

Note: You will need a resistance band.

First, consider normal walking. Walking burns calories. When we burn calories we are also burning away fat, including fat that may be on our arms.

Now get your resistance band and try these exercises:

Tricep Toner

Grab one end of your band and hold it behind your back behind your head with your right hand. Allow your right arm to bend. Bring your left arm down to the small of your back and hold the other end of the band.

Now straighten your right arm up above your head. Hold for a count of five. Repeat 14 times on right side. Switch positions and repeat with your left arm for 15 reps.

Overhead Shoulder Presses

This exercise is performed in front of you.

Wind the one end of the band around your right hand about three times. Hold it in front of your left hip. Grab the other end of the band with your left hand and hold it near your face, by your ear. Keep your palms facing outwards.

Now straighten your left arm up towards the sky. Hold. Repeat 14 times.

Switch positions. Repeat with your right arm for 15 reps.

Bicep Curls

With your right hand hold onto the right side of the band and with your left hand hold onto the left side. Now step onto the band. Make sure your legs are shoulder width apart. Keep your palms facing forward. Bend your arms at the elbows. Now slowly bring both arms up at the same time towards your shoulders. Hold. Repeat 15 times.

As you become used to these exercises you can do these in conjunction with a walking routine. Walk for five minutes. Stop and do a toning exercise and then walking again, etc.

What about toning with dumbbells? Most experts will tell you that resistance bands are a better choice since dumbbells only weight, no resistance.

Repeat these exercises at least three times a week to see results.

Strength Training Workout Plans

Building muscle and strength is really quite simple. All you have to do is to filter out the information on the net and decide for yourself which is true and which is not. But that can be difficult at times can it? As such, this article will show you a training template which I have devised over the years of training and studying.

Why a template and not a program? That’s because everybody should have programs which are individualized to them. A template does not restrict you in doing exercises which you cannot do because of serious injury. It also allows you to do any kind of additional exercises which allows you to correct your own personal imbalances. Of course, there are some guidelines which need to be conformed to because of their undoubted ability to promote growth of strength and muscle.

Without further ado, here’s the training template!

Training template

Week 1

Workout A
Squat/Deadlift variation – work up to a 1RM
1A) Push compound upper body – 8×3
1B) Pull compound upper body – 8×3
2 corrective/rehab exercises – 2×12

Workout B
Squat/Deadlift variation – 5×5 or 3×10
1A) Push compound upper body – 5×5 or 3×10
1B) Pull compound upper body – 5×5 or 3×10
Any 3 exercises – less than 10 sets total

Workout C
Chin-ups/ bench press variation – 3xF
1A) Push/Pull compound upper 4xF
1B) Push/pull compound lower – 4×12
2 corrective/rehab exercises – 2×12

Week 2

Workout A
Squat/Deadlift variation – 4×12
1A) Push compound upper body – 4×10
1B) Pull compound upper body – 4×10
2 corrective/rehab exercises – 2×12

Workout B
Squat/Deadlift variation – 5×5 or 3×10
1A) Push compound upper body – 5×5 or 3×10
1B) Pull compound upper body – 5×5 or 3×10
Any 3 exercises – less than 10 sets total

Workout C
Chin-ups/ bench press variation – work up to a 1RM
1A) Push/Pull compound upper – 8×3
1B) Push/pull compound lower – 8×3
2 corrective/rehab exercises – 2×12

Exercise – sets x reps

Work up to a 1RM – start with a light weight and do for 5 reps. Keep increasing the weight with every set until you can only do a heavy weight for 1 rep.

5×5 or 3×10 – Choose either 5×5 or 3×10 by determining your muscle fiber type. Read below to learn how to determine it.

Compound – Do a compound exercise. A compound exercise is a movement that works many muscles at once. (Pushup, pull-up)

Push – Do a pushing movement in that exercise. (Pushup, bench press, military press)

Pull – Do a pulling movement in that exercise. (Pull-up, barbell rows, incline rows)

3xF – Do as much as you can with an exercise for 3 sets.

Corrective/rehab – Do a rehab or corrective exercise for any past injuries. You can also do them for preventing injuries by making a part stronger. If you have any muscular imbalances, here is the place to correct them. If you are hunchbacked because of strong front shoulders and chest, you can do shrugs and additional back and shoulder work to bring the weak parts up. (Planks, external shoulder rotations, calve raises, isolation exercises)

It should be noted that you should do workouts alternating workout A, B, C, A, B, C, etc. with one day rest in between.

Workout A

The first week of workout A, you have to do a squat or deadlift variation for a 1RM. You can use any kind of variations of the squat and deadlift, the main reason for this is to stimulate the central nervous system and increasing maximal strength. This also acts as an indicator of whether you are getting stronger on this particular program.

The second week of workout A, you are to do 4 sets of 12 repetitions with a sub maximal weight. The weight you use can be estimated at around 60% of your 1RM. This is being conservative and if you can really push it don’t be afraid of doing as much as 70% of your 1RM.

As for the push and pull compound exercises, they are called a super-set. This means doing 1B exercise immediately after 1A exercise. Choose any exercise as long as it fits the description (pull/push compound). That means bodyweight exercises, machines and even just climbing a rope. This applies to all workouts and exercises unless specified.

Corrective and rehab exercises should always be done. The bringing up of weak areas and imbalances is extremely important for a balanced physique. Ask yourself questions: Is your shoulders sagging forward? This means your back and rear shoulders need work. Evaluate yourself and search the internet for information for how to cure imbalances. However, if you are a tennis player of sort, you should include rotator cuff work.

Workout B

The first exercise of workout B is either a squat or deadlift variation. Choose the squat if you did a deadlift variation in workout A, vice-versa. The super-set is done exactly like workout A but with different exercises. The last 3 exercises can be any exercise which you want to do. It can be vanity work for your biceps, additional hamstring work or even more corrective exercises.

The rep ranges for workout B is 5×5 or 3×10. As said before, this is dependent on your muscle fiber type. So how exactly do you know what fiber type are you? Jump. If you squat only ΒΌ down before your jump and take less than a second to jump, you are fast-twitch dominant. If you squat parallel before your jump and take more than a second to jump, you are slow-twitch dominant.

For fast-twitch individuals, you should choose the 5×5 rep range. For slow-twitch individuals, choose the 3×10 rep range. This ensures that you have 2 workouts which are targeted to your muscle fiber type and one workout which stimulates growth to the other muscle fiber type.

Workout C

The first exercise of workout C is done the same way as workout A, only that you are doing an upper body variation. Take note that in the first week, you are doing repetitions to failure with a sub-maximal weight and in the second week, you are working up to a 1RM.

If the first exercise you chose a chin-up variation, do a pushing movement at the super-set. If you chose the bench press, do a pulling movement.

Progression

You should always increase the weight if it feels like you can give more in that training session. Always push yourself to the point where it gets really uncomfortable. For every week, you should increase the weights used by a little.

You will at one point stop making progress at your lifts. As long as it is not the main exercise (first exercise), it is fine. But if the main exercise stalls in progress, you should change the program and start using different exercises. But if you stall before a month on a program, it is advisable that you continue on and give it time.

Example training program

Week 1

Workout A
Deadlift – work up to a 1RM
1A) Dumbbell bench press – 8×3
1B) Dumbbell rows – 8×3
Planks – 2×12
External rotations – 2×12

Workout B
Squat – 5×5
1A) Dips – 5×5
1B) Pull-ups – 5×5
Shrugs 4×12
Leg curls – 2×12
Chin-ups 4xF

Workout C
Bench press- 3xF
1A) Dumbbell rows 4xF
1B) Split squats – 4×12
Planks – 2×12
External rotations – 2×12

Week 2

Workout A
Deadlift – 4×12
1A) Dumbbell bench press – 4×10
1B) Dumbbell rows – 4×10
Planks – 2×12
External rotations – 2×12

Workout B
Squat – 5×5
1A) Dips – 5×5
1B) Pull-ups – 5×5
Shrugs 4×12
Leg curls 2×12
Chin-ups 4xF

Workout C
Bench press variation – work up to a 1RM
1A) Chin-ups – 8×3
1B) Split squats- 8×3
Planks- 2×12
External rotations – 2×12