Do You Really Need A Gym Membership to Reach Your Goals?

Beep… Beep… BEEP! The alarm goes off. Scared awake, I quickly turn my alarm off…

Bam! I hit my head on the light above the bed. Slowly I regain my senses and realized where I am. In the bottom bunk of a triple-stacked bunk bed. Oh, that’s right… it’s 2006 and I am on deployment in the middle of the ocean. I was kind of hoping that was just a bad dream. Oh well…

The room I sleep in is dark, except for the eerie red light that permeates the area. The only sound – the occasional fart from one of the other 200 people that sleep around me.

It’s 0330 (3:30 am for you weirdos) and I am the only one up trying to get my lift on. As I groggily stagger up some steep steps, I see that the entrance to the gym is taped off.

“Closed for 4 Weeks for Painting”

My face gets hot as I begin to seethe with rage. The only good part of my day was just taken away from me… I missed out on precious sleep for this! I can’t go back to sleep, I just downed 3 scoops of pre-workout because I had the feeling it was going to be a rough morning.

Fitness is new to me. This is my first real program and my buddies always said the gym is the only place I can make real progress. What do I do?

Luckily, I am two things – stubborn and creative. Light bulb! We just took on some big tanks in the storage area. Might be a good spot to work out…

I head down into the dark pit where we store the heavy equipment and proceed to have one of the best workouts I have ever had up to that point.

Do I Really Need a Gym Membership

Do You Need a Gym Membership to Make Progress?

The short answer is no. You don’t need a gym membership. You can build an amazing body at home with little to no equipment. Buy a couple of dumbbells or kettlebells, maybe a door pull-up bar and boom! You’re all set.

Move that little bit of equipment into your garage or living room, throw on some Selena Gomez (I know you dudes are rocking out to Hands to Myself) and just crush it.

You can get shredded, you can gain some muscle and the best part? You won’t have to deal with those “gym bros” mocking your form or staring at your butt. A well-written program and spot-on nutrition can get you nearly 100% of the way to your fitness goals, especially if your goals are to drop a few pounds and look good naked.

I’ll even give you some ideas at the end of this article.

You Don’t Need a Gym to Have a Great Workout

Believe me, I know about home workouts from experience. Being in the Navy and in an area where we were deployed more times than not, there were numerous times when I was forced to do makeshift workouts anywhere I could find space. Be it push-ups in the dorm-like area where we slept (does 200 people to a room sound fun?) or using a tank cannon to do pull-ups (apparently Marines don’t always appreciate it that!).

I found a way to make it work without having access to a gym. I was creative, dedicated and I worked out with intensity. If I was doing bodyweight workouts or working out with limited equipment, I always made sure to bring my “A” game. Intensity is a major key to making these workouts effective. Because I always trained with passion, these simple workouts were some of the best workouts I’ve ever had.

All The Bells and Whistles

One of the advantages of going to a gym is the amount of equipment they have. From battle ropes to TRX’s, to sleds and prowlers, gyms can carry a wide range of gear. Is that better, though? Would it have been nice to be able to use some barbells and heavy dumbbells at times? Sure, it would have, but it also is very confusing at first.

Especially if you aren’t going in there with a plan. All those options can paralyze you. You get overloaded with information. Machines that target the long head of your biceps, kettlebells whizzing above your head. It can all be very overwhelming.

Look, those tools are fun and can be a great asset to your workouts if you have a good program and know how to use them. Did I need them to knock down some body fat and get in better shape? Absolutely not. Plus, the ability to think outside the box and get creative with my workouts was a rush and it made the workouts infinitely more fun.

Defeat Through Intimidation

Gym Membership Intimidation with Star Wars

Let’s talk about gym culture a little bit. What do you see all over Instagram? Super shredded dudes and chicks taking selfies in the mirror. And that’s really it. Very rarely do you see people on Instagram that are overweight and just trying to put in the work.

That is insanely intimidating. It can put you in the vicious cycle of feeling inadequate because you don’t look like that. You think they’re judging you because you’re weak or fat.

The reality is they are much more interested in staring at themselves in the mirror and getting that right light for the perfect selfie. That doesn’t matter to your brain, though. It tries to protect you by making you believe you don’t belong with these people and that you need to leave.

You end up in this cycle of self-defeat where you’re not working out because of the people who are where you want to be, intimidate you. But you need to workout to get to where they are, and you absolutely can get there.

What Can I Do?

So what’s the answer? Buy some insanity or P90x DVDs? Definitely not, doing an insane amount of fast paced calisthenics is not necessary and can do more harm, via injury, than good. If that’s your cup of tea, though, grab some crumpets and drink the hell out of it.

If not, there are a ton of ways to make home workouts effective. The best part about workouts like this is you can literally do them anywhere. Home workouts can be unbelievably effective especially if your goal is to drop a little bit of fat and just get healthier. The amount of exercises you can do with just your bodyweight or a pair of dumbbells is staggering.

It’s not where you work out, it’s how you do it. If Luke can become a jacked Jedi in a swamp, with only Yoda to use for yodabell swings, then you can get fit in your humble abode. With the right intensity, you can crush your body composition goals just as easily at home as you can in the gym.

The “Let’s Get Shredded” Home Workout

Workout 1 – Monday

Set A

Directions: alternate between A1 and A2 with no rest after A1. Take 90-120 seconds rest after A2.

ExerciseSetsReps
A1)Walking Lunges  4   8 per leg
A2)Pike Pushups  4   10
Set B

Directions: alternate between B1 and B2. Rest 30 seconds after B1 and 45-60 seconds after B2.

ExerciseSetsReps
B1)Split Squats (2-second pause at bottom)56 per leg
B2)Feet Elevated Push Ups512
Set C

Directions: perform C1, C2, and C3 with 15-45 seconds rest between each set.

ExerciseSetsReps
C1)Prisoner Squats310
C2)Spiderman Pushups310
C3)Speed Skater Jumps38 per leg

Workout 2 – Wednesday

Set A

Directions: alternate between A1 and A2 with no rest after A1 and 90-120 seconds rest after A2.

ExerciseSetsReps
A1)Bodyweight Glute Bridges610
A2)Chair Rows (anything you can find with some weight)612
Set B

Directions: alternate between B1 and B2. Rest 30 seconds after B1 and 45-60 seconds after B2.

ExerciseSetsReps
B1)Jump Squats38
B2)Door Pull Ups38
Set C

Directions: alternate between C1 and C2. Rest 30-45 seconds between each exercise.

ExerciseSetsReps
C1)Single Leg Bodyweight Hip Thrusts310
C2)Towel Pull Aparts315
Set D

Directions: perform D1, D2, and D3 with 15-45 seconds rest between each set.

ExerciseSetsReps
D1)Lateral Lunges210
D2)Planks245s
D2)Wall Slides215

Workout 3 – Friday

Set A

Directions: do all exercises with no rest between them. Rest 90 seconds after A5.

ExerciseSetsReps
A1)One Leg Squats to Chair312 per leg
A2)Hand Walkouts312
A3)Alternating Reverse Lunges312
A4)Feet Elevated Push Ups312
A5)Cross Body Mountain Climbers345s
Set B

Directions: same as set A1 – do all exercises with no rest between them. Rest 90 seconds after B5.

ExerciseSetsReps
B1)Burpees28
B2)Bodyweight Romanian Dealifts220
B3)Split Squats212 per leg
B4)Alligator Push Ups210 per side
B5)Dead Bugs210 per side

Working Out Without a Gym Membership

Wrapping Up

You don’t need a gym membership to hit most of your goals. If you really are averse to going or are just too busy at this stage in your life, you can still get an amazing workout done at home. Get on a good program, dial up the intensity and you will do amazing.

Got any other cool ideas for working out away from the gym? Let me know in the comments below!

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