Why You Don't Need a Gym

Eugene Marathon weekend was like one big party in Tracktown, USA. I still feel exhausted from the amazing weather (70s), running and beer. More than a few times I heard runners talk about how awesome Eugene is. I guess you really do take what you have for granted. And as always, I was inspired by the runners around me - at the expo, on the course and in conversation. 

I'm one of the first to say that I love the gym atmosphere. I enjoy working out around others and like having the choice to do a number of different activities on a whim.

However, in the last year or so, I ditched my gym membership (mainly because I wasn't using it enough) and have gotten along just fine without one! My gym consists of a corner of the dining room where I store the following: 3 yoga mats, 1 ab ball, 5lb, 8lb and 15lb dumbbells, a 10lb kettlebell, resistance bands, a jump rope and two foam rollers.

With a few solid routines, DVDs or creativity, you can get your strength and cardio on in the comfort of your home.

Actually getting my stretch on!

I typically do strength training M/W/F mornings, ranging anywhere from 15-40 min long. On those days, I also like to do some steady state cardio (usually running) for 30-45 min.

Some of my favorite strength workouts include:

  • Jillian Michael's No More Trouble Zones (Bought it for $10 at Tar-get)
  • Any of the Fitnessista's Summer or Winter Shape Up or ab burner workouts (Free) I can't say enough good things about Gina. I feel like she is my friend, part time trainer and fashion inspiration all in one. 
  • Tina's Best Body Bootcamp (Small fee, but great value for all that you get and the workouts change every two weeks of bootcamp)
  • Throwing my own workout together to include some of my favorite or most challenging exercises (burpees, lots of push ups, jumping lunges)
  • Lifeforce Fitness (yoga + strength training w/ cardio bursts)
I try to go to Lifeforce Fitness about once a week because I love the energy and the opportunity to do pull ups and other fun things in a group setting. I've found that this kind of class is more satisfying to me than pumping iron in a room full of gym goers or spinning away on the elliptical. 

Another major advantage to bringing the gym home, is being able to crank out your workouts in less time. Instead of wandering from one machine to the next, I simply grab another set of dumbbells and start going. Or, I drop the weights and start going to town on human X's or burpees. 

By throwing in some cardio bursts to my strength routine, I don't feel bad if I'm not able to get out for a run or bike ride later. While YES, at home workouts take some personal motivation, you'll be surprised what you can crank out in 20 min and how soon you'll have sweat dripping off your forehead. 

In my opinion, there's no better way to start your day than a little sweat. 

Do you have a little gym space in your home? Are you working toward any fitness goals, strength wise? I dream of having a room dedicated to it someday. But for now, our dining room does the trick!

*As always, check with a doc before trying out a new workout. Honor your body and any injuries you may have. 


missris said…
I'm a slave to the gym in the winter (I must have a treadmill at my disposal) but during the summer I "pause" my membership for a few months and do most of my workouts either outside or at the pool. It's totally do-able not to have a gym membership!
Amber said…
We have a pretty thorough home gym set-up with lots of different weights, a spin bike and a lat-pull down machine as well as two bars. Eric solely works out at home so this is mostly for him. I have a really hard time motivating myself to do at-home workouts but I do them from time to time! Trying to up that to weekly now plus one bootcamp session a week!
Tasha Malcolm said…
We ditched our super expensive club membership over a year ago and since have purchased a complete home gym (spin bike, treadmill, kettle bells, olympic weight set, bench etc.) I used the equipment pretty much everyday until October when I joined Farmgirlfit. Now I only use the treadmill, bike and some of the kettle bells. A couple of weeks ago I also joined back up at a previous gym I went to years ago. I wanted it for yoga and spin classes, but with marathon training and my husband playing football all weekend I have yet to make it to a class. Hopefully I can after my race!
Luckily the last 2 places I have lived have had gyms. My last place had a really nice gym, my current place has a decent gym. In the past I mostly used them for treadmill running in the winter but now that I am injured I go down to the gym 3 times a week for some strength training. It is not my favorite thing and I feel like I have a hard time filling 30 minutes (mostly because I can only work core and arms and I feel like there are only so many arm exercises I can do). I don't want to pay for a gym membership, but I do miss having access to classes! Besides that I really don't miss belonging to a gym!
Meggie said…
This is fantastic to know bc NYC gyms = ridic expensive. I haven't joined one yet bc I always run outside but was considering if for residency. Would be great not to!

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