Everyone knows that to go to the gym is going to cost a lot of money, involve a contract, and an unhealthy amount of lycra.
But here’s a crazy thing. You don’t need any of the above. Nope. You can exercise for free, and get a pretty damn good workout. I’ll explain a bit more below.
You see, there is a lot of posturing that goes on when people “go to the gym”. They put on their uniform; lycra shorts, lycra top, expensive trainers (sneakers), Hollister tracksuit bottoms, Nike Fuelband. Anything to show their fellow gym-goers that they are the best person at exercising.
To workout, you don’t need to become part of the Lycra Army. Actually, you don’t need to buy anything special at all. Any beaten up trainers will do, shorts and a t-shirt are sufficient. If it’s cold, add a hat, hoodie and gloves, along with tracksuit bottoms of some sort. I have historically also trained in jeans.
You may have noticed that I mentioned it being cold. That’s right, I’m talking about going outside. Instead of getting into your car to DRIVE to the gym, you can simply walk out of your house or apartment and visit your local park. If you don’t have a park, you can pound the streets.
At a lot of parks, outdoor gyms are being built. These are targeted mostly at the older generations to improve their motivation, but they are actually perfectly suitable for any one 14 years and older. For free, I am able to perform the following exercise: leg presses, stomach crunches, hand cycling, all the required training of my arms, cross-training and more.
These pieces of outdoor gym equipment work on a combination of hydraulics and leverage. This means that if you work out the leverage, you are able to increase the intensity of your work-out by putting your feet or hands further up the lever. It’s also important to slow down so you are doubling up your workout by using your strength when pulling and pushing, and the way up and way down on any piece of equipment.
You can give yourself a decent exercise by scrapping any form of a recovery and instead going for non-stop training for about 30-40 minutes. Stick some earphones on and that time will fly-by.
I have been able to continue my exercise for the last month without spending a single penny. Now that the days are growing shorter, I have shifted to doing something I am now calling Night Gym. Going to the outdoor gym in the dark. It’s relaxing, lit by the stadium lights of the local school and completely exclusive to my use (during the day, small children are obsessed by the gym equipment and not the playground right next door).
To exercise, you don’t need to spend money, you don’t need to hire a trainer, all you need is a smattering of self-motivation and to utilise the outdoors.
If you don’t have an outdoor gym nearby, you can run, do squats, planking, lift some heavy objects (logs, branches, stones). You could also spend about £20 to get a small set of weights, and then cello tape them all together. I now I have one 6KG weight (made of the whole set), with enough reps, this is pretty good.