Alright let’s be real; it’s not always convenient to get to the gym. Google actually offers over 1.4 million results on a search of GETTING TO THE GYM in the context of being a problem. It could be any number of factors stopping you from cost, to time, to intimidation. In fact, I never go to the gym, keyword go. I actually built it up in my house. I was lucky enough however to have the room for the equipment and thus have utilized my home gym for the better part of eight years now.
I am going to let you in on a secret, ready for it? You can work out at home with things already in your house. This isn’t an early morning public TV stretching session, this is an honest effort workout guerilla style!
Guerilla, according to our friends at Merriam-Webster is defined as a person who engages in irregular warfare especially as a member of an independent unit carrying out harassment and sabotage.
The part that pertains to this article is “engages in irregular warfare”. Before you say, “well working out is not war.” I will tell you it absolutely is. So, let’s gear up and go to battle.
You should have all of the following in your house. If you don’t, the things listed here are readily and easily accessible.
I don’t care if you live in a multi-million dollar mansion or a one room flop house with no running water. You have a floor. What can we do with this multifaceted flat surface?
You don’t get more old school then banging out some pushups. All that is required for this time tested exercise is a flat surface, arms, and the tips of your toes. Push ups are great for building upper body strength and endurance. The standard pushup works the pecs, delts, triceps as well as the core muscles.
The problem is most people can’t do them. Start slow and build. Do as many as you can, even if it is just two. Remember this number and do those two every hour you are awake. Tomorrow try to add one every hour. For every two you can add to one set go ahead and cut back one hour. So if tomorrow you do two every hour for eight hours. A few days later if you can do four every hour then reduce it to seven hours. Keep this up and pretty soon you’ll do twenty or more with no problem. Either that or join the military and I promise you’ll learn to push the earth really fast!
No matter the square footage you can run in place. There is no reason you can’t work up a good pace doing this either. You don’t need a treadmill to run nowhere fast. Start by doing a slow jog for sixty seconds then run at full speed for thirty seconds followed by a slow jog for thirty seconds. Do ten of these sets and finish with a three-minute slow jog.
Don’t know what burpee is? Well then you don’t know torture mixed with fun. Basically you start in a standing position. You drop to a front leaning rest (up pushup position), now bring your legs in fast, and finally pop up. Feel free to look up any of the thousands of video examples online, though I recommend any video done by a member of the military.
Start off slow and do five burpees, rest sixty seconds then repeat with five more. Each day try to add one more burpee and cut five seconds off your rest. For the ultimate test do back to back sets of burpees with active rest of running or jumping jacks for as many circuits as you can.
If you are feeling incredibly badass then check out the Military Burpee Pyramid Challenge.
Fun Fitness fact: When I attended a law enforcement academy they had us do burpees for seven minutes straight as part of a fitness training class.
This is anywhere off the floor. The seat of a chair, edge of a couch, rim of the bathtub, the kitchen counter. These surfaces offer a multitude of options for you to work with.
- Pushups – Changing the angle of your pushup not only makes it more challenging but offers greater increases in strength and works different parts of the muscle. Remember muscles are in essence round, so why just work them in one plane of motion.
- You have a few choices here, elevating the front of your body with your hands on the edge or arms of a stationary chair, rim of the tub, or edge of the kitchen counter.
- The other option is to elevate your legs on the chair, couch, or tub. These elevated and declined positions are similar to adjusting the seat back when doing a barbell bench-press.
- Dips– You can hit your triceps by reversing the above recommendations for pushups. The great thing here is you can vary the range and intensity of the exercise depending on the height of the surface. One of my favorite place to do dips is on the 90 degree corner of my kitchen counters.
This is probably one of my favorites and one of the most versatile areas in our home guerilla workout.
Here are just a few of many exercises you can do on stairs. The best part is you only need a set of stairs with about five steps to achieve any of these.
- Pushups– Notice a trend here? Incline or decline your body and get to pushing. However, for safety on declines place your hands on the landing after the last step to avoid injury.
- Dips– Reference the elevated surface recommendations above and transfer them to the stairs. It’s that easy.
- Jogging– Ask my personal fitness idol and all around American icon Rocky Balboa about running stairs. This offers a greater cardiovascular benefit than running on a flat surface. There is actually a good chance most people (even those in good shape) will struggle starting out running stairs. An article published in Runner’s World indicated that stairs have an average 65% grade (the angle or level of slope). As a comparison a level treadmill is at 0% gradient. A 45-degree angle is a gradient of 100%. Personally I’d rather run stairs than a 45 degree inclined treadmill.
- Bear crawls– Crawl to the top on all fours then jog back to the bottom and repeat then roar. Alright maybe leave out the roaring.
- Mountain climbers– Get in an incline front leaning rest position with your lower body stretched to the farthest lower step. Using just your legs run up until your body is about 45 degrees then go back.
All of the above are very easy to incorporate into your daily life. They can be done any hour of the day or even while watching TV or doing other household tasks. Congratulations, you can now boast you have a home gym!