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Cost-Effective Home Training
C. Schurman, October 2008
In these tough economic times, it may be difficult to justify keeping extras in your budget such as expensive gym memberships, personal training sessions, or paying for gas to drive the extra distance to the pool, class or club you try to get in a few times a week. When strapped for time or finances, what are some cost-effective ways to get your workouts in on a budget?
Bare Bones Workouts
If you have a basic exercise mat or a carpeted area, you can do a floor routine consisting of abdominal and core exercises, pushups, dips, lunges, squats, and calisthenics for a decent 30 minute workout several days a week. Whatís more, you save on commute time since itís done right at your home. By adding something as basic as a jump rope and walking or jogging shoes, you have a suitable way of adding aerobic exercise in your driveway or around your neighborhood. Another great option is to try circuit training at your neighborhood playground. Use the monkey bars to do pull-ups; use low bars for horizontal pull-ups (with a bar at knee to waist level, get under it with your body parallel to the ground, knees bent to start out with then straight as you progress, and try pulling your chest up to meet the bar); do walking lunges around the playground or triceps dips on the benches supplied for parents.
Sample Bodyweight Routines
If you are wondering how to get started on your own, take a look at both www.bodyresults.com/e2nogym.asp and
www.bodyresults.com/e2no-gym-workout-advanced.asp which provide comprehensive full body strength training routines using little more than your own bodyweight as resistance. By adding a basic stair step or laying a strong sturdy board on two cinder blocks (or even two stools of same height or chairs) you can add movements like step ups, step downs, lunge step ups, triceps dips, planks or pushups with elevated feet, and so forth.
Minimal Investment Home Gym Ideas
If you have a little money to invest in equipment, or if you need to create a home gym with a little more variety, determine your unique fitness and conditioning goals, your exercise preferences, the space of the area you wish to convert, and your familyís training needs, then add pieces suggested below. A Stability Ball (see www.bodyresults.com/e2ballsize.asp for proper sizing), exercise bands, and homemade medicine balls (see www.bodyresults.com/e3homegym.asp for how to make them, and www.bodyresults.com/e2medballs2.asp as well as www.bodyresults.com/e2medballs.asp for exercises that use them) provide outstanding versatility and require very little storage space. If you are looking for cardiovascular equipment, check out Craigslist or local used sports equipment stores for a wind trainer for your bicycle or invest in a sturdy step and a few exercise tapes. www.bodyresults.com/p1karenvoightvideos.asp has a few starting suggestions, or you can access a wide variety for free from your local library.
You may find that by partnering up with a friend or colleague to exercise together, you can save money on individual personal training sessions and, whatís more, have increased adherence to your appointments since you are making an appointment with two people, not just one. Make sure you choose someone who is just as committed to regular exercise as you are, or your friend may try to sabotage your efforts by suggesting you go out for a latte instead! If it is still too hard to keep that gym membership, meet your friend anyway for a brisk walk or a race up and down the local stairs. Committing to someone else is a great way to keep your appointment with yourself for exercise.
Finally, perhaps weekly training sessions no longer fit your budget but you are comfortable training on your own; if you would still like to have professional expertise, unlimited answers to your questions, and a program designed especially for you given your equipment and space needs, our trainers can design a customized WebTrainer program for you given your training goals; at the Bronze level, that would provide you a monthís worth of training for the price of just a single personal training session! See www.bodyresults.com/p1webt.asp on how it works and www.bodyresults.com/p3web-trainer-right-for-you.asp to determine whether it is right for you.
Certainly, we as personal trainers would love to have clients continue to come in our doors every session we have available for training; however, our primary commitment is to keeping you FIT, HEALTHY, and ACTIVE however we can do so. Whatever you need to do in order to keep exercising, JUST DO IT. Hopefully the tips above will give you some options for low-cost training to get you through tough times. Happy training!