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How to Workout With Little to No Money

Did you know the health and fitness industry is a 30 Billion dollar a year industry. The average gym membership costs about $800 a year and the average home gym set up costs around $2000. The truth is you can spend a lot of money on health and fitness, but you don’t have to. Right now I’m going to show you 5 ways you can start working out for little to no money. I’ll start with the most expensive (which is still less than $200) and work my way down to the least expensive, free. After reading this article you’ll be saying “no money, no problem!” 

  1. Buy a beginner weight set. I worked out for 3 or 4 years using a cheap weight set from Walmart and a pull up bar. Sadly due to Covid weights and workout equipment is about double what it was a few years ago, but still relatively inexpensive. For $100 to $150 you can get a decent weight set. Along with that you’ll need an adjustable pull up bar which will run you $20-30. So out of my 5 options, this set up is the best option, it will give you the most variety of exercises and be the best in terms of building strength and lean body mass.
  2. Buy a used weight set. People are always moving or need extra cash. Craigslist and Facebook marketplace are great places to find low cost used workout equipment. Unfortunately due to Covid used equipment isn’t as readily available or as inexpensive as it was before Covid, but if you’re patient and shop around you can find a good deal.
  3. Make your own weights. With a little imagination and some leftover milk jugs or water bottles, pvc pipe and sand, you can build your own weight set. Those of you with a little more construction experience can build your own bench press, or squat rack made of wood, and install your own pull up bar.
  4. Use resistance bands. A resistance band, for those of you who haven’t heard that terminology, are rubber or elastic bands used for strength training and physical therapy. The band is used to create resistance. They’re easy to use, inexpensive, and they come in all lengths and tensions. There are pros and cons to using resistance bands. The pros: you can do a wide variety of exercises, you can use them anywhere, they’re light weight and inexpensive – you can get a whole set of resistance bands with a door anchor and handles for $20-30. The cons: it’s difficult to quantify and measure your progress. With weight training it’s simple – 5 lbs. is 5 lbs. But with resistance bands measuring the amount of actual resistance is less exact. So it’s difficult to apply the principle of progressive overload since you can’t track your progress as accurately. It’s not impossible just more difficult. The other con is it’s difficult to build muscle mass, if that’s one of your goals. It’s just not as effective according to the research. But for $20-30 you can’t go wrong.
  5. Bodyweight exercises. Squats, lunges, push ups, dips, sit ups or crunches.. the list goes on. The advantages are (1) it’s completely free and (2) bodyweight exercises are convenient – you can do them just about anywhere. The disadvantages (1) it’s difficult to gain strength and lean body mass past a certain point, because you’re using the same weight at every work out. It’s not impossible, there are ways to progress and regress bodyweight exercises, it’s just more difficult. Also (2) bodyweight exercises can be daunting to you if you’re just getting started. Women especially find it more difficult to do bodyweight exercises involving upper body strength and may become discouraged. So if you’re just starting out a better option may be resistance bands.  

Now there’s one more way to start working out for little to no money that deserves an honorable mention, a bonus tip for anyone who lives in the city – and that is $10 gym memberships! Crunch Fitness and Planet Fitness both offer $10 basic gym memberships. You can have access to all the exercise equipment you could possibly ever need for just $10 a month. So if you’re in the city that might be a good option.

I’ve been focusing on resistance training in this video, I haven’t talked about cardio vascular exercise, which is an important part of any well rounded fitness program. Cardio on the cheap includes taking walks, which is completely free, and maybe working your way up to greater distances and even jogging or running. Jumping rope is excellent cardio and costs about $2. Go bike riding if you own a bike, if you don’t you can buy a used bike for less than $100. Also there’s literally hundreds of exercise videos on Youtube for free, from cardio routines to weight training, and everywhere in between.

So you have no excuses! No money, no problem. No time, there’s hacks for that. No motivation, pick up my free resource on motivation called “Do what you *Really* want”- the 3 Step Motivation Hack. It's a pdf guide that breaks this whole motivation thing into 3 simple steps that will help you get started, or keep going on your fitness journey.

The link is below. Thanks for reading, and God bless you!

Free 3 Step Motivation Hack: https://www.spiritandmuscle.com/motivation


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