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 Post subject: Day 9 of 12 Days of VB&F - Daily Information
PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 5:24 pm 
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12 Days of Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness - December 20-31, 2011

Vision: To create a structure and formula for success in a health and fitness program, providing helpful tools, resources, and guidance to turn goals into reality, making New Year’s Resolutions come true.

Follow the 12 Days of Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness to achieve your New Year’s Resolutions! This 12-Day Formula For Success is the platform you need to finally make your health and fitness goals a reality.

Full details here: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=26972

Day 9 of 12 Days of Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness - Daily Information

Getting in Shape Without Gym Equipment - By Robert Cheeke

What can I do if I want to get in shape and gain muscle but I don’t have a gym membership? This is a common situation for a lot of people. Gym memberships can be expensive and you usually need some means of transportation to get there. Setting up a home gym, filled with gym equipment, can also be tedious, expensive and take up lots of room. If you are in a situation where at the present time you can’t afford a gym membership, don’t have a way of getting there, live too far away from a gym, or don’t “make” the time to get to the gym or build your own, here are some suggestions for you.

Keep these questions in mind. Do you need a treadmill to run? Do you need a stair-stepper to climb stairs? Do you need a stationary bike with a TV in front of you to cycle? Do you need a stretching room to stretch your muscles? Do you need a special machine to do pull-ups or sit-ups? Do you need dumbbells to curl weight? Do you need barbells or machines to move weight? Of course the resounding answer is, “no.” In fact, the more creative you are in your muscle building approach, the more you’ll likely enjoy it and perhaps, the more you’ll benefit from the sheer diversity of movements.

I grew up on a farm, where I had access to countless muscle-producing tools and equipment, although I didn’t realize it until I became a bodybuilder years later. Now when I go back to the farm, I take the opportunity to shrug buckets full of dirt or water, jog outside in the fresh air, and do pull-ups from a tree limbs. I carry stacks of firewood, lift bales of hay, and use tools such as shovels and occasionally an axe to chop wood. These exercises not only test my muscles and build strength, but also build endurance, and in my case, doing farm work, build character. You don’t have to be on a farm to benefit from many of these alternative muscle-building types of exercises. Sure, some are unique to specific settings, but in general, a park or a playground should suffice for most of the core non-gym types of exercises.


Here are some exercises you can do for different muscle groups outside of a gym. They can be done at home, at a park, or anywhere that you have access to some of these “tools.”

Cardiovascular and aerobic training is something you can always do for free and do anywhere. Running, jumping, skipping, and walking are exercises you can do in nearly every location. Biking, swimming, and climbing stairs, are great cardiovascular exercises that are also pretty easy to come by. It’s not just aerobic training that you can do outside the structure of a gym, but muscle building exercises too. Listed by muscle group, check out the following exercises:

Back—Pull-ups are a great exercise for the back. All you need is something to grab onto to pull yourself up. A sturdy pipe, a tree limb, or even a structure at the park will do. Variations can be included as well, such as close-grip, wide-grip, reverse-grip, partial reps, static holds etc. You can perform bent-over rows with buckets full of sand, dirt, gravel, or water. Use them like dumbbells. Or do the same exercise with a tree limb or even 2.5 or 1 gallon containers of water. That is something I often do while traveling. You can do deadlifts the same way. Find heavy objects that are not too awkward to pick up and perform your exercise. Buckets filled with heavy substances seem to work best. One-arm dumbbell rows can be done kneeling on a park bench using a heavy bucket, or other device with a handle on it.


Chest—Push-up variations are something that can be done easily and have a great muscle building impact on the body. Variations include narrow and wide hand placement, one-arm, super-sets and drop-sets, incline and decline, and static holds as well. Dips aren’t too hard to come by outside of the gym either. Find a structure at home, at the park, on the farm, or downtown that you can grip and lower yourself, and push yourself back up. You can do flys with gallon jugs filled with water. Lie on a bench and perform the fly movement you would if you had dumbbells. Other objects can be substituted for the gallon jugs, whatever you can find that is heavy enough to get the job done.


Shoulders—Shrugs are one of the easiest exercises to do. Find heavy objects, my favorites are large buckets filled with something dense, and use them for shoulder shrugs. Lateral and front raises can be done with the gallon jug filled with water, or even buckets, just vary the weight. Shoulder presses can be done with a heavy piece of wood, heavy box, an old car tire, or anything of the sort. Even suitcases filled with clothing and heavy books would work very well. Be creative.

Arms—Bicep curls with heavy buckets, wood, gallon jugs, pipes, or even random items like a vacuum, bicycle, or wooden chair work just fine. You could even find a rope and tie a heavy object at the end and use it for biceps and many other muscle groups. Find objects to curl with one arm and two arms. Select a grip to perform concentration curls, hammer curls, and supinated bicep curls. Triceps kickbacks can be performed with the filled gallon jug, or even a heavy tool or wood or metal object. Overhead extensions can be done with the same items. Dips for triceps can be performed as well. Just change your grip and position to take the stress off the chest and direct it to the back of the arms. With two chairs, one for your hands and one for your feet, you can do exceptional triceps dips. While doing push-ups, various hand positions, including a narrow placement, will put stress on the triceps as well.

Abs—Hanging leg raises are probably the best exercise you can do for abs. Hang from a tree, steel bar, pipe, structure at park or playground, or wooden ledge and perform this exercise. Sit-ups on the floor, in the grass, or any other soft surface can easily be done anywhere. I often do them when I travel around the country. Find a patch of grass off the beaten path and perform front and side crunches and sit-ups, lying leg raises, bicycle crunches and static holds for abs. This is the muscle group that is probably the easiest to target incredibly effectively without access to gym equipment. In fact, there are few gym machines or pieces of equipment I ever use when training abs. I always go back to the basics of leg raises, sit-up and crunch variations and static holds.

Legs—Free squats without weights or with weighted objects you find to use, can be a very effective exercise for legs. Lift an object and place it on your shoulders. Perform squats just like you would in the gym. In this case you won’t be able to go as heavy as you could in the gym, unless you build a devise to rack the weight on to allow you to walk under it to get started. Since you probably can’t go as heavy as you would in the gym, focus on the speed and pace of the movement, the depth, and how long you do each set until fatigue sets in. Lunges can be done with the heavy object on your shoulders as well, or with weight in your hands. Buckets would probably be too tall and hit the ground when you lunge, but filled gallon or 2.5-gallon jugs would be fine. You can also wear a heavy backpack for any leg exercise to add additional weight. Supersets, and rest-pauses can be implemented to get a burn since the weight won’t be as heavy. Calf raises can be done on stairs, one or two legs at a time. You can add weight to this exercise by using your weighted bucket, heavy backpack, gallon jug, or other object you find at home that has significant weight to it.

Keep in mind that these are just a few exercises that I came up with. You can also take these exercises and apply them with different strategies using drop-sets, supersets, rest-pauses, partial-reps, isolated movements, High Intensity Training, and other training principles. Use your creativity to find objects around the house, at your workplace, or in the park to build your physique and achieve your fitness goals. Remember that nutrition is more than half the battle, so refer to some of our nutrition pages on for guidance for the most important part of the equation. Have fun and explore new ways of arriving at a similar destination as someone training in the gym. You don’t need a gym membership, or gym equipment, you just need the desire, will, creativity and positive attitude to create an environment around you that is fit to keep you fit.

Good luck, invent some new exercises, and build your body, no matter where you live or what your situation is. All the very best in health and fitness.

-Robert Cheeke
@RobertCheeke on Twitter




Check back for tomorrow's updates!


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