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Looking for non-machine exercises to build muscle!

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I'll be going away for the summer, and don't want to spend the money to join a gym for only 3 months, but would love to continue building muscle. Does anyone know where I could find some good muscle building workouts that don't require a gym membership, or portable equipment that would be beneficial? I thought about buying some free weights, but I can't change the workout very easily as I progress.

Any feedback would be really appreciated!

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Well, I am not at all a pro, but I can tell you that I've had a good experience with the Stronglifts 5x5 program. All the work is done with a barbell, weights, and then just body weight exercises. If you think the barbell and weights wouldn't help (too much to carry, etc.), do you think the bodyweight exercises would benefit you at all? Push-ups, pull-ups, chin-ups, prone bridges, inverted rows. I would think you could add resistance with a band if you're already very muscular/fit?


ETA: I realize none of the above deal with the lower body. I've loved quats, but I have ti use a barbell. Not sure how else to make them more difficult for muscle gain. Could you do sprints uphill or rent a bike and do hills for lower body muscle?


Either way...

Have fun this summer!

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There are a lot of options for training outside of a gym with little or no equipment.

Can you tell us a bit about your current training and kind of resources you'll have available this summer so we can help you find the right training equipment and exercises?


While I like to recommend Stronglift 5x5 to beginners, I definitely feel a gym is the best place to do squats, bench press and dead lifts (three of the best strength building exercises) where you'll have good equipment and racks and spotters!


Outside the gym, I would suggest focusing on body weight exercises (pull-ups, chin-ups, push-ups, bodyweight squats, lunges, dips, reverse crunches, etc). You could also look for some inexpensive exercise bands, sand bags or a backpack with books for a cheap way to add resistance.


Other good options: Calisthenics and Plyometrics!


Mix it up and have fun this summer.

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You don't need a gym membership, equipment, a power rack, or spotters to do sandbag training.


Do a search for sandbag training on google or youtube. There's a lot of info and videos out there. Will you be alone or will their be someone around you can use as a human dummie? Squat your buddy.


Sandbag Zucker squats

Sandbag Clean and press

Sandbag Overhead squats

Sandbag Rows

Sandbag carries

Some powerlifters do plyometric push-ups and I hear it has helped them increase their bench.

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You guys are rockstars, thanks!

I'm embarrassed to say, though I do push ups, dips, and pilates exercises every day, and can lift and carry 80 lbs with no problem, I've never managed ONE pull up/chin up. I was always that kid in gym class that couldn't do it, and still can't!

I like the sandbag thing, that looks useful without breaking the bank.

Thanks again!

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Practice, practice, practice.

Negatives are good to start with.

When you can do a couple of reps start doing multiple sets of singles, not going to failure till you've managed to get through a few sets. Better to do a few sets with lower number, than do one set to failure. You'll get more reps in total that way.

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Bodyweight Exercises for Size & Strength



Chest Building BodyWeight Workout



Real Man’s Back Workout!



Shaping the massive and powerful shoulders.



How to develop the arms of Popeye the sailor



If you can't access the links on Bodyweight Culture.com because you are not a registered member, let me know and I'll PM you the information.

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