Body: Getting in shape without a gym

ArkansanArkansan Regular
edited December 2011 in Life
As of late I have been trying to get back into shape. I got married 3 years ago and my physique has gone to pot since then. I have gone from 195 and feeling like a million bucks to 235 and feeling like shit. I have started martial arts training again so that is helping and I am starting to feel a bit better, and I am walking and working out occasionally but I feel aimless, like a specific program would serve me better. My biggest problem is that I am too broke to afford a gym, all I have is some 20lb dumbbells but those won't cut if for long at all. Cardio is not a problem, I can always walk, run, or jump rope but I would like to be as strong as I was when I was still dating my wife and had access to a gym. Does anyone have any advice for strength training without equipment, or with homemade equipment, or links to any good resources for this kind of thing? I have found this it this guys site about a sledgehammer workout he developed, I gave it a try and it seems pretty decent, but I would like to keep my options open so any advice would be welcome.


  • Darth BeaverDarth Beaver Meine Ehre heißt Treue
    edited December 2011
    Calisthenics (Muscular Strength and Endurance Training - MSE)
    Section 4 - TRADOC Standardized Physical Training Guide Pre-BCT, 05 November 2003
    Posted : Monday, January 01, 1900


    (Muscular Strength and Endurance Training)

    Muscular strength and endurance (MSE) refers to your ability to overcome resistance in one single effort (muscular strength) or in repeated efforts over a period of time (muscular endurance). IMT will challenge your strength and endurance on obstacle courses, buddy carries, the bayonet assault course, foot marches, and during daily activities that involve lifting.

    Getting Started

    MSE training does not require a gym or expensive equipment. In fact, it is best to start with just the resistance of your own body to develop proper form. Calisthenic exercises can be performed at home in a relatively small space and in a time-efficient manner. They build strength and endurance by challenging control of your body weight as you move into and out of different positions. Calisthenics are a form of MSE training of moderate intensity that uses your own body weight to develop and maintain muscular fitness. Calisthenics are an integral part of this fitness program for muscular strength and endurance. In addition to the development and maintenance of muscular strength, the physiologic benefits of resistance training include increases in bone mass and in the strength of connective tissue. This is particularly important to establish injury control in the beginning stages of an exercise program. The conditioning drill that you will follow in this program consists of ten exercises that train the major muscle groups of the arms, shoulders, chest, abdomen, back, hips, and legs. The primary goal of the muscular strength and endurance aspect of this program is to develop total body strength and endurance in a relatively time efficient manner. These calisthenic exercises should be performed every day, and more frequent training with additional sets and repetitions will bring about larger strength gains.

    Conditioning Drill 1

    Conditioning Drill 1 (CD 1) consists of a variety of calisthenics that develop motor skills while challenging strength, endurance, and flexibility. The exercises in the drill are always performed in the sequence listed below. Conditioning Drill 1 is always used in the conduct of the warm-up and cool-down.

    Conditioning Drill 1:

    1. The Bend and Reach

    2. The Rear Lunge

    3. The High Jumper

    4. The Rower

    5. The Squat Bender

    6. The Windmill

    7. The Forward Lunge

    8. The Prone Row

    9. The Bent-Leg Body Twist

    10. The Push-up

    For a complete explanation of Conditioning Drill 1, see Appendix A.

    Conditioning Drill 2

    Conditioning Drill 2 (CD 2) is designed to enhance upper body strength, endurance, and flexibility. As in Conditioning Drill 1, all exercises are to be performed in the sequence listed. You should try to find a partner(s) to assist you, when performing the Pull-ups. CD 2 consists of the following exercises:

    Conditioning Drill 2:

    1. The Push-Up

    2. The Sit-Up

    3. The Pull-Up
  • ArkansanArkansan Regular
    edited December 2011
    Thanks, good stuff there, I suppose it makes sense that the army would come up with a way to get in shape on the cheap.
  • MeloncholyMeloncholy Regular
    edited December 2011
    Building the Gymnastic Body is something you might want to look into. Parts of it involve basic equipment like rings and horse, but there's also stuff that can be done anywhere without equipment like planche pushup, L-sit and handstand progressions that are better for building strength than any other bodyweight excercises.

    By bashing out scores of reps of ordinary pushups/sit ups etc. you might see some initial progress but after a while you won't get significant strength gains.

    If you can nigger-rig a platform to do it on, a progression like this one is one of the best ways to build strength outisde of a gym:
  • blamehoffmanblamehoffman Regular
    edited December 2011
    I use P90x at home; I dont do the actual program but I adapt the workouts to my needs, and I like it since it covers all fitness areas; although you will have to invest in a yoga mat, dumbells (or resistance bands), and a pull-up bar so maybe there are more economic options.
  • ArkansanArkansan Regular
    edited December 2011
    Thanks for the input guys. My dad just recently acquired a burnt copy of all the p90x stuff, so since I have some dumbbells and could nigger rig a pull up bar that may be the way that I go. My big problem with working out is boredom, I get bored with a routine within a week or two so what I have been thinking is a combination of all of the suggestions above, I also don't subscribe to the whole body part split thing that you see most bodybuilders doing so I have no problem doing whole body five days a week. Diet is also a big problem for me, my shit has been so crazy the past year in particular, that fast food has been my default solution to meal time, that shit needs to change pronto. Has anyone done any research into the whole paleolithic diet thing? It sound reasonable enough but I am always a little cautious of these diets you see marketed in books.
    edited December 2011
    The Dark Rodent and Meloncholy posted a great workout routine that does work and gives you great results and so does P90X. But, there is a very good Book out there called Convict Conditioning By Paul Wade (Which seems almost like a Joke at first) that shows you a variety of workouts that are mainly calisthenic exercises that are mainly done in prison. An everyday prison where you have No workout equipment but, you can use these exercises in this book and the prison diet routine that will give you Major results.

    For Me this book has been giving me great results from the diet section of this book to the series of workouts itself. Here's the links for the books that I uploaded that has not only the first book but, the second book as well. Although, the second book is not as important as the first because it really just adds on to the first book of what Paul Wade left out from the first book and he adds other workouts and other ideas in his second book. Give the First book a read and

    You never know with the right mind and the right attitude you can change anything even your LIFE.

    Download it HERE
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