No-Gym Workouts: Myths & Misconceptions
You can sign up for a membership at a fancy gym or you can fill your garage with expensive fitness equipment, but the truth is you don’t need to spend a penny to get in shape.
Here are five no-gym workout myths and misconceptions, and the facts to debunk them that might make you reconsider your plans.
Myth: It’s impossible to build muscle if I don’t go to the gym.
Reality: Many people want you to believe that the best way to build muscle is with expensive equipment that helps you bulk up. Sure, it is easier to build muscle with equipment, even if we’re just talking about a set of dumbbells, but the truth is you can build muscle anywhere using only your own body weight.
Resistance training and cardio that include repeated and rapid movements to strengthen and build muscle tissue are using nothing more than your own body weight. Some of the best activities, such as squats, pushups, planks and Russian twists, will tone and strengthen all your muscle groups. As you get stronger, you can add more repetitions and sets to continue to build muscle tissue.
Myth: Online classes are expensive and don’t work.
Reality: An online fitness class is simply a recording of an in-person class that you can stream in your own home. The idea that this class won’t work is ridiculous. What is important to remember is that if you don’t want to use a gym or workout equipment, you need to choose workouts that don’t need equipment, such as yoga, resistance training or high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
Online classes are adaptable to any schedule, and the average cost is about $10 to $20 per month. Depending on your location, this is far cheaper than a gym membership or a monthly payment on some fancy home gym equipment. If you are motivated to get or stay in shape, online classes can add variety to your workouts, and you can select them to fit in with your lifestyle and schedule.
Myth: I need gym equipment for maximum benefit.
Reality: I’m pretty sure this myth was started by someone who was selling fitness equipment. Many workouts don’t require gym equipment or a membership at a facility. This myth also applies to the fancy bikes and all-in-one gyms you’ve considered purchasing.
The truth is anyone can work out anywhere. Gym equipment does make things easier, but in my experience, that new stationary bike may soon turn into a clothes rack. Instead of spending your free time sweating inside, go outside and get some much-needed fresh air while you burn calories and reach your goals.
Myth: Running on a treadmill is better for my joints.
Reality: This myth might hurt in more ways than one, because the truth is if you have sore and achy joints, it might be time to hang up the running shoes. It doesn’t matter if you run on a treadmill, a paved road or dirt road, because you can still damage your joints when you run. Fortunately, there are many alternatives to running that can give you the same benefits.
While you won’t save your joints by using a treadmill, you can still get outdoors and get the benefits of running by power walking. This activity allows you to achieve a similar speed and workout as running, but you move in a way that reduces the impact on your joints, and you don’t have to join a gym or buy any workout equipment to get or stay in shape.
Myth: At-home workouts are boring.
Reality: If you sit in a quiet room and do the same workout over and over again, it’s only a matter of time before you get bored. But with the internet, there’s really no excuse to get bored. Creative searching will yield free online workouts that you can stream and follow on your smartphone.
Even if you have the most exciting trainer and unlimited equipment, if you do the same workout every day, you will get bored. The best way to avoid workout boredom is to switch it up. If you’ve been doing yoga every day for a year, try Pilates, or take your workout to the next level. Sometimes just switching your location can make all the difference.
No matter your fitness level, the most important part of working out is finding something that works for you. If you’ve been less active during the past year and are blaming COVID-19 for not being able to go to the gym, it's time to get some inspiration fast and begin working on a program. Not having workout equipment is no longer an excuse.
Look for a workout routine you like and get moving. No gym required.