last comment: 19/03/08

No Gym - What to Do!

With a little bit of inventive spirit almost every muscle can be trained without the membership card of a sophisticated gym.

All you need is two shopping bags, a few kilos of flour or sugar, some chocolate bars, packs of raisins, lentils or anything else pre-packed of different weight.

The flour and sugar make the kilos, raisins usually are something like 500g and the chocolate bars are 100g (don't be so greedy and buy the 200g - See! Now you will have to lift them.) This way you can build any weight you need until your bag is full.

I prefer the cotton carrier bags to the plastic ones - they don't cut into the flesh and are easier to grip especially when you get warm and the fingers might become slippery.

The dumbbells like in the picture above are only a kilo (red) and 500g (grey). You won't get far with those.

Although the small weights are very useful for slowly increasing the load you might easily use something like 4-5 kg soon. The blue disc is from a dumbbell with adjustable weights. They are very practical, but serius equipment. So the carrier bag is a good option to try out if this is a sport for you before you invest in proper dumbbells.

Just to give you an idea: Golds Gym ... this is serious money, but they are very sleek and very well to store away, although they are not as universal as the ones from Kettler where you can add bigger standardised weightplates when you get stronger than the 10 kg and which you can use as well on standard barbell bars. And those are a lot cheaper. There are many other brands, so if you should get interested it's worthwhile to shop around and to order via Internet - you don't want to carry those far!

Another option for this sort of resistance training are the rubber bands, but I never got the hang of it. Firstly I never remembered where I grabbed it for a particular exercise. It seems to become increasingly difficult the shorter it is held, but that means that I won't have a reliable measure for the resistance and hence the number of repetitions is varying a lot from session to session.

Secondly it seems that the resistance is less at the beginning of a movement than at the end - as if my weight would get bigger the higher I lift it. Either I used that thing the wrong way or it is just too different to weight training. I prefer my shopping bags when I can't go to a gym.

The exercises are the same as the ones with the dumbbells. So please have a look at the respective exercise description. You might need to try out how to hold the bag best, though!

Front Head

Middle Head

Back Head

For the 'front' and 'middle head' I find the way of holding it as shown above more comfortable, while for the 'back head' the picture to the right shows a better grip.

Index < Front head < Middle Head < Back Head < No Gym

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Author: Rika