How can I workout and stay in shape under very specific conditions?
February 13, 2014 2:39 PM   Subscribe

I want to exercise intensely but have neither free weights nor a good place to workout.

I am traveling in Europe for several months and want to stay in shape while I'm away. At home, I go to the gym almost everyday and try to work out pretty intensely (I like to do kickboxing, weight training, running, etc.) but there is, sadly, no gym near where I'm at now. I've been trying to run outside a few times a week but A) it rains a lot; B) I'm getting bored; and C) I just don't feel like I'm ever getting THAT good of a workout.

I've been trying to supplement running with doing exercise videos online. The problem is that I don't have any free weights AND I have downstairs neighbors and an old apartment building, so anything involving jumping is out of the question.

My question is whether there is, in fact, any way to get a really good workout sans weights or jumping and, if so, whether anyone can recommend particular routines or online videos. I'd be willing to pay for said video.

Thanks, in advance, for any suggestions.
posted by lxs to Health & Fitness (16 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Start doing pushups, situps/crunches, pullups (if there's a playground/school near you, the recreation equipment can be awesome for ad-hoc workouts), squats, planks, etc. There's all sorts of workouts you can do that don't require equipment or jumping around. What I usually do is I'll bike for a while then do a set or two of pushups or crunches right when I finish - you can do this after a run.
posted by pdb at 2:49 PM on February 13, 2014

From Nerd Fitness: "How to Stay in Shape while Travelling"

Or, do your preferred circuit workouts or kickboxing conditioning routines, but instead of your jumping moves, 1) kick, hard and fast, alternating with squats or lunges, and/or 2) do everything with no impact, but faster (e.g., step rather than jump out for a burpee).

Also: stair climbing -- you should have lots of opportunities for this on your trip.

It's hard to do something low-impact that's as intense as running or a good strength workout, but you can get close-ish.
posted by cotton dress sock at 2:49 PM on February 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

The deck of cards workout.
posted by benzenedream at 3:13 PM on February 13, 2014

I have not used it, but I have seen others recommend Convict Conditioning. It is bodyweight-only exercises that can be done in limited spaces.
posted by charmedimsure at 3:45 PM on February 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

Resistance bands also work in terms of portability, and you can get pretty creative with the number of muscle groups that you can work with them. Not sure if you're against buying any kind of equipment.
posted by thewumpusisdead at 3:48 PM on February 13, 2014

Pushups and pullups can take you a long way (especially the pullups), although you do need something to pull yourself up to. I second the Convict Conditioning rec.
posted by pravit at 3:58 PM on February 13, 2014

I love the You Are Your Own Gym app for bodyweight exercises.
posted by futureisunwritten at 4:01 PM on February 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

You can mix and match (and skip jumping exercises) with these workouts:

No weights needed.
posted by AllieTessKipp at 4:01 PM on February 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

And seconding resistance bands! I love those things. LOVE.
posted by AllieTessKipp at 4:02 PM on February 13, 2014

Before I built my own home gym, I really liked using the book You Are Your Own Gym. It shows a ton of great exercises you can do using your own bodyweight and I found it very effective for strength training (cardio, not so much). I still use it a few times a week. There's a dvd set available here. For a low-impact cardio workout, you should try The New York City Ballet: The Complete Workout Volumes 1 and 2. Good luck!
posted by LuckySeven~ at 4:04 PM on February 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

I just came by to nth resistance bands. They do fine in place of weights. You can get a travel set.
posted by bearwife at 4:41 PM on February 13, 2014

If you get resistance bands, get the type with a door attachment. That way you can do chest press, flies, pull downs, etc. I have the Purple (Very Heavy) in my travel bag. If it's too easy, either step on the band to shorten it (for things like curls) or step away from the door when using the door attachment.

If you use it correctly, the resistance band can deliver a workout with a minimum of equipment.
posted by 26.2 at 9:09 PM on February 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

posted by bongo_x at 10:29 PM on February 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Get some of these travellers dumbells that you fill with water? I've never tried them, but might be worth a go.
posted by penguin pie at 1:49 AM on February 14, 2014

Third for Convict Conditioning.
posted by sickinthehead at 3:29 AM on February 14, 2014

Focus T25 videos don't require any equipment. It's all bodyweight. I've also heard good things about convict conditioning.
posted by zug at 8:53 AM on February 14, 2014

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