The gym-free workout

December 12, 2012, 3:26 pmmenshealth

Get fit without the costly membership of overpriced gyms


The gym is the default option for people looking to stay in shape. But it doesn't come cheap. The average cost of membership is $69 a month according to Save money without losing results using this gym-free program from strength and conditioning trainer Corey Bocking (

Follow this total-body, three-day program to burn fat and build muscle.

SAVING: $828

Day 1

Body-weight circuit training
This session alternates between upper-body, lower-body and core/abdominal strengthening exercise.

This session consists of four different circuits repeated four times each.

Circuit 1
Overhand chin-ups 8-12 reps
Bodyweight squats (full range) 20 reps
Plank 90 seconds

Rest for one minute then repeat for a total of four circuits.

Circuit 2
Dips: 8-12 reps
Single-leg squat (with back foot up on a bench): 12-15 each side
V-sit-up: 12 reps
Lie on your back, knees bent. Slowly extend your legs out and up so that they're above the floor at 45º, while raising your upper body up until your torso forms a V-shape with your legs and extend your arms straight in front of you. Slowly raise your arms up and reach towards your feet, then lower back to the floor.

Rest for one minute then repeat for a total of four circuits.

Circuit 3
Tempo push-ups 214 (2 seconds down, pause for 1 second in bottom phase, then take 4 seconds to return to starting position): 8-12 reps
Walking lunge: 10 forward, 10 backward
Your back knee should just touching the ground.
Lateral leg raises (windscreen wipers): 10 each side
Lying on your back, arms stretched out legs straight up at 90°, lower your legs to one side (keeping shoulders on the ground) then back to the middle, then lower the other side.

Rest for one minute then repeat for a total of four circuits.

Circuit 4
Burpees: 8-12 reps
Side plank: one minute each side
Towel pull-up: 8-12 reps
This chin-up variation really works the forearms and back. Throw a towel over the bar. Holding both ends of the towel together with a cricket-bat grip, pull yourself up until your elbows come to a 90° angle and then slowly lower yourself back down.

Rest for one minute then repeat for a total of four circuits.

Circuit 5
Lowering phase of a chin-up: 6 reps
Position a box under the bar so when you stand on it, your chin is over the bar. Jump up onto it and then take five seconds to lower yourself to the bottom phase, repeat.
Scissor kick: one minute alternating
Pulsing sumo squat: 20 reps
Lower yourself into two consecutive squats, holding each for one second. As you rise out of the second squat, explode up and land while maintaining form.

Rests for one minute then repeat for a total of four circuits

Day 2
Explosive power and plyometrics
This circuit works off the Tabata timing system, which involves working hard for 20 seconds and then resting for 10. You'll work in four-minute blocks, so you will do the same exercise eight times, totalling four minutes, then move onto the next exercise.

Ensure that you are fully warmed up first.

Round 1 Lateral jumps: going for height, jump from your left to right keeping your knees up high.

Round 2 Clap push-ups

Round 3 Split-squat jump: start in the lunge or split-squat position, lower into the bottom position and jump explosively, alternating your legs.

Round 4 Dynamic side plank: start in the normal side plank position, lower your hip to touch the ground then back to the starting position, change sides.

Round 5 Leg thrusters: begin in a sprint start position (hands on the ground one knee up toward the chest), you are going to bring one leg in to your chest, then alternate with the other leg, pumping your legs on the spot.

Round 6 Russian twist: sitting, rotate your upper body to one side and touch your elbow on the ground, then alternate to the other side and back to the starting position.

Round 7 Uneven push-up: like a normal push-up, but one hand is going to be lower than shoulder level, while the other will be above shoulder level, alternate arm positions each set.

Round 8 Jump squat: squat, then explode up for height, land with soft knees and sink back into the starting position. Aim for height and power and use your arms to accelerate up.

Day 3

Escalating Density Training (EDT)

For this EDT session you'll perform a pair of exercise for a total of three 15-minute blocks. You will record the total number or reps achieved and aim to beat that score next week. For example, week 1 you might complete nine sets of chin-ups and nine set of squats, next session your aim is to get 10 sets done in the same time, thus completing more work (density) in the same time frame.

Block 1
Chin-up (sets of 5)

Squats (sets of 15)

Block 2
Dip (sets of 6)

Crunches (sets of 15)

Block 3
Push-up (sets of 10)
Lunges (sets of 15 each side)

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