So you want to get in shape, but you have no gym membership and don’t know what to do.
That’s fine, you don’t need one to get in great shape! You can work out anywhere, like me in the photo above, doing push-ups on a cliff in South Africa. Because why not!
Commercial gyms are tough places to work out anyways:
They’re home to pushy salesman, intimidating jacked dudes grunting into a mirror, and other members that aren’t very welcoming.
Luckily, you can burn fat, build muscle, and get a great workout by just doing body weight exercises – no gym or workout equipment required.
Cardio can actually be one of the least efficient methods of burning calories (which I explain below).
Why not give bodyweight training a try and be more efficient with your time?
I realize doing just STARTING bodyweight training can be intimidating, and you’re probably also thinking “this better be worth it!”
I know. I struggled with progress for a decade despite exercising regularly – it’s because I was training the wrong way!
After all, there’s nothing more frustrating than putting in effort for months (or years) and not seeing results. And unfortunately, this is what I see from most people:
Lots of well intentioned – but misguided – effort when it comes to exercise and no progress!
You probably don’t have years to make the mistakes that I did, and you want to start getting results today. I hear ya!
In addition to the free workout below, we also offer 1-on-1 Online Coaching, where you’ll get personalized instruction for your body type and goals, and professional accountability from a Coach on Team Nerd Fitness!
Today however, you can get started with our free bodyweight circuit below in the comfort of your own home: you’ll complete one exercise right after the other without stopping, you’re both building muscle and getting a cardiovascular workout.
Combine that with a good diet and you got yourself a kick-ass plan to follow!
Why BodyWeight Circuits Kick Ass
What makes bodyweight circuits work so well?
Every body weight exercise involved utilizes multiple muscle groups, gets your heart rate pumping, and burns tons of calories.
Essentially, circuit weight training, or circuit bodyweight training, burns more calories than interval training, and that in turn burns WAY more calories than steady cardio. When you strength train, you burn calories. Then, your body needs to spend hours and hours afterwards rebuilding your muscles, which in turns burns even more calories (they call this the ‘afterburn effect).
Beginner Body Weight Workout & Exercises
This is a basic body weight circuit.
In a circuit routine, you’ll do each exercise in succession without a break in between (if you’re able). Once you’ve finished all exercises in the circuit, do it again.
If you’re still able after the 2nd run through, go for a third.
Because all of these exercises come one after another, you’re bound to get tired – and that’s okay! We all start somewhere.
It’s better to stop and take a break than to do an exercise incorrectly. If you can’t do all three circuits without stopping, great! That gives you something to work towards.
Before you start, don’t forget WARM UP – Never ever ever ever forget to warm up. Make sure to get your heart rate pumping and get your muscles warm or you’re just asking for injury.
You can run in place, jump rope, do a few push ups, pedal on a stationary bike, do some punches and kicks, jog up and down your stairs, and/or twist and swing your arms and legs to get them moving! Give it about 5 minutes, and don’t wear yourself out completely, but get your heart rate elevated and little bit of sweat never hurt anybody.
After the warm up, here is exactly what you need to do:
- 20 bodyweight squats
- 10 push ups
- 20 walking lunges – 10 each leg
- 10 dumbbell rows (using a gallon milk jug or another weight)
- 15 second plank
- 30 jumping jacks
After you’ve completed your workout at home, do some stretches. All of your muscles have been contracted from lifting and need to be stretched back out and rebuilt.
For either the body weight squats or lunges, if you can’t do them properly yet, it’s okay to put your hand on a support to keep your balance.
For the body weight squats, think of it like sitting back into a chair. If you can sit down onto a chair, and then stand immediately right back up without having to lean forward, you are in balance.
For the lunges, keep your eyes ahead and your upper body completely vertical.I had a slight bend at times in the video due to trying to exercise and explain at the same time.
I used a milk jug for my dumbbell, but you can use whatever is heavy enough for you. Find something that is challenging to lift 10 times in a row.
Do this routine 2-3 times a week, but never on consecutive days. You don’t build muscle when you’re exercising, you build muscle when you’re resting.
Generally I like follow a pattern of strength training on one day, then 20 minutes of interval training on the next, then strength training, then interval training, and so on.
Generally, I try not to do a strength training routine (of the same muscle groups) two days in a row, as your muscles need plenty of time to recover.