No Gym, No Problem: A Woman’s Guide To Getting Fit Without A Gym
SUMMARY: If you want to lose fat and get in great shape – but feel intimidated by gyms and exercise centers – you’re not alone. Many women feel the same way. And here’s the good news: no gym, no problem. In this article I’ll share some strategies for getting in great shape even if you’re not ready for the whole gym scene.
There's one simple message I wish I could share more effectively with all women that want to lose weight and get in shape.
You're not alone.
I've heard hundreds of women of all shapes and sizes (including my wife) say the same things:
“I want to feel like I'm in control of my body and health.”
“I want to exercise in a way that feels safe but challenging.”
“I want to exercise in an environment that welcomes me and doesn't judge me.”
Here's what I also hear from female clients, and I’ve coached thousands:
“I'm intimidated by the gym, and that makes it tough to get a good workout.”
“I don't feel like I know what I'm doing.”
“I feel like I have to be fit before I can even go to a gym!”
“I just want to do my thing anonymously, without people staring at me.”
If you sometimes feel the same ways, you're in good company.
Many of the women you see in the gym have the exact same concerns and anxieties as you. Yes, it's totally normal. And no, you're not weird.
Yet, here's the thing. Some women have found ways to overcome their exercise fears. And, often, their empowerment begins by realizing that fitness doesn't have to depend on joining a gym.
Alternatives to the Scary Gym
In my experience, it usually not exercise that intimidates women. It's the unfamiliar gym they think they need to join. It's the idea of learning something new in front of other people. It's the idea of being judged by others.
That's why, if you're like most women - juggling many responsibilities and time demands - feeling anxious and intimidated at the gym is a recipe for failure. Add more mental stress to your already-taxed mental energy and resources and there goes your motivation.
But here's how to avoid this fate: Find a low-stress exercise environment. (At least in the beginning).
This could be a friendlier gym, a semi-private facility, or a women's only facility. It could even mean working out at home. That's right, when health and fitness is a priority, you have options.
Just remember that you're in charge. Which means you get to pick where you're going to work out. You get to set the pace. And you get to challenge yourself when and where you want to.
(Of course, we deeply respect this idea, in our own Lean Eating coaching program. That's why we provide workouts that are designed so that you can do them nearly anywhere. Whether you love the gym, or you hate it, no problem. We've got options for you. Whether you always work out in the same place, or you're always in a hotel room on the road, again, we've got you covered).
Remember, fitness isn't about the perfect workout, done in the perfect place, at the perfect time. If it were, no one would ever get fit. Rather, it's about doing what you can, where you can, when you can.
(All in an environment that fosters growth and change).
A Quick Note On Strength Exercise for Women
One of the hardest lessons for women to learn – whether they exercise at home or at a gym – is that strength exercise is required for getting in awesome shape.
Sure, we can throw a little "cardio" into the mix as well. But hours of jogging outdoors, or making circular leg motions on one of those elliptical machines, isn't the way to your ideal body.
Indeed, what's required is strength exercise - where you use either external loads (like weights) or your own body weight (as in push-ups or air squats) to provide resistance.
This type of activity helps fight aging, keeps your bones dense and strong, boosts your metabolism, gets (and keeps) you lean for life, and builds the confidence you need to keep feeling great.
(It makes you look pretty good in a swimsuit too).
Now, if every time you think of resistance exercise, you picture muscle-bound hulks pushing weight at a local meat market, you're imagining the wrong thing. Sure, that's one type of resistance exercise.
But here are a few other examples, all demonstrated by my wife. (And yes, she’s had 2 children; we’re working on our 3rd now.)
Resistance Circuit #1
Resistance Circuit #2
Treadmill Interval Sprints
Notice that all three workouts require very little space and very little specialized equipment. Another bonus is that they're short; you can complete each one in less than 20 minutes and still congratulate yourself on a job well done.
And while the interval and circuits above are a bit more advanced, it's important to know that there are similar workouts for every level, every body type, and every set of physical limitations.
What To Do Now
In the end, remember this: our bodies were designed to move against resistance. And although most beginners feel intimidated by this type of exercise, it's not really the exercise that's the program. For most people it's the environment.
So consider joining a friendlier gym, a semi-private facility, or a women's only facility. Or workout at home.
If you put yourself in the right place, with the right guidance, and a little practice, you'll be able to master a new set of workout skills in no time. Then, if and when you're ready, you can saunter into the gym feeling like a pro.
(In the meantime, if you need a little help and support, consider working with us. In our Lean Eating coaching program we take clients through a safe, clearly instructed exercise progression. One that can be performed anywhere. Our coaches also monitor your progress and make adjustments as needed. So that you can start with the simple basics - if that's where you're at - and end up in the best shape of your life).
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
If you’d like to learn more about fitness, losing fat, and feeling better, here's something else you need to see. We've created a free 5-day video course that show you how to get control of your eating and your health.
To get started, simply click the link below:
In this free course you'll discover:
- The 5 things you need to know about nutrition.
- Exactly what foods to eat to lose fat — at every meal.
- The best way to exercise to lose fat.
- Exactly how much time you need to exercise.
- How to make delicious meals with a few simple ingredients.
- Why you don’t need supplements to lose fat.
- Which four supplements work the best, if you choose to use them.
- The one thing that separates those who lose fat and those who fail every time.
Until next time,
Dr John Berardi is the director of the world’s largest body transformation project. In the last 5 years, his team has helped over 15,000 clients lose more than 250,000 pounds of body fat. (That’s more total weight loss than all 13 seasons of the Biggest Loser combined). For more on his one-of-a-kind program – Lean Eating Coaching – click here.