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Muscle-building without access to a gym

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
Hi, I am currently away from home for about 3 weeks and the place I'm staying doesn't have a gym. I don't want to fork over the $ for a "temporary" gym membership here, and was wondering if someone can suggest the best excercises to do if you don't have access to a gym, which will at least make sure I don't lose the muscle build-up I've had or at best help me continue to grow. I'm assuming push-ups, chin ups, etc? Thanks.
post #2 of 44
Interesting question. I'm interested in reading the responses as well.
post #3 of 44
Yes push-ups. Maybe you can pick up some inexpensive dumbells somewhere?
post #4 of 44
Find some bricks or big rocks and a backpack, wear it while doing push-ups, chin-ups, etc.
post #5 of 44
Yeah, pushups, chin-ups, and weight training with dumbbells sounds like a good plan. I'm a big believer in body-weight workouts, they are quite effective, especially if speed, position, and intensity are varied.

Another nice thing are those supports that let you get more range of motion for pushups. They're like $5 at Sports Chalet or such places.
post #6 of 44
For legs I would try skisquats, single-leg deadlifts, single-leg squats and single-leg stiff-legged deadlifts. If you've never done those before, you probably won't need any extra resistance.

For upperbody chins, various abmoves, (bench) dips and pushups (if it's too easy, elevate your feet).
post #7 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buddy Love
For legs I would try skisquats, single-leg deadlifts, single-leg squats and single-leg stiff-legged deadlifts. If you've never done those before, you probably won't need any extra resistance.

For upperbody chins, various abmoves, (bench) dips and pushups (if it's too easy, elevate your feet).


Can you describe single-leg deadlifts for me, please.

This is a pretty good article showing what can be accomplished with body weight exercises. Not necessarliy the best article for describing the exercises though. But it does show how you can use leverage to increase the effort needed to do the exercises.

Building an Olympic Body through Bodyweight Conditioning
post #8 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charley
Can you describe single-leg deadlifts for me, please.
Sure. Setup: Stand on one foor, with the other leg bent at the knee so its shin is behind you and parallel to the floor. Your thighs should be parallel, as if you were standing on two legs. Your hands can be at your sides or on your hips. Execution: Lower your body until the knee of your nonworking leg is as close to the floor as you can get it. You can bend forward at the waist as much as you want. Pause, then straighten up to the starting position. Progression: When you can do 15 to 20 reps with the full range of motion - nonworking knee brushing the floor on each rep - you can try the exercise while holding dumbbells in your hands.
post #9 of 44
Buddy Love,

Thanks for the great reply with illustrations.

I'm not sure that I understand what the difference is between this and a one-legged squat (which you also list as a recommendation.) Maybe with the squat I keep the idle leg forward? Or something different?

Thanks
post #10 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charley
Buddy Love,

Thanks for the great reply with illustrations.

No problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charley
I'm not sure that I understand what the difference is between this and a one-legged squat (which you also list as a recommendation.) Maybe with the squat I keep the idle leg forward? Or something different?

Thanks

Basicly, that's the difference. When doing one-legged squats, you keep your other leg out in front of your body so its heel is just off the floor at all times.
post #11 of 44
the prison workout rocks....
post #12 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by m@T
the prison workout rocks....

I love burpees too, I do them at least once a week, for those who don't know what they are

http://www.warriorforce.com/articles/burpeeclip.htm
post #13 of 44
I think that if you stop lifting for 3 weeks you are not going to lose any significant amount of muscle. Bodyweight exercises are fine but if you got the muscles you have now from lifting heavy weights, bodyweight exercises are not going to help you gain muscle. They might marginally slow down the progression of muscle loss, but like I said, in 3 weeks you're not really going to lose any muscle and even if you did your muscle memory would help you get it back within the first week of coming back.
post #14 of 44
You won't lose much in 3 weeks. The small amount you will lose will easily come back to you in a week or two.

Regardless, you can attempt to maintain your muscle mass with some bodyweight exercises.

Pull-up - One of the best if not the best back exercises. Add weight by tying something to yourself or grasping something with your legs.

Push-up - Widen your grip to increase difficulty and target your chest more

Bench dip - Targets your triceps

One-legged squat - Do not underestimate this. Do a few right now, lightly touching something if you need stability. Use a full range of motion. Your legs will feel it if you've never done this before.


Single-leg deadlifts - As describe above. Good for lower back.

Crunches - Great for strengthening your core

If it gets too easy, increase the length of the contractions or negatives, or play with the speed and reps.

I don't think you'd need anything else. Get back to the gym though. Your own bodyweight can only give you so much resistance.
post #15 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by bystandering
You won't lose much in 3 weeks. The small amount you will lose will easily come back to you in a week or two.

Regardless, you can attempt to maintain your muscle mass with some bodyweight exercises.

Pull-up - One of the best if not the best back exercises. Add weight by tying something to yourself or grasping something with your legs.

Push-up - Widen your grip to increase difficulty and target your chest more

Bench dip - Targets your triceps

One-legged squat - Do not underestimate this. Do a few right now, lightly touching something if you need stability. Use a full range of motion. Your legs will feel it if you've never done this before.


Single-leg deadlifts - As describe above. Good for lower back.

Crunches - Great for strengthening your core

If it gets too easy, increase the length of the contractions or negatives, or play with the speed and reps.

I don't think you'd need anything else. Get back to the gym though. Your own bodyweight can only give you so much resistance.

To tag on to Bystander, there are literally dozens of types of push-ups you can do (incline, decline, one-arm, etc) not to isometric training (muscle resistance against itself at a slow, excruciating pace). Things like squats against the wall --go from standing to a seated position, hold for 30 secs, then slowly raise up. This will really burn.

Calf raises work without weights also. All are

I might suggest bringing a weighted jump rope also. Increased cardio and strength. One of the best all-body exercises you can do. It'll keep you toned while you travel.
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