Depending on where you live, you may have the opportunity to workout outside all year long. However, some people across this great nation have to deal with harsh winters. While getting fresh air may be a great motivator to workout, that is not the reality for some people. You do have options when it comes to gyms. The only problem is that you will be forking hundreds of hard-earned money to a place where you only go a few times a week, or maybe a month. If you are lucky enough to live in an apartment complex with a fitness center, I, Mark Roemer, am going to share some ways that you can make the best out of the limited equipment they are likely to have.
Fitness centers in apartment complexes are much like ones you find in hotels. They have limited equipment due to a lack of space. If we are being honest, they both have more room than you do at home, right? Even though you don’t see a lot of variety in terms of cardio or weights, you can still get a decent workout. This can be just the excuse you need to simplify your workouts. When you start doing your exercises at the apartment’s gym, you should focus on using your bodyweight. Doing this will allow you to get in and out as quickly as possible. Remember, when you are not using weights, you will have to do more reps to get the same workout. When I am doing bodyweight-only exercises, I tend to double the reps. Working out with bodyweight only tones muscles more than it builds muscles. I call this building your lean muscle. The result will be that you are toned, but not bulky.
If there were one group of muscles that benefit from limited equipment, it would have to be your core muscles. It is possible to get shredded without having one piece of equipment. Don’t forget to do a quick peek to see if they have fitness mats. With people walking all over the floor and doing God knows what else there, you will want to lay or sit on something that isn’t the floor. Sometimes you will find they have these on standby, but most of the time, you will find nothing there. The reason for this is that the apartment owner does not want to have to replace them when they get damaged or go missing. Most landlords don’t want to spend more money than they have to. Therefore, they do not put too much stock in security systems to watch their stuff. They will stock the gym once. Anything that goes missing will be left up to the occupants to bring if they want them. In addition to the mat, I would say bring a workout ball and maybe a kettlebell to add just a touch of resistance and variety.
With the limited equipment, you will have to get creative if you want to get a decent workout. I suggest looking over the stuff they have and design a circuit that will fit your needs. This circuit should be such that you hit every muscle group from head to toe. It may be a little hard to do this, but I think you can manage with a bit of creativity. If it were me, I would start with some bicep curls. I would then move on to planks for 30 – 60 seconds. After that, you could make use of that kettlebell or medicine ball that you brought to do something for your glutes or legs. In between each exercise, I would jump on the treadmill to get my heart rate up. In the fitness world, they call this HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training). Not only is this a great workout, but it is the best way to burn a lot of calories and lose a lot of weight (if that is your goal).
If you are like me, you have probably not heard of a superset. I had just been introduced to this only a few weeks ago. The goal of these exercises is to work opposing muscle groups back to back. So, for instance, if you do bicep curls, you will then do something with legs. When I asked what the benefit of doing this was, the answer was simple – it keeps your heart rate up. In essence, it is a lot like doing HIIT but without the cardio. The more you work out on a single set, the better you can keep your heart rate constant. When you do HIIT, you raise and lower your heart rate depending on the frequency of your cardio. Much like HIIT, you continue to burn calories throughout the workout. When you do a typical workout, the rest you take in between lowers your heart rate, and you stop burning calories. So, with both HIIT and Supersets, you maintain an elevated heart rate that benefits you in a great way.
Working out is never really fun. It is even worse when you don’t have the equipment to use. I, Mark Roemer, hope I have provided you with enough of a plan to make the best use of the equipment, or lack thereof, at your apartment’s gym. At the end of the day, the takeaways from this blog are to remember that you are in control of your workout. There are several ways that you can get some good exercise just by using a little bit of creativity. Don’t let the lack of equipment dictate the kind of workout you are going to have. Please stop by the facilities at your apartment complex and see what they have to offer. Then, do some internet research and find out what kind of exercises will do you the best with the equipment you have. Write down your sets, just like you were going to a regular gym, and then execute the plan that you have made. Before long, you will have that summer body and be ready to hit the beach.