Guest Post: A Workout Without the Gym, No Excuses!

Greetings from Shanghai! Since I am away for the week, my sisters, Marcella & Kristen, agreed to do a guest post for me. I am so excited to have them here!  We are a pretty close bunch. I am the oldest of us three and although that was not always fun growing up, we have become best friends as adults. Marcella & Kristen are going to share about working out, even without a gym. You can also find Marcella on Twitter & Tumblr. Take it away, sissys!

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Hello Friends!

Angie is away visiting her bestie in China this week! She has asked us (her sisters) to be her guest bloggers for the week. We were thrilled to be asked. She said she would like us to share some of our workout routines. Personally, we don’t have gym memberships. I know a lot of people who will use that as an excuse to not work out, we see it as an opportunity to get creative. There’s SO MANY things you can do without equipment and a gym. Today, we just want to introduce you to some of our favorites. Spring is approaching quickly and it’s time to get your toned little butts off out of the gym (or off the couch) and to your local bleachers!

DO NOT GIVE UP! The work out might feel overwhelming at first, but stick through it and complete all 3 sets. Your calves, butts and arms will thank us later.

Here we are: Kristen and Marcella, ready for what we like to call our “BLEACHERS OF DOOM” workout.
This is actually two different routines. The first one is mostly for legs and butts. The second one adds arms. We wrote detailed descriptions with pictures of both routines, however if you’d like to skip directly to the routines scroll to the bottom.

FIRST ROUTINE- Legs and Butts

  • Start by running the bleachers for 2 minutes.
  • Next run up the bleachers and then back down, followed immediately with 20 jump squats.

Repeat this step 3 times.

Fun Fact: When we first started this routine, we could barely get through one set of jump squats. Now we hop through them like caffeinated kangaroos.

  • Next, head on down to the track. Start by sprinting 40 yds, then lunge back to start.

Your legs should be feeling it now!

  • Take a jog around the track, one lap.

Fun Fact: Marcella feels as though it loosens her muscles and loves this part of the routine… whereas Kristen continually whines and complains the entire time.

  • Next, head back up to the bleachers. Run up and down the bleachers, followed by “quick feet” on the last step. Repeat 4 times.

“Quick Feet” is touching each foot to a step, hopping as you change feet.

Fun Fact: Marcella has successfully tripped during this part at least 3 times. Grace is not in our DNA.

You finished the set!

Now, repeat this ENTIRE routine 3 times. That’s right, three times. Don’t hate us… it’s worth it in the end. Just be careful not to exert all your energy during the first round!

Fun fact: every single person who has done this routine with us has openly hated us after the second set, and love us again after they have conquered it.

SECOND ROUTINE- ARMS: (this can be done on a different day, but if you like a challenge do both on the same day!)

  • Jog up bleachers, walk down. Repeat 5 times.
  • Spring up bleachers, walk down. Repeat 5 times.
  • Time for pushups. Start with your feet on the third step, hands on the floor. Do 10 pushups.
  • Do 10 regular pushups (level)
  • Place your hands on the third step, feet on the floor. Do 10 pushups.
  • Sprint up the steps, walk down. Repeat 3 times.
  • Now: more pushups. Start with your hands on the first step, feet on the floor. Do 10 pushups.

Hands on the second step, feet on the floor. Do 10 pushups.

Hands on the third step, feet on the floor. Do 10 pushups.

Fun Fact: When we first started this work out, we could barely do a poor-excuse-for-a-girl push up. Today, we’re practically the Hulk.

  • Now jump up the steps. Try to jump at least two steps at a time with minimal stopping in between.

You will do 6 jumps total, walk down and repeat the jump 3 times.

It’s very important to try to land softly!

Fun Fact: When Kristen first tried this work out she was so afraid to jump two stairs at a time that

she had to hold her friend’s hand.

  • Last is the ab walk out. Get into a plank position with your feet on the third step, hands on the floor. Hold the plank for 10 seconds. Repeat three times.

Repeat the ENTIRE routine three times.

Good luck and better butts!

Summary:
Butts and legs:

  • 2 Min. Bleacher Run
  • Run up and down bleachers, do 20 jump squats and repeat 3 times.
  • Head down to the track, spring 40 yards.
  • Lunge back to start
  • One lap around the track
  • Run up and down bleachers, 20 quick feet. Repeat 3 times.

Repeat Work Out 3 times. For optimal results, take as few breaks as possible.

Arms:

  • Jog up stairs, walk down. Repeat 5 times.
  • Sprint up stairs, walk down. Repeat 5 times.
  • Start on the third stair, walk hands down and do 10 push ups.
  • 10 push ups on level ground.
  • Leave your feet on the floor, hands on third step and do 10 push ups.
  • Sprint up stairs, walk down. Repeat 3 times.
  • Walk up push ups: start with hands on first step- 10 push ups. Hands on 2nd step-

10 push ups. Hands on 3rd step- 10 push ups.

  • Stair jumps- 6 hops each. Repeat 3 times.
  • Ab Walk Out

Repeat entire work out 3 times.

Angie vs. Strength Training

I have had a long history of hate for strength training.

It seems like such a chore to me and I do not look forward to it the way I do with my runs and yoga classes.

I am trying to really figure out why I hate it, and the things that occurred to me are:

  • I get bored. I think this stems more from not knowing what I am doing, more than anything. I sometimes wander from machine to free weights, wondering what I should do next.
  • No one is telling me what to do. In yoga class, there is direct instruction nearly the whole time; I do not have to think for myself. However, while strength training, I usually have to figure it out on my own.
  • …unless, of course I am using one of my many workout DVDs. But, there about 1,000 other things I would rather be doing while I am at home then hearing Jillian Michaels tell me not to “phone it in.”
  • I am afraid I will hurt myself. I am constantly questioning if I am using proper form and vacillate between pushing myself to the point of “injury” pain and “pumping iron” pain.
  • I do not push myself hard enough. I have worked with a personal trainer before and I remember being shocked by how much I could lift and how I somehow would manage one more rep, even though my brain said I couldn’t. However, when this never seems to happen when I am working out alone.

I cancelled the gym in August of last year. I did this for a couple of reasons:

  • The gym was becoming a source of guilt for me. I hardly ever went, and when I did, it was only to relieve my guilt of paying for a membership and never going.
  • I preferred to get my workouts in either through running or yoga.
  • I have a weight room at the school I work at that I can utilize after school. (Not that I really do.)
  • I have plenty of Jillian DVDs that are collecting dust.

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It was a great sense of relief when I finally cancelled the gym. However, I know this does not mean that I can get out of strength training.

Want to know the MOST frustrating this about strength training to me?

It works. I see results when I am consistent with it.

I wish I had a reason NOT to do it, but the fact that I know it is good for me ups the annoyance factor.

When worked with a personal trainer for a few months, I was in the best shape of my life. He kicked my butt and pushed me harder than I would have ever pushed myself. I lifted things I would have never even tried to lift on my own. I not only felt and looked stronger, but it also improved my running.

I have heard countless times that strengthening up the muscles in my legs, abs, shoulders, etc. will improve my running. I felt those results for myself at the LA Marathon in 2010.

I was working with my trainer and preparing for the marathon. I remember telling him not to make me work my legs so hard, because I had a long training run coming up that weekend. He, of course, never listened to my complaints and pushed me through it. I started feeling the improvements each training run. My legs felt stronger and I had more endurance.

I have always reached the point in marathons where I feel like I cannot take another step more. It is usually around mile 23 (although sometimes sooner), however in LA, I never hit that wall. I even picked up the pace around mile 23 (unheard of, in previous Iamgoingtodie 23 mile marks). I was definitely feeling fatigued, but not completely wiped out.

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I know this something that is good for me. I know it will improve my running and overall health, but I am in need of help and motivation.

How do you strength train? Do you go to the gym or do it on your own? How do you find the motivation? How do you combat boredom?