No Gym? No Problem!

Mar 05, 2023
police officer in car

Are you in a situation where getting to the gym every day (or at all) isn't an option?


Night shift schedule, traveling for trainings or work, or just managing a busy schedule. It happens... but that shouldn't stop you from training to be your best and following some form of program. Even if it's at your home, a hotel, your department, or outside, there's always a way to make it work.


It's easy to think "well how good of a workout can I actually get at home?" You may change your mind if you've ever completed anything like the 1,000 rep workout... all body weight, 10 exercises, 10 reps, 10 sets and you don't need more space than it takes to do a burpee. I actually remember this workout from my first day of PT at the academy... a few people needed the trash can (& some didn't make it there in time) so that should tell you just because it's bodyweight, doesn't mean it's easy!


Home workouts, or using minimal equipment requires a bit of creativity.


So you're proficient at push-ups, how do you make them harder? Of course for most body weight exercises, throwing a weight vest on will add difficulty. Aside from that, elevating your feet and doing decline push-ups will make them harder, tempo push-ups (slowing the pace), depth pushups (which increase range of motion) and hand release push-ups are all great options.



A lot of those variations apply to most exercises, too. Mastered the air squat? Add in jump squats or lunges to really feel it. Tempo applies to squats & lunges as well. Slowing down the rep or adding pauses increases difficulty.


Another favorite at the academy: "World's Heaviest Pen". A pen couldn't possibly be heavy enough to use in a workout ... Hold it arms straight out and in the squat position and won't be long before you break a sweat! Now I'm not recommending this be added into the workout routine, and I wasn't actually ever one of the lucky (we’ll call them that) ones chosen for "world's heaviest pen", but proves the point of how little you sometimes need to get an effective workout.


Rest periods are another great scalable option for home workouts, and any workout, really. Minimizing or decreasing rest periods will certainly add intensity to a workout.


Not only does minimal rest increase the difficulty, but can be an added bonus if you're short on time or have a strict window for a workout routine.




Some at home items to enhance or add into your workout:

  •  Stairs - step ups or lunge variations. Using caution, and preferably the bottom step, it could be used for step ups similar to a box.
  •  Chair - Great for dips, or elevating your feet to get those decline pushups in.
  •  Towel/sheet - row variations - if anchored at a stable spot, a sheet or towel can be used similarly to TRX or rings
  •  Wall - wall sits! Grab any weighted item, hold it out in front of you to make it harder.


Some easy to find, inexpensive items that can enhance your home workouts:

  •  Bands - warmups, tricep extensions, curls, lat pull downs, rows, face pulls are a few of many things bands can be used for. Get various resistances to increase difficulty.
  •  Kettlebells
  • Medicine balls
  • A set or two of dumbbells will be great to add to almost all body weight workouts or circuits



Again... creativity counts when you're getting your workouts done with little to no equipment. If you could see some of the household items I turned into workout equipment during the pandemic (while gyms were closed and weights were selling for $3-5lb) ... I'm talking broomsticks with gallon jug filled rocks on each end, cinder blocks, weight vests and backpacks filled with rocks. I know, sounds crazy and my neighbors may have thought I was. 


The point is doing what you can with what you have. It doesn't have to look pretty, just put the work in every day and get it done.


You will see a variety of these exercises included into EFT's Minimalist Program. This program is designed specifically for maximizing workouts for those who have limited access to equipment and/or a gym. Use it if/when you need it!