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Training Ideas for Limited Equipment

So…i need some training ideas that allow for very limited equipment. Im gonna try to not be long winded here but basically i lost my job, and my wife and i had to move in with my wifes sister. I did have a home gym set up before, but with all that happened here i had to sell 97% of it. Obviously i cant do a gym membership because right now i am unemployed. I want to keep training in some way, and I have been doing what i can, but i need some ideas.

So…i currently can do almost anything with bodyweight. Theres parks and trees nearby where i can get in pullups, and trails around here where i could run and do some hills. Aside from that, i have access to a couple of very light kbs, basically way to light to do swings or squats with, but could be used as light dumbbells for lateral raises etc. I also have my resistance band. Along with this, there is a rec center here that has $2 tuesdays, and they have a gym…so i can hit that once a week.

So…how would you shape a program from that?

Calisthenics ain’t bad. If you can smash out a bunch of pull ups with a weighted back up and a bunch of pistol squats it’ll be a decent stimulus

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Wow man, sorry for your loss.

Can you afford/access one of those $10/mo gyms like Planet Fitness or something? Also i think sometimes community center/ymca type gyms will cut your rate / financial assistance if you cant afford it, is that something you could consider?

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The cheapest gym here is $40/month and the closest $10/month is 2 hrs away…we are out in the country here. The financial assistance thing is something to look into though…never thought of that.

Get a copy of Jailhouse strong -one of/if not the best book on bodyweight routines (not that hard to find free download *cough)

Good ideas here…

Can get a lot out of light dumbells/kettlebells with these…


One week do Bench and deadlifts heavy, next week squats and military press -do big pyramid up to 3RM/5x5 etc then just do 30 mins beach work or whatever you enjoy

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Thanks very much for all of that…this was very helpful

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I would go all out 1x a week on big movements for legs, chest and back.

During the rest of the week I would do biceps, triceps, and laterals for shoulders.

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Badger, would you happen to have a link to the jailhouse strong ?
I have had a search and can’t seem to find anything.
Thanks In advance.

I know you’re not looking to spend any cash right now, but if you could find $30 (maybe slightly less) you could get yourself a pair of gymnastic rings & that would take care of all your upper body work - you’d just need to find a suitable tree branch, football/soccer/rugby crossbar, or set of swings in the park to hang them. You can then do rows, push ups, pull ups, dips for starters, plus progress to harder stiff like muscle ups. For lower body you could smash your legs into submission once per week in the gym and supplement inbetween with sprints & plyometric stuff like jumping lunges & split squats.


Thats a good idea man…didnt think of that

Agree strongly with the great advice from @jimxvx77 to buy some rings or a “TRX” type suspension trainer, for very little money. It will allow you to do pretty much all pulls, rows, etc. for the back and biceps. Keep doing pull ups.

Rings are even better than TRX since you can set the supports far apart and use them for the chest, although the TRX is handy for indoors since you can hang it on a door.

Buy a bunch of resistance bands for pull-aparts and for tricept push-downs.

Do single leg squats, hip thrusts and calf raises for the legs. Check out Paul Carters article on “Big wheels, no weights” (or something like that)

You could do push ups until you progress to single arm push ups. Use an elevated support to work your way into these.

Total cost of above, less that 100 bucks.

I’d do an upper day, rest day, lower day, rest day, repeat… program.

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Another thing you can consider is to build your own TRX system with some cheap rope (I got 100 feet of 3/4" nylon braid for $5 I think) and 1-1/4" sched 80 PVC pipe. You can also thread it through the handles of multiple filled water jugs and use that as a very unstable dumbbell.

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You really can’t overstate how awesome rings are - look at your average rings specialist amongst Olympic gymnasts; insane physiques. I bought my pair on an impulse a few years back & I’ve gradually got to the position where I don’t do use free weights at all now for upper body.

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Jim Wendler was on Facebook about this sort of this a week or so ago. If you can work out just one day a week in a gym but body weight when ever, what would you do?
I think his reply was a press movement on 531, squat 531 with widow maker sets, and then 2 days body weight. So dips, pull ups and press ups.

Not ideal as he said. But it should provide a suitable stop gap.

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I agree with the utility of rings on all points, and can fully understand if people think this is just quibbling–But…

Let’s look at that statement again.

“Average ring specialist amongst Olympic gymnasts”

There is nothing typical or average about the couple of people in the World that this statement applies to.

But yes, I absolutely agree that rings are cheap and effective. A friend of mine has a set and I actually avoid them due to their difficulty. I lift to feel stronger, not uncoordinated and weak!

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Mate I definitely agree, those guys are freaks of nature so not comparable to your average joe. I guess my point was that it can be hard to move past the mindset that if you’re throwing around bits of iron in a gym then you’re wasting your time - I certainly struggled with this in the past myself.

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Yeah…seeing those top guys or the freaks can help with motivation. I seriously doubt that many people could be like they are, let alone other types of athletes too. It helps with motivation to remember people like gymnasts, hershel walker or bronson when it comes to body weight stuff. Just as it helps to remember arnold, ronnie or others for the iron and so on

I dont no, sorry

OP, the full response of this is also written in the blog post on jim wendler website