Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.


Cheap Workouts

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Dog and Pony Shows,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:46 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

I hate going to the gym.

I like working out, though, for the feeling I get afterward. I like feeling strong and healthy and, well, good. Who doesn’t? But, I hate going to the gym because, well, there are people there, um, watching me. Or, at least, that’s how it feels. I’m sure they’re probably more interested in their own workout, but just the possibility that they might be watching me creeps me out.

So, how can I get a good workout without all that gym equipment?
Thankfully, there are lots of ways. One way, according to Men’s Health, is to use a sandbag. It’s cheaper than a medicine ball and my favorite men’s magazine even has a sandbag workout that the professionals use for you. Because, yes, professional football players don’t use fancy weights to strength train.
Now, I haven’t started doing that one, yet, but I do a lot of push-ups and sit-ups. Not quite as many as I used to do before chemotherapy, but, I’m working up to it again. And, barring holidays or other breaks in my schedule, I do that five days a week in the morning before my coffee and my shower. Great way to start the day!
I have also used, and highly recommend, Dynamic Strength by Sifu Harry Wong. He has plenty of isometric exercises in that book to challenge anyone at any fitness level. And, they’re pretty much all based on traditional Chinese martial arts and health movements, so it’s not some modern, new-age crackpot health scam, either.

I do use a small set of dumbbells, which I’ve had for years, but those weren’t expensive either. And, you can substitute plastic milk jugs full of water, if you need some weights. In fact, with the Russian “kettlebell” phenomena from a few years back, I might just try that out myself!
Of course, I need to start walking with the dog again, too. That light aerobic exercise would probably do more for me than anything else I do now. Besides, I’m sure my Hilda would like to re-explore the neighborhood. Then, after I get a little of my “wind” back, I can start hitting the old heavy bag I’ve got in my garage. When I pounded on that for 20+ minutes three times a week, I was in pretty damn fine shape. Well, one day, I will be again.

So, that’s the way I beat the excuse “The gym’s too expensive and I never go anyway!” What’s yours?

Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"The safe way to double your money is to fold it over and put it in your pocket."
   --Frank Hubbard


  1. My sprained ankle still hurts! I can’t affort a gym membership. All of my time is spent in class, getting to poky, or doing homework.

    My dad built houses all of his life. Right now he is trying to finish up his last, and has offered to trade his for mine, and it just so happens there is a perfect spot in the basement (right next to the perfect spot for the art studio) for a great home gym! Once I’m done with school, I’ll be making enough money to furnish it! I might need some better excuses!

    Comment by Cheri — 10/3/2008 @ 7:44 pm

  2. Honestly, who needs a fancy gym? Old school body weight training, kettlebells and just plain lifting heavy stuff is what it’s all about.

    Your muscles don’t know the difference between a $80.00 dumbbell and a milk jug filled with cement.

    Way to keep it real. It sounds like you’re on the right track.

    Comment by Jamie — 10/4/2008 @ 8:38 am

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