Did you know the average American spends $1,200 a year on fast food? That’s $100 a month, and over $23 a week, all of it lining the pockets of a red-haired clown that’s been creeping out kids for several generations.
It’s no secret that people can be a little careless with throwing their money away, even if it’s just $10 at a time.
But there may be ways you’ve been spending more than you should even when you thought you were doing something good.
Take going to the gym, for example. On average, Americans spend $696 on gym memberships. That’s a lot of money for the privilege of lifting heavy stuff. But truth be told, heading to your local fitness center has some advantages.
Going to the Gym — Benefits
Atmosphere — It’s nice to be in a space with like-minded individuals committed to getting fit. The collective energy of dedication can act as a positive force to help you stay motivated to get your workout done effectively.
Available Equipment — Ok, so you probably know we tend to lean the other way in terms of heavy equipment. But hey, if it’s your thing, we’re not here to judge. Although, why spend tens of thousands of dollars on machines when you can use someone else’s?
Spotters — Again, we’re not big on using heavy weights, but if you’re going to use them, for crying out loud, use a spotter. Gyms are chock-full of people happy to lend you a spot, so take advantage.
Amenities — A lot of gyms have a certain perks that you can’t find in your home (unless you’re Mark Zuckerberg), such as pools, saunas, basketball courts and friendly front desk employees.
Music — If you’re the kind of person who needs to have music flowing to get the most out of your workout, the gym can be a great help if you left your phone at home. They’re usually blasting Top 40 hits from artists like Justin Beiber and Drake… which is … good, right?
Bodyweight Exercises — Benefits
We’ve written before about the advantages of utilizing bodyweight workouts, but here’s a condensed version:
No Starting Commitment — As we said in the section above, investing in major equipment is not necessary to get a solid workout. You can lose weight and build solid, lean muscle with just the equipment with which you were born. And besides, signing up for a gym can be kind of an intimidating experience, even for a baby.
You Can Train Everywhere — On a business trip in the middle of nowhere? No time to to go to the gym between classes? Just don’t feel like driving to the gym? No problem! Bodyweight exercises can be done in the comfort of your own home, or hotel, or patch of dirt in the middle of a barren wasteland. As long as you’re not on the moon, you can make pretty much anywhere your gym.
Target Multiple Qualities Simultaneously — A big problem with gym machines is they tend to target one area of your body. The great thing about calisthenics exercises is the way you’re challenged in terms of flexibility, mobility and balance in addition to strength. All of this builds kinesthetic awareness, which helps you be more in touch with your body as a whole.
Learn Awesome Moves — Come on, how else are you going to hear about awesome moves like the L-Sit and the handstand push-up? These are great calisthenics exercises and they can help you reach a level of fitness you’ve never achieved before.
Be More Creative — Calisthenics isn’t really about sticking to a strict regimen of certain exercises. It’s about using your body to get the best workout you can. So if you have a new idea on how to challenge yourself, you are free to give it a shot! So, for example, if you are trying to progress to a new bodyweight maneuver, it may require you thinking of your own progressions to get to that level.
No-Excuse System — So you don’t have to buy any equipment, and you can do the exercises anywhere. Well, that kind of takes a lot of excuses out of the equation, doesn’t it?
Look, we’re all busy, and it may seem almost impossible to set aside time to get a workout in during your busy schedule. But our systems are specifically designed to help you get a full workout in a minimum amount of time, in order to fit within your lifestyle.
Ideal for Fat Loss — Calisthenics is one of the best training “tools” for fat loss.
I say this because calisthenics can be easily implemented into HITT Training, AMRAP circuits, MRT, etc. These 3 methods are some of the best for fat loss and all of them require some bodyweight exercises to be in place. If your goal is to lose fat fast, then there is no reason for you to avoid bodyweight training.
Fantastic for Building Whole Body Strength and Muscular Development — When you perform bodyweight exercises, you typically work your body as a unit. The muscle work together in synergy to perform the movement.
Think of a chain. When one link in a chain is weak, it makes the whole chain weak. With bodyweight training the whole chain becomes strong because all the muscles work together.
Compare this to isolation exercises in bodybuilding. For example, when you perform seated bicep curls on a machine. The only muscle you are working is the bicep. The complimentary bodyweight exercise, the chin up, works the bicep, back muscles, abs, low back and more.
Train Your Core at Every Move — Training with calisthenics means your core is going to be challenged in every maneuver. That’s the best part about bodyweight workouts: there are no shortcuts. Your core is going to get a workout because you’ll need it in just about every bodyweight exercise.
So hopefully we’ve shown you don’t need fancy equipment for a solid bodyweight workout; however, there are a few simple tools that can help you with some of the better-known exercises in the calisthenics world. And all for less than half the wallet-depleting $696 on a gym membership.
These numbers are based on the best selling items on Amazon.
Pull Up Bar: $29.99
Dip station: $78.99
Climbing Rope: $37.95
Gymnastics Rings: $30.87
Weighted Vest: $47.58
On top of that, you can add two bodyweight exercise programs, and you’ll still be under half the $696.