How To Get A Great Workout Without Paying For The Gym

Do you pay a pretty penny each month for a gym membership you rarely use? Do you feel guilt every time you pass the gym on your way home? Luckily, it’s easier than ever to get a gym workout without the monthly deduction from your bank account.

Going to the gym is a large commitment. Even if you intend to work out for half an hour a day. By the time you get dressed, drive to the gym, get a locker, stow your stuff, wait for that sweaty guy to quit hogging the treadmill, and work out for your half an hour; it’s an hour and half before you finally get home. Who has an extra hour to waste in their day, just to burn some fat for 30 minutes?

There are ways to workout that give you just as much benefit as the gym, while not wasting extra time, or money. Combining any, or all, of the following will provide you with a gym caliber workout, without the heavy monthly fees. All you have to do is get in something comfy, and do the work.

Workout videos

There are countless workout video options out there. Some are free, some are affordable, some require a substantial initial payment.  All of these can be done in your home. The only drawback of workout videos is you don’t have an instructor on hand to correct your form.

  • Free workout videos online – YouTube offers a vast catalog of workout videos. You can find everything from 5-minute ab workouts to 1.5-hour yoga sessions.
  • Electronics store – Any store that sells electronics will have the more popular workout videos.
  • Order online – Companies like BeachBody offer an enormous library of workout video packages for all areas of interest. If you’ve watched an Insanity infomercial at 2 am, you know what I’m talking about. They now offer streaming services as well.
  • Daily Burn app – Daily Burn offers a subscription based video series that you can watch on your phone, tablet, TV. With a little floor space, you can work out virtually anywhere.

Workout equipment

There are a lot of treadmills, ellipticals, and stationary bikes currently being used as clothes hangers. Why spend money to use the treadmill at the gym, when you have one under that pile of summer outfits? Maybe you have some free weights under your bed. Pull them out, dust them off, and save yourself some money.

If you don’t have workout equipment at home, it’s easy to find it cheap by looking in one of these locations:

  • Craigslist – There are always lightly used fitness equipment posted on Craigslist, at affordable prices.
  • Clearance – You can usually find discounted fitness equipment at sport stores for reasonable prices. If you don’t mind floor models, those are usually the cheapest options.
  • Friends – Ask your friends. They may have a treadmill that is clogging up their basement, and they will sell it to you for cheap.

Body Resistance Training

Use your body’s resistance to gain muscle, and slim down. This requires no equipment, only your own muscles. Do a few sets of squats while you brush your teeth. Why not sneak in a quick floor workout while you are binging a Netflix series? Build your own customized routine with your favorite exercises, and either add reps, or more difficult exercises, as you grow stronger.


There are few better areas in America to hike than the Pacific NW. Everywhere we look we can see a mountain range, and there are hiking trail signs up every mountain, along the Columbia Gorge, and even within our major cities.

Get outside, breath the fresh air, get a full body workout, and experience breathtaking views by going for a hike. Local hiking guides can be found at any bookstore, or you can search for hikes near you online. Forest Park, in NW Portland, is a gorgeous way to remove yourself from civilization, while still being in town.

Pay special attention to the difficulty level if you are new to hiking. There are some challenging hikes, and you don’t want to put yourself in danger. Start easy, and work your way up to more difficult hikes. Also make sure to pack water and snacks to take with you.


Running is a calorie burning super sport, and requires minimal equipment to start. Grab a pair of shoes, weather appropriate clothing, and your patience. It takes time for lungs and legs to get used to running substantial distances without walk breaks.

Finding a Couch to 5k training program is the perfect way to start your running journey. It starts easy, and helps you avoid feeling beginner discouragement. With each run you check off you will feel empowered and excited for the next.

There is an abundance of running groups and races in the area for new and seasoned runners. The running community is a pleasant group of individuals, who love to run, and are usually eager to welcome newbies into the fold.


If you are trying to kick your habit of not going to the gym, hopefully these options help you get fit while keeping your money in your pocket. Each one is easy to implement, and will save you time too.

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About Liz Ward 101 Articles
Liz Ward is a running fanatic, avid reader, and amateur farmer. She lives on the Oregon Coast with her husband, three kids, and a small herd of animals.