Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Guest Post: Getting into Shape Without a Gym (II) by Anthony Myers

Here is the second part of Anthony Myer's post on getting into shape without a gym. It contains more great tips, and may help you to save a lot of time and money. Enjoy!

Jump Rope

When I first started working out I was mostly concerned with losing fat. I couldn’t afford a gym membership, and I hated jogging. I’m asthmatic and my chest would be burning and I’d be ready to throw in the towel after only running a block or two. Plus, jogging was just plane boring. I decided to ditch the jogging for a while and get a jump rope.

A jump rope is about the cheapest, but most effective pieces of cardio equipment you can get. I’d opt for a jump rope over a treadmill any day. I started jump roping every morning at 6:30. Not only was jump roping a lot more fun than jogging, but it also seemed a hell of a lot easier. My chest didn’t burn, I didn’t feel like giving up after only a few minutes. The best part? It seemed to be much more effective than jogging. I lost nearly 40lbs and jumping rope was my only source of cardio.


Here’s another killer bodyweight exercise. Dips will put more mass on your triceps than pretty much any weighted or machine exercise. It’s unfortunate that they are so underrated. There are two ways to do a dip.

Method #1:

Method #2:

If you have access to the right equipment, opt for method #2. It will not only help you build killer triceps, but with a little tweaking you can turn it into one of the best chest exercises ever. Simply lean forward a tad and dip lower than you would when targeting triceps. If you don’t have the access to the right equipment, no worries. The first method pictured is still really effective for building triceps. Plus, you do it almost anywhere. I used to do these with my hands on my bed and my feet on my computer chair!

Hanging Leg Raises

There’s no shortage of expensive and useless exercise equipment. Especially equipment designed to target your abs. Most of the equipment is designed to make the exercise easier, which to me, is absolutely ridiculous. An exercise shouldn’t be made easier. If anything, it should be made tougher by adding more resistance. I’m not going to lie, hanging leg raises are tough. However, they are the ideal exercise for achieving six pack abs. It’s no secret that the bottom two abdominal muscles are the hardest to target. If you’re having a hard time getting them to pop out, start doing hanging leg raises.


You’ve probably noticed by now that since I started talking about abs I haven’t mentioned sit ups or crunches. Those are OK, but exercises like planks will do much more for you. If you can only hold an abdominal plank for 30 seconds, don’t worry. Keep practicing. Eventually you’ll be able to hit a minute or even more. Also, you can throw side planks into the mix to target your obliques.


I have great calves. I get compliments on my calves more often than any other muscle group. It’s almost weird. Either way, I know for a fact that biking 5+ miles a day is the primary reason for my bad-ass calves. It’s also a great form of cardio. If you’re trying to get abs, you need to lose the fat on your stomach, and riding bikes is a great way to do that.

There you have it, a list of the most effective exercise that require little to no workout equipment. The fact is, most people use an unnecessary amount of machines and equipment. There are plenty of people who use machines and equipment on a regular basis, but if you asked them to do a few sets of pull ups or other exercises in the list above they would be huffing and puffing as if they’d never worked out in their life. Master these exercises and you’ll be well ahead of the “average” guy.


  1. I want to offer some criticism which I hope will be taken constructively.

    Both articles from Anthony so far suffer from the exact same problem which the average PUA guru suffers from, i.e., too much focus on the trees losing the forest in process.

    He's talked about some basic compound exercises to do, which is great, but nothing (at least not yet) on other aspects like diet, recovery, emphasizing proper form in exercises, designing a program based on your requirements and goals, what to do if you can't even do one of these (a LOT of people can't even do one push up. One pull up is quite an achievement for most people in an average gym), what to do once you are able to do a few (being able to do 70 push ups won't make much difference relative to 50), intensity of work outs, frequency of workouts, volume of workouts, a program for beginners vs program for intermediate guys, key aspects which promote fat loss, key aspects which promote muscle gain, how to preserve muscle when losing fat etc.

    Then there are other minor points like how ab exercises are almost certainly useless for guys who are very fat. Then there are some points which are implied by his statements (he may not have meant that but important to highlight) like "to get abs, you need to lose the fat on your stomach, and riding bikes is a great way to do that" which can easily be taken by someone to mean that spot reduction of fat is somehow possible, "I lost nearly 40lbs and jumping rope was my only source of cardio" - this statement sounds a lot like what scammy PUA gurus say "I banged 50 hot chicks last year and I only ever wore black loafers from Gucci during this time period". This statement doesn't mean anything. Without a proper diet, no amount of cardio is of any use and a proper diet is possible the most important component for someone looking to lose fat.

    Sorry for the bashing, but as a guy who managed to turn his physical condition around quite a bit in the last 6 months following some sound advice after years of crappy advice, I am a little passionate about this topic.



    2. Dude take it easy.

      His post so far have been really great. What did you expect? Have him put all his knowledge in one post? That's cool if you want to read a 300 page post.

      The only thing that I'm having a problem with is your current attitude.


    3. Take it easy, guys!

      if you are interested, you are very welcome to share your perspective on how it is to finally turn ones physical condition around on my blog in a guest post. This would surely be more beneficial than lashing out at Anthony. I think he provides a great service, but I also see that some people would need help on a much more fundamental level. However, I don't think there is any reason to hold against him that he didn't specifically write an article for guys who are unable to do one push-up. (I think that among young people those should be a minority, but I am also aware that obesity is a much more severe problem in the US than in Europe.)

  2. I personally believe that no one needs a gym to get in shape.I do and used to go to the gym all the time(despite doing my thing at home).But the social atmosphere and being around HB's is what made me opt for going to the gym.


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