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8 Simple Steps to Get Ripped Without Going to the Gym

You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a fancy gym membership to get fit. 

If there's one thing the pandemic taught us is that you don't need an expensive gym membership to get ripped. In fact, according to experts, you probably have everything you need to get into the best shape of your life in your home already. Celebrity trainers Anna Kaiser, creator of the popular NYC-based fitness brand, Anna Kaiser Studios, and Daniel McKenna,  former tread & strength instructor at Peloton, and creator of The Irish Yank Fitness App, as well as Samantha Harte, Doctor of Physical Therapy and founder of StrongHarte Fitness reveal to Best Life eight simple steps to getting ripped without going to the gym. 

Set Your Goals

white man lifting weights while sitting on his couch in front of tv

Before embarking on your fitness journey, experts recommend sitting down and setting your goals, whether that involves actually losing weight or just building muscle. 

Make a Commitment

man and woman exercising cardio workouts for men over 40

Next, you need to commit to your fitness plan, says Kaiser. "Being consistent with your strength training, power/cardio, and nutrition is extremely important to building strength," she says. 

Come Up with a Nutrition Plan

concept diet, slimming plan with vegetables mock up
279photo Studio / Shutterstock

Mckenna stresses the importance of coming up with a nutrition plan. "The saying 'abs are made in the kitchen' is true," he says. "You don't necessarily need to be in a gym to get ripped. Losing fat and getting leaner really comes down to your macros and calories in vs. calories out." Kaiser also stresses the importance of amping up your protein intake, "at least one gram per pound of body weight," to help support muscle growth. 

Find the Right Program

Kelly Ripa 2017

Kaiser suggests "finding the right program" for you. Some people prefer lifting weights, while others enjoy yoga or her own virtual studio, that has attracted celebrity fans including Kelly Ripa. 

Lift Weights

When workouts get too strenuous, the number of infection-fighting white blood cells in your body can go down. At the same time, your stress hormone cortisol may go up, which may interfere with the ability of certain immune cells to work right.

Invest in free weights, recommends Kaiser. "Working with dumbbells or barbells at home can also be just as fruitful as going to a gym and using machines," agrees McKenna. When it comes to building large and strong muscles, it's definitely ideal to work with weights of some kind, "but you can use the same set of dumbbells for a myriad of moves," he says. 

Use Your Bodyweight

Dumbbell squeeze press

Kaiser also recommends bodyweight exercises. "In lieu of heavy dumbbells, add power and explosive movements as a superset with body weight exercises – think burpees plus push-ups," she says. "There's a reason why push-ups are hard! Even though they don't use any additional equipment, you're engaging your entire body in a resistance exercise," adds McKenna. Other full-body no-equipment moves he recommends include: squats, lunges, squat jumps, jumping jacks, and shoulder-taps. 

Take a Walk

Shot of two senior women walking together in morning with sun shining from behind
AJ_Watt / iStock

Kaiser recommends "one to two rest days per week." Harte recommends walking for at least ten minutes per day. However, consider walking longer on rest days. 

 RELATED: 2 Alternatives That Are Just As Beneficial as Walking 10,000 Steps

Hydrate and Sleep

High angle view of young woman smiling while dreaming in bed at night.

Harte also emphasizes the importance of nourishing your body before and after workouts by drinking more water and getting more sleep. According to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine men should drink about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day and women about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids. According to the Sleep Foundation, getting enough z's is a mood booster, promotes heart health, regulates blood sugar, improves mental function, restores your immune system, helps relieve stress, and aids in weight loss. 

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more
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