The benefits of having access to a fully equipped gym are just too plentiful for one to begin describing. You all know what I'm talking about here because you feel the pain of not having everything that you need at your disposal when you all of a sudden find yourself somewhere that lacks what you've become accustomed to. Whether you have decided to go on vacation where the closest thing to a dumbbell is the bottle you're curling or you've had to move for work and are in a desolate location with no gym in sight, there's no excuses not to stay in good bodybuilding shape if that's what you are aiming to achieve. No barbells, no problem. Here are few strategies that I've personally used when not having access to a gym for an extended period of time to help keep my physique up to my own standards.
Utilize Body Weight Exercises
Before fancy machines and pre-loaded dumbbells, we had a different form of resistance to sculpt our body and that came by way of our own body weight. You can get in a great workout by simply working against gravity using your own body. Exercises such as chin ups (try hanging from the door framing), push ups, sit ups, reverse pull ups, body curls, sissy squats, lunges and the list can go on and on. With a little bit of thought and effort, mixed in with some intensity and you have yourself a great program that will at the very least, help you maintain your physique.
Use Isometric Contractions
Bodybuilders flex their muscles all of the time. When they're on stage presenting their physique, in between sets to enhance the pump and during certain parts of the rep to exaggerate the contraction because these isometric contractions help etch in the highly sought after details in the muscle. Try using isometric holds for 30 to 60 seconds per set by simply flexing the target muscle as hard as you can and holding it in the maxed out flexed position. You'll quickly see how tough it is to do, how great a workout it is and how much you will benefit from doing it.
Challenge Yourself with a Different Type of Cardio
To keep fat levels at bay, you're going to want to perform your cardio but instead of just going for a run, why not try cross country running. Find a path through the woods or up a mountain that has difficult terrain that you have to hurdle over or climb to get to your destination. The combination of the aerobic exercises from consistently moving coupled with the anaerobic challenges of getting yourself over or around hurdles is an excellent way to burn fat and build muscle all at the same time. Just make sure you lace up in your Super Freaks prior to engaging in your new found cardio adventures so you don't twist an ankle and end your ambitions prior to them even getting started.
There's really no reason not to stay in shape and maintain a bodybuilding type lifestyle just because you don't have access to a gym for a little while. Where there's a will there's a way and where there's a way there's always Heyday. So just make sure wherever you find yourself, you bring your shoes with you.
Author: Dana Bushell
AST Sports Science sponsored athlete/writer, sponsored by Schiek Sports Inc.