Don’t let the absence of a gym membership prevent you from getting fitter. Just use these six tips from top personal trainer Adam Jones.
If you don’t have workout kit, furniture can be an useful substitute. If normal press-ups are too easy for you, try placing your feet on a chair - with the incline you’ll target different areas and place more emphasis on your upper chest and shoulders. On the other hand, if you find press-ups difficult, you can place your hands on the chair. If you struggle with a normal unweighted squat, you can try squatting onto a chair – it shortens the range of motion, which helps you maintain correct technique throughout.
When using bodyweight exercises, try working for a period of time instead of a set number of reps. Using compound movements such as squats, lunges, press-ups and burpees, start with 30 seconds of work and gradually increase that to 60 seconds. There are also many variations of each exercise, so if one is too simple then increase the difficulty by, say, doing a jump squat rather than a conventional squat.
Do a circuit
A favourite session of mine is to work in a 30:30 format, which means 30 seconds of work with 30 seconds of rest on each exercise for a set amount of rounds. A good circuit would be bodyweight squats, reverse lunges, press-ups, burpees and mountain climbers. Perform the squats for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, then move on to the lunges and continue like that. When you’ve done that for all five exercises, rest for one to two minutes, then go again. Complete the circuit four to six times in total.
Tempo – the speed at which you perform a move – is probably one of the most overlooked elements of training. Focusing on it can ramp up your results massively. Taking longer to perform a move increases tension in the muscle, forcing it to work harder, which in turn will increase stress and lead to muscle gain. When performing press-ups, try taking four seconds in the lowering phase, and add a slight pause at the bottom of the move. Do three sets of 12-15 reps like this.
Take a walk
Walking more will increase the number of calories your body burns every day, which will mean better fat loss results without needing any equipment. Aim for 10,000 steps a day. Take the stairs instead of the lift, get off the bus or train one stop early, or walk to and from work if you can. If you find walking boring download a podcast or listen to an audiobook. I find this a great way of clearing my head and getting focused either before or after a long day.
Find a hill and sprint up it. Running on an incline is less stressful on your body than running on flat ground, and it’s a great way to increase growth hormone production. Choose somewhere where you can run for about 20 seconds. Sprint up to the top and use the walk back down as your recovery period. Start with six sprints and increase the number by one each week until you get to ten. This will increase your stamina, build your legs and increase your metabolism, which means you’ll torch body fat faster.