Chronicles Of A Father With Cents

Simple Life. Personal Finance. Family

Ways I Workout Without A Gym Membership


Back when I was in college, I joined a local gym that was adjacent to the university I was attending. I’ve always wanted to workout since I was in high school. I was really slim  around 125 lbs. so you could say I needed some muscle in me. So I signed up for the gym and that same day I first worked out there. I worked on upper body and I’ll always remember the days after my first workout. I was so sore that I couldn’t lift anything, even when I was trying to eat I was struggling to lift the fork. But through that soreness, I felt that hitting the gym was a routine I loved to do. So for the next 10 plus years, I hit the gym at least three times a week. One of the main reasons for going to this particular gym was the cost. For the first two years I paid $30 a month but after those two years I only had to pay $20 a year. Great way to save and plus it’s cheaper than going to other gyms like 24 Hour Fitness and Ballys. It wasn’t the best in terms of amenities but it was enough for me to get all my workouts in and meet my goals.

Unfortunately on the 12th year being a member of this gym, they decided to shut it down because of lack of funds from what I heard. So I had no choice to join another gym. I jumped to a well known one called Planet Fitness. Many of you probably have heard about it, $10 a month, free pizza every month, clean lockers and amenities. I really loved it but during the time I was a member, we were planning our wedding and deciding on where to live after we tied the knot. We did find a place to live about a month before our wedding but it was out of the way from Planet Fitness. So after a year of being a Planet Fitness member, I had to quit the gym. Their wasn’t a gym close to our new place and now I had to get creative on how to workout. It was really tough for me because I was so used going to the gym after work and meeting my daily fitness goals. Now I have a dilemma of not going to a gym and looking for equipment I could use at home. Here are ways I got around to work out for basically free(excluding the home equipment).

My home workout equipment: A yoga mat and resistance bands

Fitness DVDs – When I first got started working out at home, the first program I started was P90X. We got the DVDs from Mother with Cents’ co-worker who had the legitimate DVDs. We didn’t want to borrow it because we had no idea how long we would have it. So we just made a copy(burn) of them. Picture and audio quality were good enough for us.

Other suggestions besides making DVD copies is to borrow them from the library which I did for a couple of workout DVDs

Youtube Videos – There are so many workout videos on YouTube that you can just type up what kind of workout you want to do and it’s most likely going to be on there.

Running Outside – I was already doing this when I had a gym membership. I usually ran once a week at either a lake close by on the Great Highway(next to the Pacific Ocean in SF). I could run about 6-7 miles each time. I loved running so much that I did a few races and even a half marathon. I did it mainly to challenge myself to do different types of races and to get some free swag like shirts, drinks, and snacks. Fortunately living in the Bay Area gives us great weather all year round to run outside anytime I wanted to.

I also play some basketball and luckily their are few parks by our place where I can shoot some hoops. I like to get others to play so we can more running in. Most of the time it’s 3 on 3 in which we only use half of the basketball court but if we can get 10 people and play 5 on 5, I can get even more running in since we can use the whole court. Playing some basketball definitely gives you a lot of cardio.

Phone Apps – Like youtube videos, there are many phone apps dedicated to help you workout on any type you want. I just started on an abs workout app that is helping me getting back in a routine after long absence from working out. It is pushing me to keep working on my abs and it seems to work. I’ve done it for over a month now and having a bit slimmer waist.

Strolling, Walking with the Baby – Since Baby with Cents arrived, I did not really workout until recently with my abs workout app. My only time before that in getting some sort exercise was pushing him on a baby stroller around our neighborhood. We wanted him to see the great scenery of the city by strolling him to the infamous Golden Gate Park and the cool windmills they have there. It was a way to get some exercise in so we wouldn’t get coup up at home all the time and to provide the baby with some Vitamin D. Not only had we strolled him around GGP but also our quiet neighborhood and the library for baby sing-a-longs and the grocery store. These strolls can last from 30 minutes to almost 2 hours so I definitely got a workout in for pushing Baby with Cents around.

In summary, I’m getting my way back onto a routine again after almost two years of focusing on the well being of our first baby, Baby with Cents. And with these options, it will motivate me to keep my fitness goals attainable and I don’t have to pay for a gym membership.

Do you workout? If so, what type of routine do you have? Also do you anything that I could add to this list? Free free to comment below.


  1. Wow what a deal! $20 a year. I have not heard of planet fitness that’s really cool you get free pizza.

    I don’t do gym membership too and actually next week I have a post on working out at home with baby! Haha. I used to run 10km a week but that’s stopped with baby. I hope to get back to running- might need to invest in a jogging stroller.

    My husband needs to use weights so he goes to the gym.

    • Yeah that $20 a year rate was really good, it was why I stayed there for so long. If they were still around I probably would have kept my membership!!
      That’s really good 10km(6 miles) a week, hopefully both of us can go back to running sometime this year.

  2. Wow 6 to 7 miles is really good!! I find that running relieves a lot of stress. They always say to not do too much cardio, but for some reason I always have to do cardio… it’s like the only thing that makes me feel better lol!

    • Yeah I really liked running every week, it was part of my weekly fitness goals and always felt really nice just to go outside and run. Especially in the morning with the cold air, great feeling!

  3. Great list!

    I love the gym and pay for a modest membership. I have done many of these things in the past though. Something motivates me about being in a gym with people working on getting in shape.

    Same way it motivates me when I read blogs like this for my finances!

    • Oh yeah, keep hitting the gym DM!! Seems that your not paying too much for it and having people around makes you want to there more, good reason to go to the gym!!
      I’ve adapted to working out at home and hitting my fitness goals is enough motivation for me.

  4. Great ideas! This is similar to what I like to do. YouTube has so many free fitness videos! I can’t fathom spending money on a class unless you crave the social aspect. I watch Zumba and dance workout videos. I also use an elliptical machine. We bought it years ago as a floor model fire sale at Walmart for $120. It’s more than paid for itself by now, and I use it a lot. I think gym equipment at home can be a great way to stay fit, but you have to make sure the use balances out the cost of buying it.

    • Nice, $120 for an elliptical!! That’s a good deal and your making good use of it at home. It’s the same as other other gym equipment you buy, have to use it to make the most out of the cost.
      Youtube is a great resource for fitness videos. You and literally type any workout you want to do and it’s their!!

  5. I’ve never had a gym membership in my life. I run, cycle, paddle, and climb about 10-15 hours a week at high intensity. I usually do one day of weights just using body weight and elastic bands. The bands are awesome as you can take them on trips.

    I too got into P90x and still do the plyo workout to this day sometimes. Insanity is another good video series and those are harder. But in the end, I hate working out indoors. I love being outside and I’d rather do box jumps on the picnic tables in the park or pull ups on a tree than do them in my house.

    • Hey AF, I need to workout with you!! Someone like you can push me to accomplish my daily fitness goals!
      I’ve seen videos of people working out at the park and doing the box jumps with the picnic tables like you do and pulls up on the monkey bars . Maybe I should do that too since their are a few parks nearby our place.

  6. Wow I remember P90X. I couldn’t even finish one workout session, I was exhausted already 20 minutes in lol! I have to get back into it again. Keep it up!

    • Haha, I believe the P90X videos have been around for more than 10 years now and still is great way to workout!! You should give it another shot and make sure you have a bottle of water close by! XD

  7. I think after the gym, my favorite workout technique is probably youtube, but I find usually what I do with youtube is learn different stretches. Most of my workouts require a lot of equipment, and they’re also the only things that have gotten me even close to working out regularly, so I won’t be trying to find a gym replacement any time soon. I AM going to cancel my dud Planet Fitness membership though! By the way, have you tried finding a Planet Fitness near work?? There was one super close to my office which is why I decided to sign up there. Turns out the actual activity matters a lot to me, and they didn’t have either of them so I never went (not even for free pizza!)

    • When I was a Planet Fitness member, I mainly went to the Daly City location but I’d sometimes go to the one in downtown SF(Samsome St.) during my lunch breaks. I do have a couple of guest passes lying around on my desk so I might comeback to the downtown location a few more times.
      That’s really cool you have a gym that fits your needs and use Youtube as well!! Keep at it Jing!

  8. Good for you for keeping active in spite of the adversity. I’m a big fan of many workout plans and types. One thing we tend to do is head to our nearby park that has some outdoor ‘fitness’ equipment. They have a pull-up bar and plenty of ‘mat’ space for abs, cardio, burpees, push-ups, and whatever else you can think of. I can’t stress fitness enough so good on you for staying with it away from the gym!

    • It was really tough at first when I wasn’t a member of any gym because I was so reliant on going there every week. But I have adapted to doing it at home with phone apps and youtube videos. I also have the same motivation to getting my fitness goals at home compared to when I was going to the gym.
      Their are a couple of parks nearby my place so I may do a couple of workouts over there as well with the monkey bars and picnic tables.
      Thanks for stopping by Mike!!

  9. I had a similar story to yours where I was an avid gym going for years. About 2 years ago I found myself not wanting to spend any more money to go to the gym and so I started a gym in our garage. Now my workouts consist of Insanity & P90x (burned from a friend too), running outside, and circuit training. I have over time accumulated a complete weight set/mats/bands (from Mr.Wow’s old company that was moving and given to us for free), TRX (recycled gift from my sister), Plyobox (my dad built me), exercise balls, etc. It has given me so much time and money back into my day!

    • Really cool that Mr. Wow’s old company gave you guys free workout equipment and now using it at your garage. With all that equipment, you don’t need to head to the gym anymore, it’s all at home now.
      Thanks for stopping by Mrs. Wow!!

  10. This morning *should* have been my 6 mile run to work, but alas, I accidentally took my change of clothes home with me so I to take the bus and settle for a shorter workout once I got to the office. I keep going back and forth on my gym membership, but I do love going (if not as often these days with a toddler). At $17/month, it stays for now.

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