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Gym full of resolutioners? Try these fun (and brutal) workout ideas


Have you noticed an influx of new gym members these past few weeks? Are you finding it difficult to get access to the equipment you need for your workouts? Or does your schedule dictate working out regularly when the gym is crazy busy? I've got you covered with some unique ideas for how you can still get an amazing (and, in many cases, more challenging) workout when your gym is packed.

Quick side note: Yes, it can be frustrating to see your usually-calm gym packed with newcomers. Yes, you'll see a rapid drop-off in attendance within the next few weeks (that's just how these things work). But many of these newbies will stick with their new routines.

I normally split my own training into upper body and lower body days (and I train my core daily, but core moves are easy enough to do with limited space so I've left them out here), so that's how I'll organize the workout ideas below. Feel free to mix 'n' match to suit your own training splits! I've tried most of these workouts myself, and can tell you firsthand that you're in for a treat :-)

Lower Body Workouts

500 lunges

Yep, you read that right. This is a workout I do on a weekly basis (with 2 clients) during the summer months, all the way around a running track. It's as simple as it sounds: find a stretch of space (outdoors, at the gym, your hallway) and do 500 total walking lunges. A rep counts only if your back knee comes within a half-inch of the ground! I use a lap.

100 goblet squats + 100 reverse lunges

This was one of my recent lower body workouts when all of my gym's squat racks were in use. Grab a medium-weight kettlebell and do 100 reps of goblet squats (take breaks as necessary). Then grab a pair of dumbbells and do 100 lunges (50 each leg).

Dumbbell complex

No available barbells for your deadlifts? Grab a pair of dumbbells and run through the following circuit, with no breaks between moves:

  • Single leg deadlifts x 10 each leg

  • Sumo squat x 15

  • Reverse lunges x 10 each leg

  • Front squat x 15

Upper Body Workouts

100 chin-ups and 200 push-ups

This one’s easy to do at home if you have a doorway chin-up bar. Set a timer and see how long it takes you to do 100 chin-ups and 200 push-ups. Alternate between sets of chin-ups and push-ups, or do all your chin-ups first, then all your push-ups. Just make sure to be consistent the next time you try it to see if you can beat your time!

Bench + dumbbell supersets

Managed to find an available bench? I normally structure workouts around supersets (completing 2 different exercises in A, B, A, B fashion), which can be a challenging and time-saving method of working different muscle groups. Here are some ideas:

Bench press and dumbbell row

You’ll need 2 dumbbells for the bench press, and one heavier dumbbell for the rows. Alternate between the two. The bench remains flat the whole time.

Incline bench press and chest-supported row

Set the bench to a 45-degree angle. Perform alternating sets of incline bench press and chest-supported rows. You’ll likely be able to use the same set of dumbbells for both moves. How's that for efficiency?!

Bench push-up superset

You don’t even need any dumbbells for this one! Blast your pecs, delts, and triceps by performing as many decline push-ups as you can with good form (feet on the bench, hands on the floor). Immediately switch to close grip push-ups with your hands on the narrow end of the bench. Rinse and repeat!


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