15 Circuit Training Workouts (Home & Gym)

15 Circuit Training Workouts (Home & Gym)


circuit training is awesome, even dinosaurs love it

This circuit training guide is gonna give you EVERYTHING you need to do your first kickass circuit training workout today.

I mean come on, it has dinosaurs in it.

These workouts are similar to the custom programs we build for our Online Coaching Clients who work out at home, on the road, and in outer space.

Okay, FINE we don’t have any clients in space (yet). But we do have clients in Antarctica, and multiple aerospace engineers. Close enough?



If you’re hoping circuit training will maximize your results in a minimum amount of time, one of the 15 circuits below will do the trick:

Let’s jump right in.

What is Circuit Training?

As Coach Lauren mentions above, the “circuit” in circuit training comes from the fact that you do a sequence of exercises back to back to back, and then you repeat the sequence.

And then again.

You cycle through the planned sequence of exercises, or circuit, multiple times.

That’s circuit training.

Generally, you hit each major muscle group during one full circuit. You may do a lower body for one exercise. Then the upper body the next.

You’ll find all sorts of different circuit training sequences. Here are some things most will have in common:

  • Several different exercises. A normal circuit will have five to ten different movements per circuit. You’ll often hear these referred to as “stations.” Overhead press station, squat station, etc.
  • Little to no rest in between. The goal of circuit training is to keep your heart rate up. Ideally, if you’re physically able, you go from one exercise to another without stopping. Maybe you rest after the whole circuit. Maybe.
  • Rinse and repeat. Generally, you’ll run through your circuit a few times. Three rounds are common.

Make sense?

The Tick is stoked you are putting on weight, muscle or fat, it means our strategy is working.

The point here is to work different parts of your body with different exercises, and then while those parts are recovering, you’re working on your other movements! This helps build cardiovascular health, while also improving muscular endurance and strength.

Plus you’ll burn calories!

As we lay out in our article, Cardio vs Interval Training vs. Weight Training, research supports that doing strength training circuits is great for weight loss and overall health.

More importantly, for somebody with limited time, doing a strength training circuit is more effective at building strength and burning fat than an equivalent amount of cardio.

In other words, if you are trying to lose weight, you should be doing circuit training.

Our Beginner Bodyweight Circuit would be a great place to begin, and you can download a worksheet to help you get started right here:

Why Should I do circuit training?

This runner definitely has a strong core!

Generally, you’ll hear exercise divided into strength training or aerobic exercise (cardio).

What’s the difference, you wonder?

  • Strength training. Strength training is also referred to as anaerobic exercise, which would be a short burst of energy for movement. Think of a push-up or pull-up. These exercises help build and tone muscle.
  • Aerobic Exercise. “Aerobic” means “needs oxygen.” Your heart rate increases to get oxygen where your body needs it, thus the word “cardio.” Running, biking, or jumping jacks would be examples of aerobic exercise.

The thing about a circuit is, you actually do both categories. Presses and lunges fall into strength training. Jumping jacks are cardio.

And since you aren’t stopping much in between stations, you’ll need more oxygen, and voila. Even more cardio.

With circuit training, you build muscle and burn fat WHILE building stamina.

As Michael Scott would say, “that’s a win, win, win.”

circuit training is a win win win

There’s some debate on what kind of exercise is better for weight loss: aerobic or anaerobic.

My thoughts?

If you’re limited on time and only can pick one, I would pick strength training: when you strength train, you break your muscles down, and your body needs to work extra hard over the next 24-48 hours to rebuild those muscles (with increased calories burned).

We work with our 1-on-1 Coaching Clients to create programs that combine both strength and cardio in a fun way – it really comes down to a program that you actually WANT to do.



Before and after your circuit training: Warm up and stretch

Some stretching a rubber band

No matter which circuit you pick, I want you to start with one important thing:

Warm-up!

I cover why you should always warm up in an article found right here. It doesn’t have to be much though, give it about five minutes to get your muscles active and your heart rate up.

This will help you do exercises properly and help prevent injury. You can run in place, do air punches and kicks, or some jumping jacks.

Here is NF Senior Coach Staci (you might know her incredible story) showing you many beginner options you can use to warm up as well:

Did I just tell you to prepare for circuit training, with a circuit?!

If you’re curious, here’s my personal (advanced) warm-up:

THE NERD FITNESS ADVANCED WARM-UP:

  • Jump rope: 2-3 minutes 
  • Jumping jacks: 25 reps
  • Bodyweight squats: 20 reps
  • Lunges: 5 reps each leg.
  • Hip extensions: 10 reps each side
  • Hip rotations: 5 each leg
  • Forward leg swings: 10 each leg
  • Side leg swings: 10 each leg
  • Push-ups: 10-20 reps
  • Spider-man steps: 10 reps

Our goal isn’t to tire you out. Instead, we want to warm you up.

That’s step one.

Completing your chosen circuit training routine would be step two.

Below, you’ll find 15 workouts you can follow along with! And if you like our style of workouts, you might like our new app, Nerd Fitness Journey!

Our fun habit-building app helps you exercise more frequently, eat healthier, and level up your life (literally).

Right now, you can try it for free for a full week (no credit card required). Jump in below:

Beginner Bodyweight Workout Circuit

This workout circuit, as we lay out in our Beginner Bodyweight Workout article, is as follows:

  • Bodyweight squats: 20 reps
  • Push-ups: 10 reps
  • Walking lunges – 10 each leg
  • Dumbbell rows (using a gallon milk jug or another weight): 10 each arm.
  • Plank: 15 seconds
  • Jumping jacks: 30 reps

Run through this circuit three times. If you don’t have milk in the house for the rows, find something of roughly the same weight with a good handle.

We also turned this workout into a fun infographic with superheroes, because that’s how we roll:

An infographic of the Beginner Bodyweight Workout

If you want to download this Beginner Bodyweight Workout as a worksheet, you can do so when you sign up in the box below:



Advanced Bodyweight Exercises Circuit

If the beginner circuit above is too easy for you, move on to our Advanced Bodyweight Workout Circuit. The workout looks like this:

  • One-legged squats – 10 each side [warning super-difficult, only attempt if you’re in good enough shape]
  • Bodyweight squats: 20 reps
  • Walking lunges: 20 reps (10 each leg)
  • Jump step-ups: 20 reps (10 each leg)
  • Pull-ups: 10 reps [or inverted bodyweight rows]
  • Dips (between bar stools): 10 reps
  • Chin-ups: 10 reps [or inverted bodyweight rows with underhand grip]
  • Push-ups: 10 reps
  • Plank: 30 seconds

I warn you, the above circuit will hurt… in a good way. You should be proud if you can get through this three times.



Playground Workout Circuit

Do you have a nearby playground? Why not work out there! If you have kids, you can do it together. Or let them ignore you.

I’ll give you a Level One workout, and a Level Two. Check out the main playground article for some Level Three exercises.

Level One:

  • Alternating step-ups: 20 reps (10 each leg)
  • Elevated push-ups: 10 reps
  • Swing rows: 10 reps
  • Assisted lunges: 8 reps each leg
  • Bent leg reverse crunches: 10 reps

Level Two:

  • Bench jumps: 10 reps
  • Lower incline push-ups: 10 reps
  • Body rows: 10 reps
  • Lunges: 8 reps each leg
  • Straight leg reverse crunches: 10 reps

After you’ve gone through a complete set three times, go down the slide!



Kettlebell Workout Circuit

Have a kettlebell lying around? Use it for a circuit!

Here’s our kettlebell workout full write-up, but you can also just watch the video and see the workout here:

  • Halos: 8 reps (each side)
  • Goblet squats: 10 reps
  • Overhead presses: 8 reps (each side)
  • Kettlebell swings: 15 reps
  • Bent Over Rows: 8 reps (each side)
  • Front rack reverse lunge: 6 reps (per side)

Once you’ve done the above three times, go ahead and put your kettlebell away for your final step: stretches.

If you want a kettlebell worksheet for this workout, grab one by signing up in the box below:

We also have a fun new adventure in our app that will allow you to train with your kettlebell right alongside Hack Morris (this will make sense more sense when start).

Jump in right now for your free trial:

Beginner Gym Circuit Training

use free weights and to do circuit training

If you have access to a gym, you have a lot of circuit options.

If it’s your first time stepping foot in a fitness facility, check out our Beginner’s Guide to the Gym. The gym can be a scary place, but we’ll give you a strategy to get comfy.

(Gym closed do to COVID? Here’s how to build a gym in your home.) 

We’ll also walk you through each movement for both Days A and B below. I would recommend picking one of our 5 Beginner Gym Workouts, going through the leveled progressions, and working your way up to the circuits below:

DAY A GYM WORKOUT:

Day B GYM WORKOUT:

  • Barbell Romanian deadlifts/regular deadlifts: 10 reps
  • Push-ups: 10 reps
  • Dumbbell rows: 10 reps per arm

Alternate your circuits on different days. Rest in between. “Day A” could be Monday. Rest Tuesday. Wednesday could be “Day B.”

We LOVE helping people get started in the gym, as we’re huge fans of barbell training and helping beginners build confidence with weight training! If that sounds like you…



And you can download our full Strength 101 guide too, which has this routine along with other circuits to help you start building strength today:

The Hotel Workout Circuit: For Travelers that Train

Is there anyway to work out in this hotel room?

Sometimes, you just plain find yourself stuck in a hotel room. Maybe you can find the hotel gym, but I bet it’s terrible! It probably has 2 machines, a broken treadmill, and no free weights. 

Ugh.

Instead, how about a workout circuit you can do in the room itself! Utilize the furniture to its full potential.

Level 1

Level 2

Set the alarm clock to 15 minutes from now and see how many circuits you can do!

Check out our full post on hotel circuits if you want Level 3!

We have a LOT of business travelers in our 1-on-1 coaching program, which is why we create workouts for both their home gym and while traveling!

If you need worldwide accountability, workouts for home and the road, and want expert guidance…



Nerdy Circuit Training Exercises

Lego minifigures standing in rows. In first row - Batman, The Jo

If those workouts above don’t tickle your fancy, we have these other nerdy circuits you can do too!

The Batman Workout Circuit

Day 1

  • Rolling squat tuck-up jumps: 5 reps
  • Side to side push-ups: 5 reps
  • Modified headstand push-ups: 5 reps
  • Jump pull-up with tuck / Pull-up with Tuck-up: 5 reps
  • Handstands against wall: 8 seconds

Day 2

  • ‘180 Degree’ jump turns: 5 reps
  • Tuck front lever hold: 8 seconds
  • Tuck back lever hold: 8 seconds
  • Low frog hold: 8 seconds



The Lord of the Rings Workout Circuit

try this lord of the rings circuit training workout

Superset 1: The Fellowship of the Ring

Superset 2: The Two Towers

  • Riders of ROWhan: 3 bodyweight rows
  • Gimli “Shall I get you a box?” jumps7 box jumps – REALLY explode
  • Helm’s Deep-Squats: 9 bodyweight squats – get your ass to the ground
  • Tower of Orthanc Holds: 1 minute (Kick up against a wall and hold a handstand for as long as you can until 1 minute is complete, in as few as sets as possible. Check out our Guide to Handstands.)

Superset 3: The Return of the King

If you can get through a superset three times, consider yourself an honorary Ranger. Nothing found in Mordor can faze you.



The 300 Workout Circuit

do the 300 circuit training workout to get strong like King Leonidas

The below circuit is no joke. Then again, neither were the Spartans.

  • Pull-ups: 25 reps
  • Deadlifts with 135lbs: 50 reps
  • Push-ups: 50 reps
  • ‘24-inch’ Box jumps: 50 reps
  • Floor wipers: 50 reps
  • Single-arm clean-and-press with 36 lbs. kettlebell: 25 each side
  • Pull-ups: 25 reps

The above sequence is designed to be completed once. If you can go through it twice, you’re ready to defend Greece.



The Wolverine Workout Circuit

  • Barbell Deadlift / Dumbbell RDL / Banded Good Morning / Regular Good Morning: 10 reps
  • Medicine Ball Slam / Quick Downwards Bodyweight Squat: 10 reps
  • Push-up to Renegade row (push-up, row left, push-up, row right, repeat): 5 Rows per side
  • Transverse Lunge and Chop: 5 reps each side

How many times do you do this circuit? AMRAP, or, As Many Rounds As Possible. I suggest setting a 12-minute timer and getting to work. Be careful though, because only Wolverine can heal automatically.

wolverine does workout circuits too

You’ll need actual rest.

Boom!

There are your nerdy circuits. Feel free to rock the soundtrack of the referenced movies during your workout. If you own a cape, now’s the time.



Complete List of Circuit Training Exercises

A picture of a LEGO Spider-man, who is interested in weight loss.

You can do any of the workouts in this article and get a great workout, but if you want to build your own workout, you can totally do that too!

Here is a list of exercises you can use to create your workout.

Simply pick a few, and do one after the other in as many circuits as you want!

Pick your exercises from this list to build your own circuit training workout, or suggest your own for us to add in the comments below!

CARDIO EXERCISES:

  1. Jump rope
  2. Jumping Jacks
  3. Walking Jacks
  4. Burpees
  5. Mountain climbers
  6. Stairs
  7. Sprints
  8. High knees
  9. Running in place
  10. Rowing machine
  11. Long-distance jumps
  12. Box jumps

UPPER BODY PUSH EXERCISES:

  1. Push-ups (any variation)
  2. Handstands.

UPPER BODY PULL EXERCISES

  1. Dumbbell rows
  2. Bodyweight rows
  3. Negative pull-ups or chin-ups
  4. Pull-ups or Chin-ups

LOWER BODY EXERCISES

  1. Bodyweight squats
  2. Lunges
  3. Kettlebell swings
  4. Farmer carries (carry dumbbells and walk around)

Coach Staci showing Farmer's Walk

CORE EXERCISES:

  1. Planks
  2. Side planks
  3. Reverse crunches

Pick 3-5 exercises, and arrange them as we discuss in our “how to build your own workout routine.” We also have The 42 Best Bodyweight Exercises for movements that you can choose from.

Do 3 circuits with 10 reps of each exercise, one after the other!

Have fun and keep things interesting. And if you don’t want to build your own workout, that’s cool too! We have 15 free workouts in this article, and we can also do all the heavy lifting for you.

(Well, not literally DO the heavy lifting, but you know what I mean.)

We create custom workout solutions for busy people just like you in our 1-on-1 Coaching Program. Let us create a workout and help you make better food choices.

It’s like having a Yoda in your pocket (again, not literally).



How to Stretch After Circuit Training

Once you finish your workout, the final step (three) would be stretching and cool down. No matter what circuit you go through, stretch after a workout. It can help a lot with muscle recovery.

Scope this video for an awesome stretching sequence to follow:

You could also do some yoga poses. For stretching, find what feels good and take your time. Let your heart rate come down while you stretch.

You could even do some foam rolling too if you’re a glutton for punishment!

For more ideas on how to make the most of your stretches, check out The Ultimate Guide for Improving Flexibility in 30 Days. It has Spider-Man in it, so you know we aren’t messing around.



Getting Started With Circuit Training

want to be a superhero like these legos? do circuit training!

There are all sorts of different ways to do circuit training. We just showed you fifteen.

YOUR MISSION: Complete one of the above circuit training workouts! If you don’t know which one to pick, start with the Beginner Bodyweight Circuit. It’ll get you used to the idea of hustling from one exercise to the next.

And you can do it in your living room!

If you’re looking for more hands-on instruction and customized guidance, check out our 1-on-1 Coaching program. You’ll work with our certified NF instructors who get to know you better than you know yourself, and then build a workout program that is specific to your exact goals.

Simply put, we tell you exactly what to do every day, and how to eat. And then, we check in with you regularly to make sure you’re doing it!



If you got this far in the article, I really want you to try one of these workouts. Right NOW. I always mention the most important step in a fitness journey is starting it. Today, start circuit training.

Once completed, I’d love for you to share your story with the community in the comments:

  • How’d it go?
  • Did you get through three full circuits?
  • Which routine did you pick?

Find a circuit you’re comfortable with, and do it.

Then do it next week. And the following. And track your progress

If you add circuit training to your fitness routine, you’ll be on a solid path for leveling up your life.

-Steve

PS: I couldn’t quite figure out how to use this gif, but it was too good not to include.

I bet short circuit likes circuit training

If someone creates the “Short Circuit Workout Circuit” you’ll be my best friend forever.

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All Photo credits can be found right here[1].



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The Batman Workout (No Equipment Needed)| Nerd Fitness

The Batman Workout (No Equipment Needed)| Nerd Fitness


Lego Batman on gray baseplate

Today, I’m going to share The Batman Workout!

If you plan on fighting crime in your city, you’ve come to the right place. 

We specialize in creating nerdy-themed exercise routines in our Online Coaching Program, because we like to have FUN with our training!



Here’s what we’ll cover:

Alright, grab your cape, and let’s do this.

How Would Batman Train in Real Life?

As Ryan from GMB mentions in the video above, Batman needs to train for:

Now, a gym could be useful here. However, sometimes we don’t always have access to a fitness facility.

Maybe we’ve been thrown into some sketchy prison somewhere (thanks Bane).

BUT, that doesn’t mean we can’t work out. It just means we have to focus on bodyweight exercises:

Bruce Wayne doing push-ups


As we mention in our Guide to Bodyweight Training, you really don’t need any equipment to get a full-body workout in. You just need the right plan.

Let me show you what I mean.

The Batman Workout DAY 1

 The Batman Workout Day 1:

Once you get proficient at a level, go up one level for that exercise and work on mastering that within the workout.

Don’t try and jump up to the next progression too quickly. Focus on form and performing each rep as cleanly as you can. That is what will get you strong and help you master the moves. Be sure to:

#2) How many reps should I do? How long should I perform the holds?

  • Perform no more than 5 reps per movement for up to 3 sets.
  • Work on performing holds for 5 to 8 seconds per set.
  • Perform all sets of one exercise before moving on to the next exercise.

#3) How often should I do the Batman Workout?

Give yourself at least a day of rest in between the workouts.

You can even add in sprints or intervals on your off days for extra stamina work if you would like.

#4) What if I don’t have a bar?

In the video below, Coach Jim walks you through what to do if you don’t have a pull-up bar:

For more here, check out How to Do Pull-ups Without a Bar.

#5) Can I wear a cap while doing the Batman Workout?

Yes.

Get strong without picking up a weight

Batman Action Figure

Maybe you hate gyms. Maybe you travel like crazy. Maybe you just enjoy exercising outdoors.

No matter your reason, You CAN build muscle and size or simply lose weight and get in shape with only bodyweight exercises.

Just ask Jimmy here:

Jimmy before and after he did bodyweight training

Jimmy didn’t want to leave his home to train, so we helped him build a plan to do just that.

Want some help from us too?

No problem!

Here’s how Nerd Fitness can get you ready to fight crime:

1) If you want step-by-step guidance, a custom bodyweight training program that levels up as you get stronger, and a coach to keep you accountable, check out our killer 1-on-1 coaching program:




2) If you want an exact blueprint for working out at home, check out NF Journey. Our fun habit-building app helps you exercise more frequently, eat healthier, and level up your life (literally).

Try your free trial right here:

3) Join the Rebellion! We need good people like you in our community, the Nerd Fitness Rebellion. 

Sign up in the box below to enlist and get our guide, Strength Training 101: Everything You Need to Know. It’ll help you start incorporating bodyweight moves into your training.

Alright, that about wraps it up for today.

Tune in for more next time!

Same Bat-Time, same Bat-Channel.

-Steve

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photo source: ©rosinka79/123RF.COM, batman action figure



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Buying a Gym Membership (6 Rules to Follow)

Buying a Gym Membership (6 Rules to Follow)


So you’re gonna buy yourself a gym membership?

Great! I have one too!

Having access to a dedicated place to get stronger and train can be really helpful for leveling up your life.  

So if you want a gym membership yourself, I support your decision 100%.

However, there’s a lot to consider when thinking about purchasing a gym membership (click each to go to that section):

These are great questions!

Let’s make sure you have answers to all six.

And if you’re joining a gym for strength training purposes, make sure you download our massive guide: “Strength Training 101: Everything You Need to Know.” Get yours free when you sign up in the box below:

HOW DO I FIND THE RIGHT GYM?

Dumbbells on floor in gym

As part of our Strength Training 101 series, we dedicate an entire article to picking the correct gym. Let’s recap some of it right here for you.

Here’s How to Find the Right Gym:

#1) WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR? Picking a gym isn’t as easy as running to the closest one and signing up. There are a lot of things you need to take into consideration. There’s equipment to contemplate, classes offered to compare, and distance from your home to calculate.

It can be a good idea to create a list of things you are after, to make sure the gyms you research have what you need. Want such a list? You got it.

There are also types of gyms to think about. You’ll mockingly hear big-name-chain gyms referred to as “Globo Gyms,” taken from the critically acclaimed masterpiece, Dodgeball.

A scene from Dodgeball

You can think of Globo Gyms as your standard large franchise like 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness, Gold’s Gym, etc. You know, the big commercial gyms.

Oftentimes their price and location make for a convenient membership. I am a member of a Globo Gym. It’s conveniently located and fits my budget.

On the flip side would be a locally owned gym. Something where the owner hangs out and greets everyone. You’ll often find more free weights at such a gym, which is awesome, but it might come at the expense of other amenities like childcare.

These are some pros and cons to weigh.

The other thing to consider would be a CrossFit gym. More expensive, but arguably more of a community setting than you’ll get at a “Globo Gym.” Although they tend to be a little pricer.

Bringing us to…

#2) WHAT IS YOUR BUDGET? How much are you willing to spring for your membership? You might get away with as little as $10 a month. Conversely, a $400 monthly membership is not unheard of.

Although typically a gym membership will run you $30-$50.

To put the cost in context, it can be important to consider the gym’s amenities offered. Do they hold free classes like yoga? A single class can cost $10-$15, so if you plan on attending a few, this can quickly equal the price of your gym membership.

Do they offer childcare? If you need someone to watch your offspring, this alone might be worth the membership. Refer to our list above for some ideas.

#3) HOW IMPORTANT IS LOCATION?  Don’t set yourself up for failure here. If your gym is all the way across town, you may end up less likely to use it.

Consider a location on the way to or from work.

If you have to pass by the gym twice a day, you’re much more likely to stop in.

Might be worth springing more for a convenient location for your day-to-day.

Tom Cruise asking "Seriously, how long have we been driving?"

As I mentioned, this entire section on “Finding the Right Gym” was taken from our Strength Training 101: Everything You Need to Know ebook.

It walks you through every aspect of starting a strength training practice, from equipment, specific workouts, and how to know when you should progress to lifting more weight. You can grab it for free when you join the Rebellion below!

WHAT SHOULD I DO BEFORE I PURCHASE MY GYM MEMBERSHIP?

Detective with a magnifying glass

So you’ve narrowed down the type of gym membership you want to purchase.

Before you pull the trigger, do the following:

Get a guest pass.

Some gyms give out free passes for a week or two, some you have to pay for (e.g. $20 for 20 days). Even if you have to pay for it, this is probably the best money you can spend.

After all, you don’t buy a car without test driving it, right?

Make sure you head to the gym at different times of day that align with when you plan on going regularly.

There’s nothing worse than finding a perfect gym, signing a big contract, and then discovering that the gym is so swamped with people after your workday that you can’t even get to the equipment you’d like to use.

During your guest visits there are lots of things to look for.

Questions to Ask When Checking Out a New Gym:

  1. Is the equipment in good working order?
  2. Is there enough equipment for everyone or are you fighting for a bench?
  3. What’s the general vibe of the gym? Does it seem clean?
  4. If you’re going before work, are there enough showers available?
  5. Did you have to wait to use one?

It’s also never a bad idea to talk to the other members and ask them what they like and dislike about the gym.

You can also read reviews online on sites like Yelp or Google, but remember that people are more likely to complain than compliment, so take all online reviews with a grain of salt.

Nervous about approaching people? Read this.

HOW DO I BUY A GYM MEMBERSHIP?

At this point, you’ve decided to pull the trigger.

Want some potential money-saving tips? I got you.

To Save Money When Buying a Gym Membership:

#1) Join with a friend or family member. Gyms can be sales-driven, so bringing in someone else can make for an enticing offer. They likely have a quota to make, so the more the merrier. It’s worth asking every gym about a family plan.

#2) Join in January (or keep an eye out for specials during the slow months). The start of the new year brings a fitness craze, and many gyms capitalize on this by waiving fees or offering discounts. If it’s near, it might be worth signing up during this rush.

January won’t be the only time gyms offer specials. Google “name of gym deals” and similar items to see if any recent ads show up, as well as check on sites like Groupon and LivingSocial. If you just missed a deal, bring it up to them. They very well may still offer it.

If not…

#3) Haggle. While this can be uncomfortable for some, asking for a discount won’t hurt. The worst thing they’ll tell you is “no.” The best thing that could happen is they’ll give you a free membership.[1]

While I’m joking on that last part, many people do have success with negotiating gym membership fees, especially at locally owned stores which don’t have corporate oversight.

It doesn’t hurt to ask.

Once you settle on a price, the next step is contract time.

Keep an eye out for the following in your contract:

  • An out clause, in case you move, lose your job, etc. Often you can get out of a contract if you move a certain number of miles from the club without a fee, but usually, any other item requires an “early termination fee” to get out of your contract.
  • Can you freeze your contract if you go out of town or are on vacation?
  • What happens if the club goes out of business?
  • Does the membership renew automatically?

Always get everything the salesperson promises you in writing (and remember that most of the time they are working on commission). I’d also suggest that you get a copy of the contract and take it home with you to read before you sign it.

If they won’t let you do that, that’s a bad sign.

Remember, if the salesperson is overly pushy, or you don’t feel comfortable for any reason, walk away. There are a lot of gyms out there that would be happy for your business.

Got your membership? Perfect. Now the fun starts!

HOW DO I TRAIN AT THE GYM?

If you’re worried about what to do at the gym, you’ve come to the right place.

We have an entire guide on “How to Train in a Commercial Gym,” which you should check out. If you’ve never worked out in a commercial facility, it’s a great place to start.

I personally train in such a facility and I wrote about being the only Rebel in a big box store right here. Read it for my personal tips on how to get in, take care of business, and get put.

You can also check out this article to make sure you walk into the gym with the right equipment in order. Be prepared!

Afraid you’ll make a fool of yourself the first time you try and work out with your new membership?

I’m prepared for that too!

I wrote an article “How to not be a newbie at the gym” covering this exact concern.

Jim Bathurst, our head male trainer for Nerd Fitness Coaching, also wrote a sweet article on “29 unwritten rules” for proper gym etiquette. You can check that out right here.

Both should help for the first time you step foot in the gym to train.

What’s that? You have absolutely NO idea what you’re doing in a gym and you wander around like a lost sheep without a shepherd?

You’re not alone! There’s nothing worse than feeling foolish or worrying so much about doing something wrong that you never try in the first place.

Our advice would be to consider enlisting the help of a trainer – if you can afford it – for a few sessions to help you get started.  

An Online Coach could be helpful too. 

Wanna see if we are a good fit for each other?

Click on the big image below to schedule a free call with our team:

WHAT IF I’M SCARED OF THE GYM?

If you’re nervous about even stepping foot inside a gym, you’re not alone.

We get tons of emails from Rebels anxious about walking in the door of their local fitness facility.

This is understandable, because stepping foot into a commercial gym to train can be intimidating. The people there all seem to know what they’re doing, making you a potential outsider.

I’ll tell you what I tell all Rebels nervous about walking into a gym:

  1. Everybody around you is just as self-conscious as you are. Yes, that super jacked dude. Or that thin (or jacked), fit woman on the elliptical. They aren’t focused on you, because they’re too busy living inside their own head wondering if everybody is thinking about them.
  2. Everybody starts somewhere. You don’t have to be strong and fit to train in a gym. You go to the gym to get stronger, more confident, and then you’ll become fit.
  3. MOST will applaud you for trying. When I see somebody who is severely overweight at the gym, it makes me happy – they’re trying to better themselves. This is the mentality 95%+ of the people will have.
  4. MANY will be too self-focused to even notice you. These are the dudes lifting up their shirt in the mirror to check their abs, doing bicep curls in the squat rack, and/or making sure they take photos to post on Instagram to prove they did, in fact, go to the gym.
  5. A RARE few will judge. Though they’re not just judging you, I promise. They’re judging EVERYBODY around you because they can’t help but compare themselves to others. This is no different than in real life. Screw these people, haters gonna hate, Slaters gonna slate.

After explaining these points to a worried Rebel, I then bring up the idea of “20 Seconds of Courage.”

It’s something Coach Matt brings up in the video “How Not to Be Scared at the Gym!

Our lives are a series of decisions.

And each individual choice really doesn’t take that long to make – less than 20 seconds. Once you make that decision, you set yourself on a course with no way off, until you make another decision.

You don’t have to be courageous for a full hour. 20 seconds will be enough to walk into a gym.

I want you to use 20 seconds of courage to enter any local fitness facility. From there, you can start thinking about actually purchasing a membership.

WHAT IF I DECIDE THE GYM ISN’T RIGHT FOR ME?

Woman walk step exercise outdoor sport shoe Trail Track

Hey, I get it. The gym can suck.

If you want to get a membership to start working out, great!

But if it’s not your bag, don’t sweat it.

There are tons of other options outside of the gym:

There’s is nothing, written anywhere, that says the only way to get fit is in a commercial gym. And if it is written, it’s just some sales propaganda.

Do what’s best for you.

However, if you DO want to start working out in a gym, follow the tips laid out in this article:

  • Scope out some different facilities
  • Try out a guest pass or two
  • Have a workout plan prepared when you enter to train.

What kind of plan should you have?

Welp, these are the tools we’ve created to help you CRUSH the gym:

1) Our popular 1-on-1 coaching program. No more guesswork, no wondering if you’re doing the right program, no shame or guilt. Just results that don’t suck, and a plan that doesn’t make you miserable. 

We keep you accountable to make sure you actually do your workout, we answer any questions you have, and we cheer you on every step of the way:




2) If you want a daily prompt for doing workouts at the gym (or at home), check out NF Journey. Our fun habit-building app helps you exercise more frequently, eat healthier, and level up your life (literally).

Try your free trial right here:

3) Join the Rebellion! Our free community numbers in the hundreds of thousands scattered throughout the globe, and we need good people like you!

You can join by signing up in the awesome yellow box below, and I’ll send you a bunch of free guides and printable workouts, including our Strength 101 guide! 

Alright, I think that about does it for this article on buying and using a gym membership.

Did I miss anything?

Do you have any advice for someone just stepping foot in the gym?

Let me know in the comments!

-Steve,

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All photo sources can be found right here.[2]



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