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How to Build Muscle Without a Gym Membership

Updated on June 19, 2013

With health and fitness high on many people's priority lists in today's society, expenses for staying in shape have become a regular addition to a lot of financial budgets. While the costs thereof are not comparable to mortgage payments, fortunately, unless you can get by on nothing other than good old fashioned pushups, situps, and jumping jacks, (and I honestly salute anyone who does), a small amount of income can be expected to go on physical fitness each month for anyone who exercises regularly. But how much should an average person who exercises really expect to pay to stay in shape? $35/month for the average gym fee doesn't sound half bad, until you start tallying up the travel expenses to your workout center and back three or four times per week and, not to mention, the extra dollars that can easily find their way into the physical trainers' pockets in response to gym employee common sales pitches. However, even if you have a gym next door to your home, and saying no to discount offers for lessons in marshal arts is as easy for you as five minutes on the elliptical, the monthly fees still add up over time. There's a much more affordable, and less time-consuming way to stay fit, that doesn't involve moving an entire gym into your basement. All you need is a workout bench, and a few inexpensive dumbbells.

You can buy dumbbells at Play it Again Sports for under 75 cents a pound, and the weight bench will cost you around $75, (unassembled). Make sure to buy one with an incline, as this is important for your upper chest workouts. If maintained properly, the bench will last you at least five years, and unless you have David Copperfield over for dinner, there's no reason why the weights shouldn't last you for the rest of your life. With this kind of setup, which will take up less space than an average sized coffee table, you can do flat bench presses for the pectoral, incline dumbbells for the upper-chest, military press dumbbells for the deltoids, extensions for the triceps, and an assortment of different muscle building exercises for the biceps, including hammer curls, concentration curls, and incline curls. And you never have to worry about getting tapped on the shoulder halfway through your workout, and being told that the gym is closing early today. You can workout whenever you want, and how often you want.

I honestly feel I get better quality workouts this way, then by going to the gym as well. There's no time between sets wasted socializing, or browsing equipment you've never used: each workout is about nothing other than working each muscle thoroughly. You'll put on mass in a hurry, and save money in the process. I've been using my miniature home gym for a year and a half now, (I was a regular gym member for the ten years prior to setting up this arrangement). With $160 invested in my equipment, and considering my average gym membership monthly fee was $35, I've already saved $470, not counting transportation and other miscellaneous fees. And I feel I've been getting my best workouts in over a decade. So if you enjoy working out, but don't have the time and/or financial budget to work a gym membership into your life, head down to Play it Again Sports, or any Sporting Goods Store, and prepare for some of your most fulfilling workouts ever.

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