Stuck in the Irish countryside without a gym - seeking fitness advice

  • Sep 25, 2011 8:21 AM GMT
    Plans to move to the larger city of Waterford have been postponed. This leaves me in rural Ireland with no gym for 30 miles, probably for several months. I'm in ok shape for my age, but really want to try and improve. (5'7" 135lbs, 11% body fat)

    I brought with me a pull up bar, kinetic stretch bands, and push up disks. Forcing myself to use them is not so easy. I am in the guest house on a 200 acre farm so I have room to jog, and I bought a used bike, though the roads are scary narrow (barely wide enough to pee across....) So cardio is not a problem. (5-10k jog every other day) But trying to keep up any muscular workout is proving difficult. (I did discover a nice corner where two cattle gates meet that I can do dips though.)

    Does anyone have any suggestions for exercises with the equipment at my disposal or just an encouraging and motivating comment?

    Thanks in advance.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 25, 2011 8:36 AM GMT
    You're on a farm, so I'm assuming there are heavy things you can lift/push/pull, as well as pulleys and ropes? I'm sure you can MacGyver yourself a gym. icon_wink.gif


  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Sep 25, 2011 2:04 PM GMT
    You're living on a farm and lack for exercise?
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    Sep 25, 2011 2:38 PM GMT
    random suggestions :

    order a pull up bar, or make yourself one, easy to install into a door frame : great for shoulders, back, biceps .

    as for dips, you can build a frame with 2x4s easily enough.

    and you can add weights as you do them ( like attach a cement block or anything heavy with a grip - you can also use the block for triceps extensions , just don't drop it on your head , ;p ) .

    put weights on your back for push-ups , or on your chest for crunches .

    get a swiss ball , they're cheap and can offer variety to your regimen.

  • vintovka

    Posts: 588

    Sep 25, 2011 3:13 PM GMT
    I've given up on the gym--I exercise in my house with my own body weight, a swiss ball, pull-up bar, some kettlebells, etc. For what I want to do it seems to be working better and I don't hve to wait in line. Of course if your goal is to get huge, then you might want to find some heavy things to lift. (I think you look great now, btw.)
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    Sep 25, 2011 4:27 PM GMT
    Push-ups, and calisthenics will definitely keep you fit.
    How about kettlebells as well?
  • KissTheSky

    Posts: 1978

    Sep 25, 2011 5:56 PM GMT
    Between the push ups, pull ups, and dips, you've got a lot of good options. I assume you have an internet connection (since you're posting here)... look for body weight exercises on youtube and you can find some very helpful videos -- often demonstrated by super hot guys. icon_smile.gif
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    Sep 25, 2011 6:12 PM GMT
    The push-up disks you mentioned work very well, I use them and think they're great ... do a few hundred of those a day and see what happens (you're hot already)
  • dancedancekj

    Posts: 1761

    Sep 25, 2011 6:21 PM GMT
    Workout like a convict?

  • Sep 25, 2011 7:58 PM GMT
    Wow. Thanks guys for the suggestions, comments, and encouragement!

    To respond to a few of the posts above:

    "I'm sure you can MacGyver yourself a gym. " What a great image and idea. I loved MacGyver. Yes, I do have resources here. Now just to put it all together before the bomb goes off....

    "You're living on a farm and lack for exercise?" Fair enough comment. I don't "work" on the farm, though I have offered to help out on occasion. (Repaired some apple crates a few days ago for the orchard - apple season here. Trimmed one of the gardens. And helped move some fencing for some of the angus.) (On sabbatical, but doing some part-time counseling and conferencing in the region.)

    Got the pull up bar - now I just have to use it. Which, by the way, has not been so easy as you might think. I'm living in a 17th century guest house with very thick walls, so the pull up bar doesnt fit on 90% of the thresholds. I did find one this afternoon in a hallway, so I'll try to start using that one.

    Swiss ball is a great idea, cant believe I didn't think to bring one of mine from home. Thanks.

    Looking for some bodyweight exercise is an excellent suggestion. I too often forget what enormous resources there are by just typing Google or YouTube

    I guess I am kinda like a convict, confined to a small space with limited resources. Mmmmmm I wish i had some of you RJers as cell mates. I might purposely drop the soap or get very chilly at night and need some warming up.!

    Thanks guys. You're great!
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    Sep 25, 2011 8:03 PM GMT
    The TRX system, shown in one of the photos above, is good overall for body weight exercises. The equipment you have is good - might also get perfect push-up handles.

    In your situation the P90X program might also be good for you to consider. Not sure if the DVDs are set to North American region and if you can play them on PAL equipment in Europe, but if you were interested, you could ask at For that program, the bands you mentioned you had will work, but I think dumbbells would be better.
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    Sep 26, 2011 5:19 PM GMT
    Wall squats, single leg wall squats, debbie sieber speed squats, deadlifts, sneaky lunges, reverse lunges, etc etc. Lots of leg exercises you can do without weight & also with any kind of weight (not necessarily needing standard dumbbells)
    For upper body.. side-tri rise is an amazing workout that targets the tricep & the side of the chest. There are so many variations of Pushups to do. standard, military, plyo, one hand, diamond, divebomber, wide, flye pusheups, etc etc. I'm not sure on working biceps & shoulders without weight. Do a lot of arm circles holding something that weighs 5-10 pounds & see how much more weight you can take?

    Abs - easy.

    Back - you'll love your pull up bar. wide grip, narrowgrip, reverse chin ups, corn cob pullups, switch grip, shoulder width palms facing this would be good for Biceps too, if your shoulders are forward so it targets less of the back), shoulder width palms away, towel pull ups.

    Bike uphill a lot too. Legs are easier to work without weights it seems, but that's another option. Biking is all about the butt & legs