“Wait, how much is that?” I ask and the woman at the front desk repeats the cost of a personal trainer. I knew I wanted to start to work towards my fitness goals but my college student budget wasn’t exactly as enthused as I was. We’ve all been here at some point or are at this point now, where finding cost-effective and convenient ways to workout is something we’re interested in doing but we have no clue what we should do. Luckily, I’ve been through it all and today I’m going to be sharing with you several time-efficient ways to reach your goals for free!
1.) Rec Center
One of the many perks of being a YSU student is the access to the rec center for free. While other gyms around Youngstown have membership fees to keep track of and pay, the rec center is completely free. For access, all you must do is bring your student ID to scan. If you don’t have a physical copy of your ID, you can access it through your Y-App to scan, as well. It’s that easy! The rec center is located across from the pool center (Beeghly). If you’ve never been inside a bigger gym before, it may seem intimidating at first. Basically, the YSU rec center is divided into several different rooms. Downstairs, there’s a court for basketball, a room full of treadmills, stairstep machines, and a couple of bikes. These machines target more of a cardio focus. One room has a section to grab a mat and do an ab workout or HIIT and the last room has all the free weights (dumbbells) and weight machines.
So what are the weight machines?
A). Smith squat rack– You can use no weight or weight from the plates when squatting. If you’re just starting out and using only the weight of the bar is challenging enough for you, it’s perfectly fine! Smith squats are just like normal squats, targeting the glutes (our booties) or our thighs, as well. When using this machine, make sure you’re keeping your legs shoulder width or slightly farther apart and your feet pointed outwards, as well as your knees. Doing squats incorrectly can result in injuries, so always remember quality over quantity!
2). Abductions– This is an abduction machine, which targets the outer hip and glute muscles. All you do is sit, set the weight at the desired amount for you, then push the sides of the machine out. Easy enough, right?
3). Hip thrusts– To use a hip thrust machine, it’s the same idea as with squats. Start out with just the bar or add plates gradually as you become more experienced. If you don’t feel ready to use the hip thrust machine, just grab a dumbbell of your choice of weight and place it over your hips while laying on the ground and thrust your body upwards.
The last things to remember when beginning to try easy weight workouts, is it is best to do around 3-4 rounds of 10-15 reps!
2). Home Workouts
What if you live off campus? What if you live on campus but don’t feel like walking or driving to the rec center? What if you have gym anxiety and the idea of working out in front of tons of other people stresses you out? What if you’re afraid of other more experienced members judging you? If any of these things sound like you, then home workouts may be the right thing for you!
What are home workouts and how to know which ones to do?
Home workouts are essentially exactly what they sound like – workouts you can do from your own home. My favorite source for finding these workouts is YouTube. These workouts are easy to work into your day because of how short they are and these short videos are still very effective to helping you reach your goals. Knowing which workouts to choose from may seem overwhelming but here is a list of a few different workout gurus:
- Lilly Sabri. Lilly Sabri is a fitness professional who posts 5-10 minute workouts on her YouTube channel, ranging from booty workouts to grow glutes, ab workouts to lose weight in the waist area or gain more defined abs, and toned leg workouts. You can either pick and choose which areas you want to focus on or on her website (https://lilly-sabri.squarespace.com/vlog-1 ), she has a FREE posted 30-day workout plan that you can follow. As Lilly Sabri’s blog says, “All you need is a mat, I’ll provide the motivation. We’ve got this, together”.
- Chloe Ting. I’m sure most of you have heard of Chloe Ting, a youtuber who has been posting home workouts for a few years now but really blew up around spring of 2020, when COVID-19 first hit. Her workouts consist of 10-15 minute videos targeting booty growth, leg toning, arm toning, ab definition, or cardio HIIT (High Interval Training). Chloe Ting’s workouts are like Lilly Sabri’s- you can pick and choose through which ones you’d like to do based on what you’re looking to achieve, or she also has workout plans posted on her blog (https://www.chloeting.com/program/).
- Daisy Keech. Daisy Keech is famous for her TikToks and Instagram, but also for her fitness routines that she posts on YouTube. Daisy’s workouts more target developing gluts, hips, and waist workouts.
Last of all, remember that you are beautiful the way that you are and to always prioritize being healthy, not reaching a certain number on a scale (whether that’s gaining or losing weight). Always remember that food is fuel and hydration is key!! Every body is a beach body; any body is worthy. As women, we need to work out to celebrate our bodies and all they are capable of and to reach goals and gain a sense of self-improvement and satisfaction.
Whether you’re interested in tackling cardio or weightlifting at the YSU rec center, or trying YouTube workouts, both options are completely free and easy to work into your busy college life schedule. The first place to start is to make a list of goals you may have- I want to get into lifting more, gain a bigger booty, bigger arms. Maybe you want to train to gain weight or to lose weight. Whatever your goals are, make sure you have them written down in your phone or on paper for easy access when it feels hard to be motivated. With dedication and hard work, anything can be achieved and those are a few easy workouts and ways to get where you want to see yourself.
Every accomplishment begins with the decision to try. Sweat today and smile tomorrow!
Until next time,
Saige K, xoxo