Family Health

How To Add Weight To Your Workout Without Buying Weights

Apr 3, 2017

Working out at home has its pros and cons. The biggest problem is that I don’t have much equipment to play around with. Yes, being a personal trainer means I probably have more than the average mom, but I don’t have a lot.

Most in-home workout programs will utilize body weight exercises and different intensity levels to get the body sweating. This is GREAT until you hit a plateau and need to change up the routines. I'm sure you all understand the pain of succeeding for weeks, even months, and then nothing.

What are you doing wrong? Well, nothing really, the only problem is your body gets use to doing the same thing over and over so it no longer feels challenged. This is when you need to change up your routine. Adding weights to a program is the BEST way to burn more calories.

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Now here is a little science behind strength training (also known as weight lifting). Every time you life weights you are creating microscopic tears in the muscle, which then heals thicker and stronger than before — this is what creates tone in your muscles.

And here is the good stuff: THE MORE MUSCLE YOU HAVE IN YOUR BODY, THE MORE CALORIES YOU BURN AT REST. Increasing muscle will increase your resting metabolic rate which, in layman's terms, is how many calories your body burns at rest. So let's go lift some weights. Oh wait — you don’t have any!

Here are three ways you can strength-train without buying a single weight:

A basket of items, dutch oven and bag of books

Use your child

From day one Eden HAD to be on the move and I don’t mean gentle rocking. Her idea of fun was doing drop squats in the middle of the night to get her back to sleep. So from the very beginning I have been using Eden as my workout weight. It's probably the easiest way to add weight is to your workout.

If you start from when they are young, they are more likely to cooperate. However, cooperation can be tricky when they are a toddler/preschooler so you have to make the exercises fun. Eden’s favourite exercise is the squat and press, she believes she is flying for that one.

The great thing about using a child during exercising is that they get bigger and heavier as you get stronger. You can use your little one for exercises such as squats, lunges, step ups and over head presses. WARNING: When using a small child you must be very careful with the types of exercises you do and how you hold them. Both for your safety and theirs, if you don’t feel comfortable using this method then please don’t.

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Fill a grocery bag or box

When it comes to exercises like a bicep curl, shoulder press, bent over row or a chest press, a child will just not work. So in this instance try filling a bag or a box with some cans or a sack of potatoes and use this for resistance. You can easily adjust the weight as needed so as you progress you just add more things.

Use your dutch oven

Now don’t laugh, but they are pretty heavy pieces of kitchen equipment and we all probably have one. Not only are they heavy, but they have handles too! Mine is just over 7lbs without the lid and 11lbs with the lid — perfect for doing your bicep curls right?

Exercising at home means thinking outside the box, or filling the box with stuff and squatting! If you have any ideas worth sharing drop me a line so I can test them out too, I love hearing other ideas.

Please consult with a medical professional before starting a new exercise routine.

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Article Author Lucy D’Aguilar
Lucy D’Aguilar

Read more from Lucy here.

Lucy is the owner of an in-home and online personal training service specializing in postpartum fitness and core rehabilitation. She's a stay-at-home mama to an inquisitive little lady and an overly protective puppy which makes life very interesting. When she's not breaking up battles of whit between the two kiddies (puppy included) she's usually enjoying a cup of coffee that has been heated up about ten times. She is the self-proclaimed DIY master of her house, and loves to take on projects and gives herself a high five when she finishes it. You can find out more about her business at You can also follow her on Instagram and Facebook.



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