Get the Ultimate Gym Body, Without Going to the Gym


“I’ll be honest, the gym scares me. I’m completely intimidated by the stereotypical gym junkies, the complicated equipment, heavy weights and the massive mirrors reflecting my every timid movement.” – Rosa L., Active8me community member

Anyone else feel this way? Being motivated to exercise is often hard enough, without feeling uncomfortable and intimidated. The gym is a great option for many people, but is it really possible to build strength and tone your muscles without all the weights and fancy equipment at the gym?

The simple answer is YES!  Getting toned and building strength without fancy equipment is really no different than doing it in the gym. You can train effectively and successfully with the equipment available to you 24/7 – your own body! All you need to do is apply the essential principle of ‘progressive overload’ with adequate recovery! Meaning, a completely toned, transformed body without being a gym junkie! Sound interesting? Well, read on to learn how…

The science and basics behind building stronger muscles

Building muscle strength is important on so many levels. Strong muscles can make performing everyday tasks easier, as well as improving your body alignment, your metabolism and give you that well-earned toned look. When we say ‘stronger muscles’ we are not necessarily referring to the bulky, hulky muscles you imagine when you think of a body builder. We mean stronger muscles that make YOUR body function and look better.

When you workout or overload your muscles, whether this be with body weight resistance or external weights, you create small amounts of damage to the muscle cells. Don’t worry, this is the normal and necessary process of the body. After the workout, your body needs to repair or replace the damaged muscle. If you put your muscles under ‘progressive overload’ on a regular basis, these repaired muscle cells then increase in thickness and number – and that’s how you build lean muscle. This process of adaptation doesn’t actually occur while doing the exercise, rather it happens while you rest. This is why rest and recovery are so important to improving your muscles.

Without a progressive overload, your muscles have no reason to grow and adapt to handling heavier loads. The key point though is that you can use your own body weight to do this! Just as you might use heavier weights in the gym to challenge yourself and progressively overload, you can do the same with your body by doing increasingly difficult bodyweight exercises. So forget being intimidated by the gym and feeling like you need to become a gym junkie!

Some advice to keep it real

Remember, like anything good, change takes time. You will not see body transformation overnight. With two to three weeks of consistent resistance or strength training workouts you will start to ‘feel’ that your muscles are stronger. You may also ‘see’ that your muscles become more defined, however don’t be discouraged if this takes a little longer. Muscle definition, or that toned look, depends on the amount of body fat you have. To improve muscle definition and muscle strength you really need to be combining a healthy diet with your regular body weight exercises program. That’s where programs like Active8me’s Lean, Fit and Toned can provide you with all of your nutrition, workout, mindset (because we all need help there!), tracking and coaching to optimise your results.

4 simple and effective body weight exercises you can do


The humble squat is a simple and effective exercise for working your large muscle groups. You can start by using your own body weight as resistance and as you become stronger add hand weights, kettle bells, a barbell, or even a bag of books that you hold in front of you. Checkout the technique masterclass on how to do squats. Do 15 reps for 2-3 sets, adjusting your weight depending on how advanced you are and how good your technique is.


Like squats, lunges are a great compound exercise. This means it will give your quads, hamstrings and core a workout, as well as your glutes. If you’re doing them properly you will feel the burn – trust us! Lunges are a versatile activity with variations of static and dynamic repetitions. Pay special attention to your stance and posture (hips forward) when doing lunges, as this ensures the correct muscle groups are activated. Check out this free technique master class for lunges before doing 15 Reps each leg for 2-3 sets.


Ever felt like your push-up doesn’t quite look the same as the pro’s? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. When it comes to perfect push-ups, your form is the crucial component. Push-ups, when performed correctly, really give your chest, shoulders and core a good workout. And there’s lots of variations as you progress and grow stronger. First and foremost, you need to be able to get into the correct start position. Start small and grow over time. See our master class video below to help with this and pay special attention to the position of your hands. Once you have the technique sorted you can try for 10 reps.


A great exercise that many people do incorrectly. Utilise time in front of the TV to fit in some core exercises. Get into a push-up position on your feet or knees and concentrate on keeping your back straight and belly button sucked in to your spine. Try holding the plank for 30 seconds. As your strength grows, extend the time from there. Here is a free masterclass from Active8me founder and two-time Olympian on how to do a plank properly.  Happy planking!

Anywhere, anytime – no gym necessary…

The beauty of body weight exercises is that they can be done anywhere, anytime. You don’t need a gym. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do them there too! The Active8me app has all the body weight exercises (and other exercises) explained and demonstrated for you to download or watch online as you please. And it adjusts to wherever you want to workout – at home, outdoors or at the gym. So whether you are intimated by the gym, or are a gym junkie – we have you covered. With programs, built by experts, for your success. Get into it! Also, it helps to know which muscles in particular you should be ‘feeling’ activated when doing the body weight exercises to get the maximum .

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