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The {ontherun} Guide to At-Home Workouts

For the past several weeks, I have been without a gym membership. At first, I thought this was going to be really tough. I’ve been trying to get back into lifting, and we’ve had some hot and some rainy days where having a treadmill would be really nice. I wasn’t sure how I’d be able to get in all my workouts without access to the 17,000 different machines my fancy gym had.

But it didn’t take long for me to realize that being without a gym is easier than I expected. Why? Well because of my beautiful {ontherun} home gym, of course. Designed by me, with only the best athletes in mind.

Have you been trying to break away from the gym too? Don’t fear, today I am prepared to give you an exclusive, behind-the-scenes peak at the amazingness that is my home gym set up. One look at it, and you’ll be kissing that expensive gym membership goodbye*.

The {ontherun} Home Gym

The Set-up

1.) Make sure you have enough space.

I know not everyone is fortunate enough to have a full 2 feet of space between their coffee table and TV, but you know – you’ve got to do what you can with what you were given. Just make sure there’s nothing super hard or sharp to hit as you flail about do your exercises.


2.) Use a comfortable mat to decrease impact on your joints.

I know this looks like an ordinary beach towel, but I assure you it is not. It’s extra wide, and extra plush. Pretty exclusive towel right here. The little pieces of dog toy left on it are an added bonus.


3.) Position yourself in front of large windows.

Just so you get the illusion that you’re in the gym. Added bonus: the neighbors will be thankful for the extra entertainment you provide.


The Equipment

4.) To increase the difficulty of your workout, use weights.

Okay, so hand weights are expensive. And since I seem to be using every spare dollar these days for race registrations, right now it’s an expense I can’t afford. But no worries, this is where my awesome improv skills come in.


No I’m not doing laundry, that’s my weight. To increase difficulty, wrap a 4 lb ankle weight that you got years ago at physical therapy around the handle. This works so well that I swear you won’t even miss the selection of hand weights at the gym.


Seriously. Have you ever tried shadow-boxing with a container of laundry detergent?? No? Well, you are missing out, my friend. So maybe my form isn’t perfect, but I can assure my my biceps and shoulders are screaming. This is the real deal, folks.

4.) Find extra obstacles and resistance to make your workout even more challenging.

Since dogs seem to take a person lying on the floor as the universal signal to chew their toys right on top of you, use that extra resistance to make your workout tougher. (Just please don’t kick your dog!) This is Rocky-style right here. Guaranteed results.



Bonus points if you can actually get your pup to workout with you.

DSC_0252Downward Dog

The Workout

I’m no personal trainer. So I can’t really tell you what moves you should do if you want to get buff at home. But I’ve already confessed my love for Jillian Michaels and Just Dance II. Cardio and strength at their finest.



*This post is partially written in jest (at myself) and I’m not actually recommending trying all these workouts (though it is possible to get in a good workout at home if you get a little creative). Please don’t start lifting with a container of detergent and get injured, okay?? I also don’t really think everyone needs to give up their gym membership. If you don’t have one, good for you. But I actually really like the gym.

If you must know, while I did quit the gym, it was only because my old one was too far away from my new place, and I’ve just been too lazy to go sign up for another one. And that’s the truth.

14 Responses to The {ontherun} Guide to At-Home Workouts

  1. I live right down the street from a college that is affiliated with my high school so i get to use the gym for free. Best thing ever! It has all brand new equipment and it usually isn’t too busy

  2. That Jillian is no joke. I’ve been doing the Shred since I’ve been away from Brown and I don’t think I’ve ever been pushed harder or had such muscle growth. She kicks ass.

  3. This is great and made me laugh so much while reading it. I use a towel, random things for weights and always think that my neighbors are going to wonder what in the world I’m doing as they see me through the window :)

  4. have you ever done the just dance, i love it!

    • haha yes! I have the second one and I love it! I’m convinced it makes me look like I’m good enough to be on SYTYCD…. :)

  5. haha nice i still look pretty awful, i have NO rhythm whatsoever, it is pretty awful! and sad…what is with the weather, any good plans for the weekend?

  6. My dog always thinks if I’m working out in the living room that it is play time.
    I love the Dance video game!

  7. You crack me up :) I can appreciate your creativity and resourcefulness! I am NOT good at working out at home — it usually just doesn’t happen. So after reading this post I can attribute that to my lack of a cute dog, the fact that my detergent is in my basement and not in plain sight, and that I neglect to purchase the proper motivating DVDs.
    (And yes, why are hand weights SO freaking expensive?!)

  8. Hahaha, you are hilarious. The laundry detergent with the ankle weight strapped to it is cracking me up. The dog is adorable, too:). I have done weight workouts at home with really heavy coffee table books and a bowling ball, LOL. I did finally break down and buy a set of 8 lb and 10 lb hand weights from the local TJ Max or Ross or something, though:).

  9. That Kikster really is the best workout buddy. His boundless energy is so motivating! A good game of tug-o-war can be a great upper body workout. Or dodge the jumping dog? It’s perfect for a burst of cardio in between sets. And if nothing else, you can always be considered innovative. Maybe you can be my trainer.

  10. AHH! The downward dog shot is AMAZING! Seriously hilarious! LOVE it!

    I’m not sure what it is about me putting a towel down, but every time I do, Oreo assumes I’m doing it for him. Whether it’s laying a towel/blanket on the floor for a work out or laying a beach towel on the ground to lay out… either way, he thinks I’ve put it down just for him so he comes and plops himself right in the center, haha!

  11. laundry detergent! Brilliant! I’m always thinking of what i can grab around my apartment to lift but never thought of that. Huge textbooks are usually my go to, but that one looks way better with the handy handle.

  12. Love it. When I lived in Africa the first year I had nothing but the shred, 2 other JM DVD’s and a pair of 5 pound dumbbells. It works :)

  13. Very cute! My husband always says to me he doesn’t understand why I don’t do yoga at home. Ummm, when I lay on the ground, the furball assumes I’m in his territory and must be playing with him! Working out at home is not an option when he’s around ;)

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