Since April 2019, I have been working out 4-6 days a week every week. I started it as a form of a 30-day challenge for myself. I would announce it on Twitter and every month a few people would decide to join in and we would encourage each other to try and exercise regularly throughout the month.
I decided to write this post though for those who would like to start working out at any point during the month, and not necessarily at the beginning of the month, when the new round of #TheRayChallenge starts.
If you do decide to take on the challenge at any point, make sure to also use the hashtag on Twitter, so I can check your progress and cheer you on!
Below you will find some easy-to-follow exercise examples that you can do anywhere, home or gym, as well as some useful tips to help you if you want to start working out regularly.
TheRayChallenge: A 30-Day Workout Challenge (No Equipment)
If you have a set of exercises planned ahead, it will make it easier for you to carry on with your routine, and not waste time trying to figure out what exercise you will do today which, you know, can lead to you talking yourself out of it completely or losing your momentum.
I am sharing with you below some of my favourite workouts that I usually follow. What I love about them is that they are all easy to follow, can do them anywhere, home or gym, and require no equipment. (Though there is the occasional dumbbells here and there, but if you don’t have those, you can always replace them with water bottles.)
You will find videos focusing on specific parts of the body, like legs, arms, or abs workouts. This makes it easy if you want to schedule your workouts in that way where you have a leg day, a back and shoulder day, etc.
Each of these videos can be a standalone workout for the day, or you can mix and match; depending on how much time you want to dedicate to your workout per day.
Here’s the playlist of some of the at-home exercises I follow every month:
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Exercise Severity Level
So now that you have this list of exercises, whether using the one I shared or created your own playlist; how are you going to tackle these exercises?
It is best if you start slow and increase the severity of the challenge every week.
But how slow?
That will depend on your own physical strength. Have you been working out already or are you just starting out for the first time in a long time?
Here is an example of how you can gradually increase the severity of your workouts.
- Week 1: 10 reps (repetitions) of each exercise you choose x 2 sets (with 15-30 seconds rest between each set)
- Week 2: Increase that to be 15 reps of each exercise you choose x 2 sets (with 15-30 seconds rest between each set)
- Week 3 and week 4: 15 reps of each exercise you choose x 3 sets this time (with 15-30 seconds rest between each set)
If you feel like 10 reps x 2 sets for week 1 is too much, then maybe start out with 15 reps x 1 set for week 1, and gradually increase the sets each week.
Whatever works for you. As you long as you are consistent and sticking to your workout schedule, that is what matters.
Time and Place
In order to ensure that you stay on track throughout the challenge, you need to prepare a few things in advance, beside your workout routine, you also need to decide when and where you will be doing your daily exercise.
Set the room/corner of the house where you will be working out and clear the space if you need to.
Prepare the mat, workout clothes, dumbbells or anything else that you will need while working out.
If you will work out at home, then maybe 20-30 minutes in the morning, first thing when you wake up, would be the ideal time.
It is before you get distracted with everything else you have to do in your day. And it will energize you and give you a push to tackle your day’s tasks.
If you will go to a gym (although I wouldn’t recommend it, given the current circumstances), then you will also need to add that hour or so that you will spend in the gym into your daily schedule.
Will it be in the morning? Will it be in the afternoon, after you’re back from work/school? Whatever suits your schedule, just make sure to add it to your calendar now.
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It helps if you know what meals you will eat before and after your workouts. The type of food you eat will, of course, play a great role in how you will perform during your workout session. It will also affect how your body responds to the exercises.
I am not exactly very good when it comes to meal prepping, so I always go for the quick and easy meals, things like oatmeal, bananas, yogurt, coffee, eggs, or protein bars, etc.
You can learn what types of food your body needs after a workout and a number of quick post-workout meal ideas in this article.
And here are some ideas for what to eat before your workout.
If you have ideas for quick pre and post workout meals, share them in the comments. I’m always looking for those!
We all know the importance of being hydrated for our health in general; however, it is even more important to pay attention to hydration if you want to have higher strength levels and lose fat faster.
Drinking water and staying hydrated helps your body perform better during your workout, and it increases your metabolism. So, you will be seeing better results in a shorter time than you would if you are not properly hydrated during your exercise.
Of course, the amount of water needed to stay hydrated will vary from one person and from one environment to the other; however, the average range is believed to be somewhere between 1.5 to 2.5 liters per day. In all cases, though, try not to drink anything less than 1 liter of liquids per day.
Some of the best times to drink water are:
- First thing when you wake up
- Before taking a shower
- 30 minutes before each meal
- 30 minutes before your workout
- right after your workout
If you are having a long workout session and you start feeling thirsty, then make sure to take a few small sips of water during your workout as well.
It is important not to feel thirsty while exercising.
Here is also a list of 30 hydrating foods you may want to add to your diet to increase your hydration levels.
If you read this and feel like you are ready to start a workout challenge, click here to join me this month!