What Is The Best Workout To Do At Home When Gyms Are Closed?

April 19th 2020

The question is how should you work out at home when your gym is closed.

Whether it is a holiday, country-wide crisis, etc, you want to make sure you can still train.

Not just train, but train effectively and still gain strength.

But when you do not have access to your barbell and weight plates, it might seem like no use.

For one, most programs emphasize barbell training for working out and it might not seem worth it to “do something else.”

You want to know why?

Because everything else is not as efficient and effective as barbell training.

Let us face it… you have been spoiled. (You are not alone… so am I).

But is this your fate?

Are you just going to wait until your gyms open back up and let them control whether or not you make gains or not?

If you found this article, I can assure you that you are looking for solutions… instead of problems.

So, let us go straight into what types of serious workouts you can do when your gyms are closed:

How to work out when your gym is closed?

You can do sandbag training for very cheap!

Sandbags are one of the best ways you can train without a barbell.

Before barbell training was invented, there were strong folks all over the world.

Yet, the barbell was only around in the last century.

So, what gives?

How did everyone else get so strong?

I’ll tell you how - by lifting heavy objects they had around.

If they lived on a farm, you did daily chores that made you strong.

Tons of loaded carries and occasionally pressing while on the job.

If you lived in the mountains, you were carrying rocks and also doing chores.

The usual, loaded carries, presses, picking up heavy, blunt objects.

But what if you live in the city or the suburbs? 

Sandbag training is the way for you to get stronger.

What can you do with sandbags?

“You picks things up and put them down!”

No, seriously.

That is one way you can develop some functional strength, by lifting the sandbag and just carrying it around.

Let us go over several approaches you can do with sandbag training:

Mimic barbell movements

You can overhead press, squat and deadlift your sandbag. 

Of course, it might not be the same weight as you were doing previously but it is certainly more challenging and uncomfortable.

Doing several sets of 4-6 reps will be plenty.

If you have the option of making your sandbag heavier, you can progressively overload in weight.

Otherwise, you can make these sets harder by adding more sets or decreasing your rest time.

Train like an ogre, old-fashioned style

You can do pick up the sandbag and lap it on your shoulder.

You can pick up the sandbag to your chest and count that as one rep.

You can pick up the sandbag and run across a certain distance for one rep.

Basically, just lifting the sandbag off the ground and repeat for multiple sets and reps.

Let us do 2-3 sets of 4-6 reps.
Adjust accordingly to your work capacity.

And how often should you do this?

5-6 times a week might be good. Doing it daily might be ambitious but only if you can recover from the training stress.

Working out using bodyweight training…

This can be an alternative but if your primary goal is to get stronger in your barbell movements, you will be disappointed.

You will lose strength in the short term but you can gain it back quickly.

You will need to adjust your mindset while you do not have access to any barbells to train with.

Bodyweight training will not help you gain the absolute strength to break your barbell PRs, only training with a barbell can do this most effectively.

Working out with your partner

It might be cute to do some couples or partner workouts for Youtube or the gram.

But we all know that it will not get you towards your main goal, absolute strength.

It can be fun and entertaining but let us focus on more realistic solutions.

What to do when the gyms are closed?

You can choose to either do calisthenics, do functional training (with sandbags, heavy stones/rocks, etc.) or rest.

Stressing over your lost progress will not help your gyms to open faster.

In fact, if you do choose to rest, this can be an excellent time to work on other areas of your life so that you can stay sharp while not physically working out.

Staying sharp mentally

Instead of working on your body, you can work on your mind.

Doing what is hard and trying to control all your urges of satisfying your wants and desires.

Make your life a little bit harder.

For example, you may opt to try practicing delayed gratification by not doing activities that give you pleasure.

So, for instance, during the first 12 hours of the day, instead of doing activities that do not contribute to your life’s mission.

These activities include:

  • Browsing the internet
  • Checking your social media
  • Netflix
  • Watching youtube
  • Eating desserts
  • Procrastinating
  • Gossiping

Instead, why not try things that improve your life?

Some of these activities include:

  • Reading a non-fiction book
  • Working on your business
  • Hustling for side-income
  • Meal prepping
  • Developing a business plan
  • Taking a walk 


There is a ton of mindset shifts you can do while your gyms are closed down temporarily.

The key here is to identify what you are deficient in and to address your own issues with your unique approach.


You are only limited to your imagination.

There are a ton of alternatives to continue your strength training even if your gyms are closed.

However, I did not even go over the most obvious solution - having a home gym!

That way, you can just skip all the hassles of finding a gym, obeying its rules/hours, and waiting for equipment.

Now, you can get all the benefits of the gym if you have your own stuff in a garage, basement, storage unit, etc.

I can guarantee you that you will never regret your decision to start building your home gym.

Tags Lifestyle

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