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I am in search of free access to a loaded gym, fitness center, recreation center, etc., with at least a few weight stations containing loadable and unloadable barbells, dumbbells, etc.

Just the basic stuff, but for free.

I want some form of access to weight training for no cost, or an extremely minimal amount in a one-time payment at most

I have tried local rec centers, but they charge. There's no gym I can find that allows free admission, and the only one that does requires ID verification, and I can't go through that daunting process.

Is there any special ways to gain access to weights, barbells, etc. for free?

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You know what they say about free stuff...It's either it ain't good or people won't appreciate it! –  DrTrungNguyen Jul 12 '13 at 22:36
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Instead of relying on a gym can you just do bodyweight exercises? –  Lego Stormtroopr Jul 13 '13 at 0:03
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1 Answer

There are two types of free gyms:

  1. Your home gym. Buy weights for cheap on ebay/craigslist. Use the park for pull ups, working out, running, etc. Use chairs for doing dips / decline push ups. Use heavy items like bags of flour for goblet squats. Be creative.
  2. School/work/affiliation gym. If you are in high school or college, there is a good chance that you have access to a gym that you can use for free during their "open session" hours. Ditto for work or affiliations like Senior Centers or Lodges which often have gyms.

Anything else you will need to be paying for. Personally, I use 24hr because I got a very good deal with them and only have to pay around $20/month. But typically, your better deals are going to come from the smaller gyms in your area.

Shop around and see what is available. Ask the attendants if they have any specials going on, and when they typically have their best sales. My guess would be in the fall, because it is the dead period between the "beach season" and the "new years resolution" season.

If you cannot find anything that works in your price range, then do not fear. There are plenty of body-weight only workouts that you can do with no gym at all. The workouts will probably not get you the same results as a proper barbell workout would, but it will be exponentially better than giving up and not working out.

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I'd like to add the potential for churches to have a gym, especially if you're a member of one of those mega churches. –  Doc Jul 12 '13 at 22:56
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Cannot believe I forgot that, considering that every Monday I play basketball at my friend's church! –  Moses Jul 13 '13 at 3:41
    
re buying weights: most supermarkets stock smallish makeshift dumbbells, but for some reason sells them filled with milk or soda rather than sand and water. –  Ulrich Schwarz Jul 14 '13 at 16:07
    
for home built equipment ideas, rosstraining.com has some ideas and many links (as well as tons of bodyweight stuff) –  mart Jul 17 '13 at 11:16
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