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My current exercise/fitness plan involves just healthier eating and running at least 3 days a week. However, I want to try to include some exercises that I can do on my off-days from running in order to help lose weight and get in shape. I'm mostly looking for a full-body routine that hits the key muscle groups that doesn't require things that I won't have in my apartment.

Does such a routine exist, and what would a good one be? Detailed descriptions of the exercises (including pictures and/or videos, so I know if I'm doing them right) would be much appreciated as well.

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Thanks @Ivo, I've deleted my answer because it's kind of pointless given this great blog post. –  Elliott Aug 29 '11 at 8:20
    
@Ivo I'm looking for not cardio exercises (as well). That is a good starting point, though. –  Thomas Owens Aug 29 '11 at 9:35

4 Answers 4

If you're looking for bodyweight exercises that you can do at home then you need to look for compound exercises and some isolation movements.

Compound exercises are exercises where you need to move more than one joint if you want to do them properly. This kind of exercises are the most important ones. These are the best and most known compound movements: push ups, squats, lunges, pull ups.

Combine these exercises in a routine. For instance: 10 push ups, 15 squats (or jumping squats, which are heavier), 10 lunges per leg, 10 pull ups if you have something that can act like a pull up bar. Repeat the same routine twice again but always do 8 reps instead of 10.

Finish of the workout with some cross crunches and the plank position.

Try to mix things up from time to time. For instance, do push ups with your hands wide or with your hands just next to your chest or maybe in a diamond position next to each other just below your chest. The closer your hands are to each other, the more stress it puts on your triceps.

Give it a try, you don't need any equipment for this one and I'm sure you will like it.

This is just one basic routine I just put together for you. You can find more of these on my website.

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You should check out the book You Are Your Own Gym.

The author of the book, a former Special Forces instructor, came up with a punishing array of pushups, squats, and things I don't really know how to describe. Most of the exercises rely on using only your own body, and no other equipment, to provide resistance. You can enhance some of the exercises with simple equipment, like books in backpacks, if you want, but it's not necessary.

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Is this appropriate for a beginner? It seems awfully...intense. It says in the description that it's appropriate for all fitness levels, but I'm a little hesitant. Also, is there anything online that I can start to follow here and now, if I do decide to order this book? –  Thomas Owens Aug 28 '11 at 23:36
    
I also own this book, and I can vouch for its being appropriate for beginners. I found it more appropriate for beginners, actually. In the meantime, burpees are a good start. –  chaosys Dec 14 '12 at 21:47

There are two different approaches I would suggest, each good and you can switch up the two as you get 'bored'.

The first is using FitDeck, basically playing cards with exercises on them, you mix them up, toss them down and do the exercise - about a card a minute. No two routines will be the same.
The other approach is Tabata, here's a link to a previous article about it: What is tabata? How effective is it?. For Tabata all you need is a timer, get a GymBoss or iPhone app.

Like I tell a lot of people - you can always do something, got time, do some pushups and situps, walk, planks. Don't let equipment or lack of equipment be an excuse.

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I would prefer a routine to something like FitDeck. I like consistency and repeatability in my exercises. I'd like a simple routine that I can do in my apartment with no equipment that focuses on non-cardio activities. Tabata looks like it involves a lot of cardio or needs equipment like a bag. I want more than just pushups and situps that can complement my 3-4 days/week running. –  Thomas Owens Aug 29 '11 at 11:38

I like doing Crossfit workouts. When I am traveling and need a workout that doesn't use gym equipment, I go to CrossFit Deep Ellum. A lot do have running in them, but when you add in other exercises, they are quite fun. Ones like "Invisible Fran" I have done in my apartment or hotel room and have worked up a good sweat. Hope you can find what you are looking for.

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There's also an app on the Android market that has crossfit workouts. CrossFit Travel. –  Donn Felker Dec 7 '11 at 12:41
    
The link seems to be somewhat dead, however it still points to some workouts, so I didn't remove it. –  Baarn Dec 14 '12 at 20:14

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