The Gym Alternative

The Gym Alternative

We are three months into the new year and our fitness focused resolutions have gone from fleeting self-promises to bonified life style changes. There’s nothing better than sticking to a fitness program and seeing results. However, if we’re being completely honest with ourselves it’s much easier to stick to our regime when it’s 20 degrees out and the sun sets at 4:30 pm. During the winter months, we don’t feel like we’re missing out. There are not street festivals, patios or rooftop barbeques to attend. There is no night out on a sail boat, quick road trip or concert in the park to enjoy and there certainly isn’t a permanent sense of revelry in the air. Decisions just got a whole lot harder.

Fear not! There are some cheap and easy gym alternatives that will help you keep your new lifestyle intact whilst not infringing on your summer fun. I mean it’s pretty much winter six months out of the year in Chicago, so we totally deserve to enjoy the warmer months while they last.

Resistance Bands:

I don’t know if anyone has told you but resistance bands are awesome. They’re light weight, portable, cheap and provide a killer workout, and we’re not the only ones who seems to think so. As of late we’ve noticed most our favorite fitness coaches on Instagram using bands as an additional tool during their normal training sessions. We’ve also noticed that when these individuals travel or take their workouts outside their sessions become quite band heavy.

It’s inevitable that with nicer weather soon approaching there will be traveling on the agenda. I mean, who doesn’t like a good country road trip?   With a set of resistance bands, your fitness goals don’t have to suffer. We reached out to one of our favorite Reside on Surf residents for a little advice.

Over the years Stephanie has become our go to person when it comes to fitness trends and tools we should be using.  Her gym bag is like Mary Poppins bag of fitness gear.  She literally carries a small arsenal with her when she utilizes the Reside on Surf gym. From additional handles and bars, to leg straps and ropes, this girl has it all. Going to her about the best portable resistance bands on the market was a no brainer. Here were suggestions:

  1. Black Mountain Products Resistance Band Set with Door Anchor, Ankle Strap, Exercise Chart, and Resistance Bands– $20.85
  2. Phantom Fit Resistance Loop Bands Set of 4– $10.95
  3. WODFitters Pull Up Assist Band/Body Bands– $19.99- $79.99

We pulled the trigger and bought all three. (Side note, you can purchase individual body bands which is a cheaper alternative to buying the whole pack). Our Black Mountain set just came in and boy are we impressed. For the price the quality of the bands, hooks and straps are excellent. The little carrying case makes it convenient to pack in your luggage or transport to the park or lake. We can’t wait to try it out!


Another recommendation Stephanie made was downloading and signing up with Aaptiv. We’ve been using this program for cardio training since November and we’re totally smitten.

This is how it works. You can download it through the app store and sign up directly after. There is a monthly cost to use Aaptive but it’s totally worth it.  Once you’ve signed up you are led to the main dashboard where each activity is categorized. There are currently 14 options, plus a monthly challenge and curator’s playlist category. Once you select your category, you are led to a second page where each class is listed.

The app has hundreds of classes for you to choose from and they are constantly hiring and adding new trainers, which means boredom is highly unlikely. Each class is marked with a difficulty indicator, the length of the session and the instructor. When you click the one you’re interested in a more detailed breakdown appears, along with a description of the class and the type of music that will be played. Each class is led by a trainer who guides you through the session. The trainers also curate awesome playlists for you to jam to while you’re working out.

We plan on using the strength classes along with our new bands not only when we travel this summer but also when we decide to take our workouts outdoors.  Sign up here!


While we love the gym, we can be honest and admit that getting there during the summer months can be an issue. With the right tools, we can continue our hard work and enjoy the warmer days… lord knows they won’t last.

*If you’re looking for some simple resistance band workouts check out this link or visit our Pinterest page for some great tips.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This