Turn everyday chores into a muscle busting workout. Check out this article.
Lifting something that's not only awkward but also heavy on only one side is about as real-life as it gets. You could do it with a barbell or using weight plates on one side, but why not use an actual shovel.
Put a small sandbag (or anything heavy) on the business end of a shovel. Bend over as you would for the sandbag lift described below, and grasp the shovel's handle with one hand on top, one hand underneath (the hand nearer the blade goes underneath). Stand and lift the shovel to thigh height. As with real shovelling, the closer your hand is to the blade, the easier it is to lift. Do one set of three repetitions on each side.
If you always lift the same weights in the same way, you'll always work the same muscles. But if you lift something that's oddly shaped, you'll use different muscles to hold it and keep your body balanced.
Stand over a sandbag with your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down and suck in your gut. Keep your heels on the ground and your head up. Grab the object however you can, then stand and pull it to your chest. Now bend your knees slightly, then straighten them and use your shoulders and arms to push the sandbag overhead. Do one to three sets of three to five repetitions.
Unless you rely exclusively on public transport, you own the greatest piece of strength-training equipment ever invented. According to Mark Kerr, twice winner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, nothing builds total body power like pushing your car down the road.
Two precautions: First, don't try this with your Espace – use the mini. Second, be sure to push the car up a very slight gradient – that way the car won't roll away. Get someone behind the wheel who can steer and still watch you closely enough to hit the brakes if you slip.
Two more notes: you should turn on the car's ignition so your driver can work the wheels and brakes. But don't turn on the engine; you don't want to inhale exhaust fumes. And keep your elbows and shoulders slightly flexed rather than locked as you push. Keep your head up and eyes looking forwards. Do two to three pushes the length of your street or local car park.
Muscleheads can get away with weak hands in the gym but not in real life. "There's no way you can use your upper-body strength if your lower arms aren't strong," says strength coach John Brookfield.
Here's a quick gripper-upper: take a hunk of slate and hold it between your thumb and fingers. (Any slick, flat object will work just as well. Two objects – such as books or weight plates – work even better because you have to hold them at arm's length). Now bend at the elbow and lift the slate, as if you were doing a biceps curl to about waist level. Slowly lower it and repeat. Do 10 repetitions on each side.