Working Out with Weights At Home


Using Weights to Encourage Progress at Home

We have a wide range of free weights and resistance equipment in all of our gyms which help you to increase muscle and boost your strength at Xercise4Less. Whilst our gyms are temporarily closed under Government instruction, we want to help you keep making positive progress with your fitness.

By using weighted equipment such as dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells and medicine balls, you have option to increase your muscle mass or just maintain the strength and muscle you already have. Play around with different techniques and styles of training to see which way of working works best for you.

Dumbbells at Home Equipment

Get Creative with Your Weights at Home

If you’re one of the lucky ones who has some weighted equipment at home then congratulations! We’re aware that this equipment is difficult to hold of with an increase in demand so if you haven’t got equipment such as kettlebells, dumbbells, benches and squat racks at home, that’s not a problem because there are ways to work around this.

There are some great dumbbell alternatives that you probably already have in your home that you never thought of using. You could fill up some water bottles or empty fabric softener bottles. Bags of rice and sugar are also good alternatives. For heavier weights, fill two carrier bags with an even amount of jars and tins. To recreate a kettlebell at home, fill up a rucksack with heavy household items or use a tin of paint or even a bag of protein. Barbells could be created with some filled washing baskets on either side of a stick or pole. The possibilities are endless, just get creative and see what you already have in your home space.

Get creative with your types of training too. To encourage muscle growth, use time under tension techniques. This means performing reps slowly e.g. lower your body into a squat for 3 seconds, hold it and then return upright in 3 seconds. If you struggle with the weight whilst doing it, lower the weight and if it’s too easy, increase it.

Another way to maintain muscle and possibly boost strength is to perform a high number of reps and keep pushing yourself until you have no option but to give in. This means that you’re reaching your full potential and your muscles have no option but to get stronger. Increasing the frequency of training certain muscles will help you whilst you’ve got limited equipment too. Repeat the same 3 workouts twice in a week to ensure you’re maintaining the muscle that you’ve worked hard to build.

Man doing Home Workout with Weights

Preventing Injury with Weighted Workouts

Whilst using free weights equipment at home, it’s just as important as ever to make sure that you’re exercising safely to prevent injury. Just like you would when using our gyms, before you start your workout, you need to be in a big enough exercise space so that you can move freely with little to no limitations.

If you can, try to position your workout in front of a mirror or somewhere that you’re able to see your reflection so that you can keep an eye on your form. For example, when performing weights squats your back should be straight at all times and not hunch over. If you don’t have a mirror big enough, set up your phone to record yourself and then watch it back to see if you’re making any mistakes that you can rectify next time. If you’re unsure of how to perform an exercise, complete your first couple of sets slowly until you’re comfortable with the form and can feel it working the correct muscles.

Home Workouts Will Help You on Your Fitness Journey

We understand how important your fitness journey is to you and that’s why we’ve created a wide range of @Home Workouts for different fitness abilities and fitness goals so that everyone can focus on their fitness journey at home. By signing up to our FREE 90 day online gym pass, you’ll have access to exclusive home workouts such a HIIT, Abs, Core, Buns of Steel, Shoulder Blast and many more. All existing Xercise4Less Gyms members already have access.

Stay active, stay safe and we look forward to seeing you once our gyms reopen.

What is Free Weights Training?

Barbell Weighted Plates
Barbell Weighted Plates

What are free weights?

Across at all 51 of our Xercise4Less gyms, we provide members access to a wide range of free weights equipment that helps everyone, regardless of ability and fitness level, to work on their gym journey with confidence.

Free weights includes a lot of equipment and that’s why we have dedicated free weights gym zones. In these zones, you’ll have access to dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, weighted plates, medicine balls and also benches. By combining some of these pieces of kit or using them solo, you’ll be able to kickstart your fitness journey. Try something new. Free weights give the opportunity to do exactly that. If you’re not too sure where to start, look at our workout guides or speak to a member of our friendly team.

Squats on Squat Rack

Free weights workouts to boost your health and fitness

When working out using free weights, the possibilities are endless. That is the best thing about using free weights – they’re inclusive. Everyone can give it a go. Weights start from 2kg and range all the way up to 75kg, so whether you’re a gym beginner or a weightlifting expert, Xercise4Less Gyms have something to suit you and your fitness journey.

New to the gym? Not so familiar with free weights? No problem. Ease yourself into this training with light dumbbells and barbells. Grab a couple of dumbbells and perform exercises like a shoulder press and bicep curls to boost your upper body strength. To improve your lower body strength, start with simple barbell squats or lunges, once you’ve build your confidence and perfected your form, start increasing the weight slightly and push yourself.

By pushing yourself whilst using free weights, you’ll start to notice results quickly. Weight loss results will increase as you push your heart rate to increase which means that you burn more calories. Muscles will grow and become stronger as you push them to become more defined and prominent. Sometimes our members just want to work on strength and conditioning and free weights assist with this perfectly. Using the gym isn’t always about getting ripped or dropping 5 stone, it’s about staying health, happy and confident. Our free weights help you to do this in a way to suit you.

Resistance training - lifting dumbbells

Use free weights to suit your fitness journey

Everyone has different goals. Everyone has their own gym routine. Everyone has their own fitness journey. The amazing thing about free weights gym zones at Xercise4Less Gyms is the inclusivity. Navigate the gym best to suit you. We provide members with large exercise spaces, especially in our free weights gym zones meaning that you have the freedom and flexibility to choose how you use the area. Try some chest exercises on the benches or step into our Olympic training platforms and practice your deadlifts, squats and glute bridges for a major full body workout.

We understand that some people like to train solo and others like to have a gym buddy. Whatever your preference, the free weights gym zones at Xercise4Less Gyms is perfect for you. If you are someone who prefers to focus on their gym goals on their own, free weights training can be great for your mental health. Release worries, anxieties and lift your mood by lifting weights. Start to sculpt your physique to look how you’ve always wanted and once you notice the changes in your body that you’ve always wanted, you’ll have your free weights training to thank!

Don’t delay your fitness journey for any longer, maximise the free weights gym zones in Xercise4Less gyms today.

Become an Xercise4Less Gyms member today

There’s something to suit everyone at Xercise4Less Gyms. Whether you’re working on weight loss, muscle gain or just want to steadily increase your health and fitness, we’ve got a wide range of facilities to help you. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to gyms or an experienced gym user, at the People’s Gym, we include everyone.

Choose from quality weighted equipment, cardio machines, our unique boxing and MMA facilities or smaller fitness studios including spin studios. Not forgetting our inclusive Ladies Only zones and our wide range of group exercises classes including the famous Les Mills classes that will help you feel more motivated whilst making friends.

Don’t forget about how great value our gym memberships are! Pay less to smash your fitness goals and become the best version of you in 2020.

Benefits of Free Weights Training in the Gym

Free Weights Gym Zone - Dumbbell
Free Weights Gym Zone - Dumbbell

Use weights to smash your fitness goals at Xercise4Less Gyms

Lifting free weights in our gyms has a number of positives that will you to help you to get stronger not only in the gym but in daily life too. To move one step closer to those all-important fitness goals, start lifting weights in our free weights gym zones and you’ll soon notice the benefits! Using dumbbells, barbells and kettlebells will boost your workouts and your fitness to a whole new level.

All Xercise4Less gyms across the UK have a wide range of free weights equipment that you can use at your will to take your gym sessions up a notch. Whether you’re looking for a wide range of weighted dumbbells, want to use Olympic lifting platforms to train for your next powerlifting competition or want to practice your barbell squat form, our gyms can provide all the equipment you need.

Squats on Squat Rack

Regular weight training helps weight loss

Make the most of the free weights gym zones available to you as part of your great value membership with Xercise4Less Gyms. It provides you with all the equipment you need to smash your personal fitness goals. A big benefit of weight training is that it helps with weight loss.

By following a weight training routine, your heart rate will increase and you’ll start to burn calories at a quick rate. When people think of weight loss, they usually think of using cardio machines, but you can follow a cardio-style workout in the free weights zone to help you lose weight quicker. For example, kettlebell swings are a great cardio exercise and fat burning exercise. Dumbbell squat jumps and medicine balls slams are other exercises that require free weights equipment but really help with weight loss and fat burning. Once you’ve finished a free weights workout, your body will continue to burn calories for a longer period of time compared to a cardio machine workout. So, for weight loss free weights training seems like a no brainer, right? A combination of cardio training and free weight training is the perfect recipe for weight loss and to improve your body confidence

Woman using Cables, Bench, Weights

Free weight exercises will improve strength

Most people use free weights equipment to build their muscle strength and increase their muscle size. Lifting, pushing and pulling free weights is by far the best way to build muscle and get stronger in your everyday life.

The best way to push your muscles and strength to the limit is to following a workout routine involving a number of compound movements. Compound movements are exercises such squats, deadlifts, pull-ups and bench presses. By doing compound exercises, you’ll be pushing numerous muscles at one time which will eventually result in them getting stronger and bigger. By working multiple muscles at one time, you’ll be improving your balance and coordination. Performing an exercise such as a barbell deadlift isn’t easy but once you get your form right, you’ll smash it and start improving the strength in your back, arms, legs and glutes.

Combining the main two benefits of free weights training – weight loss and muscle gain – will leave you with muscles that are much more defined and prominent. Whatever your level of weight training experience, using the free weights gym zone is something we encourage all Xercise4Less members to do. It’ll benefit your general physical health in daily life and also help to strengthen your mental health.


Join Xercise4Less Gyms today

Become a part of the Xercise4Less community today and take those all important steps towards improving your fitness and reaching your fitness goals. Try strength training in our free weights gym zones or lift weights in our resistance machines zones – either way will help you to gain muscle and burn excess calories quickly. We provide members with the private ladies only gym zone too to help women workout with confidence. Don’t forget about our wide range of group exercise classes including the famous Les Mills workouts.

Whatever your fitness level; whether you’re an experience gym user or never used a gym before, join Xercise4Less Gyms today and start transforming your physical and mental health.

2020 Fitness Trends

Fitness Trends 2020 - Sam Chia Rower

Transform Your Gym Experience with these 2020 Fitness Trends

At Xercise4Less Gyms we’re on a mission to help our members achieve their exercise ambitions this year and every year. As part of that desire to accelerate your fitness journey, we bring you the latest fitness trends expected to dominate the year. From wearable tech to group training and personal exercise sessions here are some 2020 fitness trends to keep you motivated and active in the New Year.

Fitness Trends 2020 - Sam Chia Rower

Group Fitness in 2020

Group exercise classes have been popular in our gyms for a long time but that’s because they’re so effective in getting you fitter whether they’re cardio-based classes, indoor cycling or dance-based fitness session. In 2020 it’s predicted that fitness classes will be even more popular amongst gym goers particularly because of their social aspects. The way we socialise with friends or spend time with work colleagues is set to change in the next year with a trip to the gym tipped to replace a trip to the pub especially for Millennials and Generation Z. Group fitness classes are not just a great way to reduce some of the anxiety of exercising alone in a gym but you also learn new workout techniques, keep your fitness programme fresh and commit to going to the gym on a more regular basis. 

group sumo squats core strength fitness

2020 Functional Fitness Training

Functional training is predicted to really appeal to gym goers in 2020. Improving your balance and coordination while building strength through functional training will become much more popular in the next year. Increased functional fitness through squatting, lifting, pulling, etc. ensures a healthier and more injury-free future for all gym goers but particularly for older adults. As you’d expect, we’re bang on fitness trend here with the functional fitness zone in your local gym!

get rid of your love handles - plank

HIIT Your Fitness Targets in 2020

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been popular for a while, after all who doesn’t love a workout that doesn’t last for hours! But in 2020 it will remain a key fitness trend. You can benefit from plenty of HIIT classes at your local gym as you work out for short bursts of maximum intensity exercise followed by a short period of rest. Burn lots of calories in a short time, reduce your blood pressure and keep your metabolic rate up for hours after a HIIT gym session. Taking on a HIIT class is just a great way of going to the gym regularly without having to take too much time out of your busy day.

battle ropes hiit fitness blog

Training Smarter in 2020 with Free Weights

We’re not fortune tellers at Xercise4Less Gyms, but we could see this future fitness trend coming! With our dedicated free weights area packed with barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells, and medicine balls you won’t have to hang around to lift free weights during your trip to the gym. Free weight exercises allow you to strengthen your body’s stabilizing muscles and load each side of your body equally preventing muscle strength imbalances. Free weight sessions are also very helpful for every day functional fitness. No wonder training with free weights is predicted to be a key fitness trend in 2020.


Personal Training to Transform Your Fitness Journey in 2020

A long-time favourite in any list of fitness trends, in 2020 personal training is tipped to be a key part of everyone’s exercise plans. One-on-one training with a personal fitness coach helps create a sense of accountability and allows you to really evaluate your fitness journey at every stage. Exercise more effectively with workouts specific to your individual exercise goals and to your current fitness levels. Expert personal trainers can act as a mentor on your fitness journey and provide you with all the tools you need from training goals to meal plans. As part of your Xercise4Less gym membership you get a free one to one session with a personal fitness trainer, but you can also benefit from further personal training sessions in your local gym or take part in our fantastic boot camps led by our fitness instructors.

Fitness Trends 2020 - Sam Chia

Working Out with Wearable Tech in 2020

You probably have wearable fitness technology on you as you read this and in 2020, you’ll pay even more attention to wearable tech and fitness trackers. Exercise data ranging from sleep patterns to heart rate will play an increasing role in achieving your fitness goals. You can look forward to more innovative fitness apps and fun group classes that use technology to improve your workout experience. Think group exercise classes making the most of wearable tech, VR technology, and fitness apps. You can already enjoy Virtual Cycling classes in some Xercise4Less gyms and advancing technology will continue to shape your fitness in 2020.

Fitness for the Long Term with Xercise4Less Gyms

Interesting as future fitness trends are, we’re a firm believer in the long term when it comes to health and wellbeing. Xercise4Less Gyms aims to be with you on every stage of your fitness journey wherever you’re starting from and no matter how long it takes to reach your destination. You can always depend on our real dedication to providing you with whatever you need to transform your body in 2020 from the latest group exercise classes to innovative fitness zones like the Ladies Only Gym Zone.

Free Weights Workout Guide

Free Weights
Free Weights

Get set for a full body transformation with the Xercise4Less Gyms Full Body Free Weights Workout Guide. Whether you’re ready to join a gym, new to gyms, a casual gym goer or an experienced gym user, you’ll always get more out of your fitness sessions at an Xercise4Less gym.

Sit down with one of our expert and friendly Personal Trainers to plan an exercise programme that works for your real body. Make sure that free weights are a central part of your fitness plan and you’ll melt fat and tone up far quicker than with cardio alone. Check out the details of our highly effective Full Body Free Weights Workout Guide below using free weights like dumbbells and barbells.

How to Work Out Your Whole Body with Barbell Exercises

Use the 350 sqm of dedicated free weights floor in an Xercise4Less Gyms to really build up your fitness. Check out the following body sculpting exercises in our Xercise4Less Full Body Free Weights Workout Guide:

Free Weights Forward Lunges
Free Weights Reverse lunge
Free Weights Incline Dumbbell Sets
Free Weights Flat Chest Flye
Free Weights Seated Shoulder Press
Free Weights Dumbbell Skull Crusher
Free Weights Hammer Curl
Free Weights Rear Delt Fly


Try these top free weight exercises the next time you hit your local Xercise4Less gym for a stronger, leaner, fitter you. Focus on quality free weights reps with good form. If you’d prefer to focus on specific parts of your body with free weights, check out our Upper Body Free Weights Workout Guide or the Xercise4Less Lower Body Free Weights Workout Guide.

With the Full Body Free Weights Workout Guide you can work out with free weights ranging from 2kg to 75kg to transform your whole body. We provide every piece of exercise equipment you need to get you fitter and stronger. But don’t worry if you’re struggling with lifting technique or have any exercise questions, our Personal Trainers will be right by your side to advise and motivate you with any free weights issues.

Read on for more detailed instructions on how to perform these total body free weights exercises correctly.

Whole Body Free Weights Reverse Lunge Workouts

See a whole host of lower-body benefits from this whole body Free Weights Reverse Lunge.

Hold a pair of dumbbells by your sides, stand straight and brace your core muscles. Take a giant step backwards with your left foot. Bend your right knee until it’s at 90° and lower your left knee until it is also bent at a right angle. Then push back up and return to the starting position. Hold a pair of dumbbells by your side as you lunge backwards. You can opt to alternate legs with your reps or do all of them on one leg before switching to the other.

Do 13-15 Free Weights Reverse Lunge full body reps. Repeat in 3 sets.

Work Out Your Whole Body with Free Weights Flat Chest Flye

Work your pecs hard with the amazing Flat Chest Flye free weightsexercise.

This free weights session uses dumbbells and a flat bench. Lie with your head and shoulders supported by the flat bench and your feet flat on the floor. Hold the dumbbells directly above your chest, palms facing each other, then lower the weights in an arc out to the sides as far as is comfortable. Use your pectoral muscles to reverse the movement back to the start. Keep a slight bend in your elbows throughout and don’t arch your back. Try not to overstretch.

Do 13-15 Flat Chest Flye free weights reps. Repeat in 3 sets.

Full Body Seated Shoulder Press Free Weights Exercises

A compound free weights workout the Seated Shoulder Press really builds shoulder strength and muscle.

This full body free weights session uses a barbell and an adjustable bench. Adjust the barbell to just below shoulder height while standing then load the desired weight onto the bar. Place an adjustable bench beneath the bar in an upright position. Sit down on the bench and take the bar using a pronated grip. Inhale, brace, tuck the chin, then lower the bar to the top of your chest. Exhale and press the bar back to lockout. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Do 15-20 Seated Shoulder Press free weights reps. Repeat in 3 sets.

free weights-upper body workout guide

Full Body Dumbbell Skull Crusher Free Weights Workout

A great free weights movement for the triceps when you’re trying to build your arms, the Dumbbell Skull Crusher should definitely be included in your workout plan.

With a dumbbell in each hand, lie on a bench or stability ball and extend both arms overhead. Bend your elbows so your forearms are parallel to the floor. Slowly straighten your arms, then lower them to the starting position.

Do 10-12 Dumbbell Skull Crusher free weights reps. Repeat in 3 sets.

Whole Body Free Weights Hammer Curl Session

Boost your biceps with a Hammer Curl using dumbbell free weights.

Stand up with your torso upright and a dumbbell on each hand being held at arm’s length. The elbows should be close to the torso. While holding your upper arm stationary, exhale and curl the weight forward while contracting the biceps. Continue to raise the weight until the biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbell is at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a moment as you squeeze the biceps. Inhale and slowly begin the lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position.

Do 10-12 Hammer Curl free weights reps. Repeat in 3 sets.


Free Weights Full Body Rear Delt Fly Sets

The free weights Rear Delt Fly targets your upper back muscles and shoulders but also benefits your spine and hips.

A rear delt fly whole body exercise is done with dumbbells. Make sure to maintain a neutral spine position and avoid moving your torso. Stand with your legs hip-width apart and hold two dumbbells by your side. Bend your torso forward and bend your legs slightly so that your arms extend below your body with your hands facing each other as you hold the free weights. Exhale and raise your arms out to your sides with your hands facing down, squeezing your shoulder blades together during the movement. Inhale and lower your arms to the starting position. This is 1 rep.

Do 8-12 Rear Delt Fly free weights reps. Repeat in 3 sets.

Join Xercise4Less Gyms for Superb Free Weight Workouts

With 350 sqm of a free weights floor at Xercise4Less Gyms you’ll find all the exercise equipment you need for the most challenging fitness journey. Use our free weights racks guide for a total body workout with free weights ranging from 2kg to 75kg. If you’d prefer to split your free weights workout, then check out our Xercise4Less Upper Body Free Weights Workout Guide or our Lower Body Free Weights Workout right now.

Whether you’re ready to join a gym, new to gyms, a casual gym goer or an experienced gym user, at the People’s Gym we offer everything you need to hit your fitness goals. Work with super motivated Personal Trainers to help you achieve your health ambitions. Work out with our fitness community in inclusive group exercise classes including Les Mills fitness sessions or in a dedicated Ladies Only gym zone. Add in a special Spin studio, a combat zone, a functional exercise area and our incredible Body Transformation Camps and Boot Camps and our gym members have every advantage on their journey to improved fitness.

Join Xercise4Less Gyms today and you’ll quickly work out why we’re the first stop on your fitness journey as you transform your real body with free weights and see real benefits from fitness the Xercise4Less way.