4 Free or Cheap Workout Programs for Busy Moms

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I have always enjoyed working out.  I was very active with sports in high school and after that I enjoyed taking classes in college like yoga, step aerobics, water aerobics, kick-boxing, spinning and other HIIT group classes.  I’ve really tried about every type of exercise: cross-fit, swimming, running, Beachbody programs, Tae Bo, Biggest Looser, kettle bell, etc.  I have seriously tried about everything out there with the exception of Zumba… I’m not sure why, but I haven’t dappled in that one yet.  Looking back on my experiences with these different workouts I really did enjoy them all while they lasted.  But today I wanted to share with you the 4 workout programs that I have done that are my absolute favorite.  I would add P90X3 from Beachbody to my list, but I wanted to keep these workout programs to the free or cheap ones that can easily be done at home.

#1- Trainer Lindsey 15 Day Challenge

I’m pretty sure this one is my all-time favorite.  First of all it’s FREE.  She offers 15 days of workout videos that are totally free plus a food guide to follow with the recipes that you need.  The reason I love her program so much is because her workouts are about 20 minutes and I am always sore the next day (which means it works) and the second reason is because her recipes are DELICIOUS!  I am a big time sugar lover and I want good food. Quinoa just doesn’t cut it for me.  Her recipes are easy to follow and the food is full of flavor and she always includes a treat! The nice thing with the 15 day challenge is that it’s easy to loose at least 5 lbs. and you can just keep repeating it to stay on track and lose more.  She does offer a 6-week paid program, which I personally have not done yet, but my cousin has and loved it.  Another thing I love about her program is the IdealLean protein powder she created.  I have been buying this consistently for about a year now because this stuff is amazing.  It tastes great and it has only 80 calories and 0 carbs and sugars.  She includes recipes to make delicious treats using the protein powder; things like peanut butter fudge, chocolate coconut fudge, maple nut fudge, raspberry cheesecake shake, chocolate lava cake, protein melting cake, and no bake cookie protein bars.

I have not stayed on the diet consistently, but since one year ago when I discovered Trainer Lindsey I have continued to do her workouts and use the protein powder. I am about as frugal as they come regarding food, but this is something I feel is absolutely worth the money.  I just watch for good sales, which they have going on quite often.  Here is the site.  If you want her free challenge, you just click on “challenges” and then you will see it under Trainer Lindsey.  It’s the 15-day Fit Body Challenge.  I’ve also tried Trainer Kaytlin’s 15-day knockout fitness challenge and I did like hers as well.

Workout length: about 20 minutes

Workout type: 2 different sets of strength training with 1 minute cardio burst

Diet: 4 days of set meal plans that you rotate through for 15 days

Price: free (unless you purchase the protein powder, which I highly recommend.  This varies because of sales, but one container is around $30)

How to follow along: videos on YouTube or in an email

Needed Supplies: exercise ball and hand weights








#2- Fit Yummy Mummy

I bought this program shortly after having my third child.  I needed something to help get me back into a routine of working out and help me stay motivated.  This was a great program for me and it did just that.  I enjoyed the set up of the workouts and I love her theory that workouts don’t need to be long and extensive. I also love that the downloads came instantly and I could just print the workouts and do them without having to turn on the computer or TV.  It worked best for me to print them out and create a workout binder.  5 years after purchasing this program, I still have her workouts and meal tips in page protectors in my workout binder that I still use.  I love that I can complete one of her workouts in 15 minutes and still feel like I got a great workout in.  I also like her flexibility on how many days you workout.  You can either do two workouts (30 minutes total) three days a week or you can do one workout (15 minutes) 5-6 days a week.  It is a 28 week program, so I feel like you get a lot for the money (about $40).  I like how she teaches you about what and how to eat, but it is not a set meal plan every day.  She has a list of choices you can choose from for each of your meals.  This was a perfect program for me to feel motivated and get back in shape without having to spend tons of time dedicated to working out.  I really could squeeze in a quick workout during nap time and still had time to do the other chores I needed done.  I do still use these workouts.

Click Here! to learn more about Fit Yummy Mummy

Workout length: 15 minutes

Workout type: alternate interval training and strength training

Diet: List of Choices

Price: $39.95

How to follow along: digital download or printouts

Needed Supplies: exercise ball, hand weights, jump rope (optional), medicine ball (I just use a basketball or hand weights), step or jump box (I use my stairs)


#3- Jillian Michaels

My sisters used Jillian Michaels’ Ripped in 30 DVD and they really liked it, so when I found the DVD at the Dollar Tree for only $1 as a January special I bought it along with her Extreme Shed & Shred DVD.  Both workouts are about 30 minutes (I think the Shed & Shred is closer to 45 minutes including warm up and cool down).  If you’ve ever watched The Biggest Looser, you know that Jillian is tough.  She pushes you the same way in her workouts. Her DVD’s come with a 30 day meal plan.  It includes set meals for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner.  Many of the meals are easy to follow, but others are a bit out of my comfort zone like Mahi Mahi Tacos.  I have not been ready to take on those yet, but this helps give me guidance.  Her workouts are hard, but very doable.  In her Ripped in 30 workout she has a 3-2-1 system that I really like.  It’s 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes cardio, and 1 minute of abs.  This system helps me stay focused and push through the hard parts.  The best thing about her workout DVDs is that they are so affordable.  If you can’t find them for $1 at the Dollar Tree then you can get about all of them on Amazon for less than $10 each.

Workout length: 30-45 minutes

Workout type: strength training and cardio using yoga, kickboxing, Pilates, and basic weight training

Diet: 30 day set meal plans

Price: less than $10

How to follow along: DVD

Needed Supplies: hand weights- I like 10 lb and 5 lb

#4- Melissa Bender

The last workout that I like to use is from Melissa Bender. She makes free at home workouts on YouTube that usually just require body weight.  She has several challenges and programs you can follow on her website, benderfitness.com or you can search Melissa Bender on YouTube and choose a workout.  I love how real Melissa is.  She does the full workout with you on her videos so she gets tired and has to stop sometimes too, just like I do!  She had a baby recently, so she created a 6-week postpartum workout challenge and she does her workouts during nap time or with her baby nearby.  Her workouts are usually interval training mixed with strength training.  They give me a good workout in a short amount of time.  Most workouts are around 20 minutes.

Workout length: 10-30 minutes

Workout type: HIIT and strength training

Diet: her website has tips and ideas for healthy eating here

Price: totally free

How to follow along: YouTube

Needed Supplies: hand weights and exercise ball








These are the three products I recommend to use for all of these workouts:

If you are a busy mom looking for a great fitness program to do at home or in the gym I’m confident that at least one of these programs will help you with your goals.  Working out consistently helps me to feel nice and happy.