Why I Work Out With Soup Cans

I just love trying out new workouts…especially when the kick my butt in unexpected ways!


A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from the folks at Barre3, inviting me to try out their newly launched online program, mybarre3. If you’ve never heard of a barre class before, it’s basically a combination of yoga, Pilates, ballet barre work and some other balancing work which is said to help lengthen and strengthen the entire body.

At the time, I hadn’t yet come up with the June Yoga Challenge, but now that I’m fully immersed in that, I knew I had to give these online videos a shot.

Since my new laptop is HDMI capable(?) I was able to hook it up to our regular TV, which was great.

I then got all of my equipment ready: yoga mat, Core Ball, and…soup cans?


Yes, my friends. I worked out with soup cans today. Jay happened to stop home quickly this morning from work and one of his first, immediate responses was, “why are there soup cans on the floor in the living room?”

Well, that would be because they were the closest things to 1-pound weights I could quickly find before starting the workout.


It’s recommended for women to use 1-2 pound dumbbells with the barre workout videos, and the lightest pair I own are 5lbs, so I figured this would do. They weren’t quite a pound, but they worked in a pinch. As Jay said, “improvise, adapt, and overcome.” Winking smile

As for my workouts of choice today, I chose (1) 30 minute + (1) 10 minute routine (I love the fact that they offer different lengths: 10, 30, 40, and 60 minute options):

Both of the videos were challenging in their own way; the 30-minute video had my legs and butt screaming. Seriously. The burn was almost as bad as that class I took back in February.

I’m really curious to try out some of the other videos now and see what they’re all about!


Once I finished killing my backside, I showered up and put together a little lunch, which was enjoyed al fresco today.


This meal was put together in no time, thanks to a couple little freezer friends of mine.


I paired a crumbled Boca burger with the white bean/yellow carrot/spinach mixture and topped it all with some crumbled feta.


Done in less than five minutes, and delicious to boot.


Gotta love that!

Question for the Afternoon:

What are some different ways that you’ve adapted a workout that may be considered “unconventional?” (i.e., soup cans!)


  1. says

    Barre is by far my FAVORITE workout. I’m addicted and have been going to classes since December of last year. It is the perfect way to strength train while also working on the long and lean frame I strive for. I’m glad you liked the videos I and I can’t wait to give this site a try!

  2. kristin says

    Lol – Monday I was enjoying a workout on-demand and didn’t realize I needed weights so I quickly pressed paused and the closet weight object to me was “soup cans”! I also use them – we recently moved and my weights were packed away somewhere so I grabbed the heaviest cans I could find!

  3. says

    I might have to give these workouts a shot. You have me intrigued.
    As for unconventional workouts I once weirded out my entire family when I went out for a walk one summer in 100 degree weather with my just iPhone and headphones, and literally just wandered around my neighborhood for HOURS. I honestly didn’t realize how much time was passing when I was walking. I was off in my own little world.
    Courtney @ Outrunning Insecurities recently posted..“Do You Like Waffles?

  4. says

    I SO want to try out barre workouts, it looks like a great workout, and a little different from yoga, which I can not get into for the life of me. I may have to try this out…
    Lisa recently posted..WIAW #12

    • Courtney says

      Oh gosh, the hubs would know the correct answer better, but it just required one special cord. I think an HDMI cord? All I know is that it’s usually hooked up to our PS3 (which I use for DVD’s) and I just had to unplug it from there and hook it up to my computer. Haha, hope that helps somehow!

  5. says

    haha I love it when husbands are confused because of our little workout quirks. Those barre routines sound fun! Have you heard of Leah Sarago? If so, what differences do you see? And I’ve been loving salads! Especially when I pop in your blog because they always look amazing and I’m more inspired to take the time to chop veggies and make myself a nice bowl. 😀 So thank you!
    Ellie@Fit for the Soul recently posted..Nearly Died but Lived

  6. Hannah R says

    I’ve been hearing a lot about barre lately. I will certainly try it soon! My unconventional workout equipment includes a walker in place of a dip station for now:) So great for the core and triceps!

  7. Jessica Kane says

    I’ve totally done the soup can thing! I learned it from my aunt who used to do in-home physical therapy. She said it was just enough weight and resistance especially for the elderly patients, and who doesnt have canned soup or canned vegetables in their house? Before I bought my hand weights that’s what I used.

  8. says

    I have heard awesome things about the Barre workouts so I may just have to take a look at those online!

    I have never used soup cans myself(well, maybe when I was younger) but I remember my mom using them in combination with her Richard Simmons workouts, lol!!
    Suzanne @ Fit Minded Mom recently posted..Happy Hump Day

  9. says

    Well, not super unconventional but I usually take my 2lb dumbbells (and jillian michael’s DVDs) with me when I travel. I am always stopped my airport security wondering what they are. Note – I finally learned on my last trip to just take them out of my backpack and leave them in the plastic bins so they can see them.
    Whitney @ Whit Likes Fit recently posted..Sweat is fat crying

  10. says

    I went for a time period last year where I didn’t have a gym membership and I found myself doing things like using household items as weights all the time. It was kind of fun to figure out how to use a water bottle, broom stick, soup cans, and other random things around the house during a workout!

  11. says

    Soup cans are a great idea! I have had to improvise and get creative quite a bit with a recovery from an injury that requires me to keep my heart rate under and at a certain threshold. So, I find myself doing repeats on the stairs anywhere I can find them so that I can do my workouts outside! Sometimes this includes my home or a public set in Boston. The great ones adjust!
    Mandy recently posted..More of the Little Things

  12. says

    these are the times i really wish i had a job, that program looks amazing! something i think i would really enjoy. alas extra money a month is not an option right now.

    thanks for sharing though! and yes i’ve used random things as hand weights. my text books i think have made work out appearances. haha. gotta get creative!!


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