Need Help? Customer Support 1-866-236-8417

What Is The Best Milk Jug Workout?

What is the best milk jug workout? There are many reasons that someone might use milk jugs to workout. Our forum members are going to share with you what they believe is the best way and why. Check it out!

TOPIC: What Is The Best Milk Jug Workout?

The Question:

With machines there is no need to have a great deal of balance and with free weights there is nothing moving inside the weight being used. By using a milk jug filled with some type of liquid or material you add another factor to the equation.

Why would you want to use milk jugs for a workout?

What is the best workout program using milk jugs? Please be as descriptive as possible (list set, reps, etc.).

What type of material or liquid would you use? How much would you use for beginners, intermediate, advanced?

Bonus Question: What type of activities would be improved by using milk jugs?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners:

    New Prizes:
      1st place - $75 in store credit.
      2nd place - $50 in store credit.

To use your credit, e-mail Will @ for more info.

1st Place - Liquid_diet
Why Would You Want To Use Milk Jugs For A Workout?

There are several reasons to use milk jugs for resistance training. The most obvious would be convenience. Not everyone has the money for a gym membership or effective home equipment. These "poor man's dumbbells" can actually add some strength and definition to the body, and can also aid in maintaining muscle when other resistance training options are not available.

In addition, a change in routine will keep the body from adapting to a certain workout. Exercising with milk jugs will recruit the help of smaller stabilizing muscles in the body, and ensure that good form and balance are being used. With simple aids such as an abdominal exercise ball, variety can be added to a milk jug workout to make it quite versatile.

When I took a vacation to the family beach house in a small Oregon town this past summer, I was definitely limited in my workout options. With no way to transport dumbbells with me, and no local gym to purchase a day pass at, I was concerned about maintaining my physique.

The Milk Jug Workout! The Milk Jug Workout!
If you can not get the gym and don't have any weights, try the milk jug workout!
[ Click here to learn more. ]

I had planned on resorting to basic pushups, pull-ups, and the like. I also managed to deflate and bring my 55cm exercise ball to mix it up a little. After deciding this would make for a boring couple weeks of exercise, I realized there were other creative options including milk jug resistance training.

After a little experimentation, I decided that the combination of the following guidelines and exercises would make my best workout program using milk jugs.

What is the best workout program using milk jugs?

The Guidelines:

    It is important to focus on slow, controlled movements when exercising with milk jugs. Even when completely full, the weight of a milk jug "dumbbell" is going to be relatively light. Keep rest periods in-between sets at about 30 seconds. Focusing on a strong muscle contraction at the end of each movement will make each rep count.

    milk jugs
    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Even Full, The Weight Of The Jug Will Be Light.

    Dedicating an equal amount of time to the eccentric and concentric part of each movement will also help to get the most out of a milk jug workout. A rep range of 12-to-15 will ensure an effective amount of muscle fatigue by the end of a set.

    Focusing on balance and stability while sitting or lying on the exercise ball will add to the overall challenge of the workout. The low intensity of a milk jug workout allows each body part to be exercised twice a week without overtraining.

The Milk Jug Workout Program:

    Day 1 - Chest/Tri's

      Jug press 3x15 - Use the abdominal ball as back support and perform this jug version of the dumbbell bench press from a slight incline angle.

      Jug fly 3x12 - Use the ball and really focus on stretching the chest with this standard dumbbell exercise.

      Jug pullovers 3x15 - With a jug in each had perform this version of bent arm pullovers, substituting the ball for a bench.

      Jug skull crushers 3x15 - With a jug in each hand, isolate the triceps from a lying supine position or from the ball.

      Jug kickbacks 3x12 - Finish the tri's with this sculpting exercise.

      print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Day 1 - Chest/Tri's.

    Day 2 - Upper Back/Shoulders/Bi's

    Day 3 - Legs/Abs

What type of material or liquid would you use? How much would you use for beginners, intermediate, advanced?

For simplicity, and due to availability, I stuck to sand and water. I estimated the sand jugs at a little less than 15 pounds, and the water jugs at just under 10 pounds.

These are both relatively light weights even for beginners, so I would recommend them to all levels. Beginners should perform each workout once a week, and cut the sets down to 2 per exercise. For all others I would recommend this routine as it is.

What type of activities would be improved by using milk jugs?

Almost any activity can be improved through resistance training. I would assume that activities that incorporate balance would be especially improved by using milk jugs. Such activities could include yoga, surfing and skating to name a few.

2nd Place - BladeMaster
Why Would You Want To Use Milk Jugs For A Workout?

Most experienced and veteran bodybuilders use free weights and machines to work out with, so why would you want to use milk jugs? The answer is that not all of us have access to a gym or have enough money to buy an expensive machine. According to a Gale Group research report, roughly 25% of the population in the U.S. has access to a gym.1

Choosing A Gym - A Fun Quiz To Help You Out! Choosing A Gym - A Fun Quiz To Help You Out!
Do you really know what you want in a gym? Would you rather workout at home or in the social atmosphere that befits a large chain gym. This quiz will help you get some answers that should make your decision easier to make.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

So how can you get a workout without paying expensive and costly membership fees to a gym or forking out half a grand to get a decent machine? The answer is simple: Use milk jugs.

Sure, you can use your own bodyweight to workout, but sometimes you need a heavier load that will stimulate those lagging muscles, as water weighs approximately 8.33 lbs/gallon. But, there are three reasons why you should consider using milk jugs even if you already have a machine or are just beginning to enter the wonderful world of weightlifting:
  1. If you are currently using machines, you'll benefit from the use of free weights such as milk jugs which in turn generate more results.

  2. Not only are you saving money, but you are also recycling and helping the environment.

  3. If you are ever thirsty, you can take a sip from the jugs and pyramid your sets with higher reps and lower weight, or you could mix in your favorite protein powder and drink it after a hard workout, the possibilities are almost endless when you use something as creative as milk jugs!

What is the best workout program using milk jugs? Please be as descriptive as possible (list set, reps, etc.).

The best workout program with the use of milk jugs would be a straightforward, simple, yet consistent workout. As you will be working out with a maximum of 33 pounds (if you hold 2 jugs in each hand by attaching them together), the exercises you do must be done slow and controlled or the muscle will not be worked thoroughly. You will be working out 3 times a week; every day will include sufficient rest and nutrition.

The first thing you must do is stretch. Stretch however you want and at the end of the workout do not forget to cool down. Now for the workout:

Day 1 - Chest, Triceps, Delts:

Day 2 - Rest:

Day 3 - Quads, Calves, Abs:

Day 4 - Rest:

Day 5 - Biceps, Forearm, Back & Traps:

Day 6 - Rest:

Day 7 - Rest:

What type of material or liquid would you use? How much would you use for beginners, intermediate, advanced?

The beginning lifter should be able to use water as the main liquid in the jug. If you feel that you need a lighter or heavier jug, use the following substances2 instead of water:

  • Concrete - 20.02 lbs/gallon
  • Sand - 13.35 lbs/gallon
  • Dirt - 13.10 lbs/gallon
  • Milk - 8.59 lbs/gallon
  • Corn - 6.01 lbs/gallon
  • Beans - 5.84 lbs/gallon
  • Rice - 5.74 lbs/gallon

This way, you can move on to heavier weights whenever you need to. Just remember, do your reps slowly and carefully so you get the most out of each and every rep that you do.

What type of activities would be improved by using milk jugs?

Out of all the different things you can do with milk jugs, my favorite is to use them sometimes when I go swimming because you can also workout with them in the water! If you don't know how to swim, they can help you learn to swim if you fill them up halfway with water.

The main thing you will notice after using them is that your balance and coordination will be better; this can prove to be advantageous in any sport, from bowling to golf to football.

They will help you tone your muscles and gain strength if you follow a good nutritional diet with high amounts of protein and water. As you can see, the benefits of using this disposable plastic jug can be rewarding if you stick to it and work hard.


  1. American Demographics, [ online ]
  2. Densities of Some Common Substances, Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2006.

Have You Ever Used Milk Jugs For A Resistance Workout?

No, But I'll Try It Next Time.

Review Of Other Articles
Or "Why Wasn't Mine Picked?"



  • Great conversational writing style. Author is passionate about fitness and this show.


  • Needs improvement on sentence and paragraph structure.
  • Comments: Sentences should be shorter and more concise. Some paragraphs could be two or more. Proof reading by reading out loud might help.



  • Fair sentence and paragraph composition. Followed outline of topic for the most part.


  • Too brief. This writer did not assume enough ownership of the topic.
  • Comments: While the layout and structure of this submission were generally logical, more relevant content needs to be experienced. This writer is showing some good potential, and is another competitor in totw that will improve with practice and more practice.



  • This writer conveyed, convincingly, experience in the topic. Had a pleasant style.


  • Too brief. Paragraph structure was mostly same with the sentence structure needing improvement.
  • Comments: Definitely a case for proof reading out loud. Basic skills and ability to communicate experiences are in evidence. Delivery needs to be polished.