“If you wait for perfect conditions, you’ll never get anything done”
The biggest reason why folks say they don’t workout is due to a lack of time.
Is this you, too?
Do you feel like you are always fighting the clock, and there simply are not enough hours in the day to get a workout?
I realize that life is busy, time is short, and people often work long hours with long commutes stacked on top.
It’s understandable to feel like you don’t have time to workout.
But let me ask you a question, “why exactly do you feel like you don’t have time to workout?”
I know we just said because of long work days, and a long commute, but there has to be more to it.
• Is it because you feel like you have to workout at a gym?
• Is it because you simply don’t know what to do?
• Is it because you feel like each workout has to last at least 60 minutes to get results?
The truth is you don’t have to workout at a gym to get results, and you certainly don’t have to workout for 60-90 minutes to have an effective workout.
In this epic home workout guide we’re going to dive deep down the rabbit hole of exercising from home. We’re going to leave no stone un-turned.
In this article we’re going to cover a wide range of topics, including:
• The benefits of working out from home
• The different types of home workouts you can do
• The best equipment for maximizing your workouts, with minimal space
• The different home workout programs that are out there
• How to make bodyweight exercises a lot harder, so you can always challenge yourself even without any equipment
• And so much more
By the end of this epic home workout guide I hope to shine a bright light on “how to workout from home”, and leave you with a complete road map for doing so.
By the end of this article I hope you’ll see that saying “you don’t have time to workout” is really just a bad excuse (hint: you do have time).
Alright, lets begin
Because a lot of people feel like they don’t have time to workout, the benefits of home workouts are a powerful fitness multipier to be taken seriously.
The benefits of home workouts include:
• save you money by not having to join a gym
• they teach you how to workout from anywhere
• save you hours by not having to drive to the gym
• convenient; allowing you to workout anytime you wish
Honestly, you can do much of the same type of exercises/workouts that you would do at the gym.
Here are a few examples the different flavors you can use to spice up your home workout routine:
• #1. Bodyweight exercises –>
As the name implies these are exercises that you do using only your body weight as resistance.
Bodyweight exercises are also know as “calisthenics”, and have withstood the test of time as highly effective means for working out.
But, don’t be fooled into thinking that just because you’re only working out with your bodyweight, that these exercises are easy.
Bodyweight exercises are anything but easy. A little later in the article I’ll show you exactly how you can make any bodyweight exercise far more challenging.
• #2. Dumbbell or kettlebell exercises –>
A great way to take your workouts up a notch is to keep a few dumbbells and/or kettlebells lying around.
We’ll talk more about why these are great tools to have in the equipment section of this article.
• #3. High intensity circuits –>
Regardless of your available equipment high intensity circuits are a fantastic way to blast a ton of calories in a short amount of time.
A circuit = performing many exercises right after each other, with little to no rest between exercises.
When performing circuits the goal is to keep moving quickly. As you can probably tell circuits will sky rocket your heartrate to the moon–and likely leave you lying in a puddle of your own sweat.
Circuits are awesome because they are so time efficient. They allow busy people an opportunity to do highly effective workouts from home, without taking up too much of their time.
• #4. Workout complexes –>
Workout complexes and high intensity circuits sort of fall into the same camp.
A workout complex = perform 2-5 exercises back to back, with a seamless flow between the exercises.
So, where circuits can be done with or without equipment, complexes do require some equipment. When you’re working out at home the best tools for complexes are dumbbells or kettlebells.
Of course, you can perform a complex with just one dumbell or kettlebell as well.
The key ingredient that makes complexes so fiery is the smooth flow between exercises.
Complexes are awesome for getting a full body workout in just a few minutes.
• #5. Strength work –>
If you’re working out from home you probably won’t have access to large amounts of weight for strength work.
That’s totally cool; and expected.
But, you’re probably wondering how you can get stronger at home, without having heavy weights to lift.
Using hard variations of bodyweight exercises is a great place to start. Again I’ll slow you how to do this in just a second.
Another great option is to use tempo reps and pauses.
• Tempo reps = taking X seconds to complete a single rep
• Pause rep = pausing at different points during the rep
Tempo reps and pause reps are great because they kill any momentum generated during the rep. This forces your body to remain highly tense from start to finish.
• High tension = good for building strength
For example–> If you only have a moderate weight kettlebell at home, but want to build leg strength try the little tempo rep workout below.
Try this tempo rep workout…
Three rounds of:
2x 60 second goblet squat
(take 20 seconds to lower, 20 second pause in the bottom, 20 seconds to stand).
Trust me, this little workout may not look like much on paper, but it will leave your legs shaking worse than a new-born horse trying to walk.
There is a stark difference between doing 30 reps of an exercise, and taking 30 seconds to perform a single rep of that same exercise.
• #6. Skill development –>
Here we’re talking about mastering bodyweight exercise skills.
Examples of this include:
• Free standing handstands
• Frog holds
• Head balancing
• Pistol squats
However, don’t be discouraged if the above exercises seem impossible right now. Skill development applies to everyone, regardless of their current skill level.
Lets say you can’t do air squats quite. With practice you’ll soon find that you air squat prowess will improve.
Thus, you’ve developed your air squatting skills.
So as you can see, no matter where you fall on the bodyweight exercise skill continuum if you’re getting better at an exercise, you’re improving your skills.
Alright, now that you know a few different ways to spice up your home workout routine, the next logical question is what equipment do you need.
Frankly, you don’t need any equipment.
You can perform high quality workouts, indefinitely, using just your bodyweight.
With that being said, I realize for some folks working out with just their bodyweight is about as appealing as eating raw chicken.
Listed below are my recommendations for home workout equipment, which doesn’t take up a lot of space.
• #1. Dumbbells → Take up very little space, and are relatively inexpensive. If you’re price shopping you should be able to find dumbbells for about $0.50-$1 per pound.
Dumbbells can be put together in metabolic type workout complexes to really put a hurt on body fat, or can be used for more traditional muscle building. Either way, dumbbells are highly effective pieces of exercise equipment and should be at the top of your home gym equipment list.
• #1a. Kettlebells → For the most part, kettlebells and dumbbells are interchangable. I prefer to use dumbbells, but if you’re a kettlebell guy or girl you can’t go wrong adding a various weight bells to your home gym equipment arsenal.
• #2. Doorframe pullup bar → In my opinion, a must have for any serious home gym. You can get a doorframe pullup bar system off Amazon for under $30, at any local sporting good stores, or even Wal-Mart.
Having this will unlock many highly effective exercises such as, the pullup variations, bar hanging variations, and hanging ab/core workout exercises.
#3. TRX straps → The TRX is an incredibly versatile piece of exercise equipment. I used the TRX to train both my beginner levels clients, as well as my hard charging athletes and military special operations guys.
Also, a nice feature is that the TRX breaks down quickly and can easily be thrown in a travel bag for to bring on vacation or business trips.
• #4. Resistance bands → Resistance bands are excellent pieces of workout equipment which hardly take up any space, and will challenge your body differently than dumbbells or kettlebells can.
This is another piece of exercise equipment that is also very easy to travel with. I highly recommend adding resistance bands to your home gym setup.
• #5. Jump rope → If space allows, and you don’t live above any neighbors I highly recommend getting a jump rope. Jumping rope is a fantastic way to ramp up your high intensity cardio routines.
It’s a full body workout that burns a lot of calories, and will definitely leave you drenched in sweat.
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1. Perform high repetitions-
Performing sets of 15-50 repetitions is a great way to use body weight exercises to improve muscular endurance, stamina, and to build mental toughness.
Always pay attention to proper form.
Once the form breaks that set is over.
2. Increase time under tension-
Increasing the time it takes to perform a single repetition greatly challenges strength .
When a muscle contracts against resistance it becomes stronger.
Taking 15 seconds to perform a single pullup (or, pushup, squat, situp…etc) is a far different sensation than performing 15 pullups in a row, as fast as you can.
3. Add weight-
Adding weight to exercises is great for building strength. Adding weight to bodyweight is no exception.
Wearing a weight vest, adding chains, or wearing a rucksack are great ways add weight and challenge your muscles with even the most basic bodyweight exercises.
4. Change the leverage-
Archimedes joked that he could tip the world with a long enough lever. He was talking about leverage.
No different when it comes to bodyweight exercises.
Body weight strength training can be as simple as applying basic physics to the body, in order to create mechanical disadvantage, which in turn makes the exercise harder, your muscles work harder, and thus builds strength.
The basic principles of leverage:
• The longer the lever, the easier it is to move an object.
• The shorter the lever, the more effort required to move that same object.
Leverage applied to body weight exercises:
• The more elevated your feet, the harder the exercise becomes (ie…L-sit pull-ups, handstand pushups, and body rows with your feet on a box)
• The more elevated your hands, the easier the exercise becomes (ie…wall pushups and standing ring rows)
5. Re-distribute your weight-
Another technique to make BW exercises harder is to simply re-distribute the weight of our body.
Removing a hand or foot places nearly 100% of the demand on the other limb.
Here you’re thinking:
• one handed pull-ups
• single arm pushups
• single leg squats (pistols)
However, if single limb movements seem daunting don’t worry.
Instead of going for broke and removing an entire limb completely, simply shift more of the weight to the other side of the body.
Instead of a 100/ 0% approach you’re aiming for more like 70/30 or 80/20% weight distribution.
Examples of this are:
• staggered hand pushups
• using assistance to help you move through single leg squats
• using assistance to help you progress towards single arm pull-ups.
Through simple weight distribution we can make body weight exercises extremely challenging.
(Removing one limb completely)
6. Combine two or more elements-
Who says you can’t combine multiple elements to further increase the difficulty of body weight exercises?
Well, only haters I guess.
But, no reason to listen to them anyway…
To make body weight exercises harder even still, you can combine multiple elements from the list above.
For example, changing the leverage + increasing time under tension, as in doing L-sit pullups (change of leverage) with chains (adding weight) → Ouch.
7. Be explosive-
Generating power and explosiveness is referred to as plyometric training.
Most, but not all, plyometric exercises are body weight focused.
For power development keep the repetitions between 1-4 and allow maximal recovery between sets.
Examples of this are the long jump, jump squats, clapping pushups, and hand release pull-ups.
Adding in explosiveness to bodyweight exercises can help you bust through plateaus and really skyrocket your strength gains.
A word of caution:
Before you start aggressively using explosive exercises you need to build a base of strength. This is necessary to help prevent injuries caused from explosive exercises.
I didn’t think it would be fair to give you all this awesome info, but not give you something tangible you can use today.
Outlined below is a sample home workout plan.
You can follow it as written, or simply use it to get your own creative juices flowing.
Sample Workout Plan…
[Day 1- Dumbbell complex]
Complete 6 rounds of:
4 front squats
2 overhead presses
20 foot walk holding dumbbells straight above your head
Rest 30 seconds between rounds
[Day 2- Core strength + fitness walking]
Complete 3 rounds of:
30 second single arm dumbbell farmers carry, left arm
30 second single arm dumbbell farmers carry, right arm
30 second hollow hold
30 second full tension plank hold
1 minute rest between rounds
Go for a fast walk for 20-40 minutes.
[Day 3- Bodyweight circuit]
Five rounds of:
16 Walking lunges
1 minute of crawling (bear crawls, crab crawls…etc)
30 second jumping jacks
30 seconds of burpees
30 second rest between rounds
[Day 4- Up to you]
Use this day to play around and do what you feel like doing. This could be another dumbbell complex, a brisk fitness walk or jog, a yoga or Pilates class, or simply a game of pickup basketball with your buddies.
A big part of the success of a long term workout plan comes from doing things you enjoy.
Yes, you’ve heard correctly.
As you can probably tell by now I’m a big fan of working out from home.
However, if weight loss is your goal it doesn’t really matter where you workout. You’ll need to pay attention to your diet.
Now, this doesn’t mean you need to count every calorie that you eat, or break out food scales and weigh and measure your food like a crazy mad scientist.
There are much simpler ways to diet for weight loss.
I’ve written about dieting for weight loss ad nauseam, so instead of belaboring the point I’m going to link to those articles below.
Useful diet advice I’ve already written about:
We’ve covered a lot of ground in this epic home workout guide
I hope by now you are starting to see that you don’t need a fancy gym, or 60 minutes 5x per week in order to get high quality workouts.
Working out from the comfort of your home is a great way to save you time, money, and allow you to workout when its’ convenient for you.
And, before you go make sure you grab your FREE copy of Body By Design, by filling out the short form below.
Contains 32 home workouts that are sure to make you sweat...
This is a home workout guide I put together for you, which contains 32 hard hitting workouts.
The guide combines all of the elements we talked about in this article to provide you with a grab-n-go bag of high quality home workouts. I know you’ll love it.