Make Your Home Workouts Work
I don’t want you to feel stuck at home and I don’t want you to feel like all your hard work is going down the drain. I want you to see the opportunities you have and I want you to understand you can continue to work hard. That’s going to be the goal of this brief article. Times are uncertain right now. Positivity and a change in your outlook can do you wonders. As cheesy as it may seem, finding the positives is more important than ever in this moment.
You’re Not At A Gym, Make Your Home Work For You
Obviously your home is no match for your gym. Even if you have some equipment lying around, it can’t compare to the plethora of equipment that lines your local gym. So first things first, stop comparing what you can do at home and what you could have been doing at the gym. Two different locations, completely different approaches to training. You’re not going to go to a steakhouse and be upset when pizza isn’t on the menu. Change your mindset around training at home. There is still plenty of opportunity within (and outside of) those walls. Sure you might need to get a bit creative, but hey when did creativity ever hurt? Even if you have absolutely no equipment at home, you most likely have household items that can be utilized, and you have your body.
Here’s a few things that might be around your home you can use:
Chair: Push up variations, dips, step ups, split squats.
Dog/Cat Food: Moderate-Heavy load for squats/presses/hinging.
Loaded Backpack: Moderate-Heavy load for squats/presses/pulling/swings.
Cat Litter: Moderate-Heavy loading for single arm/leg deadlifts/rows.
Gallon Of Liquid: Light-Moderate loading for upper body pressing/pulling/swings.
Wheelbarrow: Load it up and push, it won’t be easy.
A Wall: Handstand holds, wall walks, handstand push ups.
Again, it’s not going to be perfect if you are comparing your backpack full of soup cans to a kettlebell… but for now, it will get the job done. Experiment and most of all have some fun!
Shift The Tides
Don’t waste time clinging to the negatives of your situation, they can add up real fast if you let them. Now is not the time to keep negative thoughts (especially around training) in the front of your mind. Your goals of beating your back squat PR or cleaning up your snatch technique might have to be sidelined for a bit. (remember it’s a temporary delay) But this doesn't mean everything must come to an end. It simply calls for a shift. A shift in your approach to your training, goals, and mindset. Move your thinking now towards what can be done with what you have access to. Whether that’s simply your bodyweight, a few pieces of equipment at home, or some makeshift heavy objects you can move around. Do a bit of investigation and figure out what you CAN do. Don’t let the inability to tackle certain goals that require you to regularly be in a gym weigh on you too heavily.
Set new goals that are relevant to your equipment access and the areas you can work on/improve that you may have swept under the rug in the past. Consider mobility, joint health, tempo work, side to side imbalances, movement pattern fixes, running ability/endurance, gymnastic skills, core strength/endurance, just to offer a few suggestions. Setting a new goal, can help up your motivation and keep you accountable. You don’t want to feel like you're monotonously doing air squats over and over again in your living room with no direction. Give yourself some drive and workouts a spark with a goal. It might not be as sexy a goal as breaking your Clean and Jerk PR, but it gives you direction and purpose in your training. Shift your thinking around your home workouts, there is still plenty to accomplish.
Home Workouts Doesn’t Mean Easy Workouts
If you have learned anything from your days in the gym, it’s probably that the workouts that look the most simple are always deceiving. Don’t feel like you have to overcomplicate your workouts at home, do hundreds of reps, or make them last hours to make them effective. (One thing that’s important to remember is that a workout that beats you into the floor isn’t always the most effective one) Simple always works, and the good thing about simple is it doesn't really require top of the line equipment. Not being able to go to the gym doesn't mean you can’t still get a great workout in.
Here are a few simple tools to level up your home workouts:
Tempo: Make (bodyweight/lightweight) movements more challenging by adding tempos and pauses. A lunge with a five second eccentric is much more challenging than without, just as a push up with a pause at the bottom is going to make the movement more difficult.
Plyometrics: Yup, get bouncy. Jumping can provide some pretty great training responses. It’s going to be a stronger muscle contraction than an air squat, and will bump your heart rate up real quick.
High Rep Sets: Use sets to near failure with bodyweight exercises. Rest until fully recovered between sets. *Make sure you don’t only rely on this option for your training and are doing more than just repetitive high rep sets.
Intervals/Timed Rest: You can make workouts quick and effective by using timed work:rest ratios. This can be for single movements (Tabata style) or for an entire workout (think 3min AMRAP w/ 1min Rest for multiple sets). This gives you a chance to make seemingly simple workouts more challenging due to the limited recovery time.
Supersets/Complexes: Stack exercises together that work similar muscle groups. Choose a main movement and a few exercises to follow it with. (Ex. Push Up: followed by Chair Dips, followed by Shoulder Taps, followed by Floor Facing IYT’s.) Little to no rest between movements and resting until recovered before beginning a new set. This can make simple movements more challenging due to higher fatigue from less rest and more active time from working muscle groups.
I hope this gives you the tools for you to be successful with your home fitness. There are still opportunities for you to train and improve from your home. It may require some outside of the box thinking, but it’s 100% doable. Figure out what items around your house you might be able to use, and get creative with how you structure your workouts. Most of all in this time, find a way to enjoy your fitness. Have fun with changing things up, working on new things, and finding new ways to get better.
If you need assistance navigating your home fitness I’m here to help. Shoot a message to me here, or on IG. I’m happy to help and answer any questions you have to make this time and transition as simple and easy to figure out as possible. If you’re in need of even more guidance, I’m offering special programs to accommodate these unique circumstances. I am providing fully individualized programs and coaching for you based on your equipment availability (even if that is little to none) for a completely personalized home training program. Get started here, or learn more and send a message here.