When I used to hear about the option of working out at home, I always saw it as this lazy, non effective way to exercise. It wasn’t until I finally gave it a go for myself did I realize all the benefits it had.
Just because you may not have access to a gym, or the right equipment doesn’t mean that you can’t get in shape. It takes far less than we think to get in shape. What it comes down to more than anything is intent and consistency. If you apply both to working out at home then I have no doubt you will get in the best shape of your life.
What is Your Intent?
If you have chosen to work out at home, the same general rules apply as if you were going to a gym. What is your plan? How many days a week are you working out, and what exercises are you doing? How will you progress? These are all questions you need to ask yourself before you start working out. We need a plan of attack if we hope to see any changes to our bodies.
Find your exercises - figure out which exercises you can actually do at home. No bench? How about push-ups with your feet elevated on a chair, or a suspension trainer hanging from your door? There are always progressions and regressions to every exercise you can think of so that you can get a full body workout.
Find your rep range - We can see growth anywhere from 6-30 reps. The higher we go in reps, the closer to failure we need to train. Don’t think just because you can’t get your usual 6-12 reps that you will result in a worse type of workout. Find a rep range you can get close to failure with as long as it's within that 6-30 range. If you find yourself surpassing that, then change the tempo. Slow down the eccentric component to 3 seconds, or take a 2-3 second pause at the toughest part of the movement.
Make sure you are progressing - Make sure week to week you are challenging yourself to do something better than the week before. It can be one rep more, or one second more. There’s always a way to find progress.
Check out my article on Can You Put on Muscle by Working Out at Home?
Consistency means different things for different people. I always tell my clients whenever adding a new habit you need to first ask yourself; “Can I see myself doing this 6 months from now?” If not, reduce that behavior until you can. If you can’t exercise at home 4 days a week, how about 3? Or 2? It’s always better to start off easy and overshoot, than it is to aim high and miss. The latter will leave you feeling deflated and non committed. The former will leave you feeling motivated.
Being in shape doesn’t mean having to do a super intense workout every day either. If you are looking to just build the habit of finding ways to move every day without having to drive to a gym, consider all your options. You can spend two days a week at home using bands, and bodyweight, and two days going out for a hike. If there are any sports you enjoy, consider letting that fill in for 1-2 days of your weekly fitness routine. This will help with sustainability and allow you to enjoy the process of getting in shape. It doesn’t have to be this black and white concept of only going to a gym and running on a treadmill. During lockdowns, I picked up surfing in the mornings, and now do it 4-5 times a week because I’m obsessed with it! I was such a gym rat I would hop on the cardio machines 2-3 times a week to get my 30 minutes of cardio in, and now I NEVER do cardio at the gym because of my hobby! It’s completely changed my outlook on cardio, and getting more movement in.
It also doesn’t have to be that complicated. Maybe after every meal you just go for a 10 minute walk. When you are watching TV, make it a habit of doing a 10-20 minute mobility routine to address any injuries and weaknesses you may have. The important thing is finding ways to incorporate these fitness behaviors so that they are attached to habits you are already doing.