Getting a gym membership can be intimidating, and a financial drain on some. It also isn’t something everyone can make time for with all other factors of life going on. I’ve always believed in following a decent program consistently rather than the perfect program hardly followed. Working out is a habit. The only way to create new habits is to remove the barriers of entry that give you justifiable excuses to not implement these new habits. Especially if they are uncomfortable and new such as working out.
One way to combat that is to choose a mode of working out that you can do at home. It saves the driving time of getting to and from the gym if it is out of the way. You can also do it in the comfort of your own home (so you don’t have to feel intimidated), or right when you wake up.
The other downside to most at home programs is that they are designed poorly. They don’t allow progression or variety, giving the individual a way to see better results over time. It’s easy to go to the gym and pick different machines that tell you what muscle they target and keep adding weight. It’s definitely harder with body weight exercises, but with proper planning can be programmed effectively. You can use a variety of tools such as bands and suspension trainers, which allow you a bigger pool of exercises and angles to choose from. One thing to be wary of though, is not progressing by just turning it into cardio or plyometric exercises. A lot of individuals will make an exercise “harder” by turning it into a jump or explosive movement. Most of the population not only doesn’t need that skill set, but it can increase the risk of injury.
Benefits of At Home Training
People love to pick on the ways in which at home or body weight training is inferior to working out in the gym. But they’re missing the forest through the trees. It doesn’t have to be an end all be all. Bodyweight training is great to add to your current weightlifting routine. I’d recommend using it during your deload week (could even go 2-4 weeks) and give yourself that time to focus on proprioception and body awareness. Sometimes we get so stuck on picking weights up and down, we forget that life happens (tripping, falling, sudden surprises) that come into our lives and we need the body awareness to support our body and balance when these incidents occur.
It can also be added for when you travel and want to stay on top of your goals, or even just a new stimulus your body isn’t used to. For you bodybuilders who are worried about losing muscle - don’t worry. Doing a short 2-4 week focus on bodyweight training will not waste away any muscle. In fact I challenge you to give it a try and see if you actually lose strength. You’d be surprised that you end up liking it.
Below I will list a sample routine that you can try out. It hits all muscle groups and has progressions for when it gets too easy.
Prone Cobra -> handcuffs with rotation
Floor Bridges -> Plank Shoulder touch
Bodyweight squats -> Single Leg Squats
Push-ups -> One arm Push-up or decline pushups
Band Rows -> Inverted bodyweight rows on suspension trainer -> Pull-ups
Banded deadlift -> Single Leg Romanian Deadlift
Band Chops -> Chop Rotations on suspension trainer
At the end of the day, don’t let a badly designed program or the barriers of everyday life stop you from your goals. As with most things in life, with proper planning and progression, along with a consistency towards getting better, you will see progress.
If you have already given this workout a try, then I would recommend checking out our MAPS Anywhere Program for more progressions and complete guidelines towards a full and effective at home program.