We’ve been cooped up for quite some time now at home. Some of us have gotten creative, while others might be lost in the woods. I totally get it. It’s hard when you had a ton of options at the gym and a solid, consistent workout plan that you were following. But don’t feel discouraged. Even though you are at home, you can still make great progress with minimal equipment.
It’s easy to decide working out at home is a waste of time, but it’s not. What will be a waste of time is choosing to do nothing, only to finally get back to the gym months and months behind in progress.
Start giving yourself a schedule you can adhere to everyday! First thing upon waking, do a 10-20 minute stretch and mobility routine to get the blood flow going and get you out of bed and not right back on the couch. Having a routine keeps us in check. Attaching it to an existing behavior (like waking up), makes creating the new habit easier.
Sample Warm Up Routine
If you need help designing a workout first thing upon waking, I have a sample below.
Spend 1-3 minutes on each movement. The idea is to keep the intensity low to moderate, and just get the muscles moving in a dynamic fashion.
If you aren’t familiar with the movements, be sure to check out all our free resources on the Mind Pump Youtube Page. You should be able to find most, if not all of these demonstrated.
Upper Body Dynamic
Superman into Retraction
Lizard with Rotation
Threading the Needle
Lower Body Dynamic
Single Leg Bridge
The biggest focus here is to take advantage of the fact that you have minimal equipment. I'm the type of person that always tries to find something useful out of a bad situation. What I mean by that is, since you most likely have the distraction of just pushing heavy weights out of the way, focus instead on super immaculate form, and building a strong mind muscle connection. Then, when you get back to the gym you should actually find your performance INCREASES because you finally put the foundational work into quality sets and reps. Don’t rush anything. You are at home anyways, who are you going to show off to?
If I don’t do the early morning warm up routine upon waking, I like to use it as my prime session to get ready for my workout.
Do each exercise for 10-30 repetitions. Here are progressions if the exercise is too easy:
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
To add/substitute For HIIT circuits (more on this later):
If you want additional, in full depth help, then I would recommend checking out our MAPS Anywhere Program for more progressions and complete guidelines towards a full and effective at home program.
Warm Up - Can be done everyday
The Workout - 2-3 days a week. Pay attention to your recovery. If you are still sore, wait another day. You want to be fully recovered. Increase to 4-5 if your recovery and performance is steadily increasing.
Usually, when working with heavy resistance, I don’t recommend as much frequency because the signal is so loud the body needs time to recover. The lighter weight, higher rep allows you to recover quicker since you are using more slow twitch vs fast.
Intensity, Reps, Rest, & Progression
- Go 1-2 reps shy of failure. Again, because we are working with higher weight, feel free to go closer to actual failure here since it’s not as much load on your joints and nervous system. If you do find you’re able to keep the reps <15 then stay 1-2 shy.
- Take shorter rest periods so you can exhaust the muscle quicker. Remember the rules of training still apply - the harder reps stimulate more muscle than the easier ones. 60-90 seconds.
- Sets should be determined by your recovery. If you are doing full body 3x a week, start with 3-4 sets per muscle group and assess. Not sore? Can you do more reps on the same exercise as the previous workout? Then add a set. Because of the lighter intensity, you might find you can handle way more sets than in the gym.
- Reps are going to be our main focus for I’m assuming you can’t add more weight, so find whatever rep it takes for you to get to failure (let's say 25 reps), and each week try and add 1-2 reps.
- Phasing Mesocycles (aka workout programming) can also come in the form of tempo.
Weeks 1-4 - focus on increasing reps/sets week to week
Weeks 5-8 - focus on increasing the eccentric (lowering phase) of the movement to 3 seconds
Weeks 9-12 - focus on 2-3 second isometric pauses at the peak contraction (or hardest part) of the movement.
Take the same concepts as listed above, do each exercise as a circuit with no breaks in between. When you complete all exercises, then give yourself 1-2 minutes to recover, and repeat 3-4 more times. Feel free to use the HIIT circuit exercises listed above to add in, or substitute for similar exercises in the normal routines to get your heartrate going a little more and add variety.