Posted: 9 November 2017
Want to get fit but you’re short on time? Have trouble sticking to your workouts? No problem!
Believe it or not, you don’t need a gym to exercise. From plyometrics to cardio bodyweight exercises, there are plenty of ways to work out at home.
Bodyweight training can be just as effective as gym exercises. The key is to be consistent and use proper form. A few weeks from now on, you’ll be leaner, stronger, and fitter.
A monthly gym membership costs about $58 on average. Most gyms also charge a registration fee, which can be as high as $100. Surprisingly, 67 percent of those who buy a membership will never use it.
Don’t waste your hard-earned money! A home exercise program can save you a fortune. On top of that, you can work out anytime.
The Surprising Benefits of Working Out at Home
When you’re juggling multiple jobs, it’s hard to keep up with your workouts. Personal problems, heavy workloads, and family emergencies are common in today’s hectic world.
At the end of the day, hitting the gym is the last thing on your list. Stress and tiredness can ruin your best intentions to get fit.
Don’t freak out! Just because you’re busy, it doesn’t mean you have to quit exercise altogether. A well-planned home exercise program can shape your body from head to toe.
Working out at home will save you time and money.
First of all, you won’t have to drive to the gym and back. Secondly, you’ll have the freedom to exercise when you want to.
For instance, most gyms are closed on holidays. Some are only open until 8 or 9 PM. Others operate 24/7, but the membership costs are sky-high.
With a home exercise program, it’s no need to worry about these things. You can work out at 5 AM, 10 PM, or on weekends. On top of that, you won’t have to wait in line to use the treadmill or other gym machines.
No one will stare at you or make rude comments about your weight. Better yet, you can wear whatever you want. Just think about how much money you’ll save on fitness apparel!
Moreover, you can try new exercises that you’d never feel comfortable doing in front of others. The squat, for example, is quite a challenge for most women. It’s hard to relax and do your thing when everyone is watching.
Get the Most Out of Your Workouts
Working out at home eliminates distractions, allowing you to focus better. It’s no need to chat with other members or worry about criticism.
Additionally, home exercise plans take the guesswork out of the equation. You’ll know exactly what moves to do and how many reps to complete. Many times, gym goers end up wasting hours figuring out what to do.
If you’re concerned about germs, home workouts are the way to go.
The average stationary bike or treadmill is home to over one million bacteria per square inch. Free weights boast 302 times more germs than a toilet seat. This should be reason enough to ditch the gym.
Once your workout is done, you can refuel right away. Simply head over to the kitchen to sip on protein shakes or eat a healthy meal. Bulky casseroles, shakers, and food containers will be just a bad memory.
Think of your home gym as your own sanctuary. It’s cozy, clean, and comfortable. You can work out while watching TV, play your own music, and do whatever crosses your mind.
How to Create Your Own Home Exercise Program
So, are you ready to create your own home exercise program? There are a couple of things to consider before getting started.
Choose a Training Plan
First, consider your fitness level. If you’re a newbie, you might lack the experience needed to structure your workout properly. In this case, opt for ready-made routines or hire a trainer to create your exercise plan.
Nowadays, there are hundreds of workout plans available online. Choosing one depends on your goals.
A good choice is PiYo, which appeals to those who want to tone up and lose fat. You can read a review of PiYo here. Other options include:
- LiveFit by Jamie Eason
- Living Large by Jay Cutler
- Kris Gethin 12-Week Trainer
- Labrada Lean Body
- Jim Stoppani’s Shortcut to Shred
- Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Blueprint
- StrongLifts 5×5
These training plans have stood the test of time and have a proven track record of success. Some require free weights, so you’ll need to create your own home gym.
Set Up Your Own Home Gym
Next, determine your budget. How much are you willing to spend on exercise gear?
If you’re short on money, stick to bodyweight exercises. Push-ups, pull-ups, burpees, and jumping jacks are just a few examples.
Consider investing in home workout equipment. This way, your training sessions will be more challenging. Depending on your budget, opt for:
- Adjustable dumbbells
- Barbell and weight plates
- Ab roller
- Resistance bands
- Exercise ball
- Home gym machine
- Rowing machine
- Elliptical bike
- Incline bench
- Pull-up bar
- Foam roller
A set of adjustable dumbbells, for instance, costs about $50. To make savings, go online and search for used gym equipment. If you’re lucky, you could get those dumbbells for less than $20.
Think about what your goals. Let’s say you want to lose weight. If you can’t afford a treadmill, go running or do HIIT at home.
Cardio bodyweight exercises, such as the plank jack and mountain climbers, burn massive calories. They also build muscle and strength while increasing your metabolism.
If you’re just getting started, resistance bands will do the trick. These accessories are lightweight and only cost a few dollars. When used right, they challenge your muscles into growth and make you stronger.
Use them at home, at work, or on the go. Store them in a drawer or carry them in your purse. With their portable design, resistance bands are perfect for any home exercise program.
Establish Your Goals
The next step is to set your goals. Do you want to get leaner, build muscle, or stay in shape?
Customize your home exercise program based on your goals. For example, if you’re overweight, mass building workouts may not be the best choice. These training plans exclude cardio and other fat-burning exercises.
To shed fat, choose a workout consisting of heavy lifting and HIIT (high-intensity interval training). This way, you’ll build lean muscle and ignite your fat burning engine. For faster results, end your session with 15-20 minutes of steady state cardio.
Regardless of your goals, compound exercises should account for at least 80 percent of your training session. These include heavy lifts like the squat and push-ups.
Compound movements hit nearly every muscle group. They also boost your testosterone and growth hormone levels, which helps improve body composition. Your metabolism will go through the roof!
To build mass, cut back on cardio and lift heavier weights. Complete fewer reps per set and increase the load from one week to another.
This concept is known as progressive overload. The whole point is to keep your muscles guessing by changing workout variables, such as:
- Training intensity and duration
- Training frequency
- The number of reps and sets
- The amount of weight
- Rest time
- Types of exercises
- Lifting techniques
Keep your workouts short and intense. Add variety to your program by incorporating new exercises. Try different lifting techniques, such as rest pause, drop sets, and forced reps.
Let’s say you’re doing dumbbell curls. Complete eight to 12 reps with the heaviest weight. Drop the load by 10 percent and do another eight or nine reps. Decrease the weight by 10 percent and squeeze in a few more reps.
This is an example of drop sets. It’s one of the fastest ways to build muscle and physical endurance. All you need is an adjustable dumbbell.
Build Strength and Endurance
Bodyweight exercises are perfect for those looking to gain mass and strength. On top of that, they require no equipment. Due to their high intensity, they raise your heart rate and increase fat oxidation.
Experiment with different bodyweight moves, such as planks, jumping jacks, and high knees. Bodyweight squats and donkey kicks will shape your glutes. Push-ups build upper body strength and get you rid of flabby arms.
Burpees and mountain climbers torch fat while increasing muscular endurance. Pull-ups strengthen your back, shoulders, and core muscles.
The best thing about bodyweight exercises is that you can use them for both cardio and strength training. This makes them suitable for any home exercise program.
As you progress, try new variations of your favorite exercises.
For example, there are dozens of ways to do push-ups. You can experiment with diamond push-ups, spiderman push-ups, or elevated push-ups. The same goes for squats.
A home exercise program offers endless possibilities. All it takes is discipline and creativity.
Now that you know the benefits of working out at home, give it a try! Your body will change from one month to the next. Use a fitness tracker to measure your progress.
For best results, exercise at least four times per week. Stay active on your off training days. Cook healthy meals and watch your diet.
Have you ever tried a home exercise program? What was it like? Share your experience below!