For those of us who are used to the convenience of a commercial gym, home workouts can seem (for a variety of reasons) a foreign and challenging experience.
If you have relied on the unique environment and huge variety of equipment to keep you motivated at your gym, working out in the living room can seem like a bit of a drag.
Further, many of you may be unsure how to approach fitness when there are (seemingly) so few options available. Workout equipment is more expensive than ever, forcing many of us to work out with little or no equipment at all. How do you maintain progress and stay motivated?
To help you do just that, here are 8 clever hacks for home workouts.
1. Have a Plan
Decision-making is exhausting. That is why you should make the majority of your decisions regarding your workout beforehand. Having a clear plan in place can help tremendously when it comes to maintaining effort and motivation. For example, on Sunday night, plan out a full week’s worth of workouts. This way you know exactly what you need to do before the week begins.
2. Simple Works
Here is some good news: You do not have to have access to a ton of equipment to have an incredible workout. Basic movements like push-ups (press-ups), pull-ups (heaves), and squats are all you need to stay in great shape and make consistent progress. Your body responds well to simple movements performed efficiently at an appropriate intensity.
3. Progressive Overload
Progressive overload is a principle in fitness that relates to the amount of total work that you do over time. Essentially, you should do a little bit more as you progress through your sessions so that your body is consistently challenged and is able to progress.
For instance, your aim might be to do 50 pull-ups and 100 push-ups in less than 30 minutes. You might be new to exercise, so you would not attempt this in week one. So, for example, the first week of your workout programme you might do, in sets, 15 pull-ups and 30 push-ups. The next week you might do, in sets, 20 pull-ups and 40 push-ups. You may plan to progress to your goal within 6, 8 or 10 weeks (etc.), depending on what your starting level is.
Even though you might not have access to equipment, there are a plethora of exercises and physical/functional movements that can be done with zero equipment.
The key to success is to include variety in your programme. There are about 20 or more different push-up variations to try, for example. Exercises like squats and burpees can be performed in numerous ways. Including banded exercises or even a single dumbbell opens up a ton of further possibilities.
5. Have a Dedicated Space
Set aside a particular place in your home as your workout space. This will help you stay in the zone during your workouts and keep you motivated.
It is a similar principle to your bedroom; when you walk into your room at night, your body understands that it is time for bed. Make sure that you keep this space supplied with things like a quality water filter, a yoga/exercise mat, or any other fitness equipment.
6. Break It Up
Rather than do your entire workout in one go, try breaking it up into little chunks throughout the day. This can help you stay motivated and allow you to progress easier, especially in more difficult movements.
For instance, try doing 100 total pull-ups throughout the day. If your handstand push-ups are weak, do 5-10 at a time, broken up into many sets. Try to accumulate 50 throughout the day.
You can also do a morning and an evening workout; this yields great results for most people, granted you recover well.
7. Use Harder Movements
Push-ups can only sustain you for so long. Eventually, movements like one-arm push-ups, handstand push-ups and muscle-ups should be utilised to keep making progress.
Do not be afraid of cardiovascular workouts, either; it is essential to help you stay lean and athletic, among other things.
8. Go on Long Walks
Going on a long walk before bed can be extremely relaxing. It is one of the best ways to prepare your body for sleep. A long walk first thing in the morning is also a powerful fat-burning stimulus. When you walk on an empty stomach, your body uses fat storage as fuel. It is a great warm-up for your main workout of the day as well.
If you are struggling to make progress in your home workout journey, put these 8 tips to the test and see how easy and sustainable home workouts can be.