Sometimes training at a fully equipped gym just isn’t an option. Weather the reasons be financial, location, time or interest, lots of us like to be able to develop our bodies from the comforts of our own homes.
I remember when I started weight training, I spent my hard on earned savings on a set of dumbbells, adjustable bench and a boxing bag. I really didn’t mind using a limited amount of equipment, after all, I was still in school, didn’t really have access to a larger gym and it allowed me to do my training whenever I felt like it.
After around a year of developing my technique with very basic exercises, I had become that likened to the idea of training at home that I went on to buy an Olympic bar, 45lb (20kg) weight plates and an entire multi gym for under $800.00.
Here is a video of me getting results training from home.
I continued to employ the services of my own equipment over the next 2-3 years until I progressed into training at the first class facilities in my army barracks. If my employment hadn’t of changed, I’m sure I’d still be using my in home facilities to support the development of my physique.
One thing is without question, if this is an option you have been pondering, you must be prepared to invest in it both financially and physically...
Most gyms these days have no set up fees and just your basic 12-24 month contract. So initially all you’re going to have to fork out is your first 1 to 3 month membership costs. If you were to invest in your own equipment at home, your set up fees will be a little larger, though the benefit is your payments are practically out of the way, except for the odd maintenance here and there.
I personally am a big believer in both home training and training in fully equipped gyms. Both have their advantages and both will supply what’s needed to get your body where you want it.
For the purpose of this post, I am taking the side of home training and will give you an insight into what works best and how you can incorporate some simple exercises done at home into your already established training programs.
First things first, you need to start with the tools. I’m going to keep things really simple here and only include the essential items I use with my in house personal training clients week in week out.
< You will need >
> Adjustable bench - $100.00 - $200.00
> 2 x Dumbbells with removable weight plates - < $200.00
> Exercise ball - $20.00
> Exercise mat (Yoga mat) - $20.00
> Spare room with minimum 3m x 2m (10 x 6.5 ft) empty space & solid flooring
My suggestion for buying equipment is to first ask any friends if they have some lying around the house which their not using anymore? If the quality is good enough, make the most of it.
You can also ask around at a few local gyms to see if they have any older equipment which is need of a little refurbishment, most of the time they will be more than willing to give it away for next to nothing or you referring somebody to their gym.
Other great places to look are auction sites like ebay and local garage sales. You’d be surprised how many people spend thousands on home gym equipment to find they simple lose interest after a couple of months. Throw them a figure a couple hundred bucks under what you’re will to spend and because there in need of a quick sale will almost always take the bait.
Next step now is exercise selection.
Just because you’ve now got the option of training from home it doesn’t mean you can afford to become lazy when it comes to following a training structure. You should have a plan at the beginning of each week entailing exactly what and when you will be training.
The following outlines the most effective exercises for each body part using only the above equipment.
< Shoulders (Deltoids) >
1) Seated dumbbell press
2) Seated dumbbell front raises
< Traps >
1) Forward leaning reverse curls (head on wall)
2) One armed dumbbell shrugs
< Biceps >
1) Alternating dumbbell preacher curls
2) Standing alternating dumbbell curls (palms face forward)
3) Contraction curls
< Triceps >
1) Lying dumbbell extensions (palms in)
2) Tate press
3) Tricep dips on bench
< Forearms >
1) Kneeling over bench dumbbell reverse curls
< Chest >
1) Declined dumbbell bench press
2) Alternating inclined dumbbell bench press (low starting pos)
3) Deep pushups
< Abdominals (Core) >
1) Abdominal bicycles
2) Plank / Rock the bridge
3) Side Planks
< Upper Legs (Quads & Hamstrings) >
1) One legged squats (Bulgarian squats)
2) Dumbbell forward wide lunges
3) Exercise ball wall squats
4) Bodyweight jump squats
< Calves >
1) Donkey calf raises
2) Ball on a wall calf raises
< Back (Lats & Rhomboids) >
1) Bent over palm rotation row
2) Inclined bench 2 armed dumbbell row
< Lower Back (Erector Spinae) >
1) Rear leg raises
2) Alternating one legged superman
< Any Questions? >
If you have any queries as to how to perform any of the above exercises just leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you via email.
< Creating your workout... >
The third process you need to plan is setting up each workout.
What I recommend is to keep this consistent over a series of weeks, then once your body adjusts make some gradual changes to your intensity.
Using the above exercises, select 2 body parts to train each and include the option to train a weaker body part on the weekend. Here is an example of a training split I used to use;
Monday: Chest & Biceps
Tuesday: Back & Triceps
Wednesday: Muscular Recovery
Thursday: Shoulders (inc traps)
Friday: Legs & Abdominals (core)
Saturday: Muscular Recovery
Sunday: Repeat weakest body part (optional)
Select 3 exercises for each body part and perform back to back with 1.5 minute breaks in between, completing 4 sets of each exercise.
So on a back & triceps day you would perform;
1 Set x Back exercise 1
1 Set x Tricep Exercise 1
By the end you would have performed 4 sets of each exercise.
Of course this is a very standard approach to your workouts, I used it for around 2 years so it does work, but I will discuss a lot for about workout creation in later posts and in my book, feel free to experiment with what works best for you and let everybody know.
Best of luck with your home training mate, weather you have decided to use it as your primary location or combine it with your current methods, there is no denying the fact that the convenience of training in a room across the hall from where you sleep at night can be a very valuable tool in anyone’s training arsenal.
Feel free to ask any questions or share your experiences below.
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