If you're used to getting your workout in at the gym, it can be hard to adjust to home workouts. The great thing about the gym is the equipment and the fact that once you're in there, there is no going back! So although it's harder to get the same motivation you feel stepping into the gym, home workouts can be just as good.
Most gyms are still closed, but there are some that have already opened their doors with safety practices in place. Some people still might not feel comfortable going to the gym just yet, but the beauty of working out is that it can be done anywhere - No gym required! It could be tough to adjust to a new workout environment, but in order to succeed we must adjust! So if you're struggling to find your home workout rhythm, don't stress, I'll give you a few tips on how to start strength training at home successfully!
Strength Training at Gym vs Home
Weightlifting at the gym is ideal because of all the equipment provided like barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells, exercise machines, etc. All these are ideal for strength exercises, but luckily they aren't really needed to get a good pump!
At home you might not have any equipment. Or maybe you have a few resistance bands and an old pair of dumbbells that are lighter than you're used to. But that's okay, work with what you have! Even if you're not training at the same intensity as usual, it's important to stay active, especially while being stuck at home all day. Staying active will help remind your muscles and nervous system of what physical activity feels like and it will help you maintain and build your strength.
Plus, you don't need to train at the gym to reap the benefits of strength training. Just as a reminder, strength training...
- Helps build lean body mass
- Helps with weight loss/fat loss
- Helps boosts metabolism
- Improves posture and stability
- Raises energy and overall mood
Can I still get results with home workouts?
Yes, yes, yes! The key to success is proper nutrition, consistently exercising, and getting enough rest! Because even though your workouts at home might not be as intense as gym workouts - They still put stress on your muscles and joints.
As long as you're staying active - no matter the intensity - you'll maintain and possibly even build strength. Even with no equipment, you can still walk or run outdoors, hike (most trails are open), and do bodyweight exercises. You just need to start and after a few days you'll start building a habit of working out at home!
How to start and stay motivated
Everyone's discipline and motivation levels vary from person to person. Some may not have the same motivation to workout as home as they do at the gym, but there are tricks that can help!
The first thing to do to start is write your goals down. Writing down your fitness goals will help you realign yourself with your goals and help give you that motivation you need. It kinda makes you feel like you have to commit to it because it's written down 😅
Once you've written down your goals, it's time to start planning your new home workout routine! Lucky for you, it's still possible to have a good strength training routine at home, here's how...
Do bodyweight workouts
Having equipment is ideal, but bodyweight exercises are just as effective at burning fat and building muscles. Plus, it's less taxing on the joints and it even helps improve flexibility and form. Without the added weight, your joints are not as stressed, your able to focus more on your form, and your body is able to move through the full range of motion of the exercises - Which is important for building muscle.
Another reason why they're so great is because of the variety of exercises. This makes it easy to create a workout routine based on what you want to train. If you want more of a cardiovascular exercise then you can create a HIIT workout out of cardio bodyweight exercises.
Here are a few examples:
- Mountain climbers
- Jumping squats
- Jumping jacks
- Jumping lunges
On days that you want more of a strength workout, try creating an at home circuit. Write down a few exercises you want to do that target specific muscle groups. Pick 4-8 exercises that target the upper and lower body and repeat that circuit however many times you want!
Here are a few examples:
- Pull ups (if you have a secure place to do them)
- Bodyweight squats
- Tricep dips
- Superman holds w/ squeeze
There are so many more exercises you can do! The best thing about them is that there are so many variations you can try of every exercise that will help you target and activate other muscles. AND the exercises can be adjusted to be more beginner friendly or more challenging for those who are advanced.
Invest in equipment
There is a small silver lining to having to workout at home... You can start investing in equipment to start building your own home gym! Don't worry, you don't have to spend tons of money on equipment all at once. If you don't have any equipment at all, just start by slowly buying only the essential items. Although bodyweight exercises can do wonders, a little bit of equipment can help take those exercises to the next level. Plus, splurging on some equipment is definitely going to motivate you to commit to your new home workout routine.
Here are a few examples of essential training equipment (that won't break the bank):
Stability ball: They are inexpensive and excellent for strengthening your glutes, quads, core, and arms. The stability ball makes you work harder because multiple muscles are working to keep you steady while performing the exercise - So you're working a little bit harder than normal.
Set of resistance bands: If there's one thing you should invest in it's this! Resistance bands are an excellent strength training tool because they provide a constant tension when performing any exercise. They come in various resistance levels, they're portable and versatile, and they really work and activate your muscles! They come in various shapes and sizes - There are long and mini-bands, latex and fabric, some even come with handles which are better for upper body workouts. Long resistance bands (with or without handles) can be used for stretching or upper body workouts that target the biceps, back, chest, shoulders, triceps. Short or mini resistance bands can be used for lower body workouts and activating the glutes.
Jump rope: Any good fitness routine includes some type of cardiovascular exercise. Yes, even those weight training do some form of cardio! Having a jump rope is terrific not only for cardio, but for strength and stability. There are even weighted jump ropes for those that want to make it a little more difficult.
Pair of dumbbells: Free weights are slightly more expensive than the above mentioned equipment, but all you need is two dumbbells or maybe even one kettlebell. Make sure to pick a weight that fits your fitness level, or even slightly more challenging. It's good to have weights to challenge your muscles as you make more progress at home. If you have a smaller budget, opt for a resistance band set. But if you have a little extra to spend, invest in some dumbbells. You can buy more weights as you make progress, so you don't have to spend an insane amount of money all at once.
These are just suggestions, if fitness equipment doesn't fit in your budge then don't buy any. Just start saving up and buy equipment as you make progress. Although gyms are closed temporarily, home workouts are still a viable option for days that you're too busy.
Have a set training routine and schedule
If you want to succeed with being consistent with your home workouts then plan and write down your workouts for the week! Every Sunday or Monday, depending on when you take your rest day, take a few minutes or an hour to plan your workout for the week. For example, if Monday is usually your lower body day write down every exercise and the amount of sets and reps to do. Even plan your rest days and active rest days! By doing this, you have no excuse to not workout because it's planned to fit your schedule and on the day of your workout all you have to do is do the workout - No last minute stress planning!
Planning workouts is not everyone's favorite thing to do though. It could be time consuming for some. Or maybe you don't even know how to plan your workouts for your goals. A great alternative to this is having a personal trainer or better yet, a fitness app! Fitness apps are a great alternative to trainers because they are inexpensive and have workouts for you ready to complete.
I can't speak for other apps, but my Fit With Iulia app is designed to make your life a little easier. Just to briefly explain, I plan goal-focused workouts every week! Yes, I plan your workouts every week based on your fitness goals. I even have gym and home programs available so you can change things up! You can even track your progress directly on the app by entering the amount of reps and weight used. That way you can look back on your Activity and see what you worked on, what date and the weight and reps completed. Again this is just a suggestion, it’s not needed, but can be beneficial for those who need a little extra push or have no idea where to start.
Have an accountability buddy
Your gym buddies can still be your home gym buddies! Just stay accountable with each other through the phone. Like you can plan your workouts together, or message/call to remind each other to workout. Take it a step further and plan to workout together once or twice a week on Zoom! Then once it's safer and you feel comfortable, you can meet and workout in person at home or outdoors.
Working out alone at home can get boring, including your friends or family into your workout routine is a good way to keep things fun and it will keep you accountable and motivated.
Strength training at home just 30-45 minutes a day 3x a week will help you stay active, maintain and build lean muscle mass, burn calories, and boost your metabolism. As you can see, it's very possible to keep up with your strength training workouts at home. It just takes a little adjustments and a few small changes to help you stay motivated!
So remember, write down your goals, plan and schedule your workouts that fit your lifestyle, and stay accountable with your workout buddies!
P.S. If you need new workout ideas or need help planning your workouts, try my Fit With Iulia app! The first workout of every goal is available for everyone to try for free! 💪