One curious fellow asked me this question a little while ago:
“What is the best work out to be done at home?”
Man, I hate that term “work out”!
First of all home exercises are great ESPECIALLY if you have a good set of weights at home; but body-weight can also be great but they cannot serve as your bread and butter IF you don’t have a complete set of basic equipment at home and IF your goal is muscular hypertrophy or simply put “huge muscles”.
Chair push-ups by Franco:
Yes it is possible to design a particular regimen with high intensity of effort to challenge the body even when you are within the comfort of your own home which will be sufficient if your only goal is overall fitness, weight loss (off course it should be coupled with NOT eating JUNK and later on I will share with you a link to a very interesting study), or simply general well-being so you won’t feel like crap all the time. Home-based bodyweight workouts are also great for gym-rats (whose original goal is to build muscle) looking for supplementary muscular stimulation during their idle time or when they cannot go to the gym for some reason. For that reason what we will discuss later will fit in 20 minutes so as to avoid most people’s excuse of “not having enough time”.
Take note that we wrote several home-based exercise regimens before, check them out!
One of my favorites would be doing some bodyweight high intensity intermittent exercise for the whole body; for example:
-30 seconds pushups (try to do as many as you can WITHOUT stopping),
Then without resting
-30 seconds bodyweight squats (try to do as many as you can WITHOUT stopping),
Then without resting
-30 seconds bodyweight pull-ups – only if you have some durable spot you can cling one and pull yourself up or you’d risk falling on your ass (try to do as many as you can WITHOUT stopping)
Note: Pull ups are one of the best high intensity high CNS workouts in any trainee’s arsenal that is why I placed it as one of the 3 moves to prioritize in this regimen. However if you don’t have any monkey bars or anything durable to hang on to at home to do proper pull ups, then feel free to replace that with another move such as dips or tricep dips, burpees, etc.Follow @AboutLifting
Now that’s one set, try to do as many sets as you can in 20 minutes. That’s some classic home-based high intensity program designed to imitate the body’s response to a man-eating beast trying to chase you for dinner!
You can adjust the duration and you can even add some extra moves as you see fit or you can adjust the difficulty based on your level. For beginners it’s okay if you end up stopping even before 30 seconds is up; in due time your body will adapt and you will notice that you can eventually do continuous reps for 30 seconds – don’t worry the man eating beast will give you a breather (lol).
How to progress:
1) As time goes by you will definitely be doing more and more work within 20 minutes. You will be able to do more and more in 30 seconds, you will rest less and less between sets, and thus the density of the whole regimen will increase.Follow @AboutLifting
2) As mentioned above if you cannot do continuous reps for 30 seconds at first; just do this consistently. You will eventually be able to not only do reps for 30 seconds nonstop, but end up actually doing quicker reps and thus doing more within 30 seconds than you ever did before week after week.
3) You can also do more challenging versions of each exercise like for instance; clap pushups instead of pushups when you start to notice that simple pushups are no challenge anymore. But I doubt that you will be able to reach that level anytime soon.
4) A good idea would be to add jump rope drills in between sets for and do as many jumps as you can within a minute (personally I suck at jumping ropes so I really don’t do that).
5) Add resistance. You can ask someone or your kid to straddle at your back while you do some pushups or carry some stack of books or a sandbag as you do squats – but safety first as always.
Some take home notes before we wrap up:
.You can do this for a couple of times a week. 3 Times a week would be sufficient if you can always find a way to make each bout more and more difficult but just right to catch up with your progression.
.You will notice that most of these moves score the highest in the CNS involvement department – we had an article on that where we enumerated the highest CNS moves. This means that these are basically the exercises that will give you the most “bang for your buck” and since we designed this to be done within a very short time frame (20 minutes). These moves SHOULD do the best job in stimulating adaptation response from your body since you are not only moving a separate object but you are actually moving your entire body within a plane of motion thus challenging more muscle groups and making your body “think” that it is actually in “danger” (or at least that is how I put it but you get the point!) thus causing the most amount of gains.
.These moves in this certain regimen are NOT meant to be done in slow-negative fashion like how we do most of our free weight moves. These are meant to be done as QUICKLY as possible wherein you will be doing more and more reps within 30 seconds over time. That’s because that will be the only way to stimulate optimal cardio-vascular response. Take note that this is NOT a steady state long-winded cardio!
.You will notice that this will resemble doing high intensity interval sprints (HIIT) which we heavily wrote about – only minus running thus; no need for much space. We designed this so you can stimulate the same response as with HIIT no matter how little the area and off course “within the comfort of your own home.
.As mentioned before these are merely “Supplementary” work IF you are one of those who train for muscle and strength, in no way will your results working out without weights be equal to that of training with free weights.
.Notice how I used the term “Working out” when referring to doing home based bodyweight exercises while I utilize the word “Training” when referring to weight lifting?
.FAT LOSS: This type of workout is most commonly known in the scientific community as High Intensity intermittent Exercise (HIIE) and is scientifically proven to cause weight loss. And while the effect of regular aerobic exercise on body fat is “negligible” (in the author’s terms); HIIE result in modest reductions in subcutaneous and abdominal body fat to say the least and furthermore causes an increase in insulin sensitivity (which means that it helps in keeping Diabetes type 2 at bay).
There you go! I hope this helps you people during tough times when you cannot go to the gym. Otherwise this will still be perfect for those of you who never go to the weight room in the first place. Please leave some comments if you would like to add anything. Eat your eggs, people!