How to Train at Home Effectively?
It’s thought that training at home can’t be as effective and as challenging as training at the gym. And to some extent, it’s true. You have more options at the gym, from the amount of added weight you can use, to all the different possibilities to hit a particular muscle or muscle group.
Nevertheless, working out at home can be just as effective and challenging, and it can bring you closer to your fitness goals, too. In the current situation, when we all are stuck at home and gyms all over the world are closed, you have no other choice than to come up with a home workout routine suited for your goals and needs.
In this blog article, I’ll show you a few techniques to make your home workouts the best you’ve ever had.
Add more intensity into your workouts via a resistance band, adjustable dumbbells or barbell, if you have those. If you don’t have any workout equipment at home, you still can use household items as an added weight.
For example, you can load a backpack or a suitcase with heavy books. You can use single water bottles or packs of them. And you can even use your furniture for this. Everything is up to your creativity, but there are so many options here!
Regardless of how creative your exercises though, please think ahead if your set up can be dangerous in case something goes wrong. Workouts are supposed to make you healthy and fit, not injured!
Train to Failure or Few Reps Shy of Failure
Going to failure means that your muscle is fully fatigued, and it can’t perform another repetition of a movement with strict form.
This one often goes hand in hand with the resistance. In other words, your muscles need to work hard enough so that metabolic adaptations can start. The result of these adaptations, for example, is you getting stronger and growing your muscle tissue.
Now, you can’t perform an exercise until muscular failure if the exercise is too easy for you. You can do so many bicep curls with a piece of paper you want, but you still won’t achieve muscular failure. Of course, unless you do hundreds of bicep curls, without a break, but then your elbows will probably start to hurt first.
That being said, you don’t need to go to failure on every set of every exercise. Choose one or two exercises you want to focus on and get stronger with.
Add plyometric or ballistic exercises
First, let’s define what is plyometric movement and what is a ballistic movement because many confuse these terms a lot.
While both types of movement are great for training your speed and power, and both of them can include any kinds of jumps, in plyometric exercises you have ground contact under 0.3 seconds. A great example of these could be repeated tuck jumps. In ballistic exercises, however, your movements are very explosive, where you can and need to have more extended contact with the ground to accelerate more power. Great examples of ballistic movements are box jumps and Olympic lifts.
If you want to add these exercises into your workout, always put them in the beginning.
Use Advanced Techniques
Unless you have a home gym, sometimes it’s hard to put enough stress on your muscles with the regular “3 sets of 8-10 reps” scheme. There are different advanced techniques you can use in your home workouts, which will make your workouts more challenging.
Here are a few examples:
1 – Increase the number of sets.
2 – Increase the number of reps.
3 – Add dropsets.
Dropsets are where you perform all repetitions of one set with some resistance, then lighten resistance (e.g., drop some weight, or use an easier version of a bodyweight exercise). And then immediately perform the same amount of repetitions or until muscular failure occurs.
4 – Slower the tempo of the repetitions.
For example, let’s take the squat movement. Instead of the regular 2 seconds of eccentric phase*, without a pause at the bottom position, and 2 seconds of concentric phase*, try to do 4-5 seconds of the eccentric phase, pause at the bottom for 2 seconds. You might stand up slower, too.
*The eccentric phase in the squat is when you are lowering into the squat position. The concentric phase in the squat is when you are standing up straight from the squat position.
These numbers are just an example, and you can alter them as you want. Have you ever tried doing a squat with 30 seconds in the eccentric phase?! It’s not easy!
5 – Add supersets or circuits.
Supersets are where you perform one set of all exercises within the superset, without taking any rest between the exercises. After the first set or superset, you rest and then complete the second exercise. Supersets are usually made of two exercises, while circuits are like giant supersets, and can consist of 5 or 10 exercises!
There are many other techniques, which can be used to make your training at home more effective, but using the above measures would be a great start.
Tired of looking for workouts you can do at home?
Do you want to train at home more effectively and would like to have a training program tailored to your needs, goals, and wishes?
Then check out my all-inclusive coaching, with a training program, and nutrition coaching included.