Love it or hate it, over the last two years we have all experienced at-home training in some shape or form. The reality is, when covid struck we had to adapt and for many of us that meant switching to at-home training. Some people came to love it while others came to realize just how much they miss and love training at the gym. Maybe you missed the gym so much and were completely lost without it that you stopped training altogether.
In Toronto, we kicked off 2022 with another round of gym closures. It's not ideal when we have new goals to accomplish, but not impossible. We need to adapt and continue to move forward! In today’s blog we are going to talk about the struggles people face training from home and provide solutions to keep you moving in the right direction.
Depending on your training age (how many years experience you have) your “struggles” may vary when it comes to equipment and knowledge, but when it comes to motivation and mindset we all struggle.
The Struggles of At-Home Training
1) Lack of Motivation
For many people their home is now also their place of work. It's hard when you live and work in the same space to then find the motivation to exercise in that same environment, especially after a long day or if you live in a small space.
“Training at home is boring” or “I can’t make any progress training at home” - For those with greater training experience and strength this can be a major struggle. Going from benching or squatting 200lbs in the gym to only having body weight exercises at your disposal is going to be tough. For others the lack of variety can make training appear boring and repetitive and they lose interest and motivation to continue.
3) Lack of Equipment and/or Knowledge
You may not know how to train without the machines at the gym or the guidance of the class instructor. Or if you do, maybe you don't have enough load (weights) to create your desired training stimulus.
So what can you do about it?
- Set out your training schedule for the week in advance. Put it on your fridge door and book it directly into your work schedule, treat it like a work meeting. This needs to be part of your schedule to build the routine and habit.
- Try starting your day with a workout, especially if you are someone who ends up working late. You will feel accomplished and ready to crush your day.
- Set up a permanent “gym space” in your home - keep an exercise mat laid out so there is minimal to no set up involved. When it's time to train everything is ready to go - no excuses.
- On the days you really don't feel like training, just do 10 minutes. Chances are if you can convince yourself to start, that 10 minutes will turn to 30 minutes and you will feel great after. No one ever regrets a workout!
- If purchasing equipment is an option, we recommend a set of adjustable dumbbells and a TRX suspension trainer. They take up minimal space and give you many training options and variety for home training.
- Alternatively, there are plenty of household items you can use to add weight. Remember your muscles don't know if it's a dumbbell or a heavy backpack! You can even try piggy back squats with your child or use your partner for hip thrusts. You just need to get creative!
- Maybe you are someone who needs more than a pair of dumbbells and a schedule on the fridge. Maybe that's not enough to get you moving. You know yourself better than anyone so if you know that's not going to be enough, hire a coach, train virtually to get you through this period. Do not stop. Your body and mind will thank you later! Need help? That's what we are here for!! Book a free assessment today
Now that you have some ideas to overcome obstacles around training from home, let's get into the fun stuff! Implementing different training techniques can keep you progressing. Here are a few of our client favorites to increase the intensity of your home workouts. Not only can the techniques below help you add muscle while you train at home, they will also leave you feeling just as good as a training session at the gym!
Make your home workout challenging (*see included workout for example):
- Perform giant sets per muscle group
- Try German volume training (10 sets/ 10 reps)
- Perform 1¼ reps per exercise*
- Complete a 15-30 second isometric hold before performing your set
- Increase tempo - time under tension. Switch from a 4 second eccentric to 10 second eccentric.
- Move from bilateral to unilateral exercises such a pistol squats*
- Begin your workouts with complexes (DB/ KB/ BB)
- Learn a new skill: handstands, calisthenics, and skipping are some examples
If you are beginner to intermediate, you can accomplish a lot of training from home. If you are advanced, by this point chances are you have some resemblance of a home gym! There are many ways to manipulate the body to create change and/or maintain your current level of fitness from home. The question is do you have the knowledge and experience to program design accordingly? If not hire a coach or find a fitness professional or fitness brand you trust and take their free advice until you can prioritize hiring a coach.
Still need a reason to train at home?
- Save time - no time spent commuting to the gym, just walk straight to your training space and start!
- Save money - no need to pay monthly gym membership fees
- Gain confidence - the gym can be an intimidating place especially if you are new to training. At home you can learn how to exercise and build your confidence.
- No waiting - training in the gym, especially at peak times involves waiting and/or sharing equipment and weights. At home you can use what you want when you want it!
- It's always open - Maybe you wake up super early or want to get a late night workout in, your home gym is always open
- You can include your kids - No child care? No problem! Include your kids in your workout to make it fun, get extra bonding time, and start their relationship with fitness early
- Your music choice - you get to put on the music that you love and gets you hyped to train
- Doesn't matter what you wear or what you look like - train in your Pjs if you like, no one will see you
- Clean and tidy to your standard
There you have it, solutions to stay on track and keep you progressing when training from home. Everyone is different, understand where you are in your fitness journey and what you need to stay on track and accountable.
If you would like a personal goal setting session, book your free assessment here!
What is one tip you can apply to your current training? Leave us a comment below and share this with a friend who you know needs some advice on goal setting.