A lot of us feel more comfortable with at home workouts. Whether it’s the lack of funding, such as myself, or the feeling of self-consciousness, it’s just easier to exercise at the house. In reality, you can be just as successful getting the workout you want without paying a lot of money for personal trainers or impressive equipment. In fact, you could save yourself a great deal of money by working out at home.
Benefits of At Home Workouts
First, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of exercising at home. I’ll try to keep this somewhat brief, but it may be some insightful information that may help you realize the potential. These are some of the benefits I have experienced personally.
Gym and recreation center memberships can be quite expensive over the course of a year. For example, our rec center wants $400 for a family pass for the next 12 months. Unless you can commit to a regular routine, that’s a lot of money to be wasting. Personally, I’d rather spend the money on Xbox Kinect games, something I know I would use.
Any gear you decide to buy for at home workouts will always be available. You don’t have to wait, wipe off someone else’s sweat off of equipment or worry about a snow storm preventing you from getting to the gym. For instance, I can turn on the Xbox and play tennis any time I want. If I want to do some resistance cable flies at 1:30 in the morning, I can.
Personal Safety and Comfort
When working out at home, you don’t have to worry about someone gawking at you. It can also be safer than walking back to your car at night. The only part of this I am affected by are those d-bags who stare at me who are in better shape. It’s easy to come across these muscle-bound meat heads who think they are God’s gift to the world because they can bench press more than 400 pounds.
How to Build Successful at Home Workouts
It’s easy to build a successful routine for yourself in the comfort of your own home. You don’t need expensive exercise equipment or treadmills. All you really need is determination and motivation to succeed.
Step 1: Goals
The first thing you need to determine is what you want to accomplish. Do you simply want to lose some weight or do you want to add muscle mass? Personally, I tend to work on both aspects. I need to lose 100 pounds, but I also want to be stronger. Your goals will determine what kinds of exercises and equipment you might need.
Once you have a goal, break it down into smaller objectives. You want to keep it something that is easy to obtain, but still requires work to achieve. For instance, I want to lose 100 pounds. Since the average person can lose approximately three pounds per week, that is my initial goal. Your personal physique will alter how much you can truly lose.
Step 2: Creating Daily Objectives
This can also be related to goals. Sit down and hammer out what your daily objectives will be. If you want to add strength, determine how much weight you can lift without hurting yourself. If you want to slim down the waistline, figure out an exercise routine focused on cardio.
For me, I use 10-pound dumbbells and 25-pound resistance cables. I start out with an easy routine for the first week, such as lifting 2400 pounds in mixed exercises: 20 reps of curls, 20 reps of military presses, 20 reps of flies and 20 reps of floor presses three times each. The next week, I’ll increase the reps by two or three for each set.
My cardio workouts usually center around the Xbox or going for walks. In either case, set a daily objective for yourself to get some kind of physical activity. Anything above your normal routine is beneficial, but you still want to try and push yourself a bit. Try to do at least 20 minutes or more in each activity.
My Original Workout Routine
Keeping the previous points in mind, here is what my daily routines look like:
- Monday: Weight training with dumbbells or resistance cables mixed with core exercises. Also, this is the day I try to break at least three personal records.
- Tuesday: Play at least 30 minutes of tennis on the Xbox Kinect
- Wednesday: More weight training, usually the same workout as on Monday
- Thursday: Walk, ride or play for another 30 minute workout
- Friday: Again with the weights. Sometimes, I’ll mix it up and do different exercises such as tricep extensions
- Saturday: Getting outside to play or perhaps walking around visiting yard sales on foot
- Sunday: Usually I rest, but often times I still get out and play golf or something else outdoorsy
Step 3: Stick to a Dietary Plan
OK, when I say “diet plan,” I don’t necessarily mean joining some fad mainstream product like Atkins. I try to stick to simply watching calories and eating better while using apps like MyFitnessPal. By making a few healthier choices throughout the day and keeping my caloric intake in check, I was able to lose 20 pounds within a couple of months.
Doing at home workouts means nothing if you eat too much. Just because you burned off the calories, doesn’t mean you need to pig out later on. A lot of people increase their food intake beyond what they burned during exercise. This is why many of them will continue to put on weight even if they have a daily workout routine. Keep your food consumption in check.
Step 4: Buy Exercise Equipment That You Know You’ll Use
One of the biggest failings many people have is buying an expensive piece of equipment, using it for three months and then letting it sit to collect dust. If you want to buy equipment to help you lose weight or build muscle mass, make sure it’s something you know you’ll use. Be honest with yourself. As a result, it could save you a great deal of money over time.
I own very few pieces of equipment. Most of this is because I really don’t need anything more than what I have. Why buy a treadmill when I can just go for a walk around the neighborhood? Besides, sunlight is great for helping the body develop vitamin D.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to buy things that can boost your at home workouts. It all depends on how serious you want to get about fitness and what your objectives will be. Remember, you want to buy things that you know you’ll use. Here is a list of what I use on a regular basis:
- 2 10-pound dumbbells – $10 each
- A thin foam exercise mat – $6
- Resistance cables which can be changed for 10, 15 and 25-pound adjustments – $25
- Weighted gloves – $10
- A Taylor SmartScale to post my weight on social media and update MyFitnessPal – $80 at Kohl’s
- Xbox 360 Kinect – $400 However, this serves many purposes in our household. The fitness part is just the icing on the cake.
Step 5: Finding Fitness Apps
Technology can be a wondrous thing when it comes to health and fitness. There are plenty to choose from, and most of them are very effective at helping you stay motivated. This is especially true if you use something that has a social element involved. There’s nothing like a bit of friendly competition to get you moving.
You can see the apps I use in My Tools above. I’m sure there might be others out there that are more popular, but these are the ones I am comfortable with. The best part is that you don’t need a smartphone or tablet in order to use them. All of the apps I use have a web-based portal through the Internet browser.
Step 6: Learn Different Exercise Routines
Another problem a lot of people have is how often they’ll get bored with the same routines. This is why I use Exercise.com quite often. It lists more than 2,000 different exercises and updates regularly. You can find all kinds of ways to work on different muscle groups.
Committing to a variety of different at home workouts not only helps strengthen those muscle groups, but it can also help boost flexibility. This is especially true if you add in a bit of yoga or other stretching platform. For example, I’ll do: 20 reps of curls, 20 reps of military press and then move into one minute of a standing toe touch. This has greatly helped me on the golf course as well as other things around the house.
Step 7: Breaking Some Personal Records
For me, breaking personal records is one of the things that motivates me to continue. Not to sound promotional, but this is another reason why I use Exercise.com. By tracking my progress, I can see all of my personal records directly from its website.
Personal records gives you something to focus on rather than your weight. You can take comfort that knowing each time you surpass your abilities, you contributing to losing weight and/or building muscle mass. It also gives you a visual record of your progress, which can help boost your confidence level for success.
Understand Your Limitations
You don’t have to try and max yourself out in one week. Start slow and discover your limitations. For instance, I know that I can easily make it through three sets of 20-pound dumbbell curls at 20 reps each. However, trying to do 30 makes my arms feel like rubber the next day. By increasing the reps every week or two, I’ll eventually make it to 30 without breaking a sweat. My ultimate goal is 50, at which point I might buy 15-pound dumbbells and start again.
Knowing your limits will also help prevent hurting yourself. Fitness is a work in progress, not an instant fix. It may take time to reach your ultimate objectives. When you do, you’ll have an overwhelming sense of pride in your accomplishments.
It takes a degree of commitment if you want to get the most out of at home workouts. If you can keep determined and motivated to continue, you could be unstoppable before too long. Just remember that your success will be determined by your own efforts.