Best Home Workouts – Some Tips For A Time Efficient Workout At Home
What are the best home workouts? The best home workouts are the ones that best suit your own personal training goals. We are all individuals and everyone works out for their own personal reasons i.e. weight loss and toning, gaining size and strength, general health and fitness, preparing for a competition or an event, rehabilitation after injury etc.……………
Once you have your training goals and know what you want to achieve; the next step is to get an exercise plan to that will provide you with the right exercises and routines that will best target the areas that you want to work on. There are a few different ways to get a good exercise plan:
1: If you are an experienced trainer you will probably have acquired the skills and knowledge to design your own work plans and routines
2: If you are a beginner or even an experienced trainer who is just not sure what to do; a consultation with a good personal trainer would be a good idea. He/she would look at your training goals and design an exercise plan to best help you achieve those goals
3: There are plenty of good exercise plans online, some are free and others require a subscription. The subscription plans are usually very reasonably priced and are far more detailed than the free ones. There are plans that cover every training need and are very detailed; they will walk you through step by step every exercise combination that you need to do each day. If you are interested you can click on this link to view some exercise plans
Make Fitness A Lifestyle Not A Chore
Many people find going to the gym or exercising at home a chore or a burden and therefore do not give it their best effort. When you feel like you have to do workout and not that you want to workout it’s easy to find excuses not to do it. If your heart and mind are not in it you’re not going to succeed and that is the same for everything in your life not just exercising.
It is an unfortunate fact of life today that we all live in a time poor society. We have numerous responsibilities and commitments like work, family, studies, social engagements etc. that sometimes make it’s difficult for us to find time for ourselves. I’m sure everyone can relate to this scenario.
From my personal experience; I have made health and fitness a lifestyle and therefore it is a part of my life that I look forward to and enjoy. If your workout time is not a chore or inconvenience you will be far more likely to be mentally prepared and give it a 100 percent effort every time.
When is the best time to train? The best time to train is the time that “best fits in to your daily life”. Most people have a daily routine based on their responsibilities and commitments. The best way to create a healthy lifestyle is to make your exercise time part of your daily routine. People exercise at different times, some people like to work out before work, some people train at lunchtime, and some prefer to work out after work.
There is no right or wrong time to work out; you just need to find the time that best suits you. The way to do that is to look at your daily commitments and chose the time each that best suits you. Be flexible and let your workout times fit naturally into your daily life. It doesn’t matter if you don’t train at the same time every day; just maintain your consistency based around your day to day commitments.
It is also important to factor in your rest days too, the body needs time to recover and repair itself. It is a good idea to make your busiest days your rest days, this will give you extra time to fulfil your commitments and allow your body to rest; thus fitting nicely into your daily life.
There are so many different ways to work out; interval training is just one of them. Interval training is not a new concept but it is a great way to get fit and build strength and endurance within a relatively short work out time. This style of training is great for everyone but especially people with limited time each day to exercise.
Interval training is based on the principle of alternating your workout through periods of intense cardio followed by periods of more moderate activity. By engaging in high intensity interval training, you can increase your (maximum aerobic capacity (your body’s ability to use oxygen for energy). The better your body can utilize the oxygen, the stronger and faster you can become.
Since this level of intensity is not sustainable, it is best to follow the intervals of intense exercise with periods of rest or more moderate exercise, to give your body a chance to recover. In order to explain how to utilize interval training here are a few examples:
1: Most of the elliptical / cross trainer cardio machines designed for home use will have interval training programs pre-installed. The Boflex Max M5 & M7 were design around the principle of interval training and deliver high intensity workouts with excellent results
2: If you have a local park or beach close to your home that is a great place to train and get some fresh air. Interval training can be as simple as jogging for 100 meters, sprinting for 50 meters, jogging for 100 meters, sprinting for 50 meters and just continue for 15 – 20 minutes
3: If you have an exercise bike at home you could pedal at a steady pace for 3 minutes then pedal flat out for 1 minute, pedal at a steady pace for 3 minutes then pedal flat out for 1 minute and continue to alternate between the intensities for 15 – 20 minutes.
These are just some basic guidelines; you can set the timing of the intervals and the period of time that you work out for to suit your own goals.
Maximising Your Home Workouts
Two of the main benefits of having a gym at home are the convenience of training in your own home and the time saving capability. Many people go to the gym before work, at lunchtime and after work. Just think about all the time you can save by training at home.
No traffic or parking hassles, no waiting for or sharing equipment and you don’t have to drag your gym gear and work clothes around with you allowing you more time at home to just focus your workout.
If you are looking to shed pounds and build fitness, the most efficient way is to combine cardio and strength training. Cardio increases your heart rate and burns stored calories, while strength training builds muscle.
As muscle tissue takes more energy to maintain than fat, it stands to reason that the more muscle you have, the more resting calories you will burn on a daily basis, simply because your body requires more energy to carry out its basic functions when your muscle-to-fat ratio is greater.
Interval training can also be incorporated into your strength training and is more commonly known as “circuit training”. It is done by setting up a number of exercise stations and frequently switching exercises to target different muscle groups at a time, allowing each group minimal time to rest before continuing with the next exercise. Perform each exercise as many times as you can in a predetermined time frame using the correct technique for each rep.
You can achieve both a good cardio and strength workout at home in less than 45 mins. All you need is an elliptical / cross trainer and a chair. The machine will give you the intense cardio interval training and the chair and floor exercises will provide the strength training.
This program was introduced by Bowflex to be done in conjunction with their Max M5 & Max M7 cardio machines. This is a good training program and I’m using just as a guide and also to demonstrate that you don’t need a lot of equipment to have a good workout at home. If you do have a home gym set up, you can use your weights for added resistance in your strength circuit. I’ve added in the warm up / warm down time.
* Warm up: 5 – 7 minutes light – cardio i.e. jogging on the spot and stretching
* Cardio interval training: 15 minutes – elliptical / cross trainer
* Strength circuit: 15 -20 minutes – with chair and floor exercises
- Bicycle crunches – 30 seconds
- Push-ups – 30 seconds
- Plank – 60 seconds
- Squats – 30 seconds
- Chair triceps dips – 30 seconds
- Cross crunches – 30 seconds
- Burpees – 60 seconds
- Wall sit – 30 seconds
- Side plank (right side) – 30seconds
- Side plank (left side) – 30seconds
- Decline push-ups w/chair (make sure you arch your back slightly upwards and lock in your stomach muscles to prevent strain on lower back)
- Lunges – 30 seconds
- Double crunches – 30 Seconds
- Arm circles – 30 seconds
- Start at the top and repeat these exercises one more time
* Warm down: 5 minutes – light stretching and gentle movement.
This whole routine should take you no more than 45 minutes. I’m sure that no matter how busy your life is, everyone can find 45 minutes 3 -4 a week to have a really good workout at home, just factor it in to your daily routine and it will become a lifestyle.
Note: It doesn’t matter which combination of cardio and strength training exercises you use, the important thing is to incorporate a high intensity cardio component and an intense circuit strength component. In fact it is a good idea to vary the exercises that you use for both the cardio and strength components, this will keep your workouts fresh and motivated. It will also help to reduce the plateau effect that occurs when you just do the same exercises and routines every day.
Keep Hydrated During Training
When undertaking an intense training workout like interval cardio training and circuit strength training it is essential to keep your body hydrated. Using a pre-workout supplement is optional, but sipping on an intra-workout supplement during training will definitely assist your performance.
Intra-workout supplements: These supplements are usually in powder form which you mix with water and drink during to your workout. Intra-workout supplements are basically a combination of “branch chain amino acids, (BCAA’s), essential amino acids (EAA’s) and electrolytes”.
In simple terms BCAA’s are like a shield around your muscles, they prevent the breakdown of lean muscle mass and aid in recovery.
Electrolytes are the chemicals that form electrically charged particles (ions) in bodily fluids. A steady ingestion of electrolytes during training helps keep the body hydrated and prevents cramping by replacing what you sweat out.
I would also recommend using an intra-workout supplement that contains the ingredient Beta-Alanine. Beta-Alanine helps prevent the build-up of lactic acid in your muscle thus helping to prevent that heavy sluggish feeling in your muscles that comes from prolonged intense training.
Note: Beta-Alanine can cause a tingling sensation in your face and body. This sensation is not harmful and many people actually enjoy it. If your favourite intra—workout supplement doesn’t have Beta-Alanine in it, it can be purchased separately and added to your intra-workout drink. For 1st time users; just add a small amount and as a test and monitor your performance.
Post-workout supplements: The most widely used form of post-workout supplement is protein. They best form of protein to use is “whey protein isolate”; this is a fast release protein which means it is absorbed into your muscle more rapidly than other proteins.
Proteins are the building blocks for your body and are best taken within 1 hour after training. Proteins stimulate muscle growth and aid in recovery after training. They also help to increase lean muscle mass, gain strength and promote fat loss. As well as post workout protein supplements, eating your daily requirement of protein rich food is vital to your body’s overall health.
Whether you train solely in your home or use a combination of your home gym and your local park, there are an endless number of ways that you can have a great workout home. It’s not important whether you have an elaborate gym set up at home or just a few basic pieces of equipment; all you need is a good workout plan, a little imagination and the desire to succeed and you will get great results at home.
If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them inside and I will be more than happy to help you out.
Good luck and good health