At-home workout advice


JJB

Recommended Posts

The fact that I am posting in the athletes forum is laughable…but I thought this would be a good place to get some exercise recommendations. I have been working out regularly for about 12 years now, but I must admit I'm not great at pushing myself to increase performance, or weights, or endurance…often I know I am guilty of “phoning it in,†and as long as I work up a sweat I think I must not be doing too terrible. I would like to step it up a notch, since I'm properly fueling my body now.

I'm looking for some advice for at home workouts. I used to go to a gym and use the weight machines, but they closed and there is not another reasonably-priced gym that is close to me. CrossFit is out – it's way too expensive. Honestly I'm not really a group workout kind of person anyway.

My goals: lose 5-8 pounds (or at least one size, for you scale haters!) and eventually be able to do real, big-girl pushups! I would love to tone my abs as well.

My schedule: I work 12-hour shifts so I will not exercise on work days. That leaves between 2 and 4 consecutive days to exercise, depending on how busy I am with school. I can accommodate 30-60 min most days.

My equipment: I have a treadmill, 5 and 8 pound hand weights, a large stability ball, and various workout DVDs: Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred (only 20 min, but fairly challenging for me), various Tae Bo, the original P90, and some Pilates workouts (love Ellen Barrett!). I am willing to invest another $100+ on new equipment/DVDs.

Currently I'm alternating between several workouts. Jillian one day, then Tae Bo, then Pilates, then 40 min on the treadmill with 3 intervals of squats, lunges, crunches, knee pushups, etc (I read this in Robb Wolf's book). I just started doing this in January (previously I was mainly on the treadmill for an hour with hand weights at random times during the week). Is this a good recipe? I'm not seeing any weight loss or performance increases, but hey…it's only been a month. Maybe I need to give it more time. Or can anyone recommend some better at-home workouts or equipment…P90X? TRX/Jungle Gym? Others that you enjoy or have had success with?

Link to post
Share on other sites

You could look at the book Convict Conditioning. There is some pretty good advice in it on at-home (or in-cell) progressive body weight conditioning. I don't think I'll ever be as strong as that dude, but the book is worth the $$ just to see the amazing things he can do.

Also, I don't know if you got the Whole30 Daily e-mails, but on Day 11 is a whole, huge list of body weight exercises that you can make intense by doing them for time. I love it...I am over an hour away from anything resembling a gym, and have kids with little help, so that is out for me, too. I've been going through the Day 11 list, doing one workout a day. Today included bear crawling and crab walking and jumping, and my 2- and 4- year-old did it with me! My four-year-old said, "You're exercising? I thought you were just playing with us!" You have to love that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you can afford to get one piece of home equipment...invest in a TRX, basically a 6-8' adjustable strap that goes on top of a doorway or rafter with handles.... You adjust the straps grab the handles and lean at an angle to add or decrease the amount of body weight... You can do like 100 different exercises and progressively " lean" and increase the amount of weight .... GREAT FOR A WHOLE BODY WORKOUT

Check out you-tube for tons of TRX videos and also how to make a home- made version with a good tie down strap and some 1" PVC for handles ( about $10!!!)

Link to post
Share on other sites

You can add in box jumps, and jump rope. kettle bells are a good place to spend some $$. For your push-ups, try hand release push-ups. There is probably some crossfit video on them. Oh, and burpees! The TRX is a great suggestion too!

Good luck!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks all! I have been considering a TRX or JungleGym for awhile now. I just need to decide if I have a good place to utilize it. I've read it's best to be able to hang directly underneath it, which means attaching it to a closed door won't cut it. Will do some research soon.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey that's a cool idea! Can you recommend a pull-up bar, or all they all pretty much the same? I'm really worried it will damage the door frame or the wall. But as long as I install it right I would imagine it should be OK, since so many people use them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the Iron Gym pull-up bar -- it's great and doesn't damage the house at all. I put it up at my bedroom door every day and whenever I walk by there, I do a few pull-ups. My kids do too! Jillian Michaels DVDs are great -- and you can buy heavier weights as you progress -- that will help to make the workouts more challenging. I like the Bob Harper one too called something like "Pure Strength" (it came out a couple of years ago and can be really tough). Burpees are great. I even incorporate them into my running schedule -- run a mile, do 20 burpees, run another mile, do 20 more burpees, etc. Squats, pushups, lunges, dips off a bench or couch....these are all things you can make into a circuit.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you really want to go down the "home workout rabbit hole", go here:

http://forum.videofitness.com/

There is tons of advice about the hundreds and hundreds of workout videos available including some very helpful reviews.

And if you would rather just browse, then this place has a great selection for 'window shopping':

http://www.collagevideo.com/

Link to post
Share on other sites

You can add in box jumps, and jump rope. kettle bells are a good place to spend some $$. For your push-ups, try hand release push-ups. There is probably some crossfit video on them. Oh, and burpees! The TRX is a great suggestion too!

Good luck!

My life is one long set of burpees!!! Lol. Love them....and box jumps and kettlebell also....

Link to post
Share on other sites

This year I've added a goal of doing "10,000 reps"... in addition to all my other fitness goals (6,000 cycling miles, 100km swimming, 1,500 miles running, etc etc)...

10,000 reps of: pushups, crunches/situps, bicep curls, chest presses, shoulder presses, dips, squats, lunges, and one-arm rows.

These exercises only require a your body, a chair or coffee table, and single set of dumbbells (although, if you have more you can probably get a more appropriate workout with different weights).

My goal was to do 30 reps per day, every day. It takes me about 15 minutes. I've missed a couple days and had to make up the reps the next day, but it's still manageable. I actually decided to up it to 35 reps for February, and I may increase it by 5 reps per day each month. If I pull that off, I will actually allow me to reach 22,000 reps!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

I did P90X a few years ago and dropped from 240lbs to 210lbs in 90 days. Don't get me wrong, I didn't have a 6-pack by the end of it, but I was certainly in better condition than before by a long shot. I did modify the workout schedule a bit (I have bad shoudlers, so push-ups aren't friendly for me) and didn't have access to a pullup bar or anywhere to hang resistance bands (in a rented apartment with sub-par door frames) but I still made it work. I found it was great, and was going in from a sedentary lifestyle with no activity. A few of the modifications I made:

-I straight up didn't do pullups. Pushups I did as many as I could, which still wasn't very much.

-Certain videos (Chest and back I believe) was all pushups and pullups. Instead of doing those videos, I chose another resistance training video instead.

-I found the Kenpo video boring, so I switched it to Cardio, doing it twice a week.

-Once I was built up enough from Cardio, I started doing plyometrics once a week instead. I later upped it to twice a week, but after a few weeks I found it hard on my knees so I toned it back down to once a week.

-I cut out yoga and did cardio instead. Yoga was one hell of a workout, but I couldn't usually find an hour and half to devote to it. I had muscles ache that I didn't even know existed, and I found my balance and flexibility improved after doing the video only 2-3 times.

-I started upping the intensity by working through the moves at my own pace, which was faster and with less rest & downtime than the video.

Once I was able to build up to the plyometrics workout (It is hard, the first time I tried it I was nearly sick after about 15 minutes) I found the weight really started pouring off. You do need some equipment (dumbbells, a pull-up back [which I didn't have] or resistance bands), but it is very minimal (I only had 8lb, 15lb, and 25lb weights)

I've since let my lifestyle get back to sedentary after a knee injury, and am back up to 240lbs. I am now doing a mash-up of P90X and Body Beast, only been doing it for a week now. I am starting the whole30 soon, and hope that this might help me get the weight back off, with working out.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

Crossfit is really expensive!  :( 

For me, exercising at home is a great opportunity without spending money at the gym. If someone is looking for other at-home exercises, http://homegym-exercises.com/. This is what I'm using at the moment. My advice to you: MOTIVATION is the key. I work out at home since two years. The results are nearly the same like in the gym. A friend comes to me and we work out in my flat. I bought some equipment: dumbbells and kettlebells. So we share our "passion" together.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

I'm love working out with http://www.dailyhiit.com/ . Their workouts are great and they give alternatives for different levels of fitness.  they also don't take too long and can mostly be done with or without expensive equipment.  The presenters show great enthusiasm.  I'm currently doing the 30 days squat challenge alongside the daily workouts and seeing great results. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I do things similarly to Sanders.  I try to work out each muscle group but I try to have 2 different exercise for each group that I alternate per workout.  Then after some time I try to switch it up and bring in some new exercises.  I don't have a lot of equipment, a bike, some running shoes, a weight bench and some dumbbells. 

 

I use http://www.fitocracy.com and http://www.jefit.com to track my exercises (fitocracy describes how to do the exercise a little better and its more like a game, jefit has better visualization of past workouts and shows which muscles you are working).  Even with the verbal description I try to seek out a youtube video for proper form as well.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.