The entire country has become familiar with working out at home over the course of the past few months. Although gyms are open in most states, most of us have had to deal with working out from home at some point.
And after experiencing this, about 25% of Americans say they will never return to the gym. It may be their fear of COVID, or the fact that they fell in love with working out at home. I’m willing to bet it’s the latter.
I am an avid gym-goer myself, but have grown to appreciate working out at home even more over the course of the pandemic.
Working out at home eliminates driving time, allows room for other productive tasks to be done during the day, and brings the comfort of your own environment.
Unfortunately, I don’t have access to those kinds of weights at home. All I had was a set of resistance bands. The thing is, you don’t have to have access to a plethora of weights in order to have an effective workout. In the long run, is it worth investing in your home gym so you can have machines, free weights, ropes, medicine balls, cardio equipment, and more? Yes, absolutely. You will see much more progress over the course of your lifetime with access to all that than you would compared to a set of resistance bands.
But during the pandemic, you can still get a LOT done without having every piece of equipment under the sun.
If you have read any of the previous articles written by me, you likely know how I preach the importance of resistance training. If this is the first article you’re reading, I’ll tell you right here right now. The most beneficial form of exercise for overall health and longevity is resistance training.
The question then rises. How can I perform resistance training at home if I don’t have access to all that equipment?
The answer is coming. But remember, these tactics can be used to apply more overload to your muscles allowing them to progress even if you don’t have access to the broad range of equipment. You can use these principles with a set of bands, your Inspire FT2, and more.
One more thing. Why is overload important? Progressive overload is simply applying more demand to your muscles to allow them to progressively adapt and improve over time. Simply put, you’re adjusting your workout to call your body to positively change.
Traditionally, the best way progressive overload can be implemented is by incrementally adding more weight to the exercise you’re performing while maintaining proper technique.
However, you may not have access to more weight in your house, so here’s what you can do to improve working out at home:
- Slow down your tempo. This is something that I recommend all individuals do, even outside of home workouts. Too many people rush through their workouts with the intention of finishing their reps as fast as possible rather than getting the most out of each rep. Spend 3-5 seconds on the concentric (muscle squeezing) and 3-5 seconds on the eccentric (muscle lengthening) portion of the movement. In other words, 3-5 seconds on the way up, 3-5 seconds on the way down.
- Focus on the squeeze of the muscle. The bodybuilding space does many things wrong, but they certainly do one thing right, and that’s the mind-muscle connection. In order to be able to build specific areas of their body, they have to ensure that their muscle is getting the most out of each rep they do. They focus on that muscle squeezing in order to complete the rep, not the other way around. Lifting weights is simply flexing with resistance. Try this next time you’re working out. Let’s take a bicep curl for example. Instead of thinking about lifting the weight, working the muscle or completing the rep, think about flexing the muscle (the bicep) as hard as you possibly can in order to move the weight.
- Add isometric holds. At the bottom of your squat, hold the position while maintaining tension in your legs. Hold them for a few seconds and really squeeze the muscles involved. At the top of a pull-up, hold yourself there while squeezing that back of yours.
Implementing these three tactics will help you challenge your body in order to keep you progressing even while you’re away from a wide range of equipment.
And remember, these principles can be applied to any resistance. Bands, Functional Trainers like the Inspire Fitness FT2 or FT1, free weights, and more! If you have any questions about improving working out from home, reach out to one of our fitness equipment experts!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam is a fitness professional, baseball fan, and cookie fanatic based in Fort Collins, Colorado. After hanging up the cleats, he found a strong interest in the human body and how it performs. Since then, Adam has been transforming lives through fitness in a fun and encouraging atmosphere. As an ACE CPT and Fitness Nutrition Specialist, he is constantly moved to help people improve in all walks of life.