July 2, 2021
While gyms have been all the rage for many years, the Covid 19 pandemic has forced us to completely reassess our fitness training routines. We have become so dependent on workout machines that many of us were completely lost when the gyms closed worldwide. Many folks had to reevaluate their workout sessions now that they were no longer able to depend on the trusted machines that they had been accustomed to.
That being said, every cloud has a silver lining. While home workouts bring back memories of 80s aerobic instructor videotapes, these somewhat dated and out of fashion, home workouts have now come to the forefront for anyone wanting to maintain a good fitness and exercise schedule with some added benefits that the traditional gym does not offer.
In fact, despite appearances, some home workouts programs have been going strong even before the pandemic as they offer some significant advantages. In short, the answer to the question: is a home workout effective is undoubtedly “Yes!” with a certain number of caveats and pitfalls that need to be avoided.
Below we built a list of the advantages and drawbacks of a home workout to get a good perspective on how effective they are.
While it might not be as straightforward as adding more weight to an exercise machine there are ways to build muscle with home workouts whether it be using your own bodyweight or investing in some basic equipment.
A number of workout schedules on the market offer the ability to train without any equipment whatsoever just by using everyday items that you can find in the house using a chair, table, wall or rope. These workouts take up little space as well since there is no need to store any equipment since the exercise routine is done with these everyday items.
That being said, some exercises don’t require anything other than one’s body weight. Basic push-ups use one’s own weight to develop muscle while difficulty and intensity can be increased by increasing speed and space between the arms. Add to that squats, planks, and circuits and you will be able to burn a significant amount of calories while increasing muscles.
The secret for building muscle and toning your body with bodyweight exercises is to follow the following principles: increase reps per set, reduce rest times in between sets, perform variations in the same muscle group, push the training exercise to failure, increase the amount of time under tension, and finally implement mechanical drop sets.
In fact, bodyweight exercises are the best for the body. Since they do not rely on equipment and only on the weight of the person who is exercising, it is much easier to achieve a balanced physical appearance. Machines, on the other hand, will tend to overemphasize certain muscles over others. The health benefits of this type of training are numerous since it is easy to target every single muscle group in the body.
While bodyweight exercises might give the impression they are more designed for muscle gain rather than cardiovascular activity this is actually far from the truth. One can simply add jumping jacks or burpee alternatives to the mix and can will quickly break out in a sweat.
The great thing about bodyweight training is that it contributes to increasing overall fitness without the need for having access to a gym, paying for a membership, or using any equipment whatsoever. One can create one’s own routine whether the goal is to lose weight, gain muscle or simply maintain a healthy lifestyle. There are many at home workouts for women and men where you don’t need equipment and you can work out different muscles.
The big difference between gyms and home workout is the equipment availability. It would be unreasonable to think of getting the same equipment at home as one can find in the gym as there are undeniable financial and spatial constraints that very few people can accommodate.
However, this should not get in the way of working out at home as there are several options available. This will be just as effective as having all the equipment gyms have to offer.
There are a few core items which might be worth investing in such as an exercise mat, stability ball and some dumbbells. Once might even go as far as spending some money on a workout bench and heart rate monitor depending on whether you want to increase muscles or work on cardiovascular exercises.
Let’s not forget that working out at home need not necessarily mean always working out in the home. Indeed cardiovascular exercises such as running don’t require a treadmill and it’s just as easy to walk outside one’s house and run around the neighborhood.
This has the benefit of adding variety to the exercises that a machine does not offer especially when the goal is to burn fat and carbs. The difference in the terrain will give the opportunity to change the intensity of the workout and keep it challenging.
If you do have space and the budget to do so then there are many machines on the market that could be ideal for a home gym. A home training space is a great alternative to the gym.
If one is focused on gaining muscle mass then free weights and dumbbells are the obvious choices. However, there are some dedicated weights machines that offer the possibility of working nearly every muscle group and would be a great investment for someone who really wants to take the workout at the home model to the next level.
For those who are more cardio focussed or want to find the right balance with their workout then they could add a stationary bike, rowing machine or treadmill to their workout room.
The cherry on the cake would obviously be to have some mirrors, sound and tv system and heavy duty floor mats to take things to the next level.
While we’ve established that home workouts are not only possible but effective at home, the main issue is to find the motivation to work out at home especially when we plateau in our training. When do you start? How to keep focused? Will I plateau due to the fact that my equipment is limited? These are some of the many questions that come to mind when contemplating home workouts.
In order to keep these workouts challenging without the need to increase weight as is commonly done at the gym where there is a wealth of equipment at your disposal, some other techniques can be used. For example, adding exercises or rounds or reducing the rest times between times or reps is a good way to up the ante. Alternatively, some dumbbells or resistance bands can be introduced into bodyweight exercises to make the workout more challenging.
However, just like at the gym, one shouldn’t jump into increasing difficulty with at-home workouts. Because you will be relying essentially on your body weight to do the exercises these may feel awkward at first therefore it is paramount to perfect the form before adding dumbbells or resistance bands.
You could always start workout challenges at home to keep you motived.
Training at home also means that you will not have easy access to a trainer nor will you necessarily be able to imitate others’ exercises. The risk of injury for home workouts is higher therefore proper form, technique and posture should always take precedence.
All this advice might come across as quite daunting and while the internet offers a wide variety of articles on the subject you might find yourself confronted with an information overload. This is where some guidance can be priceless. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to combine the benefits of the home workout with those of the gym?
Some have found that going to the gym motivates them to do their workout. Indeed it takes them out of the monotony of their work and home environment. But while most cannot afford a personal trainer why not use the money saved on the gym membership to get just that. The help of a certified personal trainer can help you get that extra push out of your workout, build an effective schedule in order to stay motivated.
How much better would your home workout be if you had someone providing you with online tips and feedback on a week to week basis no matter the time of day or night? Imagine being able to have all the support you need to achieve your fitness goals and exercises in order to reach the level of fitness you have always hoped for?
The System2 home fitness trainer app can do exactly that by building your own personalized workout system with the help of one of our certified fitness coaches!
Effective fitness training only works from home if you manage to find the discipline to do the exercise you have set for yourself whether it be at home or at the gym. There are many pros in favor of home exercising and the pandemic has led us to embrace a form of training that had mostly been forgotten.
Obviously, there are drawbacks and going to a gym has some undeniable advantages but home exercise is just as effective in achieving the level of fitness one has set out. However, the help of an online tool could be the little push that will make the home exercise complete and set a proper routine. Thanks to video tutorials one will be able to have a complete training schedule in order to achieve one’s physical goals while keeping good form by learning from example much like in a class.
Why not try out System2 with our 1-1 coaching and build a fitness habit in 30 days. Our System2 certified fitness coaches will build you a personalized plan and provide you with daily feedback using cutting-edge tech delivered through our proprietary S2 app using video, activity trackers, and AI to monitor your workout. You’ll even get a special hardware kit to work out in front of your phone when it suits you best. Just head over to System2, choose your coach and start your free trial now!