Working in the personal training industry for the last 10 years has taught me a lot about people’s preferences regarding fitness and exercise. One of the most important things that I learned is that not everybody likes going to a gym and from talking with my clients, I understand why a lot of them don’t feel comfortable in a classic gym atmosphere. A lot of them are self-conscious about their bodies, feel lost with what exercises to do or simply prefer training with a little bit of peace and quiet.
In this article, I will be going over the most popular ways to get fit at home. You can achieve just as good of a workout in your own home as you can in a commercial gym as long as you have the proper equipment and direction. I will be explaining the most popular workout programs based on different goals that you might have. This will not be an article explaining a whole entire workout program, but instead a starting point to assess what types of goals you have and which programs are best for you to reach those goals.
The 2 types of programs I will be talking about are weight loss programs (with minimal equipment) and functional training programs. Let’s not waste any more time and get right into it!
#1 Weight Loss Programs With Minimal Equipment
For people that have the primary focus of losing body fat and toning up their muscles, there are dozens of at-home workout programs to help with this. The best part about these programs is that most of them require very little to no equipment in order to get started. The best programs for this goal in mind are the tried-and-true P90x or Insanity programs.
There’s a reason why these workout programs are so popular – they simply get results! I have personally done all three of the P90x programs as well as the insanity programs with great success. I also suggest these to my clients that would like to get started with at-home workouts.
Both of these programs have a strong focus on weight loss. The P90x program requires a little bit of equipment such as dumbbells and a pull-up bar. The Insanity programs on the other hand require nothing more than ample space in your living room and a TV to play it on.
Both of these programs are fantastic for people just getting started because you do not need a lot of equipment. On top of that, the programs themselves were built for beginners in mind.
All of the exercises can be regressed to make them easier or progressed to make them harder. As a beginner you can start out with the regressed versions of each exercise and as you get better you can move on to the harder variations. For example, you may start just performing the push-ups on your knees but eventually you will work your way up to doing traditional pushups.
Additionally, the instructors encourage you to push yourself, but understand that when you first start out with one of the programs you may need longer breaks between exercises and suggest that you simply pause the video for however much time you need. In the beginning, you may only get through the first 10 minutes of the workout for the first week or two, but over time you will work your way up to completing the entire 30 minute workout. It’s just a matter of patience and determination.
That is what is so great about these programs. You can dial down or dial up the intensity of the workout to match your current fitness level, but at the same time, the program will provide you the motivational push to continue to push yourself and take it to the next level which is exactly what people of all fitness levels require.
#2 Functional Training Programs
Functional training has been becoming more and more popular over the last decade or so. If your goal is to get stronger, more agile, and more flexible in order to rehab an injury or to prevent injuries, functional training at home will be perfect for you. It basically trains your body how to be functionally strong and balanced in order to deal with daily activities more efficiently and without injury. Programs like this often involve a lot of balance training, proprioception training, flexibility training, as well as strength training.
Some of the equipment needed for functional training includes kettlebells, myofascial release equipment such as foam rollers, stability balls, resistance bands, medicine balls and TRX suspension training.
If I had to recommend only one piece of equipment it would be the TRX suspension training program. You can literally do hundreds of different exercises at varying levels of difficulty and dozens of different routines using only this piece of equipment. A good TRX routine for beginners that I recommend to my clients is this 30 minute TRX workout.
Functional training programs are fantastic for beginners due to the fact that you will be training with lighter weights. As a personal trainer, I always have new clients work through what is called a “stability phase”. In this phase I use a lot of functional training and corrective exercises in order to fix imbalances and get their body used to working out before moving on to more difficult strength and power phases. Most of this type of work is stability, proprioception and myofascial release.
So there you have it everyone! The complete beginner’s guide to at-home exercises no matter what goal you have in mind. I understand that some people prefer not to spend the money on the gym membership or that they simply prefer to workout at home. With this guide, you should be set to reach your fitness goals! Make sure not to waste any time, and start cleaning out your garage now in order to create ample space for your new workout room!