Your Home Workout Cheat Sheet

What kind of home workout are you doing?

Looking to add in some extra training at home and not sure where to start? The first question to ask is “what kind of home workout are you doing?” This is based on your goals and circumstances. If you’re looking to supplement your strength work, you may do a lighter “general physical preparation” session. If instead you’re looking to perform a strength session, you will perform a more strenuous workout. Lastly, you may simply be looking to increase your physical activity and get in more movement throughout the day. We call these exercises “nuggets” or “bites” [1]. Let’s look at these three different types of sessions in more detail below.

GPP sessions from home

So, what does a GPP session entail (and what does it even stand for)? General Physical Preparation or, “GPP” draws from the strength and conditioning world. It’s essentially training that improves the all around fitness of athletes that’s not specific to their sport. For those who regularly engage in strength training, GPP refers to training sessions that look to strengthen what you may not normally train. This can include supplemental core work, arm work, upper-back work and some cardio or conditioning. We would typically program higher rep isolation work, accompanied with some form of cardio activity.

Strength sessions from home

For those who can’t find time or don’t have the ability to perform more strenuous strength training sessions in-gym, home is a great option. Unlike GPP sessions, these home strength sessions will aim to stimulate lots of muscle mass and drive the bulk of your progress. Whether you’ve got just bodyweight, some dumbbells or a power bar and rack with plates, we are aiming to progressively overload the stress over time more than we would with GPP sessions.

Simply aiming to increase physical activity

Lastly, you may simply be aiming to become more active. There’s plenty of ways to do this including doing some cardio outdoors. That being said, light resistance or bodyweight circuits or calisthenics can be a fantastic way to get more activity in. Exercise bouts can be as little as 10 minutes, performed multiple times a day. It can include a short jog around the block but it can also include performing 3-4 exercises back to back with a short rest between rounds.

The goal here is mainly to:

a) increase heart rate and

b) increase movement.

You will most likely not drive much progress with these sessions. That being said, increasing your physical activity will be beneficial to long term health outcomes.

Before you get started on your home workout

You want to get a few things in order before you start. In an ideal world you would remove distractions from your environment before getting into your training. This may mean turning your screen off so you don’t get tempted to check emails and putting your phone on “do not disturb” (if you can). 

You also want to make sure your home environment is safe. This includes removing trip hazards and obstructions, making sure the floor isn’t slippery and getting appropriate ventilation and temperature (the climate). You’ll also want to prep yourself with the appropriate apparel, towel, hydration and music of course!

Lastly, have all your equipment ready to go – know the program and what you’ll need to do. The goal of these home workouts is to not be obtrusive to your daily workflow and additionally, be efficient. Being prepared ahead of time can help you get into and get the session completed in a smooth and concise manner. 

Now that you know what to do and what you’re trying to accomplish with your sessions, let’s get into some home workout scenarios. These will cover workout examples within.

Different home workouts scenarios

1 x strength training session at home, to supplement 2 x strength training sessions in the studio or gym

3 x strength training sessions at home, at a time where you can’t make it into the studio or gym

2 x GPP sessions at home, to supplement your strength training sessions in the studio or gym

Exercise “nuggets” (circuits) to add more movement and increase physical activity throughout the day

Conclusion

Home sessions don’t need to be a “last resort” when all is lost. They can instead be engaging, productive and range from supporting to being the backbone of your fitness journey. We hope with the above information you feel empowered and able to include more opportunities to train and do something productive for your health. Just remember, even a little bit is better than nothing. Lastly, it takes a lot less to maintain your results once you’ve earned them, so, if nothing else home training can be a useful stopgap when life is hectic.

If you have any other questions or need further help, feel free to reach out to us at Ivy Training.

References

  1. https://bmjopensem.bmj.com/content/6/1/e000672#ref-11

Homework You’ll Want to Do

Why home workouts?

They say “home is where the heart is.” We like to say at Ivy Training, “home is where the hard work is.” This doesn’t just apply to your nutrition or sleeping habits. Your home provides excellent opportunities to fit in extra exercise by squeezing in some home workouts in your week. This could be longer form resistance training sessions or shorter exercise “nuggets” (yum)!

I get it, we’re already working from home as part of the “new normal”. Additionally, I understand that people want to separate home, gym and work life. That being said, if you’re looking to improve your results but are time poor, home workouts are useful. In this article we’ll discuss the following:

  • The advantages and disadvantages of home workouts
  • How we prescribe home workouts at Ivy Training
  • What equipment we recommend
  • Whether or not home workouts are effective

Stay tuned as we’ll cover home workout examples and how to get into the zone in our next blog post. Alright, now that you’re warmed up, let’s get started.

What are the advantages?

Critically, convenience is the main advantage. 

Forget traffic, waiting for equipment or forgetting your towel. Also, you can probably pop a meal in the oven while you’re training. If you’ve found working from home convenient and you’ve managed to set up a routine, home workouts are no different.

This means scheduling and putting off your workouts due to other responsibilities is less of a barrier. Second to that, it also provides more opportunities in a busy schedule to fulfil your physical activity needs.

Depending on the equipment you have access too, the quality of your sessions don’t have to suffer either. We’ll cover this point later.

What are the disadvantages?

We’d be lying if we said there aren’t any.

There’s three main disadvantages in our eyes, however we believe they’re simple to work around. Firstly, being so convenient means you might not prioritise it. Secondly, equipment could be a limiting factor. Third and last, working out from home may mean you don’t experience the social support from a gym environment.

Admittedly this could impact your motivation to train from home. Although we’ll tackle the details later, some simple tips might help:

  • Set up your training like you would a work meeting – put it in your calendar
  • Perform workouts that make the best use of your current equipment
  • Consider purchasing some new or extra equipment
  • Keeping workouts time efficient
  • Making sure you understand the purpose of your home workout
  • Create a positive environment with music, temperature, ventilation and minimise distractions.

How do we prescribe home workouts at Ivy Training?

Most of our clients train with us twice a week. We like to plan an additional 1 or 2 home sessions to help clients increase their activity. 

We program based on client goals, equipment availability (and what they’re willing to buy) and time constraints. That being said, working often with lighter weights and trying to keep motivation high we do:

  • Higher reps
  • Supersets and/or circuits
  • Isolation exercises
  • Unilateral exercises
  • Things that are different to what we cover in the studio that cover different planes of motion, different pieces of equipment and bodyweight movements
  • Prescribe efforts closer to failure which reduces the amount of volume per session required.

What equipment do we recommend for home workouts?

We understand that your equipment selection for home will depend on your budget, and how much space you have for storage. With that being said, here are some pieces of equipment that we would recommend for home. We’re going to break this into a three different categories:

  1. The essentials
  2. The optional extras
  3. The works

The essentials

Celcius 20kg Weight Set – $119.99

Celcius 50kg Weight Set – $229.99

If you’re looking at adding some training at home, the Celcius Weight Sets are a great option. The 20kg Weight Set comes with two adjustable dumbbells, whereas the 50kg Weight Set comes with two adjustable dumbbells and a barbell (giving you more options for exercise selection). Both kits come in a convenient carry case, which can be easily stored away.

The optional extras

Celcius Flat Bench – $139.99

Celcius Ab Wheel – $34.99

PTP SuperBand Combo – $89.99

Having access to these three pieces of equipment will provide you with more exercises that you can do from home. The resistance bands would probably be our top recommendation, followed by the flat bench (if you’ve got the space for it) and ab wheel. We have also had clients use outdoor furniture settings as a makeshift bench option!

The works

IronEdge Weightlifting Pack – $1824.00

If you want the ultimate training experience at home, having a rack, barbell, bench and weight plates is the way to go. It comes with a downside – you’ll need a spare room or space in your garage to store it. This set would go perfectly some adjustable dumbbells.

Are home workouts effective?

The obvious answer is: YES!

We understand they are different to training in the studio or at the gym, but that doesn’t mean they’re ineffective. In fact we expect people to make great progress with home sessions. For instance, many of our clients want to learn and get better at squats and deadlifts. A complimentary exercise is a rear-foot elevated split squat. This can be done with minimal loading and is tough for high-reps. A home workout with dumbbells can be incredibly stimulative and help drive progress on these larger exercises.

Some other examples include:

  • Arm and shoulder isolation work to improve the bench and overhead press
  • Resistance bands and walk to the park to work on some chin-ups
  • Ab work with minimal equipment or bodyweight which will improve your stability on barbell lifts
  • Light resistance circuit work done to improve muscular endurance or “work capacity”.

Lastly, when discussing how we prescribe these sessions, we mentioned we can make them time efficient. So, in a short period of time, from the comfort of your home, you can achieve great results. We’d say that’s a pretty good deal. So if you’re currently training but have the ability to do more, consider home workouts. If you need any advice feel free to reach out to us!