So the other day I was in a spot of bother as to where I was going to do my regular weight training workout…
I try to do some sort of weight training ideally 4 days per week but sometimes this doesn’t go according to plan with a newborn around (who doesn’t sleep!).
On this particlar day I hadn’t done any exercise in about 10 days or so coz I had the stupid flu, (real flu, not man flu) which really knocked me about. I was dying to do some training as it was starting to get to me and I felt lazy.
Even though I’ve got a whole gym at my disposal ive got a little gym setup in my garage at home that I also use, but on this particular day my 4 month old son was in the car, in the garage – sleeping… It turns out he fell asleep in the car when Ella took him to the supermarket!
So there I was all ready to go, with about an hour of spare time up my sleeve with nowhere to train because Cooper was asleep in my gym!
So instead of skipping my workout, I decided to make the most of an inconvenient situation and… wake up Cooper – ONLY JOKING!
(I would never do that, especially after all the trouble we go through to actually get him to sleep in the first place, we’ll take whatever we can get. Plus it would be a complete waste of the new childrens book we just purchased)
Anyway, instead I went to the back yard, and did a body weight workout, without much equipment at all. I did jump squats (holding a weight plate), push ups, single leg squats, and ring rows on Jacksons swing set. It was actually quite a good workout in the end.
Not the most exciting story I know… but it did give me the idea for a blog post on DIY @ home workouts. Hopefully this will help YOU out for exercise options at home when you miss a session, or allow you to add in an extra session to your weekly routine.
So, as a general rule, I think it’s a good idea to shoot for a minimum of exercising 3 days per week doing total body workouts incorporating some strength training and interval training. This is enough to give you a good training stimulus and metabolic boost every couple of days, as well as giving you some rest and recovery days off.
But for those of you who might only be able to get in to the gym for a session 1-2 times per week, remember if you don’t do any other training on top of this you’re basically not doing any exercise 5-6 days out of the week! Sounds scary when you look at it like that! If this is the case it’s a good idea to find some time to do a quick, high intensity training session on your own to get that 3rd session in and that metabolism fired up.
and if you ever have to miss a session or you go away on holidays, you’ll also want to make sure you’re getting in some training on your own if possible.
So here are some ideas of what you can do on your own, often just at home, to get in 1 more training session per week or to make up a missed session – little things like this can make a big difference in your results over time.
Body weight strength training
Now this will depend on how strong you are, how hard you find lifting your own body weight and your access to heavy objects you can hold on to for extra weight as to the degree to which you can give yourself a good workout.
You can hit every muscle on your body with a basic strength circuit like this:
– Squats (or jump squats)
– Push ups (and push up variations)
– Lunges and variations of
– Band pullaparts (we’ve got lots of spare bands at the gym if anyone wants one)
– Plank hold
3 x 10-20 reps. 3 times through.
If you can do more than 15-20 body weight squats or lunges in a row with no problem, then you’ll need to add some weight. There’s really no rules as to what you can use, just pick up something appropriate, something that you can hold safely, and squat or lunge away. (for example sometimes I’ll even use my kids! – I’ve got a 4 year old or a 4 month old depending on how energetic I’m feeling!)
Body Weight Circuits
If you’re a regular here at the gym, you’ve most likely done these before. Using bodyweight exercises is an easy way to add in some strength training to your workouts without the need for a gym or any equipment. You’re training nearly every muscle in your body to do these movements AND they’re also a great ‘cardio’ workout too, they’ll really get the heart rate up making them an awesome bang for you buck way to train. If fact I would pick a bodyweight circuit over ANY cardio machine in terms of effectiveness if you had to choose only 1 way to quickly train and get the most out of it.
We’re not too concerned with weight here, its more just high intensity, fast paced repetitions.
Perform each exercise back to back without a break in between. Do as many reps as possible with good form.
– Squats – 30 sec
– Mountain Climbers – 30 sec
– Star Jumps – 30secs
– Burpees – 30 seconds
Rest 60 seconds in between. Repeat 3 times
If you don’t have a timer you can do it for reps instead. E.g.
– Squats – 30 reps
– Mountain climbers – 50 shuffles
– Star Jumps 50 reps
– Burpees 10-15 reps
Rest 60 seconds in between. Repeat 3 times.
Other body weight exercises you can use to make up a circuit (depending on your level of fitness) are:
– Squat Jumps
– Push ups (and variations)
– Burpees with a push up
– Reverse lunges
– Forward lunges
– Step ups (if you have something appropriate to do them on)
– Glute Bridges
– High Knee Sprinting on the spot
– Lying to standing (lying flat on your back then standing up)
And to adjust for your fitness levels you can
– Add or remove exercises to the circuit
– Increase or decrease interval periods or number of reps
– Increase / decrease or add in extra rest periods
– Use harder or easier exercises
Ropes are cheap, easy to get and easy to store. They are very portable, making them a great option for @ home workouts. Depending on your fitness levels you can work up to a specific ‘time’ (like 5 mins or 10 mins without stopping), or you can mix up the intensity and do intervals (30 sec hard, 30 sec easy) Spending a good 20 minutes working hard with a rope can be a very good workout!
Other Interval Training
If you live near a park, footy oval or beach, this is a good place to do some interval sprints.
If you’re at an oval you could run 1 lap around the oval as fast as possible, then rest for 60-120 seconds. Do this 5-10 times and you’ll be nicely done.
Or set up two points about 70-100 metres apart – sprint up & walk back. Repeat 5-10 times
Or… you could set up 3 points spread about 7 metres apart and do some shuttle runs (suicides) just like we do at the gym. You should be able to get through 1 of these in about 1 minute (give or take), and again, repeat 5-10 times.
Hill Sprints – find a big hill, run up it as fast as possible, walk down – repeat 5-10 times. This can be gruelling but is such a great workout, you’ll feel your lungs, your legs and your butt burn!
If you have bike, you can do some high intensity intervals for time. So you could sprint hard for 30 or 60 seconds, then rest for 30 or 60 seconds. Best part about the bike is you can go for a nice relaxing ride straight after!
So there you go, hope this has given you a few ideas of how you can incorporate some hard training in to your week on your own. Whether it’s getting in that extra session per week, or making up a missed session – now you have no excuses!
Here’s a simple print out for you to download – just so you’ve got a quick reference on hand when you need it!
Right Click Here and ‘Save As’ —-> DIY Workouts – Print Out Sheet