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Quarantine Gains

Strategies for strength training at home

Your gym is closed, and you don’t have a fancy home gym set-up. Now what? How are we supposed to maintain or make any kind of progress with bodyweight exercises or a dumbbell or kettlebell? It may not be as simple as it was when the gym was open, but it’s not impossible.

So how are you supposed to maintain or gain strength while you’re at home? Well, there are a number of effective strategies – no matter your set-up. Lets look at a few key principles that apply to training, no matter what tools you’re working with:

  • Resistance: The amount of weight being used for a given exercise
  • Volume: The total number of sets and repetitions
  • Range of Motion: The distance covered while performing a repetition
  • Time Under Tension: The amount of time it takes to complete each repetition
  • Density: The amount of work completed in specific period of time

Bodyweight Only:

If you have absolutely no equipment, you’re going to have to get creative. Working the upper body can be done relatively easily, but most people will find working the lower body to be more difficult. The reason is that the lower body requires more resistance than most people’s bodyweight alone can provide. So, what can we do?

  • Single Arm & Leg Exercises
  • Increase the time under tension
  • Perform pauses
  • Super-Sets: Perform multiple exercises without rest in between. An effective strategy for increasing the Density of your workout.
  • Use furniture to change the angle of the exercise to make it more or less challenging

Dumbbell or Kettlebell Only:

If you’ve got a Dumbbell or Kettlebell, you have a simple way to increase the resistance. It may not be nearly as much resistance that you would have with a Barbell, but there are still things you can do to offset the difference.

  • Complexes: Perform a sequence of exercises without stopping (Swing, Squat, Lunge, Row, Press, Carry) Complexes are another great way to increase the Density of your workouts!
  • Integration into Bodyweight Exercises: Things like Renegade Rows with Push-Ups or Overhead Walking Lunges
  • Single Arm & Leg Exercises
  • Increase the time under tension
  • Perform Pauses

So no matter what your set-up is right now, don’t be discouraged. The most important thing you can do is to simply move. Get up and get started. You can use the strategies mentioned above in any combination. The possibilities are endless!

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