Written by: Coach Sean Fuerst
I think we can all agree that these are difficult times. Collectively we are facing something unprecedented in our time on this earth so far. This brings with it disruptions in our normal routines of work, school, hobbies, and all other aspects of our daily lives.
It’s easy for worry, anxiety, fear, lack of motivation, and even depression to creep into our minds and make us feel stuck and unmotivated.
You’re probably wondering why I’m even bringing all of this up and the reason is, quite simply, it’s now more important than ever that all of us try to find some measure of normalcy and routine in spite of our new normal. Ultimately this can help us feel more in-control of our thoughts and our emotions and ease our feelings of anxiety.
So, how does this relate to working out? Well, with gyms closed many of us, myself included, have had to find ways to get our workouts in at home. Eventually, the gyms will re-open and we will get back to our normal routines but for now it’s important to stay focused, motivated, and disciplined when it comes to your workout and meal prep. A pandemic doesn’t mean that you have to give up your goals and throw away all of your hard work and progress. Right now though, it means that you do need to work a little bit harder for it and be more creative with how you get it done.
Let’s take a look at what you can do at home with minimal equipment, minimal cost, and huge dose of discipline and determination.
Cardio. That’s probably the easiest to do right now. Get outside and take a walk or run. Sidewalks are still open. Take a bike ride. If you have cardio equipment at home like a treadmill or an elliptical, hop on and get to work. No excuses! Anyone that knows me knows I hate cardio but right now, my treadmill is one of my main tools in my workout routine.
No equipment? No problem! You all know how to do mountain climbers, jumping jacks, burpees squats, push-ups, crunches, etc. These are all body-weight exercises you’ve done a million times at PHF and the beauty is that you don’t need equipment.
But Sean, how do I make all those into a workout? Here’s an example:
10 Hi-Lo Planks
That’s round 1. Next round do 9 of each and then 8 and so on. It’s that easy.
By all means if you have some equipment at home, like dumbbells, you can easily do bicep curls, goblet squats, tri-cep extensions, lateral raises, front raises, and shrugs. The list goes on and those can easily be incorporated into a workout like what I gave you above.
If you want to spend a little bit of money so you have more options, a stability ball is great for core work. Try some dumbbell chest presses or flys while lying back on a stability ball. Not only will you work your chest, you’ll work those legs and core too while you try to maintain your balance.
Let’s look at something a little more challenging to do at home especially if you are limited on space and equipment, like I am. Powerlifting. Obviously there are no substitutes for a great set of weights, a squat rack, bench, and some good old fashioned deadlifts with a power bar.
But, what if you don’t have that?
We already discussed body weight squats above but for added resistance, consider getting some resistance bands, a heavy medicine ball, or a weighted vest. It will be difficult to equal the weight you can get in the gym but with the right combination of resistance bands, you can get close. You want to add weight for really cheap? Buy bags of sand and load those on your shoulders while doing squats. Fill and old milk jug with sand or water and hold those while you squat or even walk up and down your stairs. If you have the will, you can get it done. You might be doing more reps but you will at the very least maintain what you have if not get stronger!
Any of these combinations will give you a great workout!
This a little more challenging but still completely doable. Floor presses are a great option. The range of motion is more limited and the lift is ultimately harder because there is no momentum from a bounce off the chest and there’s no leg drive either. You can do this with a power bar or dumbbells.
You can also do a standing chest press with dumbbells or with a resistance band. Standard push-ups also work the chest as well as the back, biceps, and triceps.
Try some pull-overs with a dumbbell or anything you can find around your house that will safely hold sand or water. Be sure to weigh it so you know how much weight you’re working with.
This will hit the shoulders and the upper chest.
Again, you’ll be looking more reps most likely but there’s nothing wrong with that!
Oh sweet deadlifts how I love thee! If you have weights and a bar, you’re pretty much set. If you don’t have a full weight set then your focus will likely be on reps.
Consider heavy resistance bands for an added challenge. They are relatively inexpensive and will challenge you.
Even if you don’t have a bar you can still use resistance bands and deadlift with just the band. It’s a bit tough to describe the set up here but there are a number of very good videos on YouTube on how to do it. You just stand on the band with your feet in the normal deadlift set-up. Leave a little slack in the band between your feet and then reach down and grab the band like you grab the bar and get your deadlifts in.
Overall, any exercise that involves resistance bands will take some getting used to especially if you use the heavier ones so if you haven’t done it before, go lighter until you get a feel for it.
As you can see, there are numerous ways to work out and still pursue your goals while at home. Above all, we want to see you succeed and be safe. If you have questions about a specific exercise, please reach out to the coaches. We are here to help you. PHF is a family and together will get through this!
Like Adam always says, you are stronger than you think you are. Believe it!