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Are Home Training Workouts Effective?

Train at home without any equipment

You can complete a perfectly good fitness routine at home, using nothing more than your own bodyweight. Tricep dips, the plank, mountain climbers, lunges and bodyweight squats are all examples great conditioning exercises. As you progress in your training, you can increase the reps you complete of each exercise, raise the number of sets and also reduce the rest time between sets.

Another option for training at home is to follow a workout video. There are plenty of these videos available online for you to choose from and they rarely involve any additional equipment besides yourself.

So are home workouts effective?

The short answer is yes. Providing you are prepared to put a little time and effort into your workout at home, it can be just as effective as a gym workout. It all depends on the individual, some people prefer to see others working out to find motivation and know that if they did not make the effort to go to the gym, then they would not bother carrying out any exercise at home. However for others, the prospect of going into a gym is daunting and therefore exercising in the comfort of their own home is much more appealing.

If you are unsure whether to splash out on some home equipment or join your local gym, ask about trial memberships to see if you enjoy gym training. Many gyms offer promotions at certain times of the year and you can obtain some excellent deals. That way, you can see if the gym is for you without committing to a year’s subscription.

I Cancelled My Gym Membership and Got In the Best Shape of My Life

Soon after I graduated from college, I moved to the New York City area to start a new job. I was beginning this new chapter with some extra weight I had gained over the last few years of school-late nights, greasy food, and non-fitness priorities were to blame. Despite having grown up playing sports and running for the track team, at this point in my young adult life, I wasn’t really enjoying exercise. And my results (or lack thereof) showed as much.

I tried to love running and the machines at my gym, but I never managed to get excited about those workouts, and my body didn’t have much to show for those efforts. So, I decided to train for a half-marathon with a friend-everyone said once you do a race, you’ll be hooked-but not only did I not have fun while training or during the race, but I didn’t lose much weight, if any. “What gives?!” I thought. Shortly after, I enrolled in grad school and attended evening classes after work. Suddenly, my schedule was swamped and my free time was nonexistent.

Those late nights made it impossible to get in a run after such a long day. So I knew if I was going to do anything, it would need to be in the morning. I looked online for workouts I could do at home, and discovered YouTube workout videos. Soon, a huge world of workouts and exercises I never even knew existed opened up for me. I bought my own set of dumbbells, a yoga mat, and a kettlebell and fell in love with both the workouts (HIIT workouts and full-body strength training were my new go-tos) and with the results.

Adding in that weight training was pivotal for me. I started seeing muscles I didn’t know I had and grabbing weights I never thought I’d be capable of lifting. I felt strong, and that gave me more motivation to keep going. I was also exploring boutique fitness classes, which taught me a lot about proper form and muscles groups. So, if an at-home workout had a move I didn’t really enjoy or that triggered an existing injury, I knew how to swap it or modify it for my needs. The best part? I actually liked working out! I was having fun sweating and feeling like I accomplished something before I left the house-heck, even before the sun came up. Before I knew it, fitness went from an option I kind of avoided to an essential part of my life. If I had told myself a few years ago that one day I’d be waking up at 5 a.m. for a kettlebell workout, I never would have believed it.

One morning I clicked back to one of the first arm workouts I tried streaming at home. In the beginning, I could barely complete it with 5-pound weights, but this time I reached for a 12-pound set of dumbbells. It was just a 10-minute workout, but getting through it gave me such a rush. I realized, Wow, this is what it’s like to feel strong.

  • By By Ana Chapman as told to Alyssa Sparacino

5 reasons why working out at home is better than the gym

Almost everyone on planet Earth knows that working out on a daily basis comes with a ton of benefits. Not only does fitness help with building a stronger and healthier body, but it is a great way to alleviate the feeling of stress. Nevertheless, people who are focused on their professional life or busy moms tend to avoid any form of physical activity due to the lack of free time. Luckily, there is an alternative if you are someone who wants to squeeze in a workout here and there without actually going to the gym. It is a surprising fact that at home workouts can be as effective as or even better for you than regular trips to the gym. Here are five reasons why anyone should consider working out at home.

1. Saves a lot of time
One of the most frequent reasons why people skip the gym is because it takes up a lot of time. If you are someone who does not have a gym five minutes away from home, then you are up for a whole trip! Sometimes, people have to get on a bus or walk a lot just to get to the training facility. The whole going to the gym, working out and getting back home can easily take up too much time that some people think should be spent doing other productive activities. To save a lot of time, the best choice is to stick to an at-home workout routine. The bottom line is, you can move your body from the comfort of your own home.

2. Saves a lot of money
The second reason why working out at home is better is because gym memberships are generally quite expensive. A lot of gyms offer premium memberships, or they tend to have different fees, such as sign up fees and locker fees. In addition, not to mention the personal trainers who lurk around looking for potential new clients. All of these things that a gym can offer can easily be substituted with a couple of dumbbells, a water bottle, and at least twenty minutes of your time. By purchasing affordable home workout gear by gym equipment suppliers like Cyberfit, you will have more money left in your wallet to spend on other important things. If you are not a bodybuilding fanatic, then consider investing in a yoga mat.

3. You don’t need fancy clothes
A lot of people stress out when it comes to looking good at the gym. This is especially the case when the gym is popular and frequently overcrowded. Of course, all of us want to look our best and try to impress that handsome buff guy or girl waiting in line for the weights, but stressing over appearance can be overwhelming sometimes. One of the top reasons why working out at home is great is because you do not need any cool gym clothes. Not only that, but you do not even need to brush your hair or put on pants to have a successful workout. So, let go of the fear of being judged and grab a pair of dumbbells!

4. Abs are made in the kitchen
Most people, especially those individuals who are new to the fitness lifestyle consider the gym the holy grail when it comes to losing weight, toning up, or just building muscle. The truth is that the gym or working out, in general, contributes only 20% to achieving your fitness goals. The most important thing people should definitely focus on more is making sure that nutrition is on point. It is not uncommon to think that you can eat whatever you want and go to the gym without putting on a couple of extra layers of fat. So, try to focus more on planning out your meals and the rest will follow. Of course, since working out and healthy nutrition goes hand in hand, it is a must to do some form of challenging physical activity on a daily basis. The bottom line is, you do not need a gym membership if you work out from home and be mindful of what foods you eat.

5. You can listen to whatever you want
The most annoying thing when working out at the gym is having to listen to music that you do not enjoy. Listening to music you hate can easily put you in a bad mood and ruin your whole workout. On the other side, if you decide to work out from home, you can listen to whatever you like and you can listen to it out loud! So, check out some new playlists and get yourself into the zone.

All in all, working out at home has a lot of benefits that people are unaware of. Most importantly, make sure you do what feels right for you and the fitness results will come. Stay consistent!

mindbodygreen

We all know working out will make us healthier, stronger, have less stress, more energy, and live longer.

So then why is it so hard for us to stick to a program and go to the gym with consistency?

I used to be a diehard gym dweller, but over the years, I have found working out at home to be far more effective.

Here are 10 great reasons to rethink paying tons of money to join a gym, and workout at home instead:

1. You can wear whatever you want.

You can workout in your pajama pants, sip coffee, and wear your glasses.

No one is there to even see what you’re wearing, and you can save yourself the painful experience of shopping for spandex – a definite plus!

2. You can listen to your music out LOUD.

You can listen to your kind of music as loud as you wish. You don’t have to wear the earbuds that keep falling out.

You don’t have to listen to other people’s music that you hate. You can watch TV or follow the workout video of your choice. You can even listen to a book to catch up on some reading.

3. You really don’t need all that fancy equipment anyway.

There are bodyweight workouts that are challenging and will get you in shape. If you do want some gear, you don’t need a full gym with every imaginable contraption.

A bench and some hand weights that go up in several weight levels is plenty. From there maybe add some free weight plates with a lifting bar.

4. You can practice your killer dance moves.

During your rest periods, you can jam out to your tunes, and even practice the new line dance, hip hop or two step.

Dance away! Fitness is about whole body health that connects to your spirt, and what better way to express that than through dance?

5. You can watch your muscles working.

Making the mind-muscle connection is the most effective way to get the most from your workout. You can make that connection better the more of your body you can actually see. I would never bare my tummy at the gym, but at home, you bet I do.

I can see it working and it helps me focus on movements and engaging the muscles properly.

6. You can have a private moment

When we are going through a difficult time in life, working out can tend to stir up hormones and emotions all at the same time. This creates some very cleansing, but personal, emotional moments.

You can’t do that in public. But you most certainly can let the waves of emotion wash over you at home.

Cry away if it hits you. It’s just fine to let yourself feel how difficult life is at this moment and let it go.

7. You’ll be forced to educate yourself about fitness.

Working out with limited equipment means you have to get creative, and for that you have to get educated. Spending time getting educated means you are even more invested in your workout time. Scope out the best websites for your fitness routines!

8. You can workout in shifts.

Working out at home lets you break up the day if you need to.

If you have small children, thirty minutes of uninterrupted time may be a luxury you never have.

But three, 10-minute segments broken up during your morning is achievable when you work out at home. I had to do this often when my boys were small. A little annoying, but better than nothing.

9. It’s easy to tack on a meditation.

Good luck trying to find your Zen and meditate at the gym. But at home, doing a short meditation right after your workout is the perfect time.

No one is there to interrupt you, gawk at you, or judge you.

10. Fitness happens in the kitchen, anyway

Most of us would be better off investing more thought, planning and time into what we put into our bodies instead of how we move our bodies.

Our fitness is eighty percentage attributed to what we eat. So why not invest our hard earned dollars and time where it matters more – in the kitchen?

Bottom line: do what feels right for you.

Whatever you choose, what’s most important is honoring the one body you were given to live in and explore in.

We don’t find time to take care of ourselves, we make it!

Exercising at the gym versus home: Which one is better?

No one needs to join a gym to exercise regularly. As many of the exercises we’ve selected for our workouts attest, your body offers the cheapest equipment available. A small investment in additional equipment—such as hand weights, resistance tubing, and a stability ball—greatly expands your exercise options.

Gyms do have advantages, though. Monthly fees are a big incentive to exercise. Classes offer companionship, a chance to learn proper technique, and opportunities to challenge your body and sample new trends. Gyms can afford sturdy equipment that would drain your bank account and take up floor space at home. Often personal trainers are available for weekly appointments, small group training sessions, or a short-term overhaul to freshen your routine. Also, for many people, being around others who are investing time and effort in their physical fitness is motivating.

When looking for a gym, consider these questions:

  • Based on your goals, which amenities will you really use (classes, trainers, showers and sauna, or just gym equipment)? Watch out for additional amenities that hike up cost.
  • How busy is the gym at the times you expect to work out? Is there sufficient equipment so you won’t waste time waiting?
  • Can you test-drive the gym with a free pass for a day or week?
  • Is equipment in good shape and sized to fit you?
  • Are staff members well-trained, pleasant, and appropriately certified and experienced?
  • Is everything clean and well-maintained?
  • Are there ways to trim membership costs to fit your pocketbook? You might save money by working out only during off-peak hours, selecting a gym with limited amenities, or choosing a community center, a storefront gym, or a branch of the YMCA.

For additional advice and tips to help you get the most from your workouts, purchase the Workout Workbook, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

Image: nd3000/Getty Images

Disclaimer:
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

Wanting to get into shape can be simultaneously exciting, confusing, and frustrating. There are so many marketing sharks out there looking to prey upon people trying to lose weight that it can be genuinely difficult to decide what is healthy and what isn’t; what you need to get in shape fast and what is just another piece of garbage fitness gimmick.
So amongst all the white noise, how does one get in shape fast, cheap, and relatively easy?
Workouts to get into shape
“You’ll never regret a workout”. Exercising is absolutely essential to getting into shape fast. It also keeps you youthful, healthy, attractive, and mentally sharp.
You don’t need the luxury of a gym membership to get fit, but you do need a well rounded routine consisting of these three aspects of fitness:
Cardio
Cardio workouts are one of the best ways to create a caloric deficit and ultimately end up dropping off extra pounds. It encourages heart health, proper blood circulation, and a lean body. Everyone should aim for at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity, most days of the week in order to keep heart disease and extra bodyweight at bay, but if you are looking to get lean, you will see results faster if you bump that daily tally up to a full hour. Again, you don’t need a gym for this aspect of fitness; walking and jogging outdoors, mowing the lawn, and gardening are all examples of things that “count”.
Strength Training
Strength training is an aspect of health that you can’t afford to neglect, no matter if your fitness goal is to lose weight, slim down, build muscle or gain strength. Adding strength training workouts to your routine 3-4 days a week will increase your metabolism, strength, and bone density, and help you lean out or gain mass, depending on the weight and reps that you use.
You don’t need a gym for strength training, either. Bodyweight exercises are sometimes even more challenging than those using machines or dumbbells. What you do need is a strength training routine that works muscles in a way that will help you avoid injury while you develop proportionate, lean muscles. Fitness Blender Workout Videos are an excellent example of routines that you can do at home without any equipment.
Flexibility
Flexibility is an essential part of what allows you to stay active throughout your entire life, which is in turn essential to maintaining a high quality of life…and a healthy body weight. If stretching is not exciting enough for you, put it into a context that is easier to stick to; yoga or Pilates, for example.
Eating well to get into shape; tricks and tips to drop pounds faster
When it comes to getting fit, eating healthily is just as important as working out.
Cut out refined foods and fast foods
Aside from the fact that most refined foods are horrid for your health, they aren’t going to do you any favors when it comes to getting back into shape, either. As often as you possibly can, opt for fresh foods over boxed or packaged ones, and whenever time allows, cook your meals from scratch. Make this change and you will likely notice an immediate drop in bodyweight, if not just from a reduction in overall salt intake; packaged foods tend to be loaded with sodium.
Eat multiple, small, preplanned meals
Ditch the 3 large meals a day and/or any plans of fasting in exchange for smaller, more frequent meals. When you eat small meals every few hours, you keep your metabolism high and a frenzied hunger at bay. Preplanning meals helps you make smart diet decisions and avoid situations where you find yourself either munching all the way through making dinner or pulling into the nearest fast food drive-thru.
Balance carbs, proteins and fats
There are many diet plans out there that have vilified one or more of these critical diet pillars but all of them are necessary in order for your body to function. Stick to the recommended 60% carbohydrates, 20% proteins, and 20% fats.
Track calories in order to create a snapshot of your consumption
Using a food log is a good way to get an idea of whether or not you are creating a caloric deficit and whether or not you are eating a balanced diet conducive to getting into shape. For even further insight into the calories consumed, calories burned equation, consider investing in a calorie counting weight management device to help you stay motivated towards your goals.
Aim for sustainable diet changes
Whatever you do, stay away from fad diets. You may lose weight in the short term but you are far more likely to gain once you’re finished with any drastic fad diet plans. “Diets” don’t work; healthy lifestyle changes are what are going to get you into shape and keep you there.
Eat to nourish the body
Think of food as fuel. Take care of your body. Make dietary choices that nourish your body and make you feel good. Listening to your body makes it easier to get in shape, too; eat when you’re hungry, and stop when you feel full
There is a constant stream of new fitness tools, weight loss pills, and fad diets, but the truth is that the only way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you take in. If you’re looking to lose weight or get fit, don’t let yourself be fooled by any program that delivers anything else outside of a balanced nutrition plan and regular exercise routine. In other words; don’t take weight loss supplements of any kind, don’t fear carbohydrates, and don’t let anyone convince you that exercise does nothing for weight loss.
If you buy into anything at all, buy into a healthy lifestyle that you can sustain. Keep this in mind; if you cannot maintain whatever it is that is helping you drop weight, you will not be able to maintain your weight loss or your fitness progress.

zen habits : breathe

Two common barriers for people who want to exercise and get in shape are a lack of time and money needed for fitness.

Who has the time to go to the gym, or buy expensive equipment, or take long bike rides?

Well, if those are the things stopping you, you’re in luck.

It takes no equipment to get a great workout and get in shape, and with one or two pieces of simple equipment, you can turn that great workout into a fantastic one, you magnificent beast, you.

And with little or no equipment required for a fantastic workout, you can do it at home, or wherever you are. Even if you’re in solitary confinement.

It’s hard not to find time for this type of workout — you can do it while watching TV, for goodness sake!

The Pros and Cons of Bodyweight Exercises

Using just your bodyweight, you can do a large number of challenging exercises. I designed a workout that I do when I can’t make it to the gym, for example, and I can testify that it’s incredibly challenging (more on that below).

If you add just one or two pieces of equipment: a dumbbell, a kettlebell, a jump rope, a medicine ball, or a chinup bar, for example, you can increase the challenge even more.

Now, I’m not putting down lifting weights — I truly believe in lifting heavy weights when you can, but there are tremendous benefits from bodyweight exercises as well:

  1. No gym fees or need to buy expensive equipment.
  2. You can do the workout anywhere, anytime.
  3. Most exercises involve many muscles working in coordination, resulting in great overall fitness and strength.
  4. For people who are just starting with strength training, bodyweight is often more than enough to begin with. And it gives you a good foundation of strength you can build on later.

Bodyweight exercises aren’t the only thing you should ever do, however, for several reasons:

  1. After awhile (a couple months perhaps), they aren’t all that challenging. You’ll need to continue to build your strength by adding weights. You can do that with some simple equipment (see below).
  2. If you don’t have at least one or two pieces of equipment — a chinup bar or a resistance band perhaps — some muscles don’t get worked out as much as others. That’s not a problem over the short term, but over the long term you’ll want to make sure you get a balance.

I suggest starting with bodyweight exercises, and then slowly transitioning to a combination of bodyweight and weight training to get a good balance. And even if you’re doing a complete weight training program, you can always use bodyweight exercises anytime you can’t make it to the gym.

My Workout — Just a Sample

What follows is a little workout I’ve been doing recently when I can’t go to the gym — it’s just a collection of exercises that use compound muscles and joints to give me a total-body workout with nothing but my bodyweight and my chinup bar.

However, this is not the only workout you can do — not by a long shot. This is a sample, but you should look at the next section for a much wider variety of challenges.

How to do this workout: do a bit of a warmup — jumping jacks, jump rope, or just jogging in place for a few minutes will get your heart rate going. Then do the exercises in order, for 30 seconds to two minutes (depending on what kind of shape you’re in), with as little rest in between as possible. If you’re new to exercise, feel free to rest fully between exercises, but if you’re in decent shape, doing them one after another is a great workout. Like me, you’ll probably have to stop to catch your breath a few times — it’s a tough workout!

Create Your Own Awesome Workout

Now that you’ve seen my sample workout, you can create your own by picking whatever exercises tickle your fancy. Just choose 5-12 exercises and do them all, either with or without resting. Once that gets easy, do a second circuit.

A few suggestions:

  1. Choose a variety of exercises that work out all the parts of your body. Don’t do all variations of pushups, for example. You should be doing some pulling exercises (like pullups), some lower-body exercises, like lunges and squats, and others that work out all of your body, like burpees.
  2. If you want a real challenge, mix cardio exercises (see below) with the strength exercises.
  3. If you have some of the equipment listed below, definitely use them. Or buy one or two pieces of equipment … but there’s no need to rush out and buy a whole bunch of things. You can get a great workout without equipment, at least for awhile.
  4. If you’re just starting out, take it easy and gradually build up. Don’t get discouraged, and don’t overdo it!
  5. As you get stronger, gradually add weights. Dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, and medicine balls are some good ways to do that. It’ll take a couple months of bodyweight exercises, though, before you really need to move to weights.

Basic bodyweight exercises

There are many, many variations of bodyweight exercises, but here are some of the more common ones:

Exercises requiring minimal equipment

You don’t need to buy all of this equipment, but if you have any, these are great. Or buy one or two pieces in order to add an extra challenge to your workout:

  • Pullup bar: Chinups, pullups, hanging knee raises (here’s the one I use)
  • Resistance band
  • Medicine ball
  • Kettlebell (video)
  • Dumbbells
  • Tractor tires — there are lots of exercises where you flip tires, jump through them, etc.

Cardio exercises

  • Jumping jacks
  • Jump rope – requires jump rope, of course, but it’s a great workout (video)
  • Side shuffles
  • Touchdowns
  • Run 800 meters (or a mile)
  • Interval running
  • Rowing (requires a rowing machine)
  • Other cardio exercise machine if you have it

Home workouts that work

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