Badass Home Bodyweight Workouts
You’re packed and ready to head to the gym, but when you look outside Mother Nature seems to be ravishing the very ground in front of you with rain, sleet, snow, high winds or other problematic conditions. It’s too risky to drive down to the gym, so you instantly think to yourself, “My training day is ruined today.”
But, you’re dead wrong.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno, Tony Atlas, Jay Cutler and many other IFBB professional bodybuilders didn’t become some of the world’s greatest bodybuilders by letting Mother Nature control their training schedule and neither should you. If you want to transform yourself into an unstoppable, massive beast, unnecessary breaks only hinder your results. As a testosterone-filled alpha male, you’re smarter and more strategic than to allow anyone (or thing) from stepping in your way from getting the gains you deserve.
Intensifying At-Home Workouts
When you think of at-home workouts, erase the names Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons from your mind. Their small, barely-sweat-breaking routines often embed themselves into the mind of men serious about training, deterring you from working out at home until you have your own hidden gym in it. However, you don’t have to risk losing your masculinity dancing to 80s music or wearing leg warmers while practically doing nothing more than stretching.
Working out from home comes down to what you make of it. The numerous fitness gear options available for men, and the number of workout techniques discovered since the 80s fitness icons released their renditions of a “working out”, make it impossible for you to not get a good training session in at home. You also don’t have to worry about spending a fortune or lugging around heavy equipment when you strategically plan your workout.
All you need is a yoga mat, set of resistance bands, a steel mace and/or your body weight to perfect an at-home workout made for a serious trainer.
Training Using Primarily Your Bodyweight
If you’re lacking in heavy fitness equipment, don’t worry. You still have access to your own body weight, which is more useful than you might realize. When you move your entire body through space, you have a great neuromuscular demand than when you lift weights. Basically, your brain creates more muscle fibers which increase your strength and gains significantly.
However, the benefits don’t just stop there when using bodyweight training as a source of working out. You also implement less stress on your body than when using heavy equipment. Think about the number of times you’ve had to take a break from working out due to muscle soreness and tension. You may get a quality 150 – 200 workouts in within the year, since you should break two or three times a week to prevent injury to your body when weight training.
Now, imagine if you were told you could supplement your workout by incorporating a few days of body weight training and get around 250 – 300 workouts per year? No matter how you look at it, the guy working out up to 300 days out of the year will be more jacked than the one doing half of that per year. Not to mention, a full body workout is achievable every session with your bodyweight training routine than if you weight train. Each machine or movement with free weights is targeted to certain muscle groups and requires innovation to train more muscles per exercise. Even then, you risk sustaining a significant injury if you use weight training equipment improperly.
Small items like resistance bands, steel maces and kettlebells work alongside many bodyweight training exercises. Equipment like this enhances your bodyweight training since it doesn’t restrict movement and only adds more intensity to your workouts.
Incorporating a High-Intensity Interval Training Style
Amplifying your workout even further to get more gains from using minimal equipment requires you to switch your approach. When you’re lifting weights, you may break a sweat, but it’s never going to leave you out of breath. This is where working out from home benefits you a few times a week.
Instead of taking it “slow and steady”, you can perform High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) programs. Not only will this help with building muscle and strength even quicker, it will also build up stamina. As a man looking to be on top of his game, you know that muscle means nothing without power and stamina behind it.
Essentially, you’re going to take what you know and flip it on its head. HIIT pushes your body between 80- to 90-percent of its full capacity for 3-5 minutes. Exercises performed during this are considered a single set. After completing the set, you will rest for 1-minute before redoing the set again for 4-5 minutes. After completing 3 sets, take a 2-minute rest before starting your new set of exercises.
An HIIT technique helps boost your fitness regimen in many ways, including:
- Pushing your body to its limit through most of the workout;
- Infuses weight, strength and cardio training sessions into one single session;
- Gives you a higher caloric burn than traditional weight training, burning over 750 calories in a 45-minute session; and
- Boosts your metabolism for several hours after the workout, burning away fat molecules in your body.
This training style helps amplify your workout and takes you to the next level. Not to mention, it also offers the benefit of making cardio exercising fun(-ish). At the very least, these two regimens can replace your day for cardio, giving you some serious strength training abilities.
So, if you’re stuck inside because of bad weather or just can’t make it to the gym in time, try out these bodyweight exercises that guarantee to make or keep you shredded.
Always Begin with a Warm-up
Before performing either of these routines, it’s important that you begin with a warm up. This warm up will also be an HIIT exercise but will be less strenuous than the actual workouts. This will help get your blood pumping and release any stiffness in your muscles or joints. Failure to do this warm up may result in injury. You should never perform an intense workout with your muscles cold and stiff.
Try to do three (3) sets of this warm up, increasing your intensity level as you go through it. First, start at around 20- to 25-percent intensity, then do 50- to 55-percent on the next set and finish off the last set with around 75- to 80-percent intensity. Each stage will help ease your muscles into the full intensity workout coming up.
- Run-in-place (30 seconds);
- Use a speed rope (30 seconds);
- Jumping Jack Squat (30 seconds);
- Knee Highs (30 seconds);
- Butt Kicks (30 seconds);
- Plank (1 minute); and
- Low-Plank (1 minute).
Take a 1-minute break between each set to rest and recover.
*Note: Exercises with only an A and B next to the number are considered a “superset”, while those with an A, B and C define a circuit. Supersets should be performed for 4-5 minutes, alternating every 30 seconds between the two exercises to make one set. Take a 1-minute break between each set. Each circuit exercise should be performed for 60 to 90 seconds before moving onto the next. Completion of a full circuit equals one set. Perform 3-5 sets of each.
Home Training Program 1:
1A. One-Handed Pushups *Alternate the hand you use after finishing knee tuck jumps.
1B. Knee Tuck Jumps
2A. Squats (Resistance Band Required)
2B. Bicep Curls (Resistance Band Required)
2C. Seated Rows (Resistance Band Required)
3A. Butterfly Sit-ups
3B. Splinter Sit-ups
3C. Hip Thrusts
Home Training Program 2:
1A. Spider Push-up/Crab Toe Touch
1B. Triceps Dip
2A. Ballistic Curl with Squat (Steel Mace)
2B. Thrusters (Steel Mace)
2C. Grave Diggers (Steel Mace)
3A. Pop up Squats
3B. Plank Jumps
Finish Up with a Cool-Down
Cooling your body down after completing any HIIT session. This will prevent your body from stiffening from sudden inactivity and brings your heart rate down naturally, reducing the amount of stress you can put on it. This is also a great opportunity to get some flexibility training in also since you can use yoga poses and stretches to help cool your body down.
Your cooldown can be anything you make it, but you should make sure you’re moving your body for a few minutes after completing your workout. This part makes bodyweight training invaluable since you can get a full body workout, produce mass and strength quicker and increase your flexibility/mobility at the end.
Become a Man Who Knows How to Improvise
Being a man means you must have true grit to step up to the challenge that’s put in front of you. Not being able to go to the gym because of bad weather or other reasons is no excuse. Prepare and challenge yourself, learning how to improvise on the spot. There’s nothing that defines masculinity like a man who knows how to survive without and still gets the results he wants.
About The Author
Tee Major is co-founder of www.setforset.com which creates unconventional fitness equipment for functional athletes. He believes stronger humans build stronger communities, and community is what makes us human. He also believes climate change is not a hoax created by other nations and that peanut butter is better crunchy.