With gyms being closed for over a month now you’ve either continued your training at home or you’ve stopped entirely. In parts 1–3 of this series I laid out the why and how for your quarantine routine. In this article I will discuss how to overcome the problems of training at home.
Before I opened BKC, I trained at home. In fact, I grew up with a home gym in my parents basement. I trained for my first strongman contest in that gym and later built a personal training business out of my the basement of my townhouse. I’ve always had a home gym, and I’ve always utilized it too. You can’t beat the convenience of training at home but there are some potential obstacles.
Problem #1 – distractions
Chores, to-d0 lists, kids, your husband taking selfies while he drinks beer during your workout; the distractions in the home environment are never ending! This is #1 on our list for a reason. It’s tough to get a good training session in while you are distracted.Fortunately there are few ways to overcome this:
Solution 1A – have a written plan
Write down your workout beforehand, including rest breaks. We all have a tendency to rest longer than we should when we workout alone, especially when we’re at home. If you pre-plan not only your sets & reps but your rest periods as well, you’re less likely to get caught up piddling between sets.
Solution 1B – find a partner
We all know the value of having a training partner – they help us stay committed. Just like any accountability partner really. If you don’t have anyone in your home that you can train with, set up something virtually. In this new world we’re living in, it’s the best we’ve got when it comes to social interaction. To be honest, it works quite well, too.
Solution 1C – join an online workout
This covers solutions 1 & 2 because now you have an expert who is writing your workout, keeping the clock and helping you stay committed. This might sound like a pitch to join in on our Zoom or FB Live workouts at BKC, and it is. Because it’s a viable to solution to the problem of being distracted while training at home.
Problem #2 – lack of motivation
Being at home is comfortable. You have your routines, the things you do for leisure and most notably, snacks. It’s way too easy to veg out and lounge around. This is the reason most people go directly to the gym after work because they know that if they go home, they won’t go back out. Now that most of us are stuck at home, that sets the stage for being unmotivated to train at home.
Solution 2A – schedule your day
While it might seem mundane to write out a schedule for a day sitting at home, there are still things that you need to do. Namely eating and training, and you should schedule these things to support (not sabotage) each other. Write your schedule out the night before and include work, leisure and the name of someone you’d like to connect with. That last one has nothing to do with training at all but gives your day purpose beyond yourself.
Solution 2B – see solutions 1B & 1C.
Problem #3 – Lack of equipment
If you didn’t have at least a pair of dumbbells and/or a kettlebell on hand before the quarantine, then chalk that up to a lesson learned. If you are that unfortunate soul, there’s still a few options…
Solution 3A – bodyweight only exercises
Calisthenics is the obvious choice for people who lack training equipment. You can get plenty strong with push ups, pull ups and pistol squats. Gymnasts are arguably the best built and pound for pound strongest athletes there are and they rarely use anything heavier than their body weight.
Solution 3B – odd object training
See part 3 of this series on Stone Lifting or just find the heaviest object in your house or yard to train with. There are 3 things to do with odd objects: 1) lift it overhead (e.g. press) 2) lift it off the ground (e.g. deadlift) 3) carry or drag it for time or distance.
Solution 3C – DIY equipment
There’s so many good DIY alternatives! Everything from weights, to bars, maces and even kettlebells. You don’t have to be especially handy either, some things are ready to go like furniture sliders or even an office chair. In next weeks installment we will look at some of the best options for DIY equipment for training at home.