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5 Ways To Make Your Home Workouts More Challenging (Other Than High Reps or Training 'Til Failure)

Updated: Feb 24, 2023

Are you stuck training at home with no equipment? Are you constantly doing high repetition sets or just telling yourself to keep going until you max out trying to keep your training challenging? Are you bored? I totally understand if you said yes to that last question so I compiled a list of different (and more interesting) ways you can make your at home workouts harder.

A. Add in isometric holds for pre-fatigue or post-fatigue

Performing a static hold before an exercise that works the same muscles will pre-exhaust said muscles making your second exercise much harder. For example, doing a 15 second push up hold before performing a set of push ups.

Adding in a static hold after an exercise provides an extra stimulus to challenge the muscles that have just been worked. For example, adding in a bear hold after a set of squats.

B. Performing 1 1/4 reps

Adding in partial reps is another fun way to increase the metabolic demand on your muscles. Using a chin up as an example, you'll pull up to the top of the bar, lower down a quarter (or half) of the way down, pull yourself back up and then lower yourself all the way down.

C. Increase the range of motion

When you increase your range of motion, more muscle fibers are used! For example, in a push up, you could elevate your feet so you're performing a decline push up or with a Bulgarian split squat, you could elevate the front foot.

D. Slow down

Increasing the time you take to perform the eccentric (downward phase) or concentric (upward phase) of an exercise increases the intensity of the movement. For example, taking three seconds to lower on a squat and another three seconds to move up from the squat. While a set definitely takes longer doing this, you won't need to perform as many repetitions!

E. Add in pauses

Another way to add time under tension and therefore, increase the difficulty of a movement is to add in a pause where the muscles are most contracted. For example, holding the top of a hip thrust for five seconds will really get your glutes firing.

I hope these methods inspire you to keep training hard at home! Let me know if you incorporate these into your program or if you have any questions. Shoot me an email or send me a direct message on Instagram @danielemendoza!

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