It's been more than a month since gyms have been closed and I hope you've found a way to keep training and moving. Restrictions may be easing but gyms still aren't opening up, so if you're getting bored of your current home workouts and are looking to create a new program for yourself, I've compiled some tips for you!
1: Plan and Theme
Plan your training and be realistic with how many days you'll actually train. An effective exercise program is one you can consistently follow.
If you're able to dedicate 2-3 days to train, I suggest planning 2-3 total body sessions that work all movement patterns. If you're able to train 4+ sessions each week, I suggest a more focused split, for example 2 days of 'Pulling & Hinging' and 2 days of 'Pushing & Squatting'.
2: How to Structure The Workout
A. Warm Up:
Your warm up should include mobility and movements that are specific to what you will be training that day. For example, doing scapular push ups and glute activation before a 'Pushing & Squatting' workout.
Harder, compound movements (think push, pull, squat & hinge) will be first as these are most likely what you are prioritising to gain strength in. For example, pull ups and deadlifts on a 'Pulling & Hinging' day.
This portion will be made up of 1-3 exercises that will require lower repetitions because of the high effort needed to perform the movement.
After, add in 2-5 exercises that target the muscles you worked during your Strength portion that you'll do more repetitions of but require less effort.
Examples for a 'Pulling & Hinging' workout include:
- Single leg glute bridges
- Banded rows
Examples for a 'Pushing & Squatting' workout include:
- Walking lunges
- Banded chest flys
This portion can also include isolated core exercises, such as hollow body holds.
Unless you have specific cardio goals, if cardio is on the menu, save it for last.
3. How To Make Exercises Challenging With Limited Equipment
If you don't have access to weights to make an exercise hard, use different methods such as:
A. Time under tension, for example, making the concentric and eccentric phases of an exercise slower.
B. Adding pauses, for example, pausing at the bottom of a squat for 3 seconds.
C. Adding in isometric holds before a strength exercise to pre-fatigue the muscle or after the strength exercise to add more stimulus. For example, doing banded shoulder presses before or after a set of piked push ups.
D. Shorten your rest breaks so muscles are still fatigued before you start your next set.