Many times I myself as an in home personal trainer get tempted to join a gym. I look at my home fitness equipment which includes; a BOSU ball, TRX, resistance bands, adjustable dumbbells up to 50 lbs and a stability ball to name a few – and I wonder if I have enough gear to build a stronger bigger and more lean body? Do I have the proper training tools to make my home workouts harder?
I sure do. But of course I can always add more. I could add a home gym, an elliptical, a treadmill and more from Spartan Fitness (my dream gym soon to come)…but I need to ask myself, “will all this extra equipment accomplish my fitness goals?”
What do You Want?
Essentially I do not want to become the next Dorian Yates. If that was the case, I would need to join a gym with a lot of heavy weight accessible for a body building program. Ultimately I want the look of an Ultimate Fighter like Georges St. Pierre – without the cauliflower ears mind you.
But let’s say you have less than what I have. Let’s say you have just 5 and 10 lb dumbbells and maybe 1 resistance band. How do you accomplish your fitness goals with just that?
You Need Compound Sets
So what exactly is a Compound Set? It is where you perform a set of an exercise that trains a certain muscle group for a determined amount of repetitions or over time. Then you do different exercise that trains the same muscle group with no rest in between.
For example, you would do a set of push-ups until failure or 90% of your maximum amount. Then with no rest at all you would lie on your back and do a set of dumbbell chest presses until failure. That is known as a Compound Set. This method is perfect for the home fitness enthusiast who has very little equipment.
The reason I picked push-ups first was because they are a hard to do exercise that involves many muscles that burns a lot of calories. You are working your chest, shoulders, triceps and core all at once.
Dumbbell chest press comes right after because most people (even beginners) could probably perform 20 – 30 reps of this light weight exercise. However, after a sequence of hard push-ups you might not be able to get in 15 – 20 reps of 5 or 10 lb dumbbell presses.
Another example of a Compound Set that can make your home workouts harder would be back to back squats. Now because squats involve a lot of big strong muscles, you might need to make things a little more difficult. In order to make your resistance band squats harder try a Compound Set with body weight jump squats to start.
If you exhaust your leg muscles by challenging your anaerobic and aerobic system with plyometric jump squats first – resistance band squats can be quite challenging right after. Therefore this would not require you to have multiple levels of resistance bands at your home.
What it Really Takes
When it comes to making your home workouts harder, you just need to be creative and understand proper program design. If you need help designing the perfect home workout plan, we can assist in all your program design efforts. Our team of certified mobile personal trainers customize your personal fitness program based on a number of factors;
- Fitness Goal Desired
- Equipment Accessible
- Location of Training
- Time Available
Contact us to book your free fitness assessment today and we can quickly show you how to make your home workouts harder.
by Robert Foster, Owner