We’re in uncertain times right now.
Gyms are one of the key places where people destress as well as work on self improvement. Many of these spaces are now shut around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s never been more important to practice self care through exercise from home. It acts as a nice distraction from all the headlines too.
There are many home workout ideas going around social media right now. Everyone seems to be doing star jumps and finding some use of their sofa. What I’ve created is a little different. You don’t need to put your muscle and strength goals on the backstep.
I have created what I think is the most thorough and complete home workout routine for building muscle at home. There’s an accompanying video too. You can find it at the bottom of this page. I recommend going through the routine here first though.
What you’ll need:
- A mindset for self improvement
- Some resistance bands (super cheap and lightweight way to workout anywhere)
- A TRX suspension trainer (you can use a rolled towel hooked around a door too)
- Pullup bar (ideal for back training and a great place to hook up your TRX)
- A slider (you can use a magazine, a shoe cover, or a bag around your feet too)
Keep in mind most of the exercises are bodyweight-based (only 7 out of 24 exercises require the equipment above). However, having a pull-up bar and a TRX really take things to the next level, especially for back muscles. These are cheap relative to normal home-gym setups. Total investment is around £70-£80.
Home workouts tend to be cardio and circuit based with an emphasis on just maintaining your gains that you built up in the gym. Not this one though. This routine will build muscle and strength across every muscle you can think of.
I have split exercises into 4 different categories:
- Push muscles (chest, shoulders, and triceps)
- Pull muscles (traps, lats, rear delts, and biceps)
- Leg muscles (quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves)
- Abs (upper, lower, and obliques)
1 workout will consist of 1 push exercise, 1 pull exercise, 1 leg exercise and an abs exercise to finish.
There are 6 exercises in each category, giving you plenty of variety and allowing you to work on different areas too.
You could just simply choose which exercises you wanted to do from each category, but you’ll probably be paralysed by choice, or you’ll just stick to what you like and are comfortable with.
I have a better way.
Roll a dice (or download an app if you don’t have dice). Roll once for each category. Each exercise has a number and whatever you roll is the move you do that day. This will remove choice, give you a fun way to generate a random exercise for the day, and give you 1200+ possible workout combinations.
For example, if you roll a 1, four times in a row you will be doing pushups, chinups, bulgarian split squats, and bicycle crunches for that session. An incredible full body workout.
You should aim for 3 sets of 8-20 reps for each exercise. That rep range is important because the exercise needs to be intense enough for you to gain muscle. Keep in mind you should get close to failure (but not actual failure) on each set. Think of keeping 2 reps in the tank (2 RIR – reps in reserve).
Exercise intensity must be adjusted for you to get within this range. Normal push-ups are easy for some people. If this is you, you can do clap push-ups or decline push-ups. Likewise if you struggle with normal push-ups, the intensity is too difficult meaning you should do knee push-ups or incline push-ups to get within 8-20 reps.
There’s nothing magical about that rep range, it just allows us to manage the intensity. I go more in depth on adjusting the intensity for each exercise on the video.
You should focus on just getting close to failure on the abs exercises. You’ll probably do more than 20 reps on some of them, that’s fine.
Because a workout will only be 4 exercises, you can be done within 30 minutes (including warm-up time if we have 60 seconds rest between sets).
This workout can be done 6 times per week.
Alternatively if you only have 3 available days per week and don’t mind longer sessions (around an hour), you can roll twice for each category giving you 2 push exercises, 2 pull exercises, 2 leg exercises and 2 abs exercises per session. This setup will be 3 x longer full body workouts a week.
Check out the accompanying video. Here you will find techniques of all 24 exercises, cues you should be thinking about, and how to adjust the intensity for all too.
I hope you enjoy this workout.