Home Workouts During COVID 19
Updated: Nov 14, 2020
So, we are all well into a self-isolation period right now and it has been about 6 weeks since I have set a foot into a gym and possibly longer for some of you. And like me a lot of people are starting to miss their daily gym routines, which is perfectly natural.
The rush you get from a session where you have managed to put 5kg more on your squat or a metabolic conditioning session where walk out literally dripping in sweet.
There isn’t a better feeling!!! And it’s easy to see why so many people can get addicted to the rush!
But what are we supposed to do now?
There will be a lot of people out there thinking that they are going to lose all the progress they have made over the past year or that they are going to put on all the weight they have lost because of being stuck at home all day.
Well that is what this blog is about, I am going to help you take advantage of being at home and doing home workouts.
The first point is that we are always in control of our diet.
Because we are on lock down its very easy or people to turn round an say screw it I’m going to eat everything and anything. This can then lead to a slippery dark slop where the worse you feel the worse you eat.
And it is an easy place to go which is harder to get out of.
So, lets remind ourselves of the basic principle of nutrition-
- To lose weight I need to be in a calorie deficit
- To gain mass I need to be I a calorie surplus
Take the time that you have to start tracking and preparing your meals depending on what your goals are.
The second point we can control is the amount of exercise we do.
If you sit in front of the TV then you won’t maintain all the hard work you have done over the past year.
I hear you say ‘I can’t do the same program that I have been doing for the past year at home so what’s the point.’
No, you can’t but that doesn’t mean you can’t get the similar results, you just have to change the way you go about your training to get the same results.
The training principles don’t chance-
Specificity- the training you are doing need to be specific to your goals
Overload- Without an overload in training stimulus the body won’t adapt
Reversibility- Consistency is key, if you don’t train it then you will lose it
Tedium- Needs to be engaging, otherwise you will lose interest and wont train.
Frequency- How often you train. (Session per day/ week/ Month)
Intensity- How hard you train. (load, HR zone, RPE)
Time- How long. (Sets X reps, Minutes trained, Distance covered)
Type- Mode of exercise. (Resistance, Body weight, Metabolic Conditioning)
Recovery- Optimum time to allow recovery and a physical adaptation. (Rest between sets/ sessions)
These are the basic principles of any training program that help us progress through the program to get the results that you want.
Basic movement patterns don’t change-
All of these movement can be trained at home with minimal equipment and you can manipulate the training intensity and volume to get different results.
Research has shown that to produce a strength and hypertrophy response depends on changing training variables like: Load, Volume, Exercise order, Exercises selection, Distance of the Movement and Rest between sets. (4)
An Isometric muscle action is when the muscle length doesn’t change because the contractile force is equal to the resistive force.
It has been proven that isometric exercises can produce strength gains, which can be a brilliant tool when you don’t have the weights available to lift. You are able to get a maximum contraction from the muscle which isn’t easy to do with concentric muscle contractions.
You are able to train a specific joint angle, if you struggle at a specific angle during a squat. Set up your ISO squat at the angle and get strong there, then when you get back to the squat you will have the confidence to get through that sticking point. (1)
Check out my Facebook & Instagram video on Isometric exercises with a towel to get an idea of how to do this at home.
(Click picture to go to Facebook Video)
Super sets/ Tri sets/ Circuits-
Super sets are where you perform an exercise which is the directly followed by a second exercise with limited or no rest.
Tri sets are similar to Super sets but three exercises are used instead of two.
We can use these methods in a very different way to get very different results, they can be used to target specific muscles or allows one muscle group to rest while another works.
- Muscle targeting- BW press ups/ Incline press ups or Bent over row/ Seated cable row, Straight Arm Pull down
- Antagonist and agnostic- Press up/ Bent over row, RDL/ Front squat
- Lower body/ upper body- BW squats/ Press ups/ Shoulder press
Circuits is where you take more than 4 exercise
s and preform them in order before resting and starting again.
These methods can be really beneficial to use during your home workout because:
· You can target specific muscle groups to still feel that pump.
· Little or no rest between exercise will keep the heart rate up for longer there for we can burn more calories.
· Can make more interesting as can vary exercises.
The pictures to the right show a common Antagonist and Agnostic super set. Press ups and Banded Rows
(click picture to go to my Instagram page)
Time Under Tension (TUT)-
TUT refers to the length of time the muscle has to work during a single rep. Imagine doing a doing a squat but you are going to count for 5 seconds on your way down.
Research has shown that at a lower % of 1 RM and increase in TUT can produce hypertrophic reaction from type 1 muscle fibres. The research seems to suggest that muscle failure needs to be achieved for an improvement in size to occur. (2)
This can be applied to your home workout by introducing a rep ratio to the exercises to increase the TUT. The Rep Ratio determines how long each phase of the exercise lasts. E.g. 5-0-2 for a bicep curl would be a 5 sec up (concentric contraction) 0 sec transition (top of curl) and 2 sec down (Eccentric contraction)
Pause reps are very similar to TUT, they make the exercise more intense as they add a pause for 2-5 seconds during a rep. e.g. push phase of a press up you stop half way for a 3 sec hold. The pause increases the time the muscle is contracted for therefore increasing the TUT.
You can use this to your advantage during your body weight training program because it can increase the intensity of an exercises without having to add more weight.
An example of this would be:
If you are really good at doing press ups, add a 3 second pause on the way up and down and see how much harder it gets.
Here are some other things you could do with your time in isolation-
Rest and Recovery-
And before you start slating me about losing all your gains all I am saying is have 2-3 weeks off and not use it as an excuse to sit around for the next few months.
The research shows us that a de-training effect start to take place around 3-4 weeks after we stop exercising, and your Muscles will start to atrophy after around 2-3 weeks after you stopped training. (3)
Once you have given your body a chance to fully recover then it is time to maintain your strength and size you have gained. This can be done with as little as one session per week at 1/9 the volume of your usual training.
The wonderful things about our muscles is that they are able to remember, this is called “Muscle Memory”. This suggest that if you were a trained individual and have to stop training for any reason and you get a de-training effect, there your cells remember. This means when you get back to your training it is easier and quicker to regain your strength and size.
Dysfunctions are a part of training as much as how much we can lift and most people just ignore them and train around them.
I can’t squat past 90 so there for I don’t squat!! I don’t need to do squats anyway!!
Does this sound familiar?
Well we have a perfect chance to fix theses, use this time to increase your knowledge as to the reason why you can't perform an exercise or are getting pain during the movement.
AND fix them,
Get yourself in a position where when you are allowed to get back to training in a gym you haven’t got to start from square one again.
If you would like any help with your home workout then please get in touch, or follow me on social media where i will be posting loads on interesting content!
1- Bogdanis. G.C., Tsoukos. A., Methenthis. S.K., Selima. E., Veligekas. P., Terzis. G. 2018. Effect of Low Volume Isometric Leg Press Complex Training at Two Knee Angles on Force-Angle Relationship and Rate of Force Development. European Journal of Sport Science. 19(3) 345-353
2- Ogborn. D., Schoenfeld. B.J. 2014. The Role of Fiber Types in Muscle Hypertrophy: Implications for Loading Strategies, National Strength and Conditioning Association. 36 (2) 20-25
3 -Ogasawara. R., Yasuda. T., Ishii. N., Abe. Takashi. 2013. Comparison of Muscle Hypertrophy Following 6-Month of Continuous and Periodic Strength Training, European Journal of Applied Physiology. 113 975-985
4- Ratamess N.A., Alvar B.A., Evetoch. T.K., Housh. T.J., Kibler W.B., Kraemer, W.J., Triplett. N.T. 2009. APA Progression Models in Resistance Training for Healthy Adults, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: 41 (3) 687-708