Well, the world has certainly changed as of late and as a by-product of these changes, so too has our ability to go to the gym for our workouts. As I have said before, the gym represents a place where growth occurs, a place we depend upon to make us feel better and an environment conducive to social interactions, hard work and above all else a habitat that fosters change. That’s a lot to lose in a very abrupt way as we have all seen and encountered and it’s in our best interests as a fitness and global community to do all that we can to maintain our health to the best of our capabilities. To do so, we must maintain our status quo, as closely as we can, by introducing a brand new training stimulus to our training regimes; enter the ‘At Home’ workout.
With a few simple pieces of equipment along with some good old fashion innovation, you can create a workout plan that is easily done at home to help you maintain your muscle and perhaps even maintain your sanity during this trying time of Social Distancing.
To help you out and to give you some ideas as to where to start, here is a look at my current ‘At Home’ training model for maintaining muscle.
*Items you will need to progress through this plan include: resistance bands, one set of dumbbells, one chair and space
Day One: Chest and Shoulders
Modified Push-Ups (done off your knees)
Front Raises using the dumbbells
Dumbbell Lateral Raises
Feet Elevated Push-Ups (off the chair)
Banded Face Pulls
Day Two: Back and Traps
Pull-Ups (if you have an overhead grip space)
Banded Straight Arm Pull Downs
Banded Upright Rows
Dumbbell Upright Rows
Banded Dumbbell Pull-Overs lying on the floor
Day Three: Biceps and Triceps
(each biceps exercise can be interchanged with the resistance band)
Triceps Dips (off a chair)
Dumbbell Hammer Curls
Banded Triceps Push Downs
Dumbbell Concentration Curls
Overhead Extensions using dumbbell or resistance band
Day Four: Legs
Walking or Stationary Lunges (use bodyweight)
Dumbbell Stiff Leg Dead Lifts
Banded or Dumbbell Squats
Banded Stiff Leg Deadlifts
Banded or Dumbbell Bulgarian Squats
Unilateral Calf Raises (off step or stair)
How to Execute the Workout
Alright, so now that I’ve given you a good workout split along with some really great exercises to choose from, we have to talk about the execution of your reps. Chances are, following the Max-OT way of training is going to be difficult for you with regards to increasing the weight or resistance you use from week to week. That’s fine because now what we can focus on is the other facet of Max-OT training and that’s getting more reps with the same resistance from week to week.
In order to really benefit from that, how you perform your repetitions is going to be very important here. What I’d like to see you do with each rep you perform is a very slow and focused range of motion throughout the movement taking the time to really connect with the muscles by feeling them lengthen and shorten with each rep you do. Take time in the eccentric to feel that nice stretch and then spend even more time in the peak of the contraction by super squeezing the muscle as hard as you can for an extended amount of time.
Because the weights or resistance you’ll be using within your ‘At Home’ program won’t be what you’re used to doing at the gym, you have to do something to make the light stuff feel harder than it is and that’s by slowing things down and focusing on the stretch and squeeze of each rep. Just by virtue of this change to your rep execution, I’m betting you will feel sore in ways you’re not used to and that will be a good sign that your body likes the new stimulus and will hold onto and maybe even build new muscle tissue.
Now that we’ve got the workout part of the ‘At Home’ plan down, there are other things you need to keep in mind during this unprecedented time in our history. First and foremost, keep with your diet. The fact of the matter is that even if you can’t complete the workout above to its full capacity, you won’t lose all of that hard-earned muscle overnight or even in a couple of weeks. That’s the good news. The bad news is that if you fall off your diet, then things can and will change dramatically for you in a negative way so don’t allow that to happen and stick with eating the foods on your current meal plan.
Secondly, focus on maintaining your supplement protocol. The supplements you’ve decided to use were chosen to optimize your health and training, so why would you stop using them now when your health is the main priority. Continue using your VP2 Whey Isolate, GL3 l-glutamine, Multi-Pro 32X, and DHEA to maintain your standard of healthy living and give yourself a fighting chance at staying as healthy as you possibly can.
Your dedication to health and fitness does not have to end while we strive to protect ourselves and others by staying safe and adhering to the new social distancing norms we are asked to practice. In a time where we need to come together as a community by limiting our interactions with each other, ‘At Home’ workouts could potentially become a common routine day for us for the unforeseen future. So do your best to stay safe, stay active and stay healthy and we’ll see you at the gym when that time comes again.