Designing your own Home Workouts

There are quite a few home workouts on the site which range from using a small amount of equipment to no equipment  at all. They’re good for everything from fat loss to muscle building and they can be tailored to fit the time you have available.

So, you could follow any of these or you could choose to design one of your own home workouts from scratch and in this post, we’ll give you some pointers on what you need to consider if you’d like to do this.

The first question you need to ask is what’s your goal and, if you have more than one, what are their relative importance to one another. For example, you might prioritize losing weight but may also want to improve cardiovascular health.

If your aim is to lose weight or improve cardiovascular health then we’d suggest resistance training in a circuit fashion is the best approach whereas if you solely wish to build muscle or improve your maximal strength at the expense of all else then straight sets are probably preferable. Just to clarify, straight sets are where you do all sets of one exercise before moving onto the next exercise. A circuit entails doing exercise 1 then exercise 2 then exercise 3 and so on and, when you’ve completed all exercises, you start with exercise 1 again and repeat until you’ve completed the target number of sets.

The next decision would be to choose the specific exercises and their order. A good rule of thumb for exercise selection (which we didn’t create) is to have a knee-flexion movement, a hip-flexion movement, a horizontal push and pull and a vertical push and pull. We’d also recommend you prioritize exercises which use the greater number of muscle groups and then perform exercises for single muscle groups e.g. a squat or a kettlebell swing would be performed before a bicep curl or a calf raise.

When choosing the exercises, an important question has to be, “Do I have any injuries or legacy issues that I need to take into account?” For example if you’ve an issue with your knee such as patellar compression syndrome then a reverse lunge is probably going to be easier to sustain than a traditional lunge.

Lastly, for now, we’d urge you to be realistic in deciding how much time you have. There’s an expression doing the rounds at the moment “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good” and while it’s a bit of a cliché , we often see people wanting to have the perfect workout e.g. it hits every muscle group with every exercise they know every single day, improves endurance, burns body fat, build muscle and takes 2 hours.

This simply isn’t realistic for most people. Maybe you can only fit in 10 to 15 minutes a day or perhaps you can do an hour but only twice a week. Let your life schedule be your guide. There’s no point in turning your life upside down to accommodate an extreme exercise routine you won’t stick with it. Go for something sustainable.

We’ll follow up with another post soon on further considerations when you’re designing your own home workouts.