Recently, I was asked by a fitness professional and health and fitness writer friend of mine (Linda Melone) to explain some of the challenges of doing home workouts. I thought that this would be something I could add a little more depth to here.
Working out at home seems like a perfect solution for many people. There are no crowds, no travel, only music that you like, etc., which is true of course, however, it’s never that simple. Here’s a partial list and explanation of some of the drawbacks of trying to work out at home.
- You bought the equipment, but don’t really know what to do with it. Not having a well-constructed program will cause you to pause and to pause is to put off, possibly indefinitely. Hire a certified personal trainer to create an individualized program that you can follow.
- You bought the equipment, but people often think they will get the workout in when they get a break in their daily routine. Unfortunately, things come up (Phone calls, chores, kids, pets, etc.) and the workout never happens. Don’t assume the window of opportunity will magically appear. Schedule your workouts ahead of time and stick to the schedule. Treat it as an appointment that you must keep.
- You think you will simply follow a program you found on the internet. Well, the challenge here is that the program is not specifically for your needs/wants and, while it might be difficult to do, it may be completely inappropriate for you and your goals. It could also be dangerous or just plain pointless. I found this wall-sit workout online. The only sane reason for possibly doing it would be if your old high school rival challenged you to a “sit off”. Then, well, maybe there’s a reason for doing it. What’s the answer? Once again, hire a certified personal trainer to create an individualized program that you can follow.
- You bought an exercise video to use at home. Just because someone produced a video, doesn’t mean they know what they are doing. Even some fitness celebrities are grossly misinformed. Also, as with videos from the internet, it may be completely inappropriate for you. If you want to use a video, at least get a recommendation from a certified personal trainer.
- Sticking to a program at home can be challenging. At a club you develop friendships that help to keep you accountable. At home, it’s just you reporting to you. To stay on track, use a calendar to check of the days you completed your workout. Reward yourself when you reach a certain goal, such as after 20 workouts you reward yourself with a massage.
- Another reason people don’t stick with their program is that they become bored and/or they plateau. The biggest culprit here is doing the same program without change. Of course it becomes boring and less productive. Every 4-6 weeks, rehire your personal trainer to create a new workout for you with new exercises and new progressions. This will help keep you interested and the gains will keep coming.
Home workouts can and do work for many people. If you want to be successful at it, start by engaging a certified personal trainer to create a program based on your own individual needs and goals. (This can be with whatever equipment you may have, just body weight, or they may recommend specific equipment you should have.), create a workout schedule and stick to it, and have the trainer come back to revamp your program every 4-6 weeks.