Going to the gym may not be a step on everyone's road to fitness. There are a number of reasons why this could be the case: cost of membership, convenience or even confidence issues. This shouldn't be a deterrent to you, as working out at home is an effective, alternative solution.
Here are five tips to guide you on how to get started with building a workout regimen and the equipment you need to get fit in your house.
If your plan is to work with weights, you'll definitely need dumbbells. They allow for more variety of exercises than a barbell, and they take up less room. A great way to save space would be to invest in adjustable dumbbells, instead of an entire rack.
The second thing would be to consider investing in an adjustable bench. Not only does this facilitate the kind of lifts you do, it also allows you to do split squats, dips and overhead presses. Instead of going to a physical store to get a bench, try sourcing for one online, or even secondhand to save yourself some money.
A pull-up bar is another option to consider if you're tight on space. Install one above your room door, and you've got a great piece of equipment to perform bodyweight exercises on. Given that a pull-up is one of the most effective exercises to train your upper body and core, don't think of this as losing out to having a full dumbbell rack at home. There are many pull-up variants that target specific muscles, allowing you to really crank up to concentrate on body parts you want to work.
ESTABLISH A ROUTINE
Instead of going into working out completely off the cuff, do some research and formulate a routine based on your goals. Creating a split routine is one great way to establish a regimen. It could look something like this with each group being one day's exercise:
- Shoulders and arms
- Back and chest
Get online, or check out our resources here for succinct information on exercises you can do to achieve your goals. Working out at home doesn't mean you are bound to the same exercises. Switch it up once you know what works for you, and what moves bring you the best results. Dedicate some days in a month to full-body workouts, if you don't have much time, or simple bodyweight exercises for variety. The possibilities are endless.
KNOW SOME GUIDELINES
Working out is a highly personal thing. Do what works for you, and keep doing it until you get to where you want to be. But if you're a beginner, and are confused about how to get started with planning a routine, there are some basic guidelines to help.
Firstly, having 6 to 8 moves per muscle group at about 10 to 15 reps per set is a good place to start. Ideally, you should do between 3 to 4 sets per move. This can vary, or the amount of the reps performed if your muscles are feeling tired.
For bigger muscle groups like your legs, try cutting down the types of exercises you do, and focus on major compound lifts like deadlifts or squats to achieve the same impact.
Rest is also crucial. If you're doing straight sets, be sure to give yourself a break in between sets, for about 30 seconds to a minute, and a 90 seconds break when moving on to another exercise.
You can also check out our workout of the week here for more inspiration for routine building.
DON'T NEGLECT THE OUTDOORS
The great thing about Singapore is the sheer amount of outdoor resources available to facilitate your exercise routine. Jogging outdoors is an obvious one, especially if your neighbourhood has a running track. Another neglected facility are the community exercise grounds around the neighbourhood. Even if some of the equipment provided aren very basic, there are functional options like pull-up racks and a bench that you can integrate into your routine. These help with bodyweight exercises, or you can even plan a circuit around the grounds for a more engaging workout.
Being at a gym gives you a certain pressure of having other people around, which may motivate you to be a bit more conscientious when you're working out. Exercising at home may sometimes lead to the temptation of procrastination. Don't succumb to this, and stay disciplined. If need be, mix up your routine to feel engaged again. Building muscle at home is all about being dedicated and following through.
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Let one of Singapore's most iconic bodybuilders show you how it's done.
It's easier than you think.
- April 07, 2017
- Beatrice Bowers