Build your own at-home sessions
Let’s face it, we’re all stuck at home indefinitely and most of us didn’t have the foresight to build an at-home gym to prepare for a global pandemic. So, we’re left with some floor space and maybe a couple of pieces of equipment. You, like all of us, have access to tons of online training information. But how about using the extra time on your hands to learn how to build workouts on your own?
I’ve outlined a few quick steps and a framework that you can use to build your own at-home sessions. This is certainly not the only way, but it is certainly a great place to start!
Here we go…
Start by checking in with your body. Do some light stretching of the hips, shoulders, and back. Ask yourself what you’re looking for in the workout— what parts of the body do you want to target? After a few minutes of checking in, you can start to put your session together.
For simplicity’s sake, let’s take a 3x3x3 model for the framework of the workout: 3 circuits of 3 exercises, done 3 times each, for a total of 27 sets. This structure will give you enough time in between the individual exercises for your muscles to recover, while not requiring you to spend too much time building long intricate sequences. All told, you’re going to want to pick 9 separate exercises to make up the workout. I’ve included an example routine at the end of this post in case you need some inspiration.
This structure is intended to be flexible and the resulting workout should take anywhere from 30-60 minutes depending on the duration of each exercise and the amount of rest. I typically recommend 30-90 seconds for more dynamic exercises like jumping jacks, jack knifes, planks, or 8-12 reps for more typical strength exercises, like pushups, squats, and dips.
For the first circuit, try to find 3 light-to-moderate exercises that don’t require full strength to perform. I like to think of the first circuit as an extended warmup, so try to pick 3 exercises that will get your body moving but won’t completely gas you out. It’s also good to build some contrast in this circuit, so pick exercises that don’t all work the same muscles.
The second circuit is where you will address the areas of the body that you want to work the hardest. These will be the 3 main exercises for the day, they should challenge you more than the first circuit and they should also be more direct in terms of fatiguing targeted muscle groups. If you’re at home without weights, you may have to get creative on how you challenge the muscle. If you find performing the regular exercises to be too easy, you can try adding in some pulsing or holds to the end of the set. (Note: See last weeks BLOG post on adding variety to your workout)
The last circuit is an opportunity to express yourself. You can double down on the strength focus of the second circuit or you can jump back into more moderate and dynamic movement of the first circuit. Either way you want to finish the workout on a positive note, so make sure the exercises are achievable while in a tired state. I personally like to put a good full-body exercise into the last exercise slot, that way I can feel like I’m finishing the workout with a bang.
End your workout by picking 3-5 keys stretches that help the body cool down and address any tightness you may have felt through the session.
It’s as simple as that. Now it’s time to put on your favorite playlist and get moving! Feel free to reach out to me or any of the other C3 trainers if you have any questions about which exercises to do and how.
Example session: Lower Body
Stretching and Check-In:
I take myself through some stretching and notice that my hips are tight for some reason. I also recall that I did a heavy ab workout the day before. So I decided that my goal for the day is to focus on lower body and hips in order to build on yesterday’s core session and address some of the hip tightness.
For my first circuit, I want to get my heart rate up and warm up my legs.
-Hand Walk-Outs (30 sec)
-Alternating Reverse Lunges (1 min)
-Deep Squat Rotation (30 sec)
My next circuit is where I’ll go after my legs and hips
-Split Squat w/ Pulses (30 sec per side)
-Single-Leg Bridges (30 sec per side)
-Side Bridges (30 sec per side)
For my last circuit, I’ll get on my feet and move a little more dynamically.
-Jumping Jacks (1 min)
-Reverse Lunge at speed (1 min)
-Ice Skater with Hop (1 min)
I’ll finish the session with some hips and back stretching.