Maintaining Motivation for Training at Home
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you struggle to stay active during these difficult times. Even if you’re motivated to train at home, you probably miss the energy of the gym, and carrying out a basic session feels like an almost insurmountable task. It’s clear even the most motivated of people, personal trainers, and fitness professionals struggle to maintain a training routine during this period. So before we go into key technical principles for optimal home training lets talk mindset. You may be one of those people who know what they need to do but just don’t have the right mindset and approach for them to actually implement the exercise. If this is you please see the key principles as follows:
4 Key Principles for Maintaining Motivation for Training at Home
1. Adapt Your Training Goals
You can absolutely work on advanced strength goals from home but it may be a more optimal use of your time to work towards goals like calisthenic training, functional strength. increasing cardiovascular endurance or rehabbing an injury etc.
2. Follow a Training Program
Training with a suitable program is much more optimal for progression. You are also so much more likely to train if you have a routine to follow. Try to also implement some form of accountability into your week so you can stick to your program. This could be through a friend, family member, or fitness professional.
3. Set Specific Targets Like a Daily Step Goal
Set a goal for the amount of resistance based workouts per week, cardio minutes per week, and step goal per week. Make the targets specific but also realistic. If you like running it’s a good idea to set a total distance or time goal for the week. For your step goal, It’s better to hit a moderate amount of steps than to be overwhelmed by an unrealistic daily goal.
4. Remember That Home Training is Worthwhile
Be aware, many studies show that doing even one session a week at home is going to be of massive benefit when it comes to maintaining muscle mass. It is absolutely worth your time so do not be disheartened!
5 Key Principles to Achieve Muscle Gain With Home Training
Here are some key principles for home training plus an example full body no equipment resistance based session in the video below.
1. Go close to failure on each set, but not necessarily to failure. (1-4 reps away from failure)
2. Utilize unilateral training and intensity techniques (slow eccentrics, paused reps, supersets)
3. 3-5 full body sessions a week, 1-2 exercises per body part and 3-4 sets per exercise
4. Vary your rep ranges (12,20,30)
5. Warm-up before each session with full-body dynamic stretches and a few high-intensity exercises.
Example Home Workout for Muscle Gain:
Evidence and References
- 2013 study from Ogasawara R and colleagues shows when you take 3 weeks completely off the training you do lose a bit of muscle, but you gain it back quite quickly. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23053130)
- 2011 study from Bickel and colleagues shows that even when subjects reduced their training volume to 1/9th of what they were originally doing they were able to maintain the muscle they had built for 8 months, another group that did absolutely nothing went back to baseline and lost all the muscle, this shows its really worth doing something compared to nothing even if its 1/9th of the what you were doing before. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21131862)
- Beginners could actually continue making progress especially if they are not used to the high rep training (50 push-ups for example) this could spark new muscle growth.
- Intermediate to advanced lifters would ideally have some equipment.
Best wishes to all!