03/16/13 12:30:00

Working Out at Home

I’m trying to live healthy. I go to the gym three times a week, I meditate almost daily, I’m vegetarian, I go running. A lot of my friends and colleagues can’t work out as much as I can. They complain that they don’t have the time, or energy, or equipment. I can’t fix problems 1 and 2 in this post, but every once in a while, the gym annoys me too. And then I just work out at home. Some trainers might say it’s “less efficient”, but that is not entirely true. If you’re going for an Arnold look, it probably is less efficient. If you just want to train your body and feel less stressed out, it does the job quite well. But I digress.

This is, by far, not a "get a ripped body exercise plan". I’m not a trainer. This is just a collection of some exercises I found easy to start with and which work at home.

First, I would recommend to warm up. Go running for about 10 minutes or do some light exercises. Anything, really, but warm up before you exercise!


There are a ton of apps on the iOS App Store with databases of exercises. Every app you find will claim to have more exercises than the other. Each update adds, hold it, even more exercises. Who has the time to fiddle around with all these apps for so long? Almost all contain only gym exercises too. So that’s not helpful.

Working out at home is a real problem, because the fitness industry is only targeting the gym people. If you want to work out, you have to go to the gym. That’s not true. You can work out from home very well.

Most likely you don’t have their equipment (or the money to buy it). That’s not a problem either. An upcoming fitness trend is called “bodyweight exercise”. A fancy way of saying you’re doing exercises without weights. I recommend you do some research on bodyweight exercises on Google. I’m sure you’ll find plenty.

Another downside of working out in the gym is that movement sequences are unnatural or monotone. Bodyweight exercises don’t have this problem (generally).

In some cases it’s difficult to use your own bodyweight to get enough weight on the muscle though. In these cases you can use some light weights. Filled bottles, backpacks, bags, etc. You have to make little to no financial investment to get started. Bottles are a cheap replacement for a dumbbell.

With these two limitations set, you should find much fewer exercises now in an app. I like flies. They can be done with a lot of variety and work the upper chest, back and shoulders. Push ups are good too. I tend to do more advanced ones where my feet are on a Pezzi ball. This shows you that even as you get more advanced with your exercises that you can still do them at home. The Latissimus, or lat, is hard to work. You can do pullovers, dumbbell rows (also inverted) or do some good old chin ups or pull ups. Close grip chin ups work the biceps more, wide grip pull ups work the back. I got something like this here just for this exercise. Search for chin up bar on Amazon.

Also: Watch Scooby. He looks crazy, but his advice is spot on.

If you just get started, you don’t need fancy equipment though. You need to make your new “habit” stick.

How to form a habit

In order to make your new fitness plan a habit, it needs to stick. From what I’ve learned from all the motivation books and presentation talks I’ve read and heard, here are some of the best tips:

The average person does about one exercise (singular; not exercises) per week. So if you do more than that, you are above the average already. Congratulations.