When training at home, specifically with minimal equipment, you must adapt your training philosophy by manipulating the training variables. Training variables are sets, reps, speed, rest time, load, etc… On the other hand, if you are training in a facility it is easy to change and manipulate external load (i.e. add resistance) placed on your body… that’s what weights are meant to do!
There are a few simple ways that you can guarantee fat loss, lean muscle growth, weight loss and more when it comes to training at home.
Time Under Tension (TUT)
TUT is specific to the length of time your muscles are placed under stress. In order to grow lean muscle mass, which is required to burn body fat, you must engage in TUT for over 30 seconds during training. Without an ability to add resistance, by way of dumbbells or machines, you really should focus on increasing your length of time under tension...
At the Gym: Dumbbell Bench Press for 3 sets x 12 reps
At Home Training: Tempo Pushups for 4 sets x 10 reps
Tempo in the case of pushups or squats means 4 seconds down, 2 second pause and 1 second up...
Extend Out Your Sets
The most common way to extend out your working time, time actually at work and not at rest, is by performing super-sets and/or circuits. Super-Sets are when you go back-to-back with 2-3 exercises. Circuits are when you perform 4 or more exercises back-to-back. By engaging in this style of training you can increase work difficulty and workload, thus increasing calories burned via muscular stress.
At the Gym
Back Loaded Split Squats for 12 reps (controlled pace) each side followed by Band Bridges for 12 reps (pause at the top).
Lift Circuit, 3-4 rounds, all 10 reps each movement:
1. Walking Lunges
2. Seal Sit Up Press
3. Pull Ups
4. One Arm Dmbl Bench
At Home Training
Bodyweight Bulgarian Squats for 12 reps (2 seconds down, 2 second pause, 2 second ups) each side followed by Band Bridges for 12 reps
Home Training Circuit, 4 rounds, all 10 reps with a tempo of 2 second down, 2 second pause, 2 seconds up...
1. Split Squats
2. Seal Sit Ups
3. Horizontal Pull Ups… from a table
4. STS Pushups
High Volume Training
For home training, when your goal is on physique and body composition, I highly recommend that you program high volume over high intensity reps.
High Volume: 3-5 sets x 12-20 reps
High Intensity: 3-4 sets x 3-8 reps
The increase in volume will allow for greater TUT thus increasing the metabolic workload while adding stress to the muscles. Fat loss, lean muscle growth and other desired traits that come from resistance training are highly likely to happen with a high-volume program done consistently.
Choose Sprints Over Running
The fact is, sprints are far more effective than running, jogging or any other steady state cardio for that matter. Here are some of the positive benefits of doing sprints:
Improves muscle glucose sensitivity and lowers insulin
Increases fat burning
Targets the belly fat
Improves metabolic function and increases lean muscle
Anytime you participate in sprints you need to make sure you provide yourself ample rest in order to be able to sustain the sprint speed. Rest time is nearly as important as the sprint itself. Here are a few examples:
Sprint 100-200-300-400-300-200-100 meters… rest between those sprints is 1-2-3-4-3-2-1 minutes, which aligns with the sprint distance
Sprints 5-8 reps at 100 yards/meters… walk back to rest
Training while at home is not easy, primarily because there are a ton of distractions. Use these program adjustments as a guide to program challenging workouts that motivate you. Most importantly, I find it best to schedule out your workout times, especially while at home, in order to stay disciplined on the goals you have for yourself.