Skipping rope is an excellent form of cardio vascular exercise that can be done at home(Shutterstock)
Skipping rope is an excellent form of cardio vascular exercise that can be done at home(Shutterstock)

Fit and fine by Kamal Singh: How to workout at home

If you don’t want to join a gym, you can still workout at home and be fit
Hindustan Times | By Kamal Singh CSCS
PUBLISHED ON FEB 22, 2020 10:17 PM IST

I am asked this question and variations of it, at least a couple of times in a day – “Can I lose fat/gain muscle if I don’t have access to a gym?” My answer is yes, you can lose fat as well as gain muscle even if you are working out at home. It is generally difficult to motivate yourself to workout with intensity and consistency when people train all by themselves. Plus, home workouts tend to get boring for most people as the number of exercises are limited as a result of having no equipment or very little equipment. But it can be done!

How to train at home

•Fix a time in the day and stick to it. Switch off your phone’s ringer. Just focus on the workout.

•Do multiple sets of pushups, squats, lunges – front, side and reverse, different types of crunches, leg raises and planks.

Burpees can also be used for cardio. As you get fitter, you can do more burpees per minute (Shutterstock)
Burpees can also be used for cardio. As you get fitter, you can do more burpees per minute (Shutterstock)

•Since you can’t increase the weight on your exercises, increase the volume. A unique way is to use the ladder system.

•The ladder system: if you can do 20 push ups easily, then you would do 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 push ups. This is known as an ascending ladder. To make things tougher, after finishing the ascending ladder, you can immediately do the descending ladder – 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

•You rest between the repetitions as much time as it took you to do the earlier repetitions. Thus your rest increases as you go up the ladder.

•Once you can easily do the top rung of the ladder of 12 repetitions, then add another rung of 13 repetitions. So on and so forth.

•Cardio can be easily added by running in place 1-3 minutes, rest for 1 min. Do as many you can - up to a total of 30 minutes.

•Burpees can also be used for cardio. Do 5 burpees on the minute every minute for 20 minutes. As you get fitter, you can do more burpees per minute.

Adding equipment

After you have trained at home for a few months and seem to enjoy doing it all by yourself. Its time to up the variety a bit. I do not recommend investing in equipment initially because first see if you will be consistent with your home work outs then spend money on training equipment. A pull up bar which can be attached to a doorway, TRX or a similar suspension training apparatus, a 16 kilo kettlebell and a skipping rope is what I would recommend.

For the lower body, you can do kettlebell swings and deadlifts (Shutterstock)
For the lower body, you can do kettlebell swings and deadlifts (Shutterstock)

Once you have these in place, then adding chin ups or pull ups and inverted rows on the TRX to your workout becomes possible. These exercises would lead to a more complete upper body workout. For the lower body, you can do kettlebell swings and deadlifts.

Skipping rope is an excellent form of cardio vascular exercise. Beats running or walking on a treadmill or cycling on an exercycle in the gym any day. You also burn way more calories jumping rope than you would on a treadmill. Plus, your calves get a fabulous workout. A win win situation for me.

Taking care of diet

Working out is only a part of the equation for gaining muscle or losing fat. Diet is the other half of the equation. Eat under your daily maintenance calories to lose fat or slightly over daily maintenance calories to gain muscle. To find out about your daily maintenance calories, please refer to my last column, The Correct Way To Lose Fat.

Last but not least – discipline

You cannot build a fit physique if you lack the discipline to be consistent. It does not matter whether you have access to a gym or you train at home, get 3-5 days of training week after week and then see the transformation of your body. Its consistency and effort which get the job done, not fancy gyms or expensive supplements. Now go do it…

Author bio: Kamal Singh is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist who has been coaching for 15 years

From HT Brunch, February 23, 2020

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