Home workouts have become increasingly popular over the last few months, not only due to advances in technology, but also due to the pandemic and most of us being in lockdown or working from home. With today being National Fitness Day and perhaps another lockdown on the horizon Anna Cousins, an online personal trainer, reveals her five top tips for crushing a home workout.
- Be structured: There are so many ways you can structure your workout to ensure it runs smoothly. It’s vital to find somewhere that becomes your regular workout space. Setting aside a set space will allow you associate that area with working out and ensure that your equipment is always close at hand. Structuring your time is important too; make sure you put a set time in your diary to do fitness and stick to it. This could be first thing (many people are currently doing their home workouts when they would have otherwise been commuting for instance) or during their lunch break. Ultimately, the timing doesn’t matter so long as you schedule it and stick to it. Where possible try to structure your prep too – from laying out your clothes the night before, making sure you have got the right equipment handy, to knowing whether you need trainers or bare feet for that specific workout.
- Enjoy it: It’s really important that you look forward to your workout. If it feels like a burden, your motivation levels will be always be low. In all likelihood you will then skip workouts and ultimately it won’t be sustainable long term. Everyone is different, some people enjoy HIIT, some like combat-based workouts, and some like Pilates or Yoga. Pick what interests you so you can ensure longevity. Workout length is important too here – many people like to go at maximum intensity for 20 minutes, while others would prefer to grind it out for an hour. Find a workout style that works for you, that you love, and it will become a pleasure, not a chore. After a while, you may even find that your daily workout becomes quite addictive due to the endorphin release.
- Focus on quality over quantity: When working out at home, you’re unlikely to have someone cheering you on or pulling you up if you’re not working hard enough. As such, the intensity at which you work and the amount you focus on your form has to be in your control. If you’re really going to maximise the benefit from your workout then you should always give it your all, but don’t forget that the quality of your workout is always more important than the quantity. It’s much better to do five press-ups well and with good form, than it is to do 20 half-hearted ones. The phrase ‘you’re only cheating yourself is pretty apt here’.
- Get a nutrition plan in place: One of my mantras is that ‘abs are made in the kitchen, not on the gym mat’. Whether your goal is to lose weight, tone up, or build muscle mass, the best results are always achieved when you couple your home workouts with a great nutrition plan that is geared towards that goal. Understanding and sticking to the correct calorie consumption and macronutrient split for your personal goal is key to success.
- Join a community: It’s fair to say that many people love gym-based classes for the social side. Having a chat and gaining support from others is often a big driver behind keeping people motivated and on track. Just because you’re working out from home doesn’t mean you have to miss out on community spirit. Working out with a friend online at the same time or joining an online workout programme that has a community of like-minded people can be really beneficial as it feels like you’re all in it together. These are places where you can interact with other community members, make friends, share stories, ask questions and build a support network. This community will become your biggest cheerleader too which will no doubt spur you on even more.