You don’t need a gym membership to get a good workout. Training at home is a great place to kick start your return to fitness, if you’re not already in great shape.
There is a lot of misconception about training both with and without equipment. One of the most prevalent is that more complex is better, after all that is what all the health magazines say isn’t it. You really only need the basic exercises to get the best results in the early stages of your fitness career. It’s not until you have years of CORRECT training that the basics stop working.
Another is variation, if you have ever done cross fit you’ll know this one, the theory that using different exercises each workout to surprise the muscles into stimulating more adaptation. The problem with this theory is skill, or lack of it more to the point. If you don’t do an exercise often enough to be really good at it you will never lift enough to force adaptation from it. This especially lifts like the snatch and clean and jerk, that require a massive amount of skill to progress.
So what should you do?
You only need to do a few exercises. Your initial goal should always be strength as it is the one thing present in every aspect of fitness. Endurance requires strength. The greater the strength the less percentage of effort each repetition or step is, so you can then go further or faster. Power also requires strength. As you get stronger on slow lifts (squats, deadlift & presses) you also get faster on the fast ones, as long as the skill is developed too.
“If you take two athletes with equal skill levels the strongest one will ALWAYS prevail as strength enables the skill to be used more effectively.”Mark Rippetoe (Starting Strength)
So we need to use the movements the body uses everyday. Don’t try to single out muscles that’s not how the human body works best. More importantly the more muscles you use the greater the stimulus for adaption there is (BETTER GAINS!).
Here are the movements that I included:
Squats. We spend half our waking day doing these so the functional cross over is immense whatever the goal.
Press. Some kind of upper body pushing exercise will add balance to the body even if cardio is the primary goal.
Pull. Again balance is key.