When most people talk about bodybuilding on the forums, in the magazines, or anywhere else, the conversation and pictures are usually focused on what is happening in gyms and health clubs all over. You don't hear about Jay Cutler or Dexter Jackson training in the basement.
If you are competing in a show or wanting to reach optimum physique development, then the gyms and health clubs do have the most options on how to train the individual muscles.
Let's face facts though. There are many people out there who want to get in great shape, build muscle, lose fat and improve their bodies that have to pinch their pennies. They just can't afford to pay the monthly dues and travel back and forth to the gym 5-to-6 times a week. They have families, bills and other things that just make for a tight budget. So they go to the store, buy some free weights, adjustable dumbbells and a bench. Now they have their own gym at home and can pursue their own goals.
Why It Is Good To Train At Home
Despite all the gym talk, it can be a great thing to train at home. You save money on both gas and gym dues, you can work out at your own convenience, and you don't have to wait on someone else to finish his or her sets before you can start on yours. You are the master of your own iron asylum.
Also, when you are done, you don't have to stop somewhere on the way home or wait until you get back to eat and recover. Your kitchen is only a few steps away.
Now the only question is what can they do to train? Sure gyms have free weights too, but they also have machines like the leg press, lat pull-down, cable crossover station, etc. Almost every article out there includes machine exercises too.
Yes, You Can Train At Home And Succeed!
Despite the lack of equipment, you can get into fantastic shape using only what limited tools you have around you. It has been done for decades. There are exercises for every muscle group that you can do in the luxury of your gym, dungeon, prison or whatever hardcore name you give your home based training facility.
Before you start planning your plot for iron domination, there are a few things you need to know.
- Don't go and try to invent new exercises to replace ones you can't do at the gym. This is a surefire way to get hurt.
- Although it is nice to train at home and not wait on people, you still need someone there to spot you when you go heavy. Get someone in the family you trust or ask a friend to come over. Have them partner up and work out with you as well.
- Check out your equipment periodically and make sure everything is still in good condition to use.
- Have a first aid kit handy and a phone close to where you work out in case there is an accident. You can never be too prepared.
This program is based on the typical "home gym" which usually consists of an adjustable bench with rack, plate loaded dumbbells and your body weight. If you have a squat rack or anything else that most home gyms don't, then obviously you should use it. If you have any trouble figuring out these exercises or if you want to try different exercises than those in this workout, then you can go to the Bodybuilding.com exercise database to learn more.
Suggested Training Split
- Day 1: Chest, abs
- Day 2: Back
- Day 3: Legs
- Day 4: Rest
- Day 5: Shoulders, traps
- Day 6: Arms, Abs
- Day 7: Rest
Other Great Tools For Your Home Gym
Over the last decade, there have been a lot of products unveiled to help you stay fit at home. Getting these items will increase the number of exercises you can do. If you can get your hands on these, they will go a long way in helping you make gains without going to the gym. Look for these and others next time you go shopping.
- Power Push Up
- Iron Gym Pull Up Bar for the door
- Ab Circle
- Fitness Bands (get different ones for different resistance)
- Exercise Balls
- Weighted Vest
- Ankle/Wrist Weights
Don't Forget About Cardio!
Now that we have the weight training covered, let's talk for a minute about how you are going to train for cardio. It is simple, go for runs in your neighborhood to keep in good aerobic shape and to keep your body fat levels from increasing. If there is bad weather where you live, then just go for running your stairs or a hallway in your house. Just make sure you get a minimum of 20 minutes of aerobic activity at least 3 times a week.
If you would rather do something else, then spend a few bucks and get a heavy bag and gloves. Boxing is a great way to relieve stress and burn calories at the same time.
There you have it. Now that you have your strategy, go to your gym and get to pumping iron. Once you have your routine down and you start making strength and muscular gains, you will be as motivated as anyone in the fanciest of gyms. Good luck and train hard!