Don’t have a gym membership?
Stuck at home and can’t get to the gym?
Maybe you’re travelling a lot because of your job and find yourself stuck with hotel gyms, or even just your hotel room!
Many people think that you need tons of fancy equipment to get fit, but lockdown definitely taught us otherwise! Even with very little equipment you can still get great results. Many of my clients only had a single kettlebell and a resistance band to work with and they still got stronger during lockdown. I’m going to show you a few of the methods we used to achieve this and help you get fit with less equipment!
Stressed for time? Or need to fit in just that little bit extra for a muscle group? Try pairing a couple of exercises together and perform them back-to-back. Think of it like a mini circuit with just two exercises. So, for example, I could pair a push up and a pull up together where I’d perform a set of push ups then immediately jump into a set of pull ups before resting. So instead of resting between each exercise you simply go straight into the second one before you go for a rest.
You can pair pretty much any exercise together within reason. You could pair an upper body with lower body (chest press/goblet squat), opposing muscle groups (e.g. chest exercise/back exercise) or even two exercises from the same muscle group (e.g. chest press/pushups).
Not only can this save you time and chuck more work into a shorter timeframe, it can also help you get more of stimulus when working with less equipment. For example, during lockdown my clients and I didn’t have access to heavier weights, so for those who wanted to gain muscle we had to resort to supersets in order to get the most out of the light weights and resistance bands that they had.
And for many of my clients who find that they’re stuck for time on their lunch break and can’t manage a full hour-long session, supersets are an easy way to fit in loads of work in a short space of time. Just make sure fatigue isn’t so high that technique starts to break down!
This is by far one of the most eye-opening ones for my clients, and one of the most deadly! And it can make any exercise effective if you do it right. All you have to do is slow down the tempo of the exercise. Sounds easy, right?
I’d like you to try a normal bodyweight squat, no weight or anything, just you and your bodyweight. But I want you to really focus on the timing of it. Try lower for 5 seconds, pausing for 5 seconds in the bottom position then slowly rising for 5 seconds. So, 5 seconds down, 5 seconds at the bottom, then 5 seconds on the way up. Really keep the count slow (even going one Mississippi, two Mississippi can help) and see how you do.
Surprisingly tough, right? That’s because when you slow down the tempo, you’re putting your muscle under more “time under tension.” So simply put, we’re putting our muscles under more tension for a longer period of time. And when you’re working with very little equipment, or none at all, something as simple as changing the tempo of the exercise can make things brutally hard!
It can be done with the majority of exercises too, next time you’re in the gym pick your favourite machine and try 4 seconds for the movement. Just be sure to keep technique solid the whole way through.
Oh man, here we are! I can hear my clients cursing me out just at the mention of this word! This isn’t a method I use too often, and for good reason! AMRAP stands for “As Many Reps As Possible.” Yep, you read that right. As many reps as you can perform on that given exercise.
The concept is simple, pick an exercise and perform as many reps as you can with good technique. You can measure progress by aiming to beat your previous record or seeing how many reps you can perform in a given time frame. The main priority here is maintaining good technique with EVERY rep even as you get fatigued.
For that reason, I’d always encourage beginners to first focus on building solid technique so that you can safely perform the AMRAP. And even if your technique is solid, it goes without saying that you want to be smart with the weight that you use. If you try and AMRAP close to you max weight you’re gonna have a bad time. Whenever AMRAPS are programmed for a client, I tend to only do so with machine exercises, easy free weight exercises or even just movements that only involve a resistance band or your bodyweight. That way, we can keep things as safe as possible as fatigue builds up. We’ll never really do AMRAPS with more complex exercises like a bench press or a deadlift, where the risk of injury due to poor technique is much higher.
So, now that you’ve seen just a few of the ways you can get a solid session in, there’s no more excuses to be had! Try out some of the things you’ve read here and see how you get on. And if you decide you want to finally take that first step into taking control of your routine, get in touch and book a strategy call below!
No gym? No problem. No matter where you are, you can get a workout in and still see great results!