Monday, March 29, 2010

Working Out At Home

So I had a request for this post quite some time ago, and I have to be honest, I am finding it a difficult one to write. My sister asked, since she does not have a gym near her what can she do to workout at home?...

READERS, I NEED YOU TO WEIGH IN ON THIS! I am going to write some of my favorite things to do at home, but since I spend 12 hours (or more) a week at our local YMCA, I feel I am by no means an expert in this area (not that I'm really an expert in any area!)

So here are some things I do at home, (or could do if I couldn't make it to the Y that day.)

1. A workout video: Now I know you're probably like, she's really not an expert if that's all she can give, but hold on, I've tried a few... here are my critiques/analysis' of them....

There are specifically 3 Jillian Michael's DVD's that I love. I think you should own all three for different reasons. (I believe I have gotten all of them at and they're fairly inexpensive)
  • JM's 30 Day Shred: I really like this video when I need to burn calories fast, and get some toning in. If I work hard during this video I can burn 450- 550 calories, plus I get a full body toning routine. I recommend having some hand weights, and although her girls only use 1 set through the video, I think that is unrealistic, and keeps you from pushing yourself. I like to have 8 lbs and 10 lbs, but I won't lie, there are times that I wish I just had 5 lbs. So, if you're going to buy some I would recommend buying 5's and either 8's or 10's depending on how buff :) you already are! I also recommend having a yoga mat or something to lay on because you do lots of ab work during this video.
  • JM's Banish Fat Boost Metabolism: This is like a 45 minute all cardio workout. If you just need to get you're heart rate up, and burn some calories, do this! I won't lie, it's kind of exhausting if you really push yourself, but worth it. I don't recall needing anything other than good shoes, and an oxygen mask to finish this one.
  • JM's No More Trouble Zones: This video is all toning. All weights. Obviously you will need hand weights for this. It's about 45 minutes, and set up much like her BFBM video, but you won't burn a ton of calories lifting weights... not at home or the gym. It's still important to build those muscles, so this is a good one to do a couple of times per week.
So there are some videos you can try that I really like. Now, on to other things:

Of course you can always purchase equipment, but let's see how we can do some of the same things without it:

A treadmill: Go on a walk, or a jog, what ever you can handle. Just be sure to get into your Target Heart Zone. If you don't do that, you're not effectively burning calories, and will not get much of a workout. If you are just starting to jog, try jogging for 30 seconds, then walk for 2 minutes. Keep this up as long as you can. Then add more jogging, and less walking. I will post a better running post later, but this will get you started.

A stair stepper: Do stairs in your home, your apartment complex, a track/stadium. The key to making it a workout is to not just do one set, but start out and set a goal, then finish it. Currently If I run the stairs at the stadium, it's 1520 stairs. I know that's a lot, but shoot for something that stretches your potential. You are stronger than you may think!

I don't know that I have a great way to replicate an ARC or elliptical trainer. Sorry.

Do lunges in an open area. When I started I would do 12 lunges for 3 sets. Try this in your backyard. It's a great leg workout. If that's too easy, add 5 or 10lb hand weights while you are doing them.

Ok, this is my start, let's try and keep this going. Do you workout at home? What do you do? What equipment do you feel is important to have? Help! Leave some comments, and let's get some really good ideas rolling.


  1. I have the Wii fit plus. For someone just starting out, I think it really helps. It doesn't feel like you are exercising. It also keeps track of calories burned and weight. It's fun !!

  2. Via Facebook, Ashley Carr wrote: "Workout videos give you variety and there are also programs on TV you can record to your DVR.
    I also like jumping rope for cardio and a few years ago a personal trainer got me on to running intervals. Since I don't like to run, the intervals are a good way to get your hear rate up without being too exhausting."

  3. Via Facebook, Lisa Elledge wrote:" Use what you have. if you have a flight of stairs run up and down the stairs. The other night I raced the dogs from one end of the basement to the opposite end 15 times and man was that a work out and it was so fun to say on your marks get set and go. They really ran, Sophie cheated and started running on the get set part. :) "

  4. Well, I have an entire little mini gym in my house, and work out at home at least once a week. I have a $2 jump rope. $13 exercise ball. Two $20 sets of hand weights from walmart. I also have cardio machines, but I am just as likely to run or walk outside, do jumping jacks; I do lunges all the time with heavy hand weights. I can do no less than a million exercises on an exercise ball. I also set my exercises up in circuits so I am constantly moving.

  5. Mon Wed Fri I walk/jog around 3 miles then I do a little weight lifting; lunges, one armed bench press, hip bridges, ect. On Tue Fri I just do 3 miles on the treadmill and Thurs Sun I rest. I also try to do at least an hour of yoga everyday... I really think that is where my muscle has come from. So everything works out to be about 2 hours a day, except Thursday and Sunday, I am still struggling... alot!! But it is easier today than day 1!! Thanks for the post