The very first time I began working out, I was in the living room of my mom’s house. I was in junior high. There were no weights, resistance bands or jump ropes. I was not familiar with heart rate monitors and tracking devices were unheard of. My home workout was fueled by a drive for success and commitment to my goals. Along with a VHS tape, Your Personal Best, featuring Elle MacPherson and Karen Vogt, I broke a daily sweat and moved to the beats of “Ain’t Nothin Gonna Break My Stride,” by Matthew Wilder. Since then, my fitness goals have evolved, along with my home gym.
At times it may be difficult to motivate yourself to workout at home. When the fridge is 10 feet away and the couch is more comfortable than core work, we may find ourselves wishing that “couch surfing” burnt calories! However, it IS possible to maximize your space and time while minimizing the effort it takes to put on your gym shoes. Here are some tips that will help you stay accountable to those abdominal crunches and sweat-inducing squats.
- Schedule a specific time to workout and write it down.
- Follow a written program that lists the exercises and the reps or duration.
- Get creative! There are plenty of ideas on Pinterest and on YouTube to keep your workouts fun and stimulating.
- Recruit a friend to workout alongside you (or remotely!). Check in with each other when you’re done.
- Check in on social media. Stay accountable by letting others know you’ve completed your workout.
- Track your progress with circumference measurements and photos every 8-12 weeks. Remember to celebrate non-scale victories such as strength gains, better fitting clothes and climbing 3 flights of stairs to your office without having to rest.
Whether your goal is to lose weight, build strength or work toward both, your home gym can offer the solution. It’s a convenient option whether you are short on time, prefer to get your sweat on in private, or are obsessed (like I am) with all of the latest gadgets and pieces of fitness equipment. So how do you separate the functional from the funny-looking? Below, I have listed a couple of my favorite, most efficient and most effective, products to use with clients and during my own home workout.
XBAR Fitness System
The XBAR is a resistance band inspired training device that offers over 100 full body exercises. Resistance band training is a very effective method, requiring your body to move against resistance through the entire range of motion. Picture the motion your arm creates when doing a bicep curl. A dumbbell feels heaviest as your curl, while resistance bands make your muscles work hard through the entire movement, especially at the top, when the band is most taut. This also stimulated the core muscles more, particularly when doing squats or lunges.
The XBAR does not require a lot of space and comes with three different levels of resistance bands and a door anchor, offering variations and modifications for all fitness levels. Save an 10% at www.xbar.com by entering MEGAN10 at checkout.
I’m not a very “tech-savvy” person. When I turned 16, I told my mom I wasn’t that excited to get a car; I would prefer to ride a bike everywhere. I was probably one of the last people to get a smartphone. But, when you’re a personal trainer and fitness is life, tracking progress and assessing your heart rate, caloric burn and sleep can be fun. Yes, FUN. Which is why I recommend an activity tracker such as those from FitBit. Not only do they track your activity, exercise, sleep, weight and more, but they provide a community of support and accountability.
Craving something else?