In short, yes it can, and you can also get great results, and there is other benefits that you will also get by being a home gym warrior, which you will find out further into this blog.
Most of us know the all over health benefits of regular weight and strength training exercise. From helping to gain leaner and stronger muscle mass, to helping and maintaining stronger bone density, improved mobility, especially as we get older, better posture, better sleep, and even improved mental health. You can’t forget those feel good endorphins you get from a great workout RIGHT!!
It also helps the body to shed unhealthy fat, and maintain a healthier weight. Research has shown that regular weight and strength training is super beneficial for the cardiovascular system as well.
So there your are, strength training really does tick all the boxes when it comes to achieving and maintaining a healthier, leaner and stronger body. For a lot of us though, committing to a consistent gym routine can be super challenging, not to mention costly, and for those that are juggling life's daily challenges, whether it be work commitments, raising and running a family, or all of them at once. It can be an absolute nightmare to throw in a daily gym session. But you don’t really need a gym to get all the benefits from strength training, in fact you can still get amazing results from training at home, and with minimal equipment that won’t cost the earth, and take up half you'r garage or living room space. Let's start with a basic equipment list for the home gym warrior.
- KETTLEBELL OR DUMBBELL SET ranging in weight from 5 to 15+ kilos. Kettlebells and dumbbells are fantastic for an all over body strength session covering legs, gluteus maximus hamstrings core and abdominal development, upper body strength. Most importantly kettlebells and dumbbells strengthen, target and engage the smaller stabiliser muscles that fixed machines do not.
- FLAT BENCH is a great platform for weighted rows and step ups, raised push ups, dumbbell bench press, seated squats, tricep dips just to name a few. A basic flat bench is one of the single most beneficial pieces of equipment you can have, and you can use them as a seat to rest on between sets or rounds. PLUS some come with wheels so there is no need to lug them around.
- RESISTANCE BANDS are great for engaging a forced resistance through CONCENTRIC phase ( UPWARD FORCED LOAD PHASE ) and the ECCENTRIC phase ( DOWNWARD LOAD PHASE ) They are ideal for COMPOUND exercises which involve the engaging of several muscles like squats. They are also colour coded which indicate the various resistance force you need to apply from light too heavy. They can used for a variety of other exercises for core strength, legs, gluteus maximus (bum) abdominal and upper body exercises. They are such a versatile piece of equipment, and are light, take up no space, and you can attach them to most fixed structures like park benches or play equipment, so you can train with them at your favourite local park while the kids play. How cool is that?!
- EXERCISE MAT can be used for stretching, yoga, floor pelvic and abdominal and body weight exercises such as push ups. Also investing in a good quality mat that does not retain body sweat and odour, is easily cleanable, and rolls up neatly. Black is generally the best colour as it doesn’t show up natural body oils and sweat stains like lighter colours do.
- WORKOUT GEAR - like everyone does before they go to the gym, they get dressed in the appropriate and most comfortable outfit for exercising in. This ranges from quality workout shoes or runners, tights, shorts and a supportive sports bra. You will enjoy your workout more when dressed properly and even look forward to it every day. It will put you in a committed mindset to slay your workout and you'll be ready to hit the shops straight after in your "active wear".
- COMMITMENT is is the most important part of training at home, and it goes down a committed, disciplined and focused routine. Have your routine mapped out for each day and break your routines up into time friendly workouts so you actually enjoy each session. In actual fact, 20 minutes for each workout is plenty, thats if you are organised and know what you are actually going to do cardio circuit one day, weight session or yoga the next. The importance of a structured routine is super important to staying committed to your goals, and your results will shine, and you will probably be the envy of your friends that have that gym membership they haven’t used in ages.
- TRAINING WITH A FRIEND who is equally committed will help you both stay accountable as well as encourage and motivate one another. Plus it can make each session more enjoyable when you and your bestie have the passion for keeping fit strong and healthy.
- ENJOY YOUR REST DAYS as it gives your body time to recover and maintaining continued results, after all exercise is about improving your body for overall fitness, strength mobility, not just looking better in your birthday suit, but hey we all do like to look good as well. But you won’t be able to keep up a good exercise routine without rest. Rest days also give you time to enjoy your fitter stronger body, getting out with friends, playing your favourite sport, or just simply enjoying a good book.
- NUTRITION is 80% of maintaining a healthier body as well as giving your body the essential nutrients it needs to function at its most optimal best. And it plays an important role in your body recovering from your workouts. But hey, this does not mean you cannot have the odd indulgence, or some like to call it a cheat meal. Research has shown that those that have a weekly cheat meal or two actually maintain their results, and stay committed. Put simply its a reward for your discipline and it won’t hurt you one bit, unless of course your cheat meals become a cheat week OUCH!! Also research has found that those that totally abstain from the odd indulgence, in most cases finally succumb and then go all out in a free for all binge. So why not add in a cheat meal date in your weekly diary with your friends or partner. Enjoy it without the guilt because you deserve it, and its a reward for all your commitment and hard work.
- SAVING MONEY - let's face it, gym memberships can be costly, and sure they are great for a majority of people, and it can be a great social outlet, and hey thats cool. But for some of us, they are just not practical. The benefits you can get from working out at home can far exceed those of committing to a gym. If anyone says you cannot achieve great results, if not better then I believe this article debunks the myth. Really it just goes down to having a plan in place, enjoy the huge variety of exercises you can do at home, without the fancy equipment. And lastly the money you do save on a gym membership can fund your own home gym.
I hope this blog gave you positive information and another option to living life fitter, stronger and healthier everyday.