Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Workout at Home: What do I need to start a home workout program?

Hey everyone-

This is a special edition of "Workout at Home" Tuesday. No review of any specific program, but I just wanted to give you an idea of what you will need if you want to commit to working out at home.

Workout Videos or Audio

I talked a bit a while back about starting a home workout program. You can read about it here, but just in case you need more information, here it is:

You need to choose something that you know you will like. If you don't like it, you won't do it. If you won't do it, it doesn't work. Now, that doesn't mean you can only do workouts that make you weep with happiness each time. But, if you can't stand the instructor (sometimes personalities clash) or the set drives you crazy, you may find yourself avoiding that workout.

It's good to get a chance to preview workouts before you buy them. Check Netflix for workout videos that you can *literally* try before you buy (for more of a selection of fitness videos, trying Kineticflix.com). Also, Collage has video previews you can watch.

If you want honest reviews written by consumers, there's an entire site for that: Videofitness. There is a review index by instructor or workout, but a lot of the best info can be found in the Reader Forum, so be sure to check that out as well.

If you've seen the infomercials for Insanity, P90X, Hip Hop Abs or Turbofire, you can find out more about these workouts on my site.


There are a lot of workouts out there that don't use any equipment, so you can start with those, but if you want variety, there are a few pieces you may want to get:

The "Bouncy- Bounce"
A "BOSU", which stands for "Both Sides Up". If you belong to the gym, you've probably seen one. I have one at home which my 3 year old calls his "Bouncy-Bounce". It can be used in a variety of ways:

Stability push ups

Super duper amazing core and leg strength

Like a step that's easy to fall off of..
Or, if you're my son, you can jump up and down on it and draw on it with crayon.

A Step:
The Original Health Club Step
Even if you don't do any step aerobics, the step is useful. It can be used as a weight bench as well. But step is so fun. I love it. To find some fun step workouts, check out Cathe Friedrich's site. She has some of my favorites.

I am not this girl, and my weights are not this organized. In fact, they look like this:
Not only is it crowded, it's badly lit.
I'm a big believer in strength training, and although there are some things you can do with body weight (Ahem, pull-ups), you really should invest in some weights for a strength training program.

In the old Firm videos, they used to suggest "a set of 3,5 and 8 pound weights" to start out. I've since expanded, and my highest set of weights are 25 pounds.

Pull Up Bar:

Or, as mine usually looks:
The band is how I do assisted pull ups.
The Pull Up Bar is totally optional (although really helpful if you're doing P90X), but it's just so convenient. Mine (the Beachbody one) can be moved from place to place. It's actually easier for me to do pull-ups at home using my band and a chair than it is to do them at the gym- I can just never get high enough, and the assisted pull-up machine is perpetually broken.

A Space:
Many workouts don't require much space. I've seen workouts spaces no bigger than a yoga mat, and I've also seen workout spaces that take up entire rooms. One of my favorite things is when I see Youtube videos, such as this one, where a busy mom is fitting in her workout in the midst of a bunch of kids' toys and paraphernalia. You can pretty much do it anywhere.

I hope this gives you some valuable tips on establishing an effective home workout program. We've come a long way in home exercise, and you can get truly fit at home.

Let me know if you have questions!

Now, go workout!


Tony Van Helsing said...

I tried following a Billy Blanks video and ended up bouncing around the living room and smashing up the coffee table.

Unknown said...

Tony, that brings up a good point that I should have addressed: Move furniture out of the way :-)

So, did that turn you off from home workouts forever? I hope not!