You’ve decided to train at home — so now what?

Are you just embarking on your fitness journey? Maybe you’re ditching the gym membership to train at home? You owe it to yourself to develop a game plan that accounts for the subtle (but very important!) nuances of training at home to achieve the results you want.

Training At Home Vs. The Gym
While it’s entirely possible to train at home just as effectively as you do in the gym, there are some undeniable differences between the two experiences. Depending on your personality and preferences, you may be better suited to either exclusively train at home or exercise at a traditional fitness center.

It’s all about you
The most immediately evident difference is the atmosphere. When you train at home, your environment is your living space — and everything that comes with it: the comforts, distractions, privacy, family members, etc.

If you tend to be most productive when working entirely on your terms, training at home may be the best option. However, if you feed off of others’ energy or prefer to separate your workouts from the rest of your life physically, training at home may require an adjustment period.

Tools of the trade
Equipment is another factor. Gyms invest a significant amount of their budget in weights, cable machines, treadmills, and studio spaces. Most people who train at home are working with a fraction of a typical fitness center’s resources.

You certainly don’t need a tricked out weight room or state-of-the-art yoga studio to stay in shape, but some gym-goers are motivated by a slick facility that’s flush with amenities. Conversely, all that shiny equipment can be intimidating and confusing for someone who prefers to train at home.

How To Get Results Training At Home
Whether you train at home or work out in a gym, the key to losing weight and building muscle is the same: you must continuously switch up and intensify your routine. Do the same workout over and over again, and your body will adapt and inevitably hit a fitness plateau.

When you can’t add more weight
Many people who opt to train at home build their workouts around bodyweight movements, which are conducive to small spaces and require zero equipment. While you can’t simply add another 10 pounds to a bodyweight movement, you can increase its difficulty by opting for a more advanced version, increasing reps, adding a balancing component, or tweaking your rest periods.

“Another way to make bodyweight exercises more challenging is to do circuits with minimal rest time,” says Pete McCall, CSCS, host of the All About Fitness podcast. “Move from one exercise to the next with no rest time, just enough to switch positions. The continuous work will make you sweaty in no time at all.” 

Benefits Of Training At Home
Train at home for a couple of weeks, and you’re guaranteed to notice the benefits of training at home.

1. Convenience
Training at home couldn’t be more convenient, as there are no operating hours or class schedules to work around (and the commute is non-existent).

2. No eyes on you
The privacy of training at home can help quell nerves and feelings of self-consciousness that fitness newcomers often experience.

3. Variety
When you train at home, you’re free to experiment with different workouts, as you’re not dependent upon a gym’s offering. You can start the week with a ballet-inspired barre routine, squeeze in a HIIT workout on Wednesday, and kick off the weekend with power yoga.

4. Cost
Then, of course, there’s the bottom line. Even if you subscribe to an online exercise program or purchase some equipment that enables you to train at home, those small investments are a drop in the bucket compared to a monthly gym membership fee.

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