Tag Archives: workouts

8 Things You Need To Build A Home Gym Under $100

No time to use your $30+/month gym membership? Try a home gym instead!

No excuses, just plan and execute. Body weight training is a phenomenal, cost-free way to get in shape but it will only get you so far. You’ll want a few pieces of equipment to amp up your progress. Would it be helpful to have a bench press, squat rack, barbells, treadmill, etc.? You bet. But, if you don’t have the money to invest or the square footage necessary than I’ll show you how you can spend under $100 on a home gym.

20 Minute Full Body Home Workout

1. Body Weight Exercise List

Make a list of your favorite body weight exercises. Sprinkle in a few that you also hate, like burpees, jump squats, and mountain climbers (based on the reaction I get when I do group exercise classes and I tell people to do these exercises). Incorporate 4-5 body weight exercises in your routine for 3-4 sets each.

20 Minute Living Room Workout

2. Jump Rope

I like the jump rope because it takes up very little space, it’s a great exercise to do in high intensity spurts of 30-60 seconds, and it can pretty much be done anywhere. Invest the $10 (if that) in a jump rope for your home gym.

3. Doorway Pull-Up Bar

I just bought one of these but my roommates always had them and I used them constantly. Invest another $10-20 in a doorway pull-up bar so you can do a variety of different pull-ups, leg raises, dips, and push-ups (most are designed for multi-purpose use).

4. Ab Roller

Not only is the ab roller a tough exercise, but it can fit in a small box and costs $20 or less unless you get something fancy. An ab roller is a good way to escape planks, sit ups, leg raises, and crunches.

5. Resistance Bands

For $15 or less you can get a variety of different intensity resistance bands for your home gym. I like resistance bands because you can change the resistance based on where you step on the band so 1-2 resistance bands can actually go a long way.

6. A sturdy chair or raised surface

This won’t cost you anything unless you literally don’t own a chair in your home. Use a chair or the edge of your bed frame for exercises like dips, reverse crunches, step-ups, or other core exercises.

7. Trigger Point Rollers

Whether you use a foam roller, tennis ball, lacrosse ball, trigger point roller, tiger tail, or some other make-shift myofascial release tool, recovery is necessary and it deserves a place in your home gym. You can even spend 5-10 minutes before bed rolling out sore muscles if you don’t want to take away from your workout time because you’re under hard time restraints. These can cost you anywhere from under $1 to over $40. Budget however it makes sense to you but definitely consider adding some recovery tools to your arsenal.

4 Keys to Faster Recovery

8. Bodyweight

Because bodyweight exercises make up about 60% of my home workouts, I had to include them on the list. Learn as many bodyweight exercises as possible so you can change up your workouts every few days and hit as many muscles as possible.

Also Worth Looking Into

Kettlebells
A dumbbell set ranging between 10-25+ lbs (none of that 5 and below nonsense).
Battling Ropes (if you have the space for them)
Stability Balls
Bosu Balls
Core Balls

10 Core Exercises That Aren’t Planks or Crunches

Tired of doing planks and crunches and still not seeing results? Try these 10 Core Exercises instead.

 

Core Exercises

If you’re doing planks and crunches for every core workout you’re going to want to change things up to see new results. These core exercises will target every muscle of your core ensuring you get the best results.

1. Cable Rope Crunches
Clip a double handled rope to a cable machine and set the weight to as close to your bodyweight as possible. In a kneeling position, holding the rope behind your neck, bring your elbows to your knees. Repeat for 15-20 reps. Make this exercise more challenging by twisting so you’re bringing your right elbow to your left knee, then your left elbow to your right knee, alternating with every crunch.

2. Hanging Leg Raises
You can perform this exercise hanging from a pull-up bar or in a roman chair. For this example let’s say you’re doing Hanging Leg Raises from a pull-up bar. Begin by hanging with your legs straight down. In a controlled motion, keeping your legs straight, bring your legs as close to the bar as possible. Return to the hanging position. Repeat for 15-20 reps.

3. Twisting Side Planks
Hold a stability ball in between your legs and keep your legs 6-12 inches from the floor. Sit up, reach diagonally (left arm to right foot) and touch the ball. Repeat, alternating sides, for 16-20 reps.

4. Windmill Leg Raises
Beginning in the same position as our Hanging Leg Raises, lift your legs up to the bar in a circular, clockwise motion. Repeat in a counterclockwise motion. You should be making large, 360 degree circles with your legs.
This is one of the hardest mentioned core exercises. Perform this exercise as slowly as possible. I perform them here on my Instagram. Try to go even slower than that.

5. Diagonal Medicine Ball Slam
Grab a 10-15+ lb medicine ball and start by holding it straight up over your head. Simultaneously throw the ball down on either side of your body and squat slightly. As you throw, you should twist your torso slightly so your right hand is over your left foot on one slam and your left hand is over your right foot on the other slam. Repeat for 15-20 reps.

6. Lumberjacks
Set the cable machine to a relatively light weight, with the handle up high. Begin with both hands holding the handle over one shoulder. Keeping your arms straight, bring the cable across your body at a 45 degree angle so your hands are now down at your opposite hip. Repeat for 15-20 reps on each side. Hold each rep for 1-2 seconds.

7. Smith Machine Sit Ups
Begin in a smith machine Bench Press position, with your feet flat on the bench. Keep your complete straight and sit up as high as you can, lifting your shoulder blades completely off of the bench. Hold for 1 second and return to the starting position. Repeat for 15-20 reps.

8. Ab Roll
Hold the Ab Roller with both hands and kneel on the floor.Now place the ab roller on the floor in front of you so that you are on all your hands and knees (as in a kneeling push up position). This will be your starting position. Slowly roll the ab roller straight forward, stretching your body into a straight position. Bring your hips as close to the floor as possible and pause. After a pause at the stretched position, start pulling yourself back to the starting position as you breathe out. Do this movement slowly and breathe.

9. Stability Ball V-Ups
Lay on the floor with your legs straight and arms stretched out behind your head holding a stability ball. Pick your feet up a few inches from the floor. This is your starting position. Keeping your arms and legs straight, bring the Stability Ball up to your legs, hold it in between your legs, and bring your legs back down to several inches from the floor. Repeat, this time catching the stability ball in your hands. Repeat for 15-20 reps.
Of all the mentioned core exercises, this is one of my favorites for beginners/novice level gym goers.

10. Turkish Get Up
Lie on your back on the floor and press a kettlebell to the top position by extending the elbow. Bend the knee on the same side as the kettlebell. Keeping the kettlebell locked out at all times, pivot to the opposite side and use your non- working arm to assist you in driving forward to the lunge position. Using your free hand, push yourself to a seated position, then progressing to your feet. While looking up at the kettlebell, slowly stand up. Reverse the motion back to the starting position and repeat.

Use any of these 10 Core Exercises in your next workout and see how much different they feel than just doing typical 30 second planks. Do a core workout 2-3 time per week, 5 sets of 15-25 reps or 30-60 seconds.

4 Steps to Bigger Arms

Scan the weight floor of your local gym quickly and you’ll probably notice a teenager doing dumbbell curls completely wrong almost immediately. I always offer my help to people when I see them doing an exercise wrong, or not utilizing an exercise to its full effectiveness. Now I’m going to provide you with the knowledge to do the same. Here are the Steps to Bigger Arms:

1. Variety

You need a variety of exercises in order to promote muscle growth. Doing the same exercises every week will not only make your routine stagnant, but your body will adapt quickly and there will be no need to grow anymore. Doing little things like switching alternating dumbbell curls with barbell curls could be enough to spark some new growth. Change up your routine every few weeks.

What is Unilateral Training and Why Should You Do It?

2. Angles

Changing the angles of the exercise you’re doing places stress on different parts of the muscle which can help you target small muscle groups. This isn’t just about changing your grip from wide, medium or close. Next time you do preacher curls turn your chest out so your shoulder is in line with your elbow and your elbow is in line with your wrist. Apply this kind of thinking to other exercises also!

3. Volume

Lots and lots of volume has always worked well for me. 5 sets of Rope Pull downs for 15+ reps/set has worked better for me in the past than 3 sets of 12. There are some exercises that I may only do 3 sets of 20 reps and others that I’ll do 5 sets of 10 reps. Experiment with it and see how it works for you. After a few weeks go heavier and do 4 sets of 8 reps for an exercise for example.

The 6 Fitness Fundamentals for Success

4. Isolation

Keep that elbow still. No swinging your arms because that will recruit other muscles to assist with the lift. Isolate your biceps or triceps, and focus on really hitting just that muscle. Once you’ve got that down, focus on each individual head of the biceps or triceps. Now you want to hit just the long head or the short head of the biceps, or the long head, medial head, or lateral head of the triceps. This kind of isolation thinking will lead to more proportional, defined and impressive arms.

Click here for the 3 Keys to Hitting Your Fitness Goals

For the record, I learned a lot about growing bigger arms by watching Mike Rashid and CT Fletcher’s YouTube videos. I’ve come up with my own exercises that work great for me now but every now and then I still go back to what I learned from watching them. I definitely recommend check them out.

Make sure you follow me on Instagram for more workouts, advice and easy to make high protein recipes!

20 Minute Living Room Workout

No gym? No problem. If there are times when getting to the gym isn’t an option, read on. Whether you’re on vacation, stuck home in a snowstorm, or only have 20 minutes to work out before getting ready for work, you can do this home workout for a quick, fat burning fix. Pair it with a healthy diet and you’ll get the results you’re looking for right in the comfort of your own living room. Try this out:

Circuit #1
30 seconds of Jumping Jacks
30 seconds of Body Squats
30 seconds Reverse Lunges
Rest: 30 seconds
Repeat twice.

Circuit #2
30 seconds of Push Ups
30 seconds of Mountain Climbers
30 second Plank
Rest: 30 seconds
Repeat twice

Circuit #3
30 seconds of Chair Dips
30 seconds of Reverse Crunches
30 seconds of Sit Ups
Rest: 30 seconds
Repeat twice

Circuit #4
30 seconds of Push Ups
30 seconds of Burpees (Push Up to a Jump Squat)
30 seconds of Jumping Jacks
Rest: 30 seconds
Repeat twice

Circuit #5
30 seconds of Jogging in Place
30 seconds of Skipping in Place
30 seconds of Jump Squats
Rest: 30 seconds
Repeat twice

5 Reasons You Should Supplement BCAAs

Even if you can’t get through every circuit in the 20 minutes you’ll have done a killer, whole body workout and you’ll have a goal to strive toward. This workout requires no equipment and no gym. Give it a try next time you think you don’t have enough time to make it to the gym. I guarantee you’ll have more energy and feel more accomplished afterward.

What is Unilateral Training and Why Should You Do It?

Check out my Instagram for more great workouts, high protein recipes and giveaways!

3 Techniques to Break Through Plateaus

If you’ve been trying to lose weight and/or build muscle, and have been successful only for your progress to suddenly stop out of nowhere, then this post is for you. I just finished speaking to a buddy of mine (and professional New Year’s resolutioner) at the PepsiCo headquarters who has been trying to take off that holiday weight. He allegedly lost 17 lbs over the last 3-4 weeks and suddenly he can’t get any more weight off. There are a few reasons this happens but it always comes down to these two main things: you haven’t changed your training and you haven’t changed your diet.

Here are 3 solid techniques you can use to bring your metabolism back to life and keep seeing progress.

1. Change Your Workout Routine

I made this number 1 because it’s absolutely the most common mistake I see people, New Year’s Resolutioners especially, make. You prepare yourself mentally, invest in a gym membership, start going religiously, and then in 3 months you’re back to spending $20+/month on a gym you don’t use. You might as well invest that $20 in the companies stock at that point. Chances are you show up and do 30 minutes of steady-state cardio on a treadmill or elliptical, run through some of the machines (doing 3 sets of 10 reps) and then leave. That might work for 2 weeks or so but eventually your body has no reason to change because it has no more stimulus to adapt to. It can handle that workout in the condition it’s in. Change up your intensity (think High Intensity Intervals), your rep ranges, the order you perform exercises in, the exercises you’re doing, the angles you’re executing those exercises in, etc. Check out my Instagram for out-of-the-box exercises. You can even go to bodybuilding.com and get free workout plans!

pushups chest home workout weightnnarmsplankpic

2. Change How You Eat

If your diet is basically the same every day, and you keep your exercises the same then why would your body feel the need to change? Once you hit that plateau and you stop getting the results you’re after, change up your workouts. After you change up your workout routine, take a good hard look at your diet. Very simple things like cutting your portions smaller can reduce the total calories you’re taking in on a daily basis. Those calories add up to lbs and then we’re back on track. It’s as simple as having 1 slice of toast with breakfast instead of 2, or switching to cooking spray instead of oil.

IG Meal

3. Think About Recovery

We’re always focused on the hard work, but we never focus on how we recover. This ties into how you eat but also think about how you sleep, how you handle stress, what supplements you take, and the rest days you take. Your mentality is just as important as your physicality and you should take it equally as serious. Make sure you sleep enough so your body has time to recover physically and mentally. Make sure you eat well so you have the right nutrients to rebuild with. Make sure you take ACTIVE rest days. Don’t sit on the couch and binge watch HBO just because you have a day off from the gym. Take your dog on a long walk, take yourself on a long walk, do a 15 minute home workout, stretch or do yoga, barrel roll. Make your workout plan something along the lines of 2 days on, 1 day off. None of this 3 days off nonsense unless your body is telling you that you really need it. Chances are you’re justifying extra days off to yourself. It should come from your body, not your mind.

supplements

Check out my friends over at 6 Pack Bags and my sponsor Scivation for more healthy living tips and workouts. My buddy Rob at Heavy Metal Kettle posts badass workouts you can do to change up your routine.

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