Golden Home Fitness

How to Keep Progressing with Workouts at Home!

When considering how to keep progressing with workouts at home, most people think they need to buy heavier weights and fancier equipment. You’re not most people, and you know there’s a more pragmatic approach; lucky for you, this article will give you just that! Today we’re going to talk about the science behind how your body responds to taking it slow…

How Do Your Muscles Work?

Now, before we get into the nitty-gritty, here’s an overview: when you perform most movements, the primary muscles being used are getting shorter or contracting (your biceps during curls as you raise your hand up), and then getting longer or stretching (the action as you lower the weight back down). The shortening action is known as concentric (doing the work) and the lengthening is known as eccentric (returning to rest). So how will this help you keep progressing with workouts at home? Understanding the difference gives you a new tool with which you can continue to improve by emphasizing to a greater degree the concentric or eccentric phases.

Let’s dig into some research, starting with the interesting note that with eccentric movements, more fast twitch muscle fibers are recruited compared to concentric movements. Since different muscle fibers are recruited during a lengthening vs. a shortening movement, it would be advantageous to train both movements to activate as many muscle fibers as possible. There are multiple ways to do this. For example, a three to six-second eccentric movement could be used to make an exercise more difficult.

push-up on stairs outside

Practical Examples to Use Today

So all that science is nice, but how can you really keep progressing with workouts at home? Let’s take a push-up, for example, are you a superstar and can bust out dozens of push-up? Try slowing down the lowering portion of the exercise as your chest and tricep muscles lengthen on the way down (eccentric), then drive yourself back up, shortening the chest and tricep muscles to return to the top (concentric). Have you mastered the elevated push up with your hands on a countertop? Going straight to the floor may be too big of a jump. If you don’t have a good halfway point, slowing down the eccentric part of the movement can help you continue to progress until you’re ready!

We hope this quick guide has provided value in helping you to keep progressing with workouts at home! If you’d like to get more tailored advice with a coach that comes to you, sign up for your free coaching session! We also have great videos on our YouTube channel giving you the best steps to make the most out of training at home, including our expansive home exercise library!

This article is based on a research review originally written our Coach Jake Freedman and has been adapted by Coach Will Hansen with permission.

Referenced:

Mike, J. N., Cole, N., Herrera, C., Vandusseldorp, T., Kravitz, L., & Kerksick, C. M. (2017). The Effects of Eccentric Contraction Duration on Muscle Strength, Power Production, Vertical Jump, and Soreness. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research,31(3), 773-786. doi:10.1519/jsc.0000000000001675

Munger, C. N., Archer, D. C., Leyva, W. D., Wong, M. A., Coburn, J. W., Costa, P. B., & Brown, L. E. (2017). Acute Effects of Eccentric Overload on Concentric Front Squat Performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research,31(5), 1192-1197. doi:10.1519/jsc.0000000000001825

Golden Home Fitness

Podcast: 21. Tools to Workout Anywhere! Jake Freedman Interview

We all know we should work out, but we can’t always get to the gym consistently, so what do we do?! Listen in to learn tools and tips for working out at home (or anywhere)from one of our In-Home Training specialists, Coach Jake Freedman! Jake was one of the first coaches hired at Golden Home Fitness, and this is our first in-person 1-on-1 interview, so innovation is in the air and we also feature a new and fun off-topic/bloopers section at the end!
Timestamps:
0:00 – Introduction
3:00 – Why is Jake so passionate about health and human performance?
8:00 – How do you maximize training in the home setting or in a relatively limited apartment community gym setting? Tips and top recommendations that have worked for his clients.
32:00 – Q&A rapid fire round!
39:00 – Off-Topic/Bloopers
Visit GoldenHomeFitness.com/LetsMove or Call (844) 704-9477 to schedule a complimentary workout in Greater Boston where we come to you, or schedule a live video coaching session remotely!
Golden Home Fitness

4 Tips for How to Workout at Home Without Equipment

We get it, you’ve finally worked up the motivation to workout, and you want to get after it right away! You don’t want to deal with a gym membership, commuting to the gym, and aren’t ready to invest in home equipment just yet. So you may be asking yourself, how do I workout at home without equipment? You have come to the right place!

When it comes to getting a good workout at home without equipment, there are a few steps you should think about, but most important for getting started is to eliminate distractions! When you’re at home, you’re one request from a spouse or child away from a premature end to the workout or at least an extended break. Plan ahead and keep the distractions at bay so you can get after it uninterrupted!

Here’s the deal: you may not think about it like this yet, but you already have a whole gym with you right now! That’s right, your own body weight is an excellent solution to help you workout at home without equipment. Not only that, but putting yourself in a new environment will force you to come up with new, creative ways to use what you have already, helping you work your creativity muscles too!

How to Workout at Home Without Equipment

So how do you keep progressing as you workout at home without any equipment? Easy! Focus on how you can make the exercise harder, or easier, as needed. Here are four of the best ways to do just that:

How to Workout at Home Without Equipment

#1 – Change Elevation

When you think about doing a push-up, you may be thinking, “I can’t do any of those!” but that’s just if you think about doing a pushup flat on the floor. If you raise your hands up to the edge of your sofa, or to your kitchen countertop, you’re making the movement easier while still keeping the movement the same: a horizontal press with a sturdy core. By changing your body’s angle to the ground, you’re reducing how much of your body weight is directly felt through the movement.

#2 – Reduce Stability

Want to make an exercise harder? Shake it up! By reducing the stability of an exercise, our bodies need to work harder to stabilize. This can be achieved by going from both legs and/or arms in contact with the ground to just one, such as from a squat to a single leg squat. Performing many core exercises, you can reduce stability by lifting a limb, such as in a plank with one arm or foot raised off the ground. Additionally, you can use a piece of equipment like a stability ball or Bosu ball to create instability where you have to work hard to stay put! Performing a plank on a stability ball is an excellent example of this.

#3 – Modify Speed

Got a need for speed? Slow it down first! By increasing the time that it takes to complete reps, you’re putting your muscles under greater strain to complete the same exercise. Let’s take a bodyweight squat for example, now instead of jumping down and up haphazardly, count to four seconds on the way down, pause for two seconds at the bottom, then stand back up over four seconds! Seem easy? Give it a try and get back to us! Once you can do something really slow, then you can progress by adding speed, such as doing jump squats or jumping up on a step.

#4 – Increase Distance

How low can you go? Limbo and musical references aside, how far you go in an exercise will make it harder! Once you can safely perform the full range of motion of an exercise, you can increase the distance for each rep. Ways to do this include elevating your front foot on a lunge so your back knee can drop even further, putting greater demand on your front leg to remain strong throughout. For a push-up, you can go all the way to the floor if you’ve been stopping a few inches higher, or you can elevate your hands on books or yoga blocks to challenge your shoulders and chest muscles even more. By testing yourself through these greater ranges, when you’re forced into a potential injury causing position in daily life, you’ll have prepared your body to handle these extremes and will be more resilient!

Meet Susanne, Our Holiday Home Fitness Challenge Champion!

What are you waiting for!? You have everything you need already, and if you want guidance on how best to progress for your specific needs and goals, we will come to you where you already are and coach you to success right at home! Get started with a free week! You’ll get a coaching session, in-person or a live remote video session, plus a full week of online coaching. If you’re looking to learn more exercises you can do at home, check out our video library!

Golden Home Fitness

Panel Discussion: Home is Where the Health is! (Podcast #19)

These days, it can be incredibly difficult to make the time to take care of our health! As a result, we’ve seen a proliferation of home-based services to cut out the commute and save time. Combined with the massive and growing need for improved fitness, the health and wellness industry is no exception! In this panel discussion, we’ve assembled five professionals innovating in each of their fields; all are focused on improving health outcomes by bringing high-quality products and services into the home.

Available most places podcasts are found, including:

Our Panelists:
Gordie Gronkowski – Gronk Fitness Products
Christine Alaimo – FarmersToYou
Johanna Gorton, LMT, Reiki II, CST – In-Home Massage and Wellness
Ray Zolman, DPT, CSCS – In-Home Physical Therapy
Bill Thorpe, MD, PhD – Golden Home Fitness
Moderator: Will Hansen, NSCA-CPT – Golden Home Fitness 

Timestamps:

  • 0:00 – Introductions
  • 4:05 – Why does bringing health and wellness into the home matter? 
  • 17:10 – How can we look at financial access to home wellness services? 
  • 26:10 – What does wellness, or being well, mean to you?
  • 32:00 – Where do you see the opportunities and challenges for in-home wellness in the future?
  • 40:30 – With everything coming to the home, how do we avoid isolation and bring people together more?
  • 43:30 – Audience question: How do you get yourself to change your health when it’s not your profession and health falls low on the priority list?
  • 53:00 – Outro

Connect with the Panelists:

Golden Home Fitness

Gronk Fitness Products

Farmers To You

The Roving Shieldmaiden – In-Home Wellness

Ray Zolman – In-Home Physical Therapy

Golden Home Fitness

The Missing Keys to Efficient Fat Burning at Home

We can all agree: everyone seems to want more time, or to make better use of the time we have! In the quest to be more efficient, many people understand the power that a regular exercise routine can have on their energy, focus, and productivity throughout the day. As a result, there is an endless number of programs and apps that offer a workout in 7 minutes, 10 minutes, or even less, and while some of these are great, and doing some exercise is always better than doing nothing, we’re focused here on how to train and live optimally! Why settle for anything less? We’ve discussed how powerful of a productivity hack doing your exercise at home can be, and today we’ll take it to the next level for how to optimize even further with circuit training!

In a recent article, Coach Mike Urso discussed the difference between “working out,” and “training.” In essence, working out is a somewhat random assortment of exercises while training is planned and structured per training goals, and an individual’s own physiological ability to perform the plan successfully while recovering adequately between sessions.

Ready to get moving towards your goals? Take the next step on your training journey with a complimentary workout on us!

How do you make circuits?
Do you pick exercises out of a hat? Do the “Deck of Cards” workout or follow whatever you just found online?

While these add a great flair of excitement, if you have fitness or performance goals, shouldn’t be the bulk of your training (if your goal is just to have fun, then, by all means, have a blast! Note: Training can be fun too, and even doing the same style activities, the mindset just adds a layer of thinking through how what I do today fits into a larger plan).
Using the surprise elements to spice up a finisher at the end of a workout is great, especially when you’re mentally and physically exhausted. 

Alternatively, if you’re traveling, or especially tight on time, this can be an excellent way to get something in. Remember, if doing that means you will do it, and if not then you’ll watch Netflix on the couch, then do what you gotta do! But we’re talking about training optimally today.

Here’s an overview of three powerful ways to group exercises to optimize your training time:

Supersets:
These are a great way to improve training efficiency while increasing the metabolic effect, or calorie burn from your workouts! The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research published a paper demonstrating that using supersets compared to traditional linear training resulted in greater caloric burn and EPOC (1). EPOC is the “afterburn” measure of how much extra energy you’ll continue to burn for as much as 10-72 hours after your workout.

The term superset is often used to denote performing any two exercises back to back, resting only after completing the second exercise. The classic definition, and what we’ll focus on today, is expressly that of pairing opposing muscle groups, or an “antagonist” superset. When you perform an exercise, use a TRX Row, for example, your back muscles are what’s known as the prime mover. Working opposite to your back is your chest muscles, the antagonist as your back muscles contract and shorten, your chest muscles relax and lengthen. For example, by pairing a TRX Row in this example with a push-up variation, there is a slight performance-enhancing effect for both exercises. For this kind of superset, typically you’ll rest a minute or less between each exercise, with no lengthened rest after completing the two, continuing into the next set.

Giant Sets:
This technique essentially aims to fill the rest time with complementary and accessory exercises so you can get in more total work in over less time. Generally choose three to four exercises, beginning with large, demanding movements, and progressing to smaller movements, such that the last exercise is almost an “active rest,” to prepare yourself for the next set. For Example, you could perform Bulgarian Split Squats, followed by a Kettlebell Swings, then Single Leg Glute Bridges, and lastly Band Pull-Aparts.

Timed Circuits:
Lastly, we’ll talk about timed circuits, or what most people think of when it comes to circuit training. Here are three ways to organize your training:


AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible): Choose a set of exercises, let’s say four, and you then are challenging yourself to see how many rounds you can complete as possible in a given time. This is great because if you know you only have 10 minutes to workout after your warm-up, just set a timer for 10 minutes, pick a few exercises, then challenge yourself! This is great for tracking also because you have a score you can work to beat for the next time you do it.


Rounds For Time: Essentially the opposite of the AMRAP, you’ll be setting a finite amount of sets or reps to complete, then recording how fast you finish that work.


Intervals: You’ll pre-determine your amount of work and rest (can be the subject of another article) and use a timer to tell you when to go and when to stop. This is especially good to eliminate the tendency to rest for too long and waste valuable minutes.

Don’t want to think about all this? No fear, that’s why we’re here! Let’s get moving, and we’ll schedule a complimentary workout for you with a coach to get you some momentum, just fill out the form below and we’ll reach out! If you’d like to learn more about how to train in-home, check out our eBook, The Ultimate Guide to Home Workouts!

Golden Home Fitness

The Single Reason You Need to Start Working Out Today

You’ve been putting it off for a LONG time. You keep saying to yourself:

“It’s the holiday’s so I’ll just get started in January.”

“I’ll start back up at the gym when work settles down.”

“I just can’t seem to find the time.”

NEWS FLASH: You’re conditioning yourself to say it’s just not important.

The truth is if you don’t have good health, any of the money you make, or time you spend doing it won’t matter because your quality of life will suck. And putting it off until “tomorrow” is just programming you to push working out further down your priority list.

But you can change that in an instant (or should I say a bunch of instances done with intention.)

Ready to Get Moving? We’ll Book a Complimentary Workout for You!

Mel Robbins explains the 5-second rule here – No, not eating food off the floor within five seconds! – but taking an immediate action step towards something within 5 seconds of thinking about it.When you act immediately on a thought, you condition yourself to get more done. To prioritize now. It’s what Mel Robbins calls Metacognition or “a way of tricking your brain in order to achieve your greater goals.”(The science can be explained here.) This will build your confidence, help you face fears (is that scary situation you’re facing ever really as bad as we make it out to be in our head?) and most importantly, build momentum. Momentum is a critical component of behavior change. The 5-second rule is a strategy you can use to get yourself to do something you don’t want to do – like working out.

Yes I know – dragging yourself out of bed, putting on your workout clothes, and driving to the gym is not as simple as it sounds. You’re overworked, overtired, crunched for time and your life just never seems to slow down. So I’m going to give you a simple way to get this started tomorrow morning.

When your alarm clock rings tomorrow morning, actually get up (Yeah it’s crazy that we may actually use our alarm clock to do what we use it for in the first place.)

Huh? How is this going to help me get more done you’re asking? Well, when you hit snooze, you’re basically conditioning yourself to say, whatever I have to do today isn’t as important as sleeping in for 5 more minutes. And besides, you know how much more tired you feel when you wake up after a snooze.

So how does this help me to workout? I’ll tell you…

When you hear the alarm go off, reach over and turn it off. Instead of hitting snooze, sit up out of bed. Do this within 5-seconds You’ve now begun the process of reconditioning yourself to act on a thought immediately and building the necessary momentum. Next, you think about turning on the coffee pot and making a cup of coffee. Go do it! You’re now 2 for 2 and your confidence is building. Then you think, “I forgot to make my bed.” Immediately go and do it. Not “I’ll do it after I check how many likes I got on my Facebook post last night”, but immediately when you think about it.

What’s happening is simple. As you check off a task from your mental checklist by taking immediate action on it, you’re rewiring your brain to GET STUFF DONE and allow your thoughts to become a priority.

So next time you’re thinking of working out, but you’re hesitating, take an action towards it within 5 seconds and start reconditioning yourself. Maybe it means you go to your dresser and set your workout clothes on the bed. Maybe it means immediately grabbing your phone and putting it on your calendar. Any actionable step, no matter how small, will do. When it comes to changing your habits and behaviors, momentum trumps everything.

What small task that you’re thinking about right now can you go and do that can build momentum? If you’re on the cusp of getting started, we make it easy for you, just fill out your contact info and we’ll reach out to schedule you a complimentary workout!



This article was originally published on mikeurso.com/blog and has been re-published here with permission from the author, our Director of Training, Mike Urso.