Monday, July 15, 2013

You only do pushups, chins and squats?!


Training at home. Most people will either think of someone having a home gym á la Matt Kroc or they'll just think you're a whimp that does pushups a few sets a week. "yeah.. for sure, you can train at home, just as well as in the gym...". And then they think "...right".

Now, this way of thinking is in a way very accurate. You won't become a good bodybuilder if you don't have access to a lot of good gear. O-lifting will be hard to do in an apartment if you have living neighbors. Crossfit will not be done. You won't learn MMA in your bedroom only.

But, in my humble opinion, there are a few things that are actually better trained at home. Besides it being economically great and time saving, it allows for very high frequency training. It allows for focus on a few things and to build skills that take many, many, (manymany) hours to master. Training them several times per week can be done if you train at home. Also, having less options in form of what equipment you have makes some people more probable to focus on the task at hand since it's human nature to get bored and try new stuff if there's a lot available.

(No need to stop doing pilates ball kettlebell-pistol-squats in the smith machine, with a blindfold and double shake weights attached to the cable cross on the dip stand with 4-way neck on it. I love that movement as much as the next guy.)

Yeah I hung it there. Also hung two alien handbags on my pullup bar.

I believe that home training is perfect for max strength bodyweight work. My personal training layout is high set, low rep training. Eight to ten sets of 1-3 reps usually done with exercise pairs. An example of this would be this workout, split into three sections:

1. Handstands, free standing for time (as a warmup)
paired with front lever holds, working up to a full front lever for 5-8 seconds and then consider me warmed up for chinning.

2. One arm pull-up: 5 singles per hand
alternated with slow negative straddle planche pushups: 5 singles

3.and capped off with weighted static one arm chins at 90 degrees for 5 sets of increasing weights.
These would be well paired with advanced tucked planche pushups for 5 sets of 3-5 reps.

 I'm a great cameraman. And have a lot of space to train.
link if you can't see the video:

So, yeah, in this workout I only do pushups and chins actually, but as you see, progress can be made with such a simple and almost laughably thin exercise selection.

This training style allows for very demanding exercises done with high frequency.
I will outline how to work your way into this type of routine, because it's hard to just jump into a high tension, high frequency, high skill routine and not destroy your elbows, shoulders and knees.

Weak points will reveal themselves and will need work with such a routine and that's crucial for progress. Movements will have to be chosen, tested, loved/hated, broken down and  trained in their small parts. Good news is, home training and some creativity allow you to hammer the weak as well as the strong links very often.

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