Hi, I'm Ali! Nutrition and fitness coach, DIY beginner, dog mom, daily walker, reader and wife to a busy maker. I'm the voice you hear and read at Life Outside the Shop.

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Home Workouts to Keep You Sweating

November 22, 2020

We all need a little inspiration. These home workouts will keep you sweating right from your home gym, basement or living room!

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A few things before I hit you with some inspiration for home workouts!

First, when I started Life Outside the Shop, I really wanted to document just that – the things Sam and I get up to when he isn’t head down in his scroll saw. I also started LOTS because I was previously blogging at healthythankyoumoreplease but it started to feel like work outside of work.

As a nutrition and lifestyle coach, I found that I was writing about the same things I was chatting with clients about all day and it added up FAST.

Life Outside the Shop takes some of that pressure off so I can share OTHER things I’m passionate about outside of nutrition and health. But, that is still a big part of my life and something I’m inspired to bring to LOTS when it feels right.

And right now, it feels right since home workouts are top of mind for many of us. The second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak is looming and gyms are starting to shut down again.

I get it – home workouts can be tough. If you’re used to sweating in a class setting working out alone in your house can be a REALLY weird adjustment.

Right now home workouts are top of mind for many of us. As the second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak looms gyms are re-closing quickly. This means that we’re taking our workouts from our normal gym routine and adapting them to be a bit more at-home friendly.

This leads us to the big question – how can you keep it interesting when you’re working out from home?

And, how can you actually keep tracking towards your fitness goals when your “regularly scheduled programming” is no longer….well….regular?

That’s what I am here for. First, we GOTTA tackle that voice in your head trying to spread unhelpful lies that set you up to fail before you even begin.

Harmful home workout mindsets

Here are some of the traps I see people fall into most often (and a few ways to reframe these mindsets to be more helpful for you…and your muscles!)

  1. I need to be sweating and dying on the floor to get a “good workout”
  2. I can only get a good workout with weights (aka – if I don’t have dumbbells, kettlebells or a bar, I’m screwed!)
  3. I need to work out more because I’m doing them at home
  4. I NEED to be motivated to workout

Shifting your mindset

“I need to be sweating and dying on the floor”

This is a SUPER common one… I totally get it. Here is the thing, a lot of the time SOMETHING is going to be better than nothing.

While it may be true that working out at home feels different than hitting the gym with your training partners, you can still get in a good session at home.

(TRULY) Believing this from the get-go is the first step. This keeps you from falling into the “well, if I’m not dying on the floor at the end, I should skip it altogether”.

*It is also worth noting here that even IN the gym, you’re doing it #wrong if you’re dying on the floor after EVERY single workout. It is important to push yourself, yes, but it is also important to make sure you’re finding a balance between the days you go ALL OUT and the days you focus on practicing skills, moving more slowly through strength work etc. This way, you can ensure your nervous system gets proper recovery time! Don’t believe me? Check out this episode of Chasing Excellence.

I can only get a good workout with weights

Another common one! You’re not alone!

There are PLENTY of awesome ways you can keep intensity high using bodyweight movements. Plus, if you really move fast and push yourself, you’ll be huffing and puffing in no time.

That being said, if you don’t have dumbbells or kettlebells, you can definitely get creative and grab weighted items at home if you feel comfortable and you’re moving through workouts safely!

Here are some ideas:

  • Books/textbooks
  • Milk/water jugs (fill em’ with sand or water)
  • Fill a grocery bag (curls!)
  • Your pet (ha!)
  • Pots & Pans (Dutch oven for kettlebell swings?)

I need to workout more since I’m doing them at home

This is mostly timely right now during #socialdistancing and being more cooped up at home. But, this is a good reminder nonetheless!

You do NOT need to work out more because you…
a) have more time and/or
b) aren’t getting the same exact workout you would at the gym

It is still VITALLY important that you’re giving your body the time it needs to recover from your workouts. And, you can still stay MOVING through your day by:

  • Going for a walk first thing in the morning
  • Cleaning
  • Doing laundry in your living room and carrying one pile at a time to your room
  • Doing yard work
  • Walking up and down the stairs
  • Standing at your desk
  • Playing with your kids or pet
  • Adding in some restorative movement like stretching, mobility work or slow-flow yoga

I need to be motivated to workout

Motivation it is NOT something that is under your control and if you’re just not feelin’ it, that doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you.

It likely means that you’re tired, stressed (um…yep!), distracted, ready for lunch (also yep!) or just don’t feel like it.

The secret? You can do it anyway;) Here are some ways to set yourself up for the MOST success possible when it comes to gettin’ after it at home.

Tips & tricks for home workouts

  1. Stick to your schedule – Whether you’re literally quarantined at home all day (#currentmood) or need to do home workouts for some other reason, PLAN it into your day like a meeting you can’t miss.

    Make it your top priority and plan OTHER events around your training.

  2. Win your morning – If you’re a morning person, I recommend training first thing! When you start your day with a vote in favor of your health and your overall goals, you’ll continue making choices that align with your “why” through the rest of your day.

    If you’re not a workout person, stick to training around the same time each day, stick your routine and you may find it helpful to train at your “normal class time”.

  3. Make a plan – Decide what workout you’re getting after at LEAST a day ahead of time. Or, spend Sunday creating a workout plan for your week. This way, you don’t have to spend EXTRA time/energy deciding what workout to do if your motivation is already a bit low.

  4. Eat enough – It is SUPER tempting to think you need to eat less if home workouts aren’t your norm and you’ve been utilizing them regularly.

    Here’s the thing – if your drive is already low, eating less (and tanking your energy) is only going to make it HARDER to WANT to train and for your body to recover.

    At the end of the day, a workout (in the gym or not) is only an average of about an hour a day. And, you don’t burn as many calories as you’d think;) If you’re still sweating it out at home and using the tips above to stay moving through the day, you still need all that same fuel!

  5. Prioritize recovery – If you have more time on your hands, it is ALSO super tempting to fill it with extra workouts, especially if you LOVE to train or if I haven’t quite convinced you that you can still crush home workouts and track towards your goals;)

    Plan your recovery days into your week the same way you plan your workouts. This allows you to take care of your body and keep crushin’ workouts.

  6. Do what you want – Okay, okay! There are definitely days when you DON’T feel like working out. Honestly, there are some days when you gotta listen to that (yep, even if you took a rest day yesterday). It could be your body tellin’ you something.

    That being said, you know that “I need to do SOMETHING but don’t feel like doing ANYTHING” kinda feeling. And, on these days when it is feeling particularly tricky to motivate yourself, pick movements that you’re most down to do and/or excited about.

    Creating a workout that is full of your favorite movements makes it more likely that you’ll actually do it!

  7. Create accountability – If someone else is depending on you, you’re much more likely to stick to your plan. Or, if you have SOME kind of way to track your progress and SEE if you’re sticking to your plan, that works too! Here are a few ideas:

    – Hop on Zoom or Facetime call with friends and do the workout together
    – Wearing an activity watch to track steps and/or workouts
    – Physically marking off the days you stick to your training plan on a big monthly calendar. Then, you can LITERALLY watch your chain of momentum build (and you won’t want to break it!)

Now what?

We can all use a little inspo now and then! That’s why I created a home workout guide that includes…

  • 5 Workout Styles
  • Bodyweight, dumbbell and/or jump rope workouts
  • A movement bank with 50+ ideas you can swap and switch
  • 40+ workouts to get you going!

You can download the free guide HERE!

DISCLAIMER: The workouts and ideas I share are aimed to provide inspiration and ideas but may not be right for you and ​shouldn’t be considered a program in any way. Make sure to consult your doctor or a qualified professional if and when necessary.

I can’t wait to hear what you think. Drop a comment below if you give any of these workouts a shot.

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