Hey again from one quarantine home to another.
We’ve been in lockdown for quite a few weeks now and many of us have had to modify our weekly workout routines. Some people are walking and running, while others are pulling bikes out of deep storage or streaming online yoga classes. Cardio and stretching all the way…
But what if your goal is to get strong or build lean muscle?
Regardless of whether you regularly train with heavy weights or want to start building up your strength from scratch, you’re going to have to find unconventional ways to preserve strength and build muscle mass without a gym.
But the good news!…Just because it’s unconventional, doesn’t mean it’s hard.
You just have to know how.
Here are some simple ways to improve your strength training results from your own living room:
1. Do more reps
Muscles must experience fatigue in order to grow bigger aka hypertrophy. And we know that lifting heavy weights causes muscle fatigue. But most people don’t have a full gym set up in their home, so how else can we cause muscles to fatigue?
Studies show that the training effect of fatigue through increased rep range is another great way to stimulate muscle growth. What does that mean for you? It means that if you don’t have heavy weights, you can use lighter weights and just do a lot more reps!
We have members using tinned tomatoes and drink bottles for weights. Get creative and keep pumping until your muscles can’t go anymore!
2. Increase time under tension
Another way to enhance muscle fatigue and build lean muscle as a result, is to move slower. This means that you’re increasing the time that the muscles are under tension so they have to work harder. For example, when you’re doing a squat, you could take 5-10seconds to reach the bottom of the squat, and another 5-10seconds to stand up again. This not only gets a great muscle burn, it also gives you more time to adjust your technique and improve your quality of movement.
3. Muscle activation
Firing up or ‘activating’ the right muscle group before you work them is a great way to get more bang for your buck and enhance your strength results. Many people do exercises without properly feeling the muscles they want to grow. So if you’re wanting to build up your glutes, make sure you get them fired up before you start squatting or deadlift, otherwise you may end up using other muscles to do the lifting, and this will greatly reduce you’re ability to build strength in the right places.
4. Choose your exercises wisely
We can do amazing things with our own body weight which means we don’t need fancy weights. Simply working on one leg, eg. Single leg squats, automatically doubles the load and gets the leg muscles working double time. Plus it helps build balance. Just make sure you start with your weaker leg first and do the same number of reps on your stronger side. We don’t want to increase any imbalance in the body!
5. Work on your mobility
Many people don’t realise this but our ability to get the most out of our strength workouts can be strongly limited by mobility. If your body cannot go through full range, eg. Squat low or press overhead etc. then your body will only build muscle within its limited range. When we train the body to move through full range with efficient movement, our strength results skyrocket. Some simple stretches and some muscle release pre-workout will have you feeling sooo much better during your strength piece!
These are 5 of my favourite ways for improving strength workouts from home.
If you’d like to know more, email me at [email protected]. I’d love to help answer specific questions.
Oh, and one more thing! If you want to enhance your results even further, make sure you are eating foods that support muscle growth. More on this next week 😊