No gym, no problem

Working out from home can be highly effective if approached correctly

by Devan Dippenaar

Lockdown has now lasted for what seems like forever, and although gyms reopened for a while, we barely got back into our routines before they all shut again. Many of us might not have space for equipment at home but there is still a lot we can do without it. Having said that, the key is to maximise a home workout and treat it like a normal session at the gym.

No one ever hits the gym hoping for average results. You go in with the intention to get 100% out of every rep, run and get those hard-earned beads of sweat. The key is to keep that mindset and remember a home workout can save you time, cash and the huge effort of leaving your house whilst keeping you safe.

How to maximise your home workouts

Home-based training sessions tend to get a bit of a bad rap from many within the fitness industry because they don’t really allow you to loadup heavy and build brute strength. However, assuming you implement them correctly, they still offer a seriously effective means of building mass, and when coupled with a calorie deficit, torching some fat too!

With this in mind, an efficient and effective indoor workout needs to be structured in a way that genuinely maximises its potential.

This is done through a combination of three key methods:

  • Circuit training
  • Tempo training
  • Explosive movements

Circuit training consists of a consecutive series of timed exercises performed one after the other with varying amounts of rest between each exercise.

An example of a simple circuit training workout might consist of push-ups, sit-ups, squats, chin-ups and lunges, with each exercise to be performed in 3 rounds of 30 seconds on and then 30 seconds off.

Tempo training is when you control the speed or cadence (tempo) of your movement during all four parts of an exercise: the eccentric portion, the bottom of the movement, the concentric portion, and the top of the movement. Those four phases can be in a different order, depending on the movement.

3×5 using tempo: 3/1/1/1 (or sometimes written simply as 3111)

The numbers dictate the amount of time (in seconds) you should spend on each phase:

The first number is always the eccentric phase. In the example above, this would be when you are lowering down to the floor in the push-up.

The second number is always the pause at the bottom of the repetition. In this case, it would be a one second pause at the bottom of the push-up.

The third number is always the concentric phase of the movement. Continuing with our push-up example, this would be a one second ascent time to the top of the push-up.

The last number is always the pause at the top of the movement. In this example, it would be a one second hold in a plank position before beginning the next push-up.

Explosive movements, or plyometric exercises in your routine will not only increase your athletic capabilities but will also improve muscle mass by recruiting your fast-twitch fibres. Start by keeping the rep-count low to perfect your technique and avoid injury.

Plyometric exercises include tuck jumps, burpees, jumping lunges, box jumps and skater jumps.

Home training doesn’t need to be boring nor ineffective. If done correctly, and with perseverance and dedication, it can help you achieve the physique you have always wanted.

If this sounds overwhelming to you, feel free to reach out to me and I will answer any questions you may have.

Devan Dippenaar is a coach and fitness consultant with over fourteen years of experience. For more info, visit: or



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