6

QUICK HOME WORKOUT ROUTINES

WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO WORK OUT QUICKLY?

It occurs to me that there could be many reasons, none of which would indicate a lack of appreciation for the value of physical exercise. For example, I am dealing with a rotator cuff issue right now and must work around it. This means less stress need be applied to that shoulder and arm.

Here are reasons for quick home workouts that come to mind:

  • Other time obligations have increased and we have less time to allocate to physical exercise
  • As cited above, an injury has forced us to cut back
  • We may be experiencing “burnout” from overtraining and need a break
  • We are already in excellent shape and only want a brief maintenance program
  • We have come to the conclusion that short, high intensity workouts provide the best results.

To elaborate further on the final point above – we always have had to choose between long and slow workouts vs. short programs of high intensity. We can’t do both (correctly) at the same time. Arthur Jones, founder of Nautilus, was not an advocate of multiple sets. He felt that someone who finished 10 repetitions of a set when he / she might have done 12 was wasting time. Nautilus machines were designed to exhaust the working muscle at one sitting. Mr. Jones preferred a targeted “rifle shot” approach to that of a “shotgun”.

Dr. John Jaquish has designed a workout system and philosophy that advises us to only do one set, but to continually do reps until failure, i.e. until we are physically incapable of any more. This is tough, so he recommends only 4-5 total sets per day.

MY ROUTINE FOR NOW

I am not ready to go for total exhaustion on every set, though I am sold on the idea. Here is my brief workout for Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays:

  • 2 sets of what is sometimes called a “butterfly crunch”. See the image below. The upper body and legs are raised at the same time and move toward each other. A couple of differences – I do this at home, on the floor, also with my hands behind my head. I do 40 reps per set. It is the most productive abdominal exercise that I have tried, especially for the lower abdominals.

  • 25 minutes on my treadmill. I raise the speed every minute until the end. I keep track of the calories burned and the miles covered. My treadmill is shown below, with a link to the updated version.

Here is the link.

Continuing with what I currently do, here is my Tuesday,Thursday and Saturday brief workout.

  • The same 2 sets of “butterfly crunches”. To give an exact description of this, please see the workout below. This is a 6 minute abdominal program. The Butterfly Crunch is the third movement in the cycle and this shows exactly how I do it. I have also done the full 6-minute cycle and find it an excellent program.

https://www.menshealth.com/fitness/a26960776/lower-ab-workout/

  • 2 sets of a chest exercise with resistance cords. The cords are anchored at my door as I face the opposite direction. I pull the handles to the front of my chest to engage the pectoral muscles. I do 20 reps per set. The image below shows how this is done.

  • 1 set of resistance cord pulls to my side. I face the door where the cords are anchored and pull the handles to each side. This is great for the back (latissimus dorsi) muscles.
  • 1 set of Bullworker lat pushdowns. Seated on the floor with the Bow Classic in front of me and vertical, I push down from the top handle as far as I can go. I do 30 reps and hold isometrically at the end. The Bullworker website will be shown below so that this will make more sense to those new to Bullworker.
  • 2 sets of triceps “kickbacks” with resistance cords. I do 30 reps per set. The arms are straightened from the elbow against resistance. See the illustration below, though she is doing one arm at a time (I use both handles at the same time).

  • 2 sets of dumbbell curls per arm. I do 20 reps with a lighter dumbbell (15 or 20 lbs). Thus, 4 total sets for the biceps and 12 total sets. This concludes the Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday workout that I currently do. Sometimes I will do the triceps kickback and then go directly to the curls for each arm. This is a triset or 3 sets without stopping, followed by another triset after rest. Also, I will occasionally get on the treadmill after this workout for maybe 20 minutes, but more often do not.

Here are some equipment options for this workout:

Resistance cords

Very light dumbbells

Adjustable dumbbells

Bullworker products – note: use coupon code hat5 for a 5% discount on any Bullworker purchases.

A COUPLE OF OTHER QUICK WORKOUTS

(Start with once a day with the above program, since 5 times per day may exceed the time for a quick workout)

Don’t forget the 6 minute abdominal routine shown earlier. Here is the link again. This is strictly a bodyweight routine. There is nothing to buy, unless you would like a yoga mat. If so, check out this one.

CONCLUDING

My hour – long workouts have recently become 30 minute routines and I take Sundays off. Actually, my primary reason for emphasizing home workouts is to cut back on time. If I did a 30 minute program at a gym, my total time would be at least one hour. I would then be tempted to use all the facilities – steam bath, sauna, etc. Also, I would most likely do more than 30 minutes of exercise to justify the trip. Total time was usually 2 hours when I did this in the past.

My quick workout schedule is probably temporary, though 30 minutes 6 days per week may be a permanent feature. It depends on my rotator cuff problem.

Bodybuilding workouts were at one time long and arduous, with 10-20 sets per body part. The fitness magazines would speak of 3 hour workouts. I would see this when I worked out and almost became a participant. Contemporary advice makes a lot more sense to me – brief but intense exertion.

Having said that, it is also my opinion that the haste to always dispel what has worked well in the past is just as unwise. I see many inventions that will “change the way you work out” or will eliminate the need for basic and time – honored movements. Be careful and study the research.

My bottom line – just about any workout is better than none. If nothing else, walk around your neighborhood. Lift some light weights. Keep moving. Make your body happy.

Please leave any questions or comments in the “Comments” section below. Or e-mail me – richard@myworkoutathome.com. Be well!

Richard

6 Comments

  1. I found you article interesting and practical.  I am a person who has gone to the gym my whole life.  As a senior citizen, I have a membership connected with Medicare.  My routine has been to do 1 set or 30 reps on 8 different machines with as much weight as I can use both for strength and cardio.  I am looking at stopping this routine for about 6 months so your article is very timely.  I appreciate the fact that it can be done at home and primarily uses body weight.  Thanks.

    • I am also a senior, Anastazja and I have a free membership based on my insurance. I rarely use it, since I am set up for home workouts. I do miss the socializing at the sauna, etc. Thanks for your comments….Richard

  2. Hi Richard,

    I’m a fan of working out from home. I have 2 kids under 5 yo and I do not have time for the gym no matter what I do. I have tried to fit the gym in my schedule so many times and I just can’t make it work. So I ordered kettlebell and a couple dumbbells and that is what I use for my workouts. Thank you for the ideas! I find them varied and not boring. I’m also a fan of HIIT workouts and I keep searching for different exercises to create variety.

  3. Thank you Richard for explaining your workout routine. That sounds like it would be too much for me, but as you said, any workout is better than none. I am not a person that can workout around other people while indoors. I do not know why I do not like going to a gym. I prefer working out at the park when weather allows and in my home when it does not.

    When outside my preferred exercise is either hiking or an alternating  combination of normal to brisk walking. Indoors I’ll do some free weights or hit my treadmill. However I only exercise for 30 minutes unless doing aa hike, and I always workout Monday to Friday and take the weekend off. The only time this changes is when friends want to go hiking on the weekend.

    This routine works for me and everyone is different in the intensities of their workouts. Like you I feel that whatever you decide to do and forever how long, the important thing is too not overdo it and to at least do something. What exercises did you do and for how long when you first started out exercising? What would you recommend for a complete novice to start with?

    • Robert, I began to experiment with workouts at age 15 and my information was from Charles Atlas and whoever else had something to say on the subject. Later I joined a bodybuilding facility but was intimidated by other great physical specimens. Then I began working out in my garage with heavy barbells, about 12 -15 heavy sets. I had quick progress. I did 3-4 sets each of bench presses, bent over rows, military presses and barbell curls. I would recommend that a complete novice do very basic resistance and cardio movements. Resistance cords are very low impact. So are light dumbbells. Bullworker provides both light and heavy options. It seems that your hiking and treadmill well take care of your cardio. Check my past articles for speciifics on resistance exercise. Thanks for your interest!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *