Updated: Apr 6
Unfortunately for me as a powerlifter, I can't ship my barbell and stack of 45s home along with a power rack. Regardless of your goals, having to transition everything home due to our current world situation is not an easy task, but it is doable.
Here are a few simple ways to do it:
Transition from straight sets to circuits
You most likely will not have access to weight as heavy as you would use in the gym. For myself squatting over 300lbs, there's no dumbbell that's going to allow me the same training stimulus as a heavy barbell.
However you can change your approach to load up your legs in a different way. In the absence of heavy weights, increasing volume by means of circuit training works like a charm. This could mean performing sets for "time" as opposed to "reps" or it could mean supersetting multiple exercises that attack the same muscle group in order to adequately stress it.
Barbell back squats for 3 sets of 5 could become jump squats supersetted with alternating reverse lunges for 30 seconds each.
Here you load up the quads with volume as opposed to weight.
Get creative with what you have around you
Tables, chairs, and couches are all potential workout surfaces.
You can use your table to perform bodyweight rows. Chairs and couches act as raised surfaces to balance or push off of (for split squats, pushups etc). Your stairs can be used for step ups, lunges, sprints and so much more. Towels can even be used as sliding pads.
The point is, most things in your home can help when it comes to working out.
Resistance is not out of the question
If you don't have dumbbells or kettlebells handy, your household items can potentially help here as well.
I've turned my old school backpack into a weighted vest. I use soup cans as weights for various shoulder exercises. Bags of carrots, detergents, and jugs of water can also be workout tools.
Outside of adding external resistance, you can make exercises more difficult by slowing down your tempo and focusing on time under tension.
You may have to re-adjust your goals
This is a time of adjustment and improvisation. You simply won't be able to train exactly as you did with a gym full of equipment. Using myself as an example again, I can't exactly train my 1 rep max or a clean and jerk without the necessary space and equipment.
Because of the obvious reasons, you may need to switch to a more volume-based goal as opposed to a weight-based one. Building muscle and losing fat is more than viable because time under tension and HIIT interval training are some of the most feasible ways to train at home.
As I mentioned before, slowing your tempo (which lends itself to hypertrophy) is a great substitute for external load and circuit training is an easy way to get your heart rate up and burn a ton of calories.
But is there nothing you can do if your goals are more performance based such as powerlifting, or lifting, or athletic training?
All three of the above modalities mentioned focus on power and explosive movement. As long as you incorporate this into your programming it is feasible to maintain some level of this type of strength.
Agility drills and plyometrics are great options for athletes because they generally require minimal equipment. Cleans and snatches can be practiced with household items. And any squats, pushups, and deadlifts can be done with explosive tempo.
In the end, it's best to look at what you can do rather than what you can't. It will not only keep you sane, but it'll keep you on a measurable path towards progress.
Thankfully there are a ton of great resources out there in the online fitness world. I've put together a full home program requiring no equipment for beginners, intermediates, and advanced lifters.
The best part? It's completely accessible to everyone! Click here to check it out for yourself.
To your good health,
Getting started can be a tough thing to do, and the main reason is that people don’t know where to start.
That’s where I come in.
Regardless of whether you live in the GTA and can do in-person coaching with me or you live anywhere else in the world and can do online coaching, I can put a plan in place to help you get to where you need to be.