Home Workout Plan For Coronavirus Isolation
The current coronavirus outbreak has a lot of people worried about going to the gym and catching it. In some places people are physically unable to go to the gym as it has been closed. Other countries (like Italy) have been put on complete lockdown. To avoid spreading the virus around the country, people are being discouraged from going anywhere at all.
This is still fairly early days at the time of writing, and in most places it is going to get worse before it gets better.
More places could be put on lockdown as more governments start to introduce measures to prevent the disease spreading.
It’s looking likely that a lot of people who workout are going to need to start doing this at home if they want to keep up a fitness routine. This post will recommend some equipment to buy, show you some exercises you can do (and list some more) and give you an example home workout program you can use.
If you’re young, fit and healthy, you’re probably going to be fine
It’s important to mention, if you’re not over the age of 60 and you don’t have underlying health problems like diabetes, heart disease or anything that results in a suppressed immune system, you probably don’t need to be worried about dying from the disease. You might feel extremely sick for a week or so, but you’ll probably only get mild symptoms.
The risk is more of a systemic risk than an individual risk. The reason for lockdown, avoiding travel and large crowds is so we prevent this thing from spreading quicker than it needs to. Estimations are that 50 – 80% of populations could contract this virus within a year. 10% or so of those may require a hospital bed.
That equals something between 16 and 26 million people in the United States, or 3 and 6 million people in the United Kingdom.
There are NOWHERE NEAR that many hospital beds available in either country – so the reason for caution and not going out, etc. is to stop the health systems from becoming overloaded by spreading this virus way quicker. If we do that, lots of people won’t be able to get hospital beds and will probably die avoidable deaths.
With that said, here’s the article on home workouts!
What Equipment Do You Need to Have a Great Workout at Home?
Firstly, let’s talk about some minimal equipment that doesn’t take up a lot of space and won’t break the bank.
Currently Amazon is still running fine, so go ahead and order yourself some of these:
Chinup max (alternative to the resistance bands to help with pullups/chinups)
If you’re really serious about working out at home and going to make it a long term thing, I would suggest getting a power rack, a barbell and plates. You can get an adjustable bench too. I’ll put a workout for this equipment at the end of the post. This equipment makes a gym membership unnecessary for most people to get in amazing shape.
Simple Home Workout
I’ll include different versions of each exercise depending on the equipment you have available. The more minimal equipment options may not provide enough of a stimulus if you’re an intermediate or more advanced trainee.
In terms of sets and reps, beginners should be able to get a challenging workout in, even with minimal equipment.
If you’re more advanced, you may need to look at purchasing some more equipment, some heavier dumbells, perhaps a barbell, some plates, etc. so you are able to still be challenged by the workout.
My suggestion is to do 2-3 sets of between 5 and 15 reps. Hopefully you have the right equipment to make that a challenging workout for you.
Squat/Goblet Squat/Barbell Squat
Beginners should be able to get a challenging workout in with bodyweight squats. Go up to 3 sets of 20 if need be.
Beginners and intermediates may also progress to goblet squats using dumbells. You can probably go up to 70lbs or more before you exhaust this option.
If you’re lucky enough to have a barbell and rack at home with enough plates, you can do back squats and never run out of enough weight to get a challenging leg workout in.
Deadlift/Romanian Deadlift/Dumbell Romanian Deadlift
You should definitely include some sort of hip hinge movement in your workout routine.
Depending on your level of experience, it might not be easy to get this done at home if you don’t have significant weight. You might need quite heavy dumbells, or ideally a barbell and plates.
If you’re not experienced with this move, you can get a good workout in with dumbells.
If you’ve got a barbell, plates and enough weight to do conventional deadlifts, you’ll want to make sure you’re doing this somewhere with adequate floor protection.
Pullups/Chinups and Assisted Versions
This is where your pullup bar will really come into play. If you’re not able to do chinups or pullups yet, you’re going to want to get the resistance bands or the chinup max (linked above) to help you. Don’t just skip over pullups/chinups entirely. Put in work until you can do them! Losing fat will help MASSIVELY here (check out the video course if you have no idea where to start).
Aim for 3 sets to failure. No-one is strong enough to not be able to get a good workout doing that! You can add weight by holding a dumbell between your legs if you’re more advanced.
If you need help, loop the resistance band around the bar, and put your knee or foot through it. Play with different weight resistance bands to give more/less assistance. Aim to reduce the assistance over time as you’re adding reps.
Pushups, Floor Press, Bench Press, Ring Dips
You’re definitely going to want to work the muscles of your chest at home. We have several options for this, even if you don’t have a bench (although if you do, dumbell or barbell bench press are probably going to be the best options).
Pushups are a great option for a beginner and with good form will be hard enough at first. You can also do floor press, which is essentially the same thing as a dumbell bench press, but you lie on the floor.
This reduces the range of motion (because your elbows can’t go any lower than the floor) so it is easier than a dumbell bench press. For that reason, more advanced trainees may want to pick something else.
The best option here without investing in significant equipment (adjustable bench, heavier dumbells or a barbell, plates and rack) is going to be harder bodyweight moves.
You have ring dips or single arm pushups. Both are fairly challenging.
For ring dips, you’ll need to hang your rings from something (over the pullup bar works well for me) or use a trx secured to something overhead. To make harder, you can add weight.
For single arm pushups, start with your feet further apart (easier) and move them closer together to make it harder. If you can bang out 3 sets of 15 single arm pushups with great form, you’re incredibly strong!
If regular pushups are too easy for you, but you’re not able to do many single arm pushups, you can use a reverse pyramid approach.
Using Reverse Pyramid Training to Make Home Workouts Challenging
RPT (reverse pyramid training) is where you do higher intensity (harder/heavier sets) first, then lower the intensity for subsequent sets.
With this example it would look like:
First Set – Single arm pushups x5 (each side)
Second Set – Regular pushups x15
Third Set – Regular pushups x 15
Normally 2×15 regular pushups wouldn’t be a challenge, but after the first set of single arm pushups (which is almost to failure) those additional sets can also achieve failure with relatively low reps. You can also apply this approach for your ring rows. Single arm rows to failure (low reps) followed by sets of regular double arm ring rows.
One Arm Row/Bent Over Dumbell/Barbell Row/Ring Rows
You’re going to want to make sure you do some sort of horizontal pulling motion. This will work the muscles of your back (lats, rhomboids, amongst others) and biceps to some extent too.
This one is easy to do with minimal equipment. All you need is a set of dumbells and you can do one arm rows or bent over dumbell rows.
Most people usually use too much weight for all of these movements too. Use a lighter weight, pull towards your hip instead of your chest, and really feel the lats contracting.
If you’ve got a barbell, barbell rows or t-bar rows are another great addition.
You can also use your pullup bar and your rings, to do ring rows using your bodyweight. Hang the rings from your bar (or from whatever will support your weight). Set them at a height so you can grab them when laying on the floor and pull yourself up to them whilst keeping your feet on the ground. Need to make them harder? Use just one hand (these are very hard!)
You can watch a video here showing how to do an inverted row using a bar set at a low height (you can also use a smith machine or a sturdy table at home to do this):
Seated/Standing Dumbell/Barbell Press
Working shoulders at home is quite easy if you’ve got some dumbells.
If you’ve got dumbells that challenge you for single arm rows, then you’ve got more than enough weight to get an effective shoulder workout.
Standing single arm presses, or standing double arm presses are difficult with dumbells. Being standing and using dumbells means you’ve got to stabilise the weights more, so you’ll probably not be able to lift as much as you’re used to with the seated version or the standing barbell version.
Of course, both those options are available to you too if you have the equipment.
Some other exercises you’ve got the option of doing at home:
- Lateral and front raises (shoulders)
- Biceps curls and hammer curls (Biceps)
- Walking lunges (legs)
- Bulgarian split squats (legs)
- Hip thrusts (glutes and hamstrings)
- Rear delt flyes (rear delts)
- Upright rows (shoulders)
- Dumbell overhead triceps extensions (triceps)
You could sub any of the above in.
Example Full Body Home Workout A
- Goblet Squats 3×20
- Dumbell Romanian Deadlifts 3×12
- Dumbell Rows 3×10
- Single Arm Pushups 3×10
- Standing Dumbell Single Arm Press 3×10
- Dumbell biceps curls
Example Full Body Home Workout B
- Dumbell Lunges 3×15
- Dumbell hip thrusts 3×12
- Pullups 3×10
- Ring Dips 3×10
- Ring Rows 3×10
- Dumbell lateral raises
With these 2 workouts you would workout 3 times per week, alternating between workout A and workout B.
- Week 1: ABA
- Week 2: BAB
- And so on (ABA again in week 3).
Each week you should aim to progress the intensity or volume in some way. Either 1 more rep on one or more sets, or using heavier weights/more difficult exercise variations.
If you’re struggling to progress because the minimal equipment you have at home means you can’t get a challenging enough workout, then perhaps it is a time you could be focusing on fat loss.
Simply lift at the maximum intensity that you can, and follow the correct protocols with your diet to lose fat.
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