How to Use At-Home Workouts to Supplement Your Gym or Studio Time
Let’s face it. It isn’t always easy to drag yourself out of the house to go to the gym or to your favorite fitness studio. Between work, family, the need for sleep, and basically life in general, sometimes the only way to squeeze in a workout or training session is to get it at home – because then you can do it on your on schedule and on your own terms.
But of course, an at-home workout isn’t the same as a workout at the gym or studio. Often an at-home workout can seem daunting or impossible because you have to plan it out, and without an instructor or group atmosphere, your workout can lack guidance, structure, and/or motivation.
So how can you really get the most of your at-home workouts and use them to supplement what you’re doing at the gym or studio? And how can you get yourself to actually do them?
Are at home workouts as effective as working out at the gym?
Yes! Simply put, use your at-home workouts to complete your personal workout equation. Use this time to get what you don’t get when you’re at the gym or studio: a different type of workout, specific metrics, etc.
And don’t worry, because it is completely possible to do it in a way that provides structure and motivation.
Here are some tips on how to do it:
1. Know your fitness goals
Ask yourself your "why." Why are you workout out? Are you doing it to gain muscle? Do you want to improve your endurance or your strength? Or do you really just do it to feel good and strong? Once you know your goals, you will be able to create the workout equation that will help you build an effective journey and accomplish your mission. Then you can determine what you need to get out of your studio/gym workouts and how your at-home workouts will supplement your gym time.
2. Know what you need
What do you need to work on? For example, maybe you want to build strength and endurance. Therefore, you go to the gym to lift weights and you go to a local studio for group cardio sessions. This combination of strength and endurance will create a balanced workout plan and get you closer to reaching your goals, but there’s a good chance you may be lacking variety in your workouts and you may not be focusing on movements that will help with speed, agility, and balance. Therefore, your at-home workout option should give you a way to add variety and complete drills focusing on those missing pieces of your overall fitness equation.
3. Find a workout to fill deficit
Once you identify your goal and the resulting deficit in your workout routine, identify an at-home workout option that will give you what you need and want. If you need to work on variety, try something that most gyms or studios don’t offer or maybe don’t do really well. For instance, boxing is a great workout, but not always available. For big box gyms, boxing workouts for fitness is often an afterthought and while boutique boxing studios are growing in popularity, you may not have access to them. Plus, some more traditional boxing-style gyms can be intimidating for newbies or weekend warriors. So why not box at home?
4. Find a program format that works for YOU
Once you decide which workout may be best, figure out how to get it. Whether it’s an online video series or an old school DVD (they still exist!), find a series that has the workout you want and is accessible when and where you want to watch it. This is the main reason we need at-home workout options, right? Pre-recorded workouts or livestream sessions via fitness apps are a great option and provide accessibility wherever you have internet access. The workouts can be viewed on a variety of mobile devices and even displayed in larger format if you have the right setup. This is great for those who like getting an at-home workout in a basement or garage – or even in a living room since the set-up is usually simple and it’s likely that it does not require a lot of equipment.
5. Test it out
Once you find a program, test it out. Check the purchase or subscription options (some subscription-based programs have free trials) and the equipment you may need. Evaluate the program on variety. Are there options for workout lengths or formats? Does the instructor lineup offer variety (in case you don’t like one)? Does the program offer a lot of options and/or updated or new classes? Some or all of these may matter to you, so figure out your priorities and match them to the program offering.
As with any workout, the best one is the one that’s done. Once you find that deficit in your workout routine and find something to fill it, know that you need it and decide how to work it into your schedule. The positive side is that it’s easier to work your at-home option into your schedule than trying to adjust your schedule around a drive or predetermined class schedule. And as a bonus, most at-home workout options double as on-the-road workouts that can be completed in hotel rooms or gyms when you’re traveling for work or pleasure.
Why is an at home workout a good supplement to a gym routine?
While getting out of the house and working out at a gym or with a group in a studio setting may be enjoyable, there will always be times when life gets in the way. So instead of skipping a workout or training session altogether, have your workout plan ready and consider working out at-home as a way to sweat without feeling like you need to wear matching clothes.
About the Author:
Jen Crompton is a co-owner and fitness instructor at FUEL Cycle Fitness, an indoor cycling + boxing fitness studio located in the Philly suburbs. An entrepreneur with a deep-rooted love of fitness and health, Jen combined her passions and talents alongside her husband to open their fitness studio in 2016 and begin building their FUELFit brand. Jen is also a lululemon ambassador, digital marketer, writer, and mom to a 3-year old son.