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Working out from home - looking for tips

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The down and dirty--wife and I are both out of shape, need to get into a routine. We both work, have two kids, and live essentially in a home where we have our living room and potentially the garage if we can keep it clean.


How the hell can we work out in our own home while getting both cardio and strength training in? Any chance of a 30min workout of sorts that we could both do together?


I have a set of PowerBlock weights, that's about it. No room for a machine of any kind, although I could probably swing a lifting bench of some sort. I used to do some circuit training that worked OK, but never got into a great routine. We DO have a set of stairs in the house that could probably be useful.


Overall, looking to put together something focused on healthy bodies and movements, not necessarily ultimate weight loss or body building.


Help if you can?

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If you want to start working out from home you need to commit to a routine. 30 minutes a day is easy.


Get an elliptical. If you are new to it.... Getting one of those 15-30 minute workout videos helps get you into the basics. You dont need a big machine. Just start out slow with basics and get a routine in first. Then kick up the intensity once you get your habits in place.


Routine routine routine.


Also.... Msg C-lo


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Edited by PeterJMC
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Any chance you have space for a power rack?


A rack, plus a bench, barbell, and plate set is everything you need for a full body lifting routine - squats, deadlifts, rows, bench press, overhead press.


Alternatively, get into a bodyweight fitness routine.




Lifting alone won't make you (or your wife) get jacked like Arnold. But building muscle is a huge benefit...increases your base metabolic rate (more muscle means you burn more calories just by living) which helps keep weight off, increases bone density (a big deal for women especially), and makes you look good, instead of just making you look not-fat.


And like Peter said, it's all about routine. I've been lifting fairly consistently for 2 years now, but go in and out of a steady routine, which is the difference between maintaining and making strength progress.

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Do you have room for a bicycle on a trainer? I got a CycleOps Super Magneto Pro trainer for my bike and use it in my basement. It works great. I ride and read or watch TV about 25-30 minutes a day and I've lost some diameter around my waist and gained muscle.
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P90X3, pull up bar with assistance bands

Track calories diligently with something like My Fitness Pal

Skip breakfast so you can have a more satisfying lunch and dinner



I did T25 two years ago. It needed no equipment except light dumbbells you can get at Target. But a bit too dancy and coordination for this two left footed guy. I didn't stick with it. It worked okay.


Last year, in January I started P90x3 and did it 5-6 times a week. 30-35 minutes with cool down. You need a pull up bar. It's the huge difference versus T25. I needed a 75lb helper band (3 x 25lb bands) to do the pull ups. The P90x3 diet didn't work for me. I was getting stronger, but not dropping weight. When I started detailed calorie tracking with My Fitness Pal, it started working. The first 90 days took about 100ish days with sickness, life, etc. But i worked hard and still kept my job and family happy.


I rolled immediately into round two of P90x3. The second round you're more efficient because the newness is gone. A few weeks in I switched up the diet to the Lean Gains, Rippedbody.jp style of Intermittent Fasting. IMO the main significance of IF is to skip breakfast to have a more satisfying lunch and dinner. Now we were talking. Over the next 3-4 months I dropped .75lbs a week while gaining strength and dropping weight.


Oh and yes it took some adjustment to skipping breakfast. Grumpy cat meme. But give it two to three weeks. Try loading up on decaf if you're a coffee drinker.


At the end of the second 90, I changed things, but for me, the P90x3 really kick started it for me, and worked. 11 months later I'm down 5-6" in pants size, down 30 lbs, and way stronger. I was using 3 helper bands to do pull ups, but now i use no bands and 15lbs of plates in a back pack. So that 30 lbs lost doesn't show the muscle gained. I'm a smallish guy, 5' 7", for reference.


My guidance for those that ask me:

- muscle work with cardio second

- Track calories with my fitness pal (mfp)

- Adjust calories every 2-3 weeks if a tweak is needed


My wife didn't have time to work out, but she still dropped 20 lbs by just skipping breakfast and diligently tracking calories in mfp (basically Intermittent Fasting). I don't recommend that because diet alone means ultra low calories and you'll like the body shaping effects of the workouts. But on weeks you can't workout, once you learn calorie tracking with something like mfp , you'll know how to maintain until you can get back on it.


Sorry if this has turned a bit long. I can squat "ass to the grass" and pick up both my 32lb four year olds without hurting myself. I didn't have the flexibility or strength to do that two years ago when they were half the weight. Kinda proud of that.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Take a look at this routine - I have dabbled in it for awhile and I like it a lot. Only need a place to do pull-ups




It focus on healthy body movements initially. At higher levels it's very muscle and skill intensive. But, it takes you slowly there.

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Insanity is also a great way to get started, commit to the 60 day challenge and you will see results. It takes no equipment, just a tv dvd player and some space. Really any high intensity interval training (hiit) will get you results, and for your own sake change what and how you eat. Lifestyle change, not just fad dieting that will make the greatest difference in your attitude and physique. Check out team beach body there is something for everyone there, my wife just started Cize and really likes it.


If you aren't too manly zumba also is a good cardio go to when weather is bad out. Besides the change in what foods you buy and keep at home you should consider ways of challenging each other, 5ks or obstacle course runs, biking...the possibilities are endless. Doing anything is better than doing nothing!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've gained 30 lbs since my son was born 3 years ago (I often joke that my wife lost her baby fat, and I kept mine! ha). Haven't really been keen on exercising at all in the last 10-15 years. But thankfully my wife and I already eat very well, with very little processed foods. The lack of exercise (and hops intake :)) has taken to my mid section and I'm becoming that tall lanky guy with a beer gut. Not good. I'm also out of shape and typically low on energy. Quit being a full time smoker when my son was born. And it's been 6 months since I stopped "closet" smoking.


I'm trying to regain energy, loose the 30 lbs in my gut, pick up some stamina and gain some strength.


Much like BMB, I don't want, and don't have space for machines. I don't have a ton of extra time.


I'm on week 2 of the following routine. I'm able to do most of it, but still need to build a pull up bar in the basement. It's surprising how much something so simple can kick your butt so easily.




I'm still sore daily. But it feels good. I'm looking forward to not huffing and puffing running for cones at the 1st autocross of the season, running from cars with leg cramps and also looking forward to shedding a few lbs and gaining some coordination/awareness to go faster.

Edited by cBax
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To be honest the P90X videos are pretty good. I've done them a couple times after a long 4-6month binge of no gym and lots of food and It'll get you losing weight.


The BIGGEST thing to keep in mind is when it comes to weight loss, dieting is very key. I don't mean the dumb schemes. I simply mean eating healthier and in smaller portions. I understand with a family and kids that can be very hard but if the kids go to school and you're not eating 3 meals together then focus on watching your diet on the meals you two have alone and for something like dinner where everyone is at the table just control your portions.


Aside from P90X and such, start simple, go on jogs together and get your cardio in with things like jump rope and burpees. Personally I like them both but jump rope can really kill you, it's a fantastic way to burn calories.


a general strength routine I use to do when I was abroad and couldn't go to a gym is 3x100 on push ups, crunches and squats. It'll take a little time but you can divide it up, what's key is doing them every day. then start throwing in varying types of the exercises. like judo pushups, goblet squats etc.


The strength routine that OB2.5XT posted is a good one! It's what I have my friend on now, he had his second son 9 months ago and since then he has gained 40lbs so I'm forcing him out. He was always a scrawny guy that could eat whatever he wanted but it caught up to him fast.

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I couldve swore the routine I was doing came directly from this thread, but when I checked earlier it was different. The routine I posted seems very similar to the one OB2.5XT posted.


I have some co-workers that have the insanity videos. I may check them out too.


Gipsy, I'm that scrawny guy as well. I'm 6'6" and have ALWAYS been able to eat whatever and do whatever and still maintain 180lbs since high school 17 years ago. Im now at 210lbs and it's ALL in my gut....uggh.

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I'm the opposite of all my friends, short and gains fast. I played Rugby in college and got up to 215 at 5'9". After joining the military I got my shit together and haven't been above 180 in over 7 years. I usually sit around 160-165 but I work out 5 days a week, run on average of 7-10km 3 times a week and really try to eat as healthy as possible. If I slip up over the holidays like I did this past time I'll gain 15lbs FAST and it's all fat.


for me personally BMB, eating right and running is the key. I can lift 2hrs a day 7 days a week but I wont lose more than 1lb of fat, but run and cut all sweets and carbs and I've lost 3-5lbs in a week.

Edited by GipsySpec.B
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You don't need machines or cycles or ellipticals. Body weight exercises are where it's at. String together several exercises, for example... 30 seconds of planking, 10 pushups, 20 squats, 10 burpees....and do 6 or 10 sets of that whole combination. If you keep a good pace and don't rest, you will get plenty of cardio, plus you'll be training your body to get stronger and more resilient overall. There are dozens of modification to each of these types of exercises, some use small (10lb) weights, some use slightly different movements. For example plank with arms extended and touch your knee to your elbow, alternating sides, this will start to bring the obliques into the picture.


Don't let your wife wimp out on the pushups, it's one of the best all body exercises out there. Ladies can start out on their knees, same with planks, and work up to the guy pushups and real planks as she gets stronger. That's where my wife started a few years ago and now she can do 30 guy pushups in a single set and 90 pushups in 5 minutes. We have both been known to do 6 minute planks. If you want to lean down, running has to be part of that, its good for the core, metabolism, and stamina. Start with a run/walk and work up from there. Adding pullups and chinups is great too, but that is decidedly hard for women, so just hanging with arms bent at a 90 for as long as she can is a good start. My wife can do about 5 sets of 3 chinups now but she's been working on that for over a year. Never give up!!!


The absolutely most important thing is to be consistent in your training and don't start and stop. Set goals and challenge yourself. Keep the notion that you can't do it from infiltrating what you want for your future.

Edited by GTEASER

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Like said above, calories matter, probably the most.


I highly recommend using the my fitness pal app with a food scale, if you're the type a personality that can stick with this kind of detail, you'll learn so much about food and finally understand whey you're eating too many calories.


Set your calories in the app for .75-1.0 pounds of fat loss per week and give it a go for a couple weeks, and then adjust your numbers up or down depending on how you're doing.


With working out I lost 35 pounds doing that, while my wife just doing the app lost nearly 20%, is at her ideal weight and still has her glass of wine with dinner.



Edit: oops, forgot I already posted most of this here. But seriously, calorie counting works.

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  • 1 year later...
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Fast forward. Been getting to the gym since about november, probably 2 times a week, give or take depending on schedules. My routine is typically 30 minutes of cardio and I have an AB workout program that I just alternate--bench press, rows, and squats one day; next time is overhead press, pull ups, and dead lifts. I use free weights wherever I can with those exercises.


Wife and I started a 30-day shake program today. It's pretty aggressive and a bit more of a "cleanse" than I'd like, but the program seems pretty well laid out and should be a good jump start to actually losing weight in addition to just getting healthy through exercise.


So yeah, no coffee today and I'm sitting here drinking hot water in hopes of satisfying the craving. I might just say eff it and ignore the no coffee rule in this program :lol:

"Bullet-proof" your OEM TMIC! <<Buy your kit here>>


Not currently in stock :(

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  • 6 months later...

I found some circuits that I really like here.


They also have a few "30 days of ..." type programs. I just started the strength protocol and I'm liking it so far.


I started with the superhero themed workouts which are mostly full body, body weight based workouts. They're pretty good ... if you need something to break up the routine.

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  • 8 months later...

When I'm feeling lazy I use Fitness Blender on Youtube. I also make myself do at least 10 minutes of something to get my heart going, even if I don't have time, energy or ambition. My goal is 45min- 1 hr, but will take anything under. I just give in to the fact that I have to work out everyday. It is the only way I can make it through my job daily and not have an effed up back all the time.


You don't need machines either. I used to follow this workout that had you use things around the house. I always liked the pull ups using two chairs back to back with a broom or something across the top of the backs of the chairs. Lay underneath and pull up while keeping your body rigid. Plus, I'm over 200lbs, so body weight and gravity exercises feel heavy to me.:)


Split the week up into body parts for weight training and cardio. I do Monday - legs/core, Tuesday - chest/back, Wednesday - 3 mile run, Thursday - bi's and tri's, Friday - legs/core or another run.

On the days I don't want to think I use the Fittness Blender for whatever body part I need and do it for as long as I can.


Good luck, it's a life long struggle and state of being in a good kinda pain.:)

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  • 4 years later...

When it comes to working out, there are a lot of benefits to working out from home. For one, you don't have to worry about things like weather or traffic. You also have complete control over your environment, so you can create the perfect conditions for your workout. Plus, working out from home can be more affordable than going to a gym.

As personal fitness trainer, I have some opinion which can relate people. It’s easy to let our healthy habits slide while on vacation. But there are ways to stay fit while enjoying time off. Here are a few tips:

  1. Get up and move: Take a brisk walk or jog in the morning, go for a swim, or explore your surroundings on foot or by bike.
  2. Keep healthy snacks with you: Pack fruits, nuts and seeds, whole grain crackers, or yogurt to help you avoid unhealthy choices when you get hungry.
  3. Limit your alcohol intake: Alcohol can add empty calories and make it harder to stick to your fitness goals. So drink in moderation, or skip it altogether if you’re trying to lose weight or improve your fitness level.
  4. Set up a dedicated space for your workouts. This will help you stay focused and motivated.
  5. Get yourself a set of dumbbells or resistance bands. This way you can still do strength training exercises even if you don’t have access to weight machines.
  6. Take advantage of online workout videos or apps. 
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  • 4 months later...

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