Best At-Home Workouts
A lot of guys have learned to enjoy the gym. There’s something about the community and experience that can reinforce a desire for fitness. But, we’ve all had to learn how to get by without a gym. Sometimes, things happen that make gyms inaccessible. When you’re in that boat, you need other workouts. We’re here to help. This is our take on the best at-home workouts that exist.
No Equipment Required
There are tons of workout programs that are designed to be done at home and with no equipment. Plenty of them have proven their merit, but there are too many to cover them all here. We’re going to focus on the ones we can happily recommend most highly. Don’t let that convince you that these are the only viable options. If you’re not sold on something on this list, do some browsing. There is a workout for everyone.
Insanity has been around for a while now, and it has metric tons of proven results. This workout may not have truly invented the concept of high-intensity interval training, but it definitely took the idea to the mainstream. The workouts are grueling, but they last less than an hour. You have enough time for this program, and when you stick with it, you will turn into a lean monster of a man. The only real question is whether or not you have the grit to do it. If you can stick with it for 60 days, you will be a transformed person.
Keep in mind, we’re saying this with no sponsorship from Insanity. The workout is effective. There’s no real arguing the results.
Beachbody is a little newer, but it’s still established enough that we can promote it with confidence. It’s based on variety. There are quite a few workout programs you can try, and they range from requiring no equipment to having small equipment needs. Either way, you’re looking at a very affordable and accessible way of getting fit.
One of our favorite programs is T25. It’s based on 25-minute sessions. The alpha version (which is easier) has no equipment at all. The more advanced version uses resistance bands. We believe the hype that you’ll feel substantially different after just two weeks in this program.
The true strength of Beachbody is the variety. If you feel overwhelmed by the number of options on the internet, you can do a free trial with Beachbody and get a great sampling of some of the best and most popular workouts around.
Being a guy, some of you are going to be stubborn about how you exercise. If you’re absolutely determined to work out without subscribing to some kind of program, then you need to understand the trinity of exercise: legs, core and arms. The three should be worked intensely and on their own. Working your core is good for general strength and feeling good. It also helps cardio. Let workouts are the best for burning calories and building a good foundation. Arm or upper body workouts are the best for feeling sculpted and sexy.
If you’re not sure where to start, these three basic exercises can be your first step. You want to try flutter kicks for the core, squats for the legs and push-ups for the arms. There are thousands of additional exercise options, but you can start here and figure out the rest as you go. Ultimately, you should have leg days, upper days, and core days that use multiple exercises and push your limits.
Some Equipment Required
There are amazing exercise programs that you can do at home but require a little bit of equipment. They’re still very much in the affordable range. In fact, a lot of them cost a lot less than a gym membership.
P90X is the other staple program in gym circles (along with Insanity). You can try to be a hipster about it, but millions of people have seen success with this program. Technically, you can do P90X with household items, and it was designed for that, but a few specialized tools can go a long way. A good pull up bar and resistance bands are great. Some dumbbells can also add a lot to the workouts.
P90X is about getting extremely ripped and lean. You will be stronger if you stick with this program. There are no maybes about it.
Centr is a lot like Beachbody in that it provides a lot of different programs that you can utilize. Some use equipment. Some require no equipment at all. Centr is newer than most of the resources on this list, and it includes substantial meal planning help. It’s also endorsed by Chris Hemsworth, which gives you a great physical model for motivation. If you’re as ripped as that guy, you’re doing pretty well.
The Large Exercise Ball
Once again, we have advice for the men who refuse to join a program. If you don’t want to invest heavily in a home gym, the large exercise ball is probably the single best investment you can make. You can get a six-pack with only this item. You can do tons of different exercises that involve the ball, and after trying just one, you’ll understand why it works so well. Most guys will be sore for a few days after doing just a handful of situps on this ball for the first time.
Aside from an exercise ball, two other really good pieces of cheap equipment are pull up bars (there are more exercises than you can count for a bar) and resistance bands (which also have roughly infinity different exercises).
The Home Gym
If you are interested in investing, home gyms can give you a lot of autonomy in regards to your fitness. Every home gym we’re listing includes workout regimens that make the most of them, so you’re getting more than just a set of weights.
Get a Pool
If you’re not worried about money, get a pool. Make it Olympic sized and indoor so you can heat it year-round. You might as well go big, and there is no home gym that is going to give you a better range of fitness options than an Olympic pool. Show us the fat swimmer if you want to argue.
Being a bit more realistic, we can talk about Bowflex. I may have circled in and out of meme territory over the years, but Bowflex is a staple for a reason. The gyms range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, so you can match the workout and fitness level you want to the price range that feels good.
The starting price point is a little higher with Body-Solid than Bowflex, but you still get options. Body-Solid is about machine weights, and you get a ton with any of their home gyms (maybe even literally). The variety is there. This is a gym that can push you as far as you want to go, as long as you use it.
This probably the simplest home gym that is still effective. It’s based on bodyweight training, and it offers roughly a hundred different workouts. Those workouts use gravity and isometrics instead of weights or resistance tools, but the benefits are there. Total Gym takes up less space than the other quality home gyms, and it might appeal to your desire to do things your own way. You won’t be lifting weights with this gym, so it will force you to invest in some creativity (although tons of exercises have already been developed).
Here’s the short version of the story. Home workouts have been developed in every way imaginable at this point. If you really want to get in shape, you don’t need a gym. If you need the community push you normally get from the gym, online workout communities are not a bad substitution. All that is really needed on your end is commitment. You can spend as much or as little money as you want. You just have to want it. If this can be a push that helps you work on your health, then here it is. Get off the computer and go do something. You can order a gym or subscribe to a program later. Waiting for the thing you order to come is the best way to fail before you start.