Whether its due to a lockdown or getting stuck at the office and and not making it home in time for your gym session. Training at home from our lounge rooms, has become at time a necessity but also a legitimate option to continue your training progression. We know it can be hard to flip between gym programmes and at home programmes, but maintaining training frequency and intensity means you won’t lose all those hard earned gains, by keep you moving consistently.
One of the major hurdles with home training though is finding ways to increase load/progression with minimal equipment.
Here are 3 simple tools you can use to keep your training intensity high;
This is essentially a way to control the speed at which an exercise is performed. Every movement has four distinct phases; an eccentric, isometric, concentric, and a top position.
For example, the Squat – the eccentric is the descent, the isometric is the bottom position, standing back up is the concentric, and, well the top position is the top position. When programming tempo, we use a numbered system; for example 3131, with each number corresponding to each of the four phases.
If you do not have heavy weights available to you at home, implementing a slower tempo to the eccentric and concentric phases of your exercises will help to increase the time under tension and increase the stimulus of an exercise with the lighter load. You’ll be surprised at how heavy that 10kg KB feels when your set of 10 squats is slowed down to a tempo of 4121, and performed with intent!
Now that we understand tempo, utilising the same numbered system, let’s look at implementing pauses to raise the intensity of your sessions.
A pause will be performed at the isometric portion of the movement. Let’s use a push up with a tempo of 22X1 as an example. This would mean you control the eccentric portion of the push up for 2 seconds, pause for 2 seconds with your chest above the floor, press up as fast as you can control (this is what X means), and hold the top position for 1 second before moving into your next rep.
Not only will the pause in this position get your body shaking, and muscles fatiguing, but paused reps are thought to help increase strength in those positions you are holding. And, it is extremely easy to utilite in many exercises; squats, lunges, lateral flyes, hip thrusts, anything and everything!
- 1 ¼ REPS
Let’s take the same numbered system and look at 1 ¼ reps. A typical quarter rep involves adding an additional partial rep at the end of the eccentric of the movement. Essentially what we are doing is elongating the time we spend in this portion of the lift.
Let’s use a DB RDL as an example, start by doing a normal eccentric or lowering portion of the lift, once you have reached the bottom, squeeze the glutes and come up ¼ of the way, pause briefly before lowering the weight back down, then squeeze the glutes again, drive the hips through and come all the way up to finish the rep.
Again, this can be utilised fairly effectively for any exercise; 1 ¼ squats, hip thrusts, bicep curls, overhead pressing!
Give these tools a go to bring some intensity to your at home workouts!