If there is anything positive (fitness and training wise) to come from this situation, it is the level of creativity that people are employing to get a good workout in! I’ve seen people pouring washing up liquid on the floor to replicate a treadmill, to partners using each other as a human barbell. Personally, my eyes have been opened to the damage I can do with a pair of 5kg dumbbells. I was skeptical at first, ready to accept that I wouldn't be properly strength training until I was back in the gym and that I'd have to make do with high intensity interval training as my main training component.
None of us saw this coming and few of us were prepared with equipment at home and so I wanted to share some tips on how we can intensify our home workouts, regardless if you have equipment available or not!
Over the next few posts, I am going to look at different ways that we can intensify at home workouts. In this post, i am going to address the first variable - speed.
Speed is an important component of bodyweight HIIT or circuit training. In these types of training , there is usually a distinct ‘on’ and ‘off’ period. The ‘on’ periods should be intense, you should be working as hard as you can, moving your body as quickly as possible to get through the repetitions - providing you are still maintaining correct form. I believe there is a problem when following workouts you have seen online. It can be easy to follow along with the speed that it is being demonstrated rather than you're own maximum pace. Remember that they are only demonstrating the exercise for you rather that performing their own workout or working to their max. One way around this is to follow live or virtual workouts, then you have a timer to follow along with and also someone to push you to work as hard as you can in a real time situation. It is all to easy to slack off when no one is watching. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me at pt_imo, for more information on my live sessions as well as virtual PT.
When we are talking about speed in strength training, we refer to 'Tempo'. This is a more complex topic that requires a lot more explanation. In a simple explanation, we have different types of contractions, eccentric, concentric and isometric. The easiest way to increase the perceived intensity during strength training, would be to increase the length of the eccentric contraction. This is the part of the movement where the muscle is lengthening, for example the lowering phase in a bicep curl and a squat. Slowing down this part of the movement will feel challenging because you are increasing the time under tension. Next time you are doing squats, try lowering down into the squat more slowly than you usually would and notice how it feels more challenging.
Thanks for reading, keep your eyes peeled for the next training variable that can be adjusted to intensify home workouts!