September 26·5 min read

How and why to build a home workout program that beats any gym

From the equipment to the attitude, here is how you can make home where the workout is.

Before 2020, most of us probably never imagined our typical workday taking place anywhere but the office. The switch may have felt uncomfortable at first, but once we got used to the idea of meeting, interviewing, and even happy hour-ing via video call, the advantages of ditching the daily commute and office dress codes (at least from the waist down) were easy to see.

Not only has the pandemic revolutionized working from home, it’s made working out from home more appealing and accessible than ever. Whereas getting in shape was once synonymous with signing up for a gym membership, the privacy, comfort, and convenience of exercising right where you live can offer superior value without sacrificing consistent results — if you set yourself up for success.

Whether you’re a home workout warrior looking to fine-tune your routine or you’re just tired of paying to trek to the gym, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll explore how to optimize your home fitness routine, helping you avoid common mistakes, escape boredom, and bust through plateaus. With the right guidance, the right equipment, and a bit of planning (or just the support of a knowledgeable personal trainer), you can build an effective program that puts your goals in reach without opening your front door.

The why: more convenience means fewer excuses

No matter your goal, the best fitness program for you is the one you can stick to consistently. Simply put: there are fewer excuses standing in your way when your home is your gym. Bad weather is never a factor. You can go from zero to sweating in seconds. And this 24/7, judgment-free workout space is always open whenever the mood strikes. There’s no more flexible, comfortable, or efficient space for fitness than a well-prepared home gym that’s designed around exactly what you need.

Even if your living room isn’t as well-equipped as a proper gym, it’s still entirely possible to get a complete workout. With some research or the expert guidance of a personal trainer, you can build a well-rounded program that incorporates a proper mix of balance, cardio, strength, and flexibility movements with minimal additional equipment.

Common home workout mistakes and how to avoid them

While getting started with a home-based fitness routine is easier than you might think, making it successful and safe requires a little bit of planning to achieve consistent progress and avoid injury. Be mindful of these common at-home training mistakes that can stall your momentum or even stop you before you start:

  • Not having a real plan, structure, or goal

  • Buying a bunch of equipment you don’t need or know how to use 

  • Skipping a proper warm-up or cool down

  • Doing too much too soon

  • Getting too comfortable with your workouts

  • Ignoring the importance of form and technique 

  • Over-emphasizing high-intensity or plyometric work 

  • Not taking the time to recover properly

Seven ways to make working out at home work for you

Luckily, knowledge of these common issues is half the battle. Next, we’ll outline some of the best steps you can take to not merely avoid these mistakes, but create your ideal cardio kingdom or dojo of swole

Keep It new

With home workouts, variety is the spice of life. Break the monotony by switching up the intensity, type, and duration of your workouts whenever anything feels too easy or familiar. Diversify your program with strength, flexibility, and cardio components for a well-rounded way to keep things fresh. It can also be fun and effective to switch where you work out. So whether that means backyard strength sessions or cardio around your neighborhood, don’t be afraid to think outside the four walls of your home.

Make It Fun

If exercising constantly feels like a chore, even the world’s best-equipped, most convenient  home gym won’t keep you motivated. Beyond rotating in new exercises that keep you on your toes, there are plenty of other ways to liven things up. Make your workouts more social or add a bit of lighthearted competition by teaming up with a friend. Make a new playlist or two and crank the volume. Pick a healthy way to reward yourself for every completed exercise. No matter what gets you looking forward to a workout, find a way to add a little play to your work and you’ll keep coming back for more.

Match your equipment to your goals

Especially if you work with a coach, it’s entirely possible to develop a home fitness routine that won’t require much new equipment before you start your first set. But eventually, you may find yourself looking for new weights, bands, or other tools of the trade that can put your goals in reach or help you fight the boredom of routine. 

Before you drop cold, hard cash on equipment you don’t really need, consult with an expert or your personal trainer. It’s not always about getting the most equipment or the best equipment. It’s about getting equipment that fits both your workout space and your goals that you can learn how to use properly.

Put yourself on do not disturb

Once you get into the swing of things, your home workouts will start to feel like a welcome addition to your daily routine. Unfortunately, taking that time out of your day doesn’t automatically put life on pause. Whether it’s your phone, your roommates, your kids, or your coworkers, distractions can seem inevitable. 

You might not be able to go completely off the grid during a workout, but it’s important to eliminate as many outside annoyances as you can. Pick a time of day when there’s less demand for your attention. If you can, choose a space at home where people won’t be passing through. Silence notifications. Put on some music, then put your phone away and on airplane mode. Heck, block off the time on your work calendar if that’s what it takes to be left alone. The more time and space you can carve out for yourself, the easier it is to stay focused and consistent with your fitness.

Stay healthy to stay in it for the long haul

Working out at home can certainly be a more time-efficient way to get fit, but taking shortcuts can stall your progress. Make the effort to perform exercises properly, and listen to what your body is telling you if something doesn’t feel right. Don’t try to use too much weight too soon. And if you skip your warmup or cooldown just to save a few minutes, you could end up losing more time to injuries in the long run. 

Healthy, sustainable progress isn’t just about what happens when you’re working out, either. Paying attention to your sleep, nutrition, stress management, and mindset will also put you in a position to succeed.  

Be adaptable and realistic

No goal worth pursuing happens instantly. And setbacks are an inevitable part of any fitness journey. If you aren’t seeing immediate progress, it’s not a sign that you shouldn’t be working out at home. Whether it’s a matter of adapting your approach or sticking with it when the going gets tough, cultivating patience, flexibility, and resilience can help your mind help your body — no matter where you work out.

Find a coach that makes you feel at home

From athletic training apps to Zumba classes on Zoom, there’s no shortage of ways to get exercise guidance from home. But when you team up with a personal trainer, you’re adding a missing layer of accountability and consistency — not to mention personalized expertise that can set you up for success without the planning or wasted effort.

A coach is there to match your goal to the perfect mix of exercises and equipment that will put it in reach. They’re experts at keeping things fresh and fun, making sure every session counts without pushing you too hard too quickly. Great personal trainers are an endless supply of motivation, not to mention an indispensable source of information about proper form, recovery, nutrition, and more. When you combine the convenience of home workouts with your coach’s know-how, the road to your goal can feel a whole lot smoother and straighter.

And when it comes to finding a personal trainer who can push you out of your comfort zone from the comfort of home, a Future coach can make a perfect match. They’re all about creating customized plans that revolve around you and your goal — no matter where, when, or how you work out. Though they don’t do house calls, the support and advice of your Future coach is always just a call or message away. 

Want to start feeling the burn from home? Get a big discount off your first month and start working with a personal trainer who truly moves you today.

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