Lots of people are shocked when I tell them I workout from home. This is something I really wanted to talk about, as I know a lot of people see doing exercise as inaccessible and expensive, so I thought talking about my personal journey and how I got into fitness can prove that it definitely CAN be for everyone! One of the biggest reasons I got started was because I could workout from home. I tried getting fit early last year, got myself a gym membership, had a personal training session and was super motivated to keep it up. Fact is, I went to the gym three times in 3 months!! Yep, I’ve said it before, gym’s just don’t seem to work for me! When I decided last July (2015) that I wanted to give it another go, I knew straight away that I needed a different approach. I definitely needed to follow a plan, and I wanted to try working out at home because in all honesty, I was pretty lazy and even getting to the gym was an effort! I stumbled across the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide from following Kayla on social media and that’s where it all started. Her plan was adaptable for the gym or at home, which is why it appealed so much. That, and all of the AMAZING transformations she posted!
So I started the plan and even though I had a few blips with my motivation, generally I was pretty good at sticking to it. I loved the results I was seeing within a few weeks, and I loved that it didn’t take up too much of my time. I do my workouts pretty much wherever I have the space. In my previous flat, that was in my kitchen in my tiny flat in London. Since moving, I exercise outside in the garden or a park, but now that it’s getting colder I’ll just go downstairs in the living room. You really can workout anywhere if you have an open mind. I loved the fact that I could roll out of bed and workout within 30 mins before work – my inner lazy girl talking here!
My home workout essentials:
- Set of dumbbells (I have two sets now)
- Foam roller
- Skipping rope
- A good pair of trainers
That is literally it! You can invest in a kettle bell or barbell but for me the basics work just fine, especially if you’re on a budget like I was!
Okay, so let’s talk about the pro’s and con’s of working out at home, I’ll try my best not to be biased (maybe…):
EASE – For sure this has to be at the top of my list. I actually joined a gym AGAIN in January (this lasted for a month oops). This gym was pretty much on my way home from work, but it always seemed such a hassle to go, when on the other hand I could go home, change, and be working out a few minutes after I walked in the door. I was then at home to shower straight away, change, and of course eat asap afterwards – because food is ALWAYS on my mind!
TIME – When I first started to exercise regularly, I really struggled to get myself out of bed in the morning to workout, especially if I then had to jump on the bus and walk to the gym at 6am. This to me was the primary reason why the gym didn’t work for me. I needed something that took up as little time as possible and this absolutely ticked that box!
CHEAP – When I first moved to London, I had hardly any disposable income, so I definitely couldn’t afford the luxury of a gym. You don’t even need any equipment to start with. Before I invested in a mat, I used a towel – although I wouldn’t recommend this as I bruised my back a number of times!! If you really don’t want to or can’t afford to invest in any equipment, you can do pretty good sessions using your own body weight – I still do this now to mix things up a little!
CONFIDENCE – If you’re a little worried about feeling intimidated at the gym (I certainly was), working out at home can be the perfect choice. I’m not saying you should never step foot into a gym because of this reason, but it’s a good way to build up your fitness and boost your confidence before you do. I’m also really impatient, so waiting for machines or space was not something that appealed!
DO IT ANYWHERE – I know it’s labelled ‘home’ workouts, but when the weather is nice what’s stopping you from going to your local park, doing sprints down the street or running up and down the stairs – I did this A LOT! It’s a good way to mix things up so you don’t get bored of being in one place.
So why wouldn’t everyone workout at home you ask? Well, there are a few downsides..
SPACE – If you’re like me and space is an issue, you’ll need to adjust to fit in the space you have. For example, instead of a bench I use a chair, and I have to adapt some exercises to make do in a smaller space – it’s something you learn to get used to. In the summer this isn’t as much of an issue as you can workout outside, then you have all the space in the world!
HEAT – In the summer my flat would literally be a sauna if it was hot and sunny, so I would workout in basically no clothes (luckily I was on the 2nd floor) and it would still be ridiculously sweaty. This didn’t particularly bother me, but I know some people aren’t so keen. For me, a cold shower afterwards was the answer for this! Winter was also quite tricky, as exercising with the heating on was again pretty hot. So the choice is yours, either freeze when you first wake up, or sweat buckets during your workout – I chose the latter!
EQUIPMENT (or lack of) – Who needs equipment?! Yes, at gyms you may have mountains of space and equipment, that’s where your cash goes… but please don’t make this a reason to pay that hefty direct debit! To help with this issue, I have adjustable dumbbells, so I can make them heavier for leg days and lighter for arm days. It’s not perfect but it definitely works!
FRIENDS – Ok, so working out at home means you might not be able to have a good chat with friends at the gym, however, when time is tight I want my workout to be done as quickly as possible so I can get on with my plans for the day! Remember, you don’t need a gym to workout with someone, buddy up and do a workout together – thinking outside the box is key here! There are also thousands of online videos you can watch if you struggle to motivate yourself. For me, when I workout in the morning it’s the one time in the day I have to myself, and I secretly love it!
So you should now (hopefully) have NO excuses for not exercising! I can absolutely see why gyms work for some, and I’m not saying they are bad in any way or trying to steer you away from them, but I don’t want any of the above reasons to be your excuse for not exercising. For me personally, home workouts just worked in so many ways and I hope you can see that too. Along with the vast majority of my workouts done at home, I now treat myself to the occasional class to keep things varied and meet like-minded fitness friends with the money I save from gym memberships!
Hopefully this proves that you don’t need a gym, lots of money or time to stay fit, and working out at home could be your answer to starting your fitness journey!