Well, I promised some people an “at home” version of the free resistance training program here on the site. First off let me say… there’s really no substitute for smashing some heavy ass weights around in the gym, or your home gym. When you see pictures of my clients getting reblogged on tumblr or stolen on “motivation” type pages on facebook with a caption like “eat clean and do the squat challenge” or whatever…. no, that aint how they did it. They did it through progressively increasing resistance through a variety of movements and exercises hand picked by an evil, bearded fkn genius, better known as me.
So the only way you’re likely to see those sorts of results in body sculpting is with my DHPT Coaching Via Email Program. But for those of you who legitimately cannot go train in the gym for whatever reason… let’s attempt to come up with a home version using some gear that should be within anyone’s budget. Now, my full program as used in the email program is called Power, Precision & Pump… this here will be more like just Precision & Pump, for the most part.
If you didn’t know already, almost all of my programs are what we call Movement Based, and split into a routine of Pushing Movements one day, and the opposing Pulling Movements the next. Let’s build an At Home Pushing Routine today.
We’ll start with a Horizontal Pushing Movement and an Accessory Exercise that compliments it. In fact though, I just decided we’ll start with the accessory exercise and then do the pushing exercise. Why? It’s odds on we don’t have heavy enough weights at home to really load up heavy and work those pushing muscles hard enough. So, we’ll wear them out a little first with an isolation (or Precision, in the context of my program) movement.
The perfect choice is Dumbbell Flies, which you can perform on an exercise ball or a weight bench if you have one. If you don’t have dumbbells but do have some resistance bands, you can use those to replicate a One Arm Cable Fly.
Now for our Horizontal Pushing Movement. Whatever exercise and equipment we choose, we really want a level of resistance that only allows for up to 12 reps. Not 12 easy reps, but 12 horrible, sweaty, grunting, “oh thank Christ that’s over” HARD & POWERFUL reps. If you can do more than 12, we need to find a way to make it harder.
So, if you’ve pre-fatigued your chest muscles sufficiently that 12 reps with your dumbbells is enough to test your resolve, good. If your dumbbells are still too light, you could use the resistance bands instead. I do like resistance bands but the one issue with them is that it is hard to measure the resistance. A red one may have more resistance than a blue one (or whatever), but if you were standing a little further or closer to your anchor point last time, the resistance will be increased or diminished. You could use a mark on the floor to keep track of this easily enough though.
You know what else is a great Horizontal Push exercise though? How about some good old fashioned push ups? Here’s how you can utilise different levels of resistance with push ups, but remember if you can do more than 12… I’m not saying there’s no point, but it isn’t serving the same purpose that I’m looking for. Find a way to make it harder. How about wearing a backpack full of books or something?
Some eaiser variations of push ups to help you build the strength to do a traditional one!
Shout outs and credit to FitAnne on tumblr who I kinda borrowed this great gif set from.
OK, that’s all well and good for upper body… but we need to work legs too. We want a heavy ass pushing movement to cause a strong, powerful muscle contraction and squeeze all of the juice (aka glycogen) out of those enormous quadriceps muscles. My issue with these “body weight squat challenges” is a lot like what I said above about our push ups. If you can do 20, 30, 40 of them… well it’s a great warm up, and doing more will build more endurance which IS good… but it’s not producing that intense, power building muscle contraction that I want. We need to find a way to make it very difficult indeed to hit our 12 rep target. In the context of this program, I’d say it’s better to use a level of resistance that only allows 8 reps, than to keep going to 20 reps before it starts getting hard.
So, let’s look at how to make squats progressively harder, assuming you don’t have a heavy ass barbell to put on your back.
- Bodyweight Squats.
- Goblet Squats with your dumbbells.
Look how hard this bloke is working in the video! That’s what it takes!
- Bulgarian Split Squats.
- Single Leg Squats aka Pistol Squats.
Sometimes I’ll do some single leg squats using my TRX to help balance, and they are bloody horrible! Anything that hard has gotta be doing some good. You can pick up a TRX pretty cheap if you know where to shop and they’re a great addition to your At Home On A Budget training gear.
As an Accessory Exercise here, let’s throw in a Hip Adduction which you can do on a chair or bench.
Finally we’ll finish with a Vertical Pushing Movement and suitable Accessory Exercise. Again, we’ll start with the accessory and in this case it will be a Side Lateral Raise either with your dumbbells or resistance bands. I treat these as a Precision Movement, so it’s really more about good technique than throwing heavy weights up in the air this time.
Follow it up with a Shoulder Press as your Vertical Pushing exercise and again this can be done with your dumbbells or resistance bands.
Finally you can finish with some Triceps Extensions, either laying or overhead, with dumbbells or resistance bands.
Oh yeah… sets and rep ranges.
- 1 x warm up set of 20, for everything.
- 3 x sets of 8 to 12 reps on main pushing movements.
- 3 x sets of 12 to 16 reps on accessory exercises.
And there you have it!
Don’t forget the DHPT At Home Pulling Routine as well.
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