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A week of at-home workouts, or Fitness in the time of COVID-19

Your gym may be closed, but that’s no reason to give up on your workouts. Thought I would share with you the at-home workouts I have been doing this week, in case you need some ideas!

Actually, I exclusively do my workouts at home. I consider the time I spend teaching my group classes to be my “active recovery”, since I am focusing on your workout, not mine!

This workout is adapted from the ProCoach workouts I offer in my on-line training program. This is Phase 7 of my workout, so I have been on this particular track for a while. The exact sets and reps may not be appropriate for you; but use it as a template to get creative and see what works for you.

If you regularly attend my group strength classes, you may notice that this workout contains the fundamental movement patterns that I always stress: squat, lunge; push, pull. If you can master those four things, you’ve got 90% of life covered!


Monday – Full Body #1

5 sets of 5 reps of each of the following; 1 minute rest between sets and exercises:

  • Dumbbell Sumo Deadlift

  • Bench Press

  • Chest-supported Dumbbell Row

3 sets of 6-8 reps of each of the following, back to back, before resting 1 minute between sets:

  • Band-resisted Pushup

  • Walking Dumbbell Lunge

Because of the low # of reps, the goal is to use the heaviest weight you can while maintaining good form. FYI: this is my 4th week of this routine; week 1 started at 6 sets; week 2, 7 sets; last week, 8 sets; now we are recovering back to 5.


Tuesday – Active Recovery

On a “normal” week, my recovery day would be my group classes: yoga in the morning, mat pilates and barre in the evening. Like most people, I was a bit out of my routine this week, but I did manage a walk on the treadmill (weather was chilly and gray, or I would have gone out for a walk). Cut my workout a little short, because someone else (i.e. my husband) was waiting to use the equipment. The gym experience, right in your own home!


Wednesday – Full Body #2

Same sets and reps as FB #1. 5 sets, 5 reps of the following; 1 minute rest between sets and exercises:

  • Single-arm Dumbbell Push Press

  • Goblet 1 ¼ Squat

  • ½ Kneeling Cable Pulldown*

I am fortunate that I have a weight bench with a cable attachment; you can do a *band pulldown instead, if you have a place to anchor it overhead; or substitute a *Single-arm Dumbbell Row.

As with FB #1, 3 sets of 6-8 reps of the following, back-to-back; 1 minute rest between sets:

  • Plank arm march

  • Single-Leg, Single-Arm Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift


Thursday – Anaerobic Power Intervals – 45:90

If you have cardio equipment available, such as a treadmill, rower or stationary bike, you can use it for this workout; you can push a tackle sled, or flip tires, if you have access to that kind of stuff; or, you can get outside and sprint, with nothing but your own bad self as equipment.

After a good warm-up, and as many practice runs as you need,

  • sprint for 45 seconds, recover for 90 seconds

  • repeat for 4 sets

  • recover for 5 – 8 minutes, then repeat.

If you don’t have any cardio machines, you can create an interval circuit using your own body weight!

Still warm up, and do a few practice runs at less-than-full intensity. Then,

  • do 45 seconds of the 1st move, recover for 90 seconds

  • do 45 seconds of the 2nd move, recover for 90 seconds

  • do 4 TOTAL sets, doing each exercise TWICE

  • recover for 5 – 8 minutes, then repeat the entire circuit 1 more time

Move 1: Burpee (with or without a pushup)

Move 2: Mountain climber

NOTE: If you are new to this type of interval work, 45 seconds is a LONG TIME. Start with shorter work intervals (10 – 20 seconds) and recover at least 3 – 4X the duration of your work, i.e 10 seconds work, 30 seconds recover.


Friday – Full Body #3

Same sets and reps as FB #1. 5 sets of 5 reps of the following; 1 minute rest between sets and exercises:

  • Dumbbell Bench Press

  • Walking Dumbbell Lunge

  • Pronated Grip Seated Cable Row*

Again, a *half-kneeling or standing split stance band row can be substituted for the cable row.

3 sets of the following 2 moves, back-to-back; 1 minute rest between sets:

  • Dumbbell Step Ups 6 -8 reps

  • Stability Ball Leg Curl* AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible)

If you don’t have a stability ball, you can do *body-weight glute bridge, weighted glute bridge, or single-leg glute bridge.


Saturday and Sunday – Active Recovery

My Saturday group strength class is usually my recovery workout, and boy, am I going to miss seeing you all! I’m not sure what I’ll do for recovery this weekend, but if the weather is good, I’m getting outside for some fresh air and sunshine!

Your active recovery should be something relatively easy, something you enjoy, and something preferably that gets you out in nature. Just get your body moving for at least 20 minutes, and as they say at PN, “something that gets your heart a-pumpin' and your limbs a-flappin', and have fun!”

Be sure to contact me with any questions, or to learn more about my on-line exercise and nutrition coaching programs. Having a regular routine, and getting some movement into your day, can help as we deal with this disruption and uncertainty. Control what you can control, and take good care of yourself. My job is to help people; what can I help you with?

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