What a Crazy few months we have had, and its not even the start of what is yet to come! The world has changed and normal as we knew before doesn’t exist anymore. The holidays we just have had probably is the last of the days when we embraced each other and hugged our friends and family without having to wash our hand and wipe the surfaces after! Most every businesses are closing either by mandate, or voluntarily, and Gyms are on the list now.
I had never been a big fan of Gyms. May be at some point in my past life, but ever since I started to run in 2016, I had not been to gym on a regular basis. I always thought Gyms foster germs and I always always noticed people showing up to gym, while still having cold and flu. For some reason everyone who fights a cold and flu thinks they need to prove themselves at the gym! I have personally seen several instructions that dont cancel classes while they have serious contagious cold or flu because they couldn’t get a substitute. Anyways, this recent epidemic closing down the gym, now gives all of us a chance to learn to figure how to work out just as much and as effectively at home! and I am here to help, because I have managed to master at this over last year or so!
How much space do I need
I try to do a lot of Les Mills classes and Bikram Yoga. if you have a place to lay your Mat then you have space to work out. But there are few things to keep in mind.
- Most cardio classes, will keep you moving, and also makes you sweat. The movement + Sweat would create a puddle in your rug or splashes of sweat in the wall. These are not good workout for a living room with expensive rug. If you dont have any other space at all, you could choose to do the workout, but not as hard, and keep a towel to reduce the amount of sweat that could splash. I always opt for these classes in my garage.
- Most weight based classes, would make you sweat, but you arent moving around that hard, so these are not bad classes for living room, or bed room. But if you living upstairs, do mind ful of the weights being dropped on the floor. I usually prefer to do these classes in my garage.
- Bikram Yoga, even tho makes you sweaty the movements are gentle. so I do do these classses in my living room.
- Lot of these classes you dont have to do all the tracks and skip the one that is not practical for your space. It might take few times to figure and improvise. but trust me you will figure it out eventually!
What do I need to buy
Don’t go shopping right away. Each of us have different goals and the more you understand your goal and what you do, and what you want to focus will dictate what you really have to buy. I like any classes that you dont have to buy anything new. Most cardio classes are just that. You throw in few beach towels and make sure to have a slip resistant mat, and you are in business! I find myself doing couple of weight classes, couple of cardio /cross fit type classes, and one yoga class a week, so my equipment are mostly based on that. But you may be a cardio junkie that doesnt like weights and you don’t have to invest any money at all on weights.
These are the classes I usually like doing during my week and your equipment choices will be based on that.
Les Mills Bodypump
Its a weight class, that is about 55 minutes. Works all part of your body – starting with warmup/squats/chest/ and all the way to shoulders and core with a final stretch! Its a full body workout. You really need a bar/weight for this , but you can add more weights as you progress. I bought this Bar/weights from wal-mart, for about $50, (https://www.walmart.com/ip/Gold-s-Gym-Standard-Weight-Set-100-lbs/21672519) and it has served me so well over the last year. It has about 100lbs total. I did get additional 2.5 and 5lbs and it gives you a much better variety between tracks. The usually carry them at the store so you should be able to pick one up at the store if you look around! I highly recommend. They are filled with sand inside on a vinyl cover, so they dont cost that much. Just dont throw them hard and it will last a long time!
BodyPump classes do have couple of tracks to do free weights /hand weights, and these arent as helpful. If you can pick up two 10 or 15lb hand weights and they should get you full coverage. if you dont want to, you should be able to manage with the bar itself for the free hand weight classes as well.
TO look for classes, search ‘les Mills BodyPump’ and any classes that is about 50+ minute is good class to do. My favorite:
Les Mills BodyCOmbat
I am a runner, and on the days I dont get to run, BodyCombat is my second best cardio. Its about 55 minute class, and its like a kickboxing class. It does need generous amount of space but if you can manage to find some space, you dont need any special equipment and all it takes is your energy! I even managed to do this at the park or outside at basket ball court. (https://www.lesmills.com/us/workouts/fitness-classes/bodycombat/#facType=modal&filterType=0&classes=bc)
TO look for classes, search for ‘Les Mills Bodycombat’ classes and any video that is about 50+ minuet would be a good class. My recommendations:
Les Mills GRIT Classes
These are my in between classes. THey are about 30minute long, and follow a HIIT type plan. Fast movements, lots of variations, and before you know it, you will be a sweat machine! GRIT classes come in Cardio/Plyo/Strength format, and I like them all. They do need some amount of space to move around. But imagine about 6ft/6ft. you will have plenty. GRIT classes do use hand weights and bars and you can always do those without weights or whatever you have at home(I have used rice bags, nad water bottles at times. .so you can figure it out!!)
You can look up classes with ‘GRIT STRENGTH’ or ‘GRITH CARDIO’ /’GRIT PLYO’ and if you find any 30+minute classes which there are plenty – that will be it. I have included some classes that I like doing.
GRIT Strength : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bkt75bfdsrE&t=14s
I love bikram yoga, and I did find couple of online classes on Youtube, so I do them at home. I have done these classes in the past, so its easier for me to follow along, but if you need time just watch the class first time and get into it at your own pace. Its about 90 minutes, and its truly life changing. And these classes are very comfortable to do it around the house/ at any space. even in living room. I do them on my expensive west-elm Rug, (but with a Tommy Bahama beach towel on) !
Link to the classes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1e2pDKZHNaI
Do get a Mat!
- For Yoga: Lot of us have beach towels, which you can use for yoga classes. If you have yoga mat – then perfect!
- For Cardio Classes: the key is to make sure you have a slip resistant floor, to move around so you don’t injure yourself. I always wear my shoes and move my rug so i can work out on my hardwood floor. But if your decor is such a way that you cant move, then you can buy large size Mats from store to throw on while working out and then take them back to the garage. This Mat I bought is for storing equipment but it comes in real handy to any cardio moves like Jumps/push-up/pull-up/lunges etc. (https://www.walmart.com/ip/CAP-Barbell-Premium-Home-Gym-Equipment-Mat/17363223)
I dont’ like buying too many equipments and weights without really understanding what i want to do. When I started working out at home, I bought a bar that came with weight knowing I would do this class called Les Mills Body Pump. That worked out mostly well, and then I realized in between sets I needed an increment of 2.5 and 5lbs which didnt come with the set so I went and bought them after. Same thing, if you are a Les Mills Bodypump Person. These mats will be perfect!
Having a Mirror is nice to check the posture/pose as you do these classes, but I have managed to use my phone video options.
Free Les Mills official videos
Since this pandemic started, Les Mills now has made few of their videos available for free viewing, so if you are interested in checking out their free videos the link to that is : https://watch.lesmillsondemand.com/at-home-workouts/season:2
If you dont have space at home, or don’t want to ruin your floors and walls, just find a safe place to go run where you can keep a social distance!
Do your part, be smart, and be safe! HOpefully these tips give you some ideas to workout at home! If you have ideas do share with me!