For many people, the gym is intimidating as hell. It’s like a foreign country with its own language, technology, and etiquette. As a personal trainer, this concern is usually the first thing I hear from new clients.
While I can assure you that every single person in a gym is far too vain to worry about what other people are doing, the gym can still make people feel a bit lost.
Good news: I'm here to help by giving you the best workout you can do in the comfort of your own home. Not only does this workout prevent you from having to step foot in the wild world of dumbbells and treadmills, it actually burns more calories than heading out for a run, and in only about 20 minutes.
A1. Bodyweight lunge x10 each side
A2. Push-up (kneeling push-ups are perfectly fine) x10
A3. Plank x60 seconds
Repeat four times, resting 90 seconds between each round.
B1. Lateral lunge x8 each side
B2. Jumping jack x20
B3. Side plank x30 seconds each side
Repeat three times, resting 60 seconds between each round.
C1. Burpee x8
C2. Bicycle crunches x10 per side
Repeat two times, resting 45 seconds between each round.
Why it's effective
This bodyweight routine works wonders for a number of reasons, one of which is obviously the fact that you can do it at home, near your own bathroom, with your own food, and minus all the gym rats you’d prefer to avoid.
Beyond that, circuits are a great strategy for building lean muscle mass and shedding body fat. Because of the fast pace, your heart rate is going to stay elevated throughout the entire workout, which means max calorie burning, all without ever having to step on an elliptical.
You’ve also probably noticed this workout has quite a few different strength-training moves, like push-ups, lunges, and burpees. Far too many people underestimate how effective using only your own body can be for building muscle, but you really don't need to throw around huge dumbbells to get bigger. In fact, if you’re starting a new fitness regimen, I’d suggest you start mastering your own bodyweight before even thinking about hitting the weights.
How to make this part of your regular routine
One of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking they need to go all out. It’s either five days a week or not at all, and this mindset couldn’t be more wrong. Not only are you setting yourself up for burnout, but you’ll find that if you’re new to working out, you'll have a difficult time recovering.
If you’re going to make this bodyweight workout your new routine, I suggest doing it three times a week. That’s it. Find three days that you can set aside about 20 minutes, and then get after it. Thinking of this as a brand-new fitness lifestyle can be daunting, but if you think of it as 20 minutes you can set aside, it'll make you more likely to follow through.
The best part of this is that after a few weeks, you’ll be stronger and in far better shape than when you started. If you decide to go to the gym after you get used to this, more power to you. If not, that’s perfectly fine too. You can get significant results by doing just bodyweight workouts alone.
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Tanner Baze is a writer and trainer who will definitely still go the gym, comforts of home be damned. Follow him on Twitter: @dtbaze.