100 Days of Fitness: Week 24 – 5 Common Home Gym Mistakes

How long does it take to change your life? Follow author Robert Fure as he begins a 100 day trek to a fitter, healthier life by following this simple program. Today, we talk about the five mistakes most people make when working out at home.

As you may have noticed, I’m a pretty big proponent of working out at home. It hasn’t always been that way though. Back in college I could never work out in a dorm room. I had trouble motivating myself to work out over summer breaks as well, with no access to a gym and only rudimentary equipment. Post college I still couldn’t motivate myself to work out in an apartment or even the building’s small downstairs gym.

Flash forward to now. I can work out at home six days a week, do a wide variety of exercises, and do them with enough intensity and focus that I’ve lost about 30lbs working out almost exclusively at home. So I know the difficulties a lot of you may express at the idea of working out at home. You may think you need a gym, that you need good equipment to get good results. Well, that sure isn’t the case. A lot of people quit working out at home because they fail to see results, and that failure is often just people falling prey to a few common mistakes during a home workout.

1. Not Enough Intensity

It can be tough to get into that hardcore mode in your living room. After all, that’s where you lay on the couch and watch It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, not where you normally bust out a sweat. I’d say the biggest problem people have with working out at home is just taking it easy. Just because you’re in the comfort of your own home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be tearing it up as if you were surrounded by a dozen body builders all rooting for you. Even at home, up your intensity or you’ll fail to see results.

2. Taking Too Long

If you’re working out too long, it’s probably because you’re distracted. After a set of push-ups you might walk around, sit at your computer, or check the mail. This is a no go. Cut down the time between sets and push through the work out. You may end up doing a 20 minute workout in 45 minutes or a 45 minute workout in an hour and a half. Hustle.

3. Not Working Out Long Enough

On the other hand, because you’re at home with a limited number of options, you may be content to just do 30 push-ups and a handful of sit-ups and call it a day because you think you don’t have a lot of options. Wrong again – 30-45 minutes of exercise is what you need.

4. Not Enough Variety

Variety is the spice of both life and progress. A lot of people who say they work out at home think a few push-ups, sit-ups, and maybe some jumping jacks over the course of twenty minutes constitutes a good workout. If you’ve been reading this column, you know there are dozens of variations of each of those exercises to work in as well as a ton of ways to use common household items or inexpensive products to get a complete and diverse workout.

5. Not Leaving the Home

What? I know, I know, we’re talking about a home workout. But that really doesn’t mean you have to be in the home. Really, we’re just talking about working out outside of the gym. Working out in your apartment costs the same as running on city streets or exercising in a park – $0. Get some sun, add some variety to your workout, and get out doors once in awhile. Jog, run, climb, swing. There are a thousand activities you can do to get fit in a park or playground area. So when you’re tired of endless push-ups inside, get outside and change it up a bit.

My  Results

Last weigh in I was surprised at how much weight I had dropped, unsure if whether or not perhaps there was some dehydration going on. I’m up slightly this weigh in, whether that was because of dehydration last week or the fact that on my birthday I was a bit indulgent. Either way, I’ve weighed in at 221lbs. Not a bad place to be and I’m motivated to blast through the last 7 pounds and hit my goal.

Robert Fure is a fitness, lifestyle, and entertainment writer living in Los Angeles. He is also a certified Personal Trainer and the Creator/Editor of Fit and Furious, an online outlet dedicated to the pursuit of a fit lifestyle. His entertainment work can be viewed at Film School Rejects.

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  • http://www.eclipsegym.com Head Coach

    I’ve tried constructed a total of 4 different home gyms in my life and ended up getting rid of them after barely using them. Even if I have a complete power cage, olympic bars, and everything else I need right there, I’d still not have the ability to be (continuously) motivated to train. I need others around me to feed off of their energy in the same way that people have such a dramatically different experience when in the movie theater due to the collective consciousness that takes over.

    I guess it’s because I’m an “all or nothing” person. If I cannot put 100% effort into something, I end up not doing it at all. You covered that above in the point about intensity. As you probably well know already, point number 1 is far easier said than done. But in the gym I know that I will be able to muster up the intensity since the “warm up” period was getting to the gym in the first place. Once i’m past the warmup phase, the training part is easy. At home, it’s next to impossible to “warm up” mentally…and maintain that same intensity with each session.