Learn everything there Is to know about fItness, performance, fat loss and lifestyle from Adrian McDonnell.
While investing in a home gym can be expensive, it doesn’t need to be. For most people, kitting out your garage with an Olympic barbell coupled with weight plates, a bench, a rack and dumbbells is either not practical or too expensive. However, that’s not to say you have to accept the fact that you’ll lose all of your hard earned muscle you’ve been working so hard to build!
Gyms will not be reopening for at least another 12 weeks so it’s worthwhile to invest in some equipment. Here are three cost effective pieces of equipment you can purchase so you can continue to make some gainz during lockdown!
Fed up of doing countless reps of push ups or squats to feel the ‘burn?’ Investing in a weight vest is a simple way to make basic bodyweight exercises significantly more difficult. The thing I like most about weight vests is there is no change in your body position when performing any of the exercises – it remains the same.
For example, compare doing a Goblet squat to a bodyweight squat wearing a vest. For the goblet squat, the load/weight is mainly at the front of your body whereas with a vest it, the load/weight is evenly distributed around your body. Your technique doesn’t change; the exercise just gets more difficult.
If you want to add a conditioning element, you could set a target for yourself to wear the weight vest for the entire duration of your session and perform a full body circuit. Start off by just wearing it in your warm up, and gradually build it up. The first time I wore a weighted vest, I intended on wearing it for a full hour not realising how difficult it would be. I lasted 10 minutes before my traps and upper back gave way. However, I built it up over time to last an entire 75 minute session with a 30Kg vest on and have definitely noticed an improvement in my conditioning. Going for walks (and getting strange looks) wearing your vest is also a good form of conditioning.
So not only will wearing a weight vest increase your strength, it will also improve your conditioning. An alternative to investing in a weight vest is to fill a bag up with books and wear it. While you don’t have the luxury of strapping the bag around your waist so it’s tight and secure, it certainly will make things more difficult. A 10Kg weighted vest can be bought for as little as €20. It’s a worthwhile investment.
I’m a huge fan of resistant bands when it comes to doing any kind of strength or mobility work. Bands are so versatile and can be used to work literally every muscle in the body. Hang it off the door and do a set of tricep pushdowns. Stand on it and do a set of bicep curls or frontal shoulder raises. Step on the middle of it, grab either side of the band and perform a set of bent over rows or deadlifts. Here, I demonstrate how you can do a band resisted squat.
There are endless opportunities for using resistant bands to get stronger and also to help with your mobility. They can be bought online for less than €10. I always buy resistant bands in pairs so that if I ever want to do a band resisted barbell exercise, I’ll have two bands that are exactly the same. But, for now, one will definitely be enough to keep you going.
Chin up bar
Chin ups and all variations of it are an indicator lift in almost all of my programs. They are a great way to measure your strength in relation to your own bodyweight. In order to be functionally strong, you should be performing chin ups and variations of it regularly and not relying on lat pulldowns alone to develop vertical pulling strength. Not only will the chin up bar allow you to perform chin ups with different grips – overhand, underhand, wide etc., you can also perform a number of core exercises as demonstrated here. Chin up bars can be bought online for as little as €20. If you can’t perform a full chin up, you could loop the resistant you bought into the bar & this will make the exercise easier.
Just a word of warning about chin ups, while they are a great exercise, they internally rotate your shoulders (just like push ups do) meaning they can contribute to giving you rounded shoulders. So to counteract this, perform 100 band pull aparts a day (break up the reps as you like) to keep your posture and shoulders healthy.
Putting a workout together
Now that you’ve bought a weighted vest, resistant bands and a chin up bar, here’s a sample workout you could do that would take about 30 minutes. Wear the vest for as much of the session as possible.
10 Mins EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute)
A1. (Incline) Push Up x8-12
A2. Chin Up x3-6
*Perform blackburns if chin ups are too difficult
10 Mins EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute)
B1. Squat to a reverse lunge x5
B2. Banded deadlift to bent over row x8
6 Mins AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible)
C1. Banded Tricep Pushdowns 3x30s
C2. Banded Bicep Curls 3x30s
C3. Band Pull Aparts 3x30s
C4. Banded Shoulder Raise 3x30s
A. Hanging leg raises 3x10
B. Pallof press 3x10 e/s
And there you have it, a quick but effective workout to try that only requires an initial investment of €50.
If you’re looking to invest in your health and fitness for the long term to make some lasting change, a get in touch today and I can provide you with a structured routine that will help you achieve your goals.
Adrian McDonnell -
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