How do you Lift Weights at Home?Apr 29, 2022
How do you lift weights at home? So there are a lot of ways to progress with lifting at home, you just got to get a little creative. So let's go over a few things that you can focus on.
There are many different ways that you can progress at home. Like I mentioned, we want to make sure that we're focusing on a few different things to make sure you're getting the best bang for your buck. If you have limited equipment, if you're training at home with maybe bodyweight, or just bands, I would say having bands is going to be a really good tool, and maybe a few dumbbells, but you can get a lot done with just having bands. So having some bands is going to be great getting creative with the things that you have available. So if you have a backpack, filling that with books, and using that for weight, you can, you know, put the backpack on, you can hold it in your hands, you can do tons of different exercises with that, using wine bottles as small dumbbells or is a great tip water jugs. Using your dog or your cat holding them up or your kids, you can get super, super creative. So those are just a few of the ways to kind of utilize equipment at home if you don't have you know, much available.
So the first way to make sure you're progressing at home is to find ways to make exercises harder, right. And the best and easiest way to do that is to go from doing double leg work or or double arm work to doing single leg or single arm work, right, because that's just going to make it a little bit harder. So the first thing I would think about is with your movements, if you're doing squats, or you know deadlifts or things like that, think about you know, instead of doing them on both feet do on one feet. So doing split squats, doing single leg RDL, Romanian, deadlifts, things like that are going to make a little bit harder, because you're going to be using your entire body weight on one leg versus to so it's just going to increase the amount of intensity that you're doing with that exercise, right. So that just makes sense, doing single leg exercises, or single arm exercises.
So with upper body, you want to think about single arm movements, you know, single arm curls, single arm, overhead press, you can even think about you know, push ups, if you're doing push ups, any type of progression, doing a single arm push up is gonna put a lot more, you know, weight and intensity versus doing two, that's a really hard movement. But there's different ways that you can progress maybe from your knees or on the wall or things like that. So just thinking about ways that you can do unilateral movements, and make those harder and progress with those if you have limited weight.
The next thing you want to focus on is that you're doing enough effective reps. And so when we're at home, we have to make sure that we're not just kind of going through the motions, but we're actually getting close enough to failure to stimulate muscle growth. So we know in the research that we can do as many reps as possible. But if we don't get close enough to where we're failing that exercise, then we're not going to get close enough to that effective reps. And what I mean by effective reps, those are the last few reps, typically between three to five reps before you fail, those are the reps where the most muscle growth occurs. So that is going to be super, super important. If you're looking to continue building muscle at home, you need to make sure you get enough effective reps.
So when I'm working with clients, we use an R IR scale or an RPE scale, you might have heard of this before, an RR scale just stands for reps in reserve. So that basically just means like how many reps do you have left in the tank before you fail before you can't do any more. So you want to typically get between three to four reps in reserve, on you know, your exercises to make sure that you're getting enough effective reps. So just thinking about, you know, not going through the motions, but actually getting enough intensity to see that stimulus occur and see that muscle growth happen.
And then the RPE scale is another common scale. It stands for rate of perceived exertion, it's actually just the opposite of our IR. So that scale is typically one through 10. And 10 would be failure, right? So with our IR we know that it goes it's it's the opposite. So an R IR, or reps and reserve of one would be an RPE of about nine, right. So it's just an opposite scale. Some people like to use RPE. Some people like to use our IR. Typically when you know we're talking weightlifting and lifting weights, I like to stick with our IR because it just makes a little a little bit more sense practically like how many reps you have left in the tank, how many reps can you do before you fail. So if you're getting close enough to failure in that three to four range, that's going to be what you want to focus on, because that's going to mean that you're getting, you know the effect of reps in and you're building muscle over time. So when you're at home, just make sure that you're doing what you can to get, you know, close enough to failure. You don't have to necessarily go to failure, but just close enough so you're stimulating that muscle growth.
The next thing you want to focus on is just making sure that you're progressing from workout to workout or at least you know, every few workouts, you want to make sure that you are moving forward. So for not progressing or not implementing progressive overload in our training, we're not going to grow and the reason for that is because you have to, you know, send the signal to your muscles that says, hey, let's grow like you need to do more and more over time, in order for your muscles to grow, because they're going to adapt to whatever you're doing.
So if you're not doing a little bit more, you know, an extra rep, a little bit more weight, maybe another set that is going to be, you're not going to be building, you know, muscle effectively. So just thinking of making sure that you're progressing, you know, each workout or at least week to week, and find the ways to be able to do that.
So when you're at home, like I mentioned, doing an extra rep, an extra set, maybe a little bit more weights, or you can do things like drop sets, where you are maybe doing a certain weight, and you do that as much as you can, and then you drop the weight, and you immediately go into bodyweight, right. So you're getting an effective stimulus with that, you can even think about, you know, creating some pauses between your reps. So for example, if you're doing a split squat, and you have your back foot on the couch, you can as you come down, pause for like, maybe one second and then come back up, that's a good way to add a little bit more time under tension when you're training.
So time under tension just means how much your muscles are kind of under tension, right. So we know that mechanical tension is the main way that muscles grow. And it's just your muscle tissues are under that tension. So as long as you're getting enough tension, your muscles will grow, as long as you're getting enough stimulus your muscles will grow. So just finding ways that you can increase that tension is going to be super important. So like I said, you know, adding a pause in the middle of a set or a middle of a wrap, or maybe at the end, that's going to be beneficial, you can think about slowing down your set or slowing down the E centric. So I gave the split squat as an example. So as you're coming down in this split squat, maybe think about, you know, counting down three to one, maybe pause at the bottom, and then come back up. So paying attention to different ways to kind of manipulate the tempo of what you're doing is going to be super important. And that's going to be effective for continuing to grow.
You can also think about increasing the range of motion, right. So if you're doing certain exercises, say you're doing like a push up on the floor, right, so maybe putting your feet up on the couch and doing a push up is going to increase that range of motion and make it a little bit harder. You can also get creative with, you know, adding bands to exercises that you wouldn't necessarily think about. So again, with a push up, if you're doing a push up and you have a band wrapped around your hands, you can do that. And that will increase tension at different different parts of the pushup, right. So just adding things in that you might not necessarily think of.
And like I said, just getting creative with what you're doing. So again, going back to the split squat, for example, that's a exercise that everybody hates, but it's very, very effective. So adding, you know, a backpack with books in it, putting that on your back, and then doing split squats, or just holding it above your head or whatever ways that you can find that can increase that tension within the muscle. That is what you want to, you know, think about doing. So there's lots of different ways that you can progress at home. You just need to make sure that you are getting creative, you're thinking about the different things that you have available.
Maybe purchasing some bands online is going to be an easy way to add, you know, a little bit of variety to the exercise equipment that you have available. You can get adjustable dumbbells you can get a bunch of different stuff. So those are a few ways that you can think about increasing your training at home and making sure that you're progressing over time.
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