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Let's Get Skinny: The How To At Home "Rich Man's Gym" Edition


How To Get In An Effective Workout From Home

If you're in need of an effective workout routine that you can do in 30 minutes or less, from home with no real exercise equipment, then you've come to the right place!

Some may argue that they need to go to the gym to get in a workout because that keeps them accountable for exercising.

It's usually those same people who come home from work and realize that they now have to change, have a snack, drive 10 to 20 minutes, find a decent parking space, wait for the treadmill or StairMaster, go like a lemming, talk to someone you didn't want to bump into, then drive back home, shower, cook, and it's going to be late....

"You know what?" You think to yourself, "Screw it, I'll go tomorrow..."

Then have a seat, pop on the T.V. watch Biggest Looser while ordering one of Domino's new artisan pizzas.

Maybe that's not your personally, but I guarantee you a few people out there are nodding their heads right now and I'll be the first to admit it. I've done that! Not the pizza part... but defiantly the screw it, I'll go tomorrow part.

Which one are you today?

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There are multiple issues that come up with working out. Especially if you're looking to get back into shape.

  • Time
  • Current fitness level
  • Equipment
  • What to do

Now here's what we're going to do...

  1. Take time out of the equation
  2. Make a routine you can do regardless of fitness level
  3. Design a routine you can build on
  4. Use regular household items
  5. Arrange easy to understand exercises that you can do now.


Solution: Let's Get Skinny: The Home Edition

This routine will train your entire body and consist of 3 elements. A warm up, the routine itself, and a cool down. This will be simple to do as well. Also, keep a log of your work. No routine is worth anything if you can't track your progress!

The Warm Up

Set the countdown timer for 5 minutes and spend it warming up. No need to stretch just yet. You want to get the blood pumping and the heart beating a bit. This isn't the workout, this is the warm up. For you that could be jumping up and down while shaking your arms at your side. That could also be jogging in place, marching in place, shadow boxing, anything that gets you to break a sweat but not something that takes your exertion level to about a 4 or 5 on a scale of 1 to 10. Follow?

The point here is to get moving and shake off the tension from the day as well as get the body ready to train.

Face The Wall Squat

Pump Stretch

Walking Lunge

Push Ups

Work Load

Great! Now for your workout(s). Set the countdown timer at 10 minutes.

Workout #1:

  1. Face-The-Wall Squats. Pretty self explanatory here, but stand in front of a wall and squat. Go as low as you can without smacking your face or knees into the wall. Also, make sure you "pull" yourself into the squat, don't just drop into it. You may want to pretend you're sitting back. Go as low as you can until you reach parallel. If you can't get that low, how low can you go? It's OK to work up to and practice this exercise. Start with your toes close to the wall and then over time see how close you get them tootsies to the wall.
  2. Pump Stretch. Yoga people, think Downward Facing Dog into Cobra. This exercise will stretch and strengthen the entire posterior chain while giving some static tension to the arms (think: 'nothing on your arm will flap in the wind'). So, if you're lacking the current flexibility to do this exercise correctly, then do toe touches until you can do this exercise. (Toe touches: Standing upright, back straight, push your butt back and hinge at the hip, try to touch your toes. When you get to a place of tension, pause, flex, count to 3, exhale and go a little lower... repeat and enjoy!)

Watch the sample videos for additional direction, these should be simple enough for you to do yet challenging as well. Questions? Leave a comment here on this Hub at the bottom.

You'll want to do these back to back. Start at 3 repetitions of Squats, quick break, then 3 Pumps. Rest for the time you need to do another set of each. A minute (give or take) should be good. If you need more, take it. If you need less, that's OK too. Remember, there's a timer counting down 10 minutes here. Note how many rounds of 3 Squats and Pumps you can do SAFELY in 10 minutes.

Was it 7 rounds of 3 or more? If so, then next time set the timer at 15 minutes. When you can do 12 sets of 3 in 15 minutes, it's time for 20 minutes. At 20 sets of 3, keep the 20 and start working sets of 5. Once you're at 20 sets of 5 in 20 minutes, check the mirror and/or tell me how you feel.

Workout # 2

Same idea as Workout #1 but with 2 different exercises.

  1. Walking Lunge. This will work the lower body and the core. You'll also find your backside not to happy about this drill in the beginning, but very excited about it in a few weeks. So, lunge with the right leg, step forward with the left, moving forward. Don't bang the lunging knee into the floor and keep the other knee in line with the foot. Also, just do this exercise. If you "think" on it too much, you'll just confuse yourself. (note on impediments or injury: if you a knee issue, ankle issue or other leg problem, try this exercise anyway. go as low as you can safely and then slowly work on depth. If it's still too much for you, find a step or stool that's about 1-2 feet high and practice step ups until you get there...)
  2. Push Ups. If you need to do them off a wall in the beginning, that's fine. Eventually, move down to a table or counter top, then a chair, then stool, then push ups on your knees, then the real deal. Plug yourself into where ever you need to be there.

So 3+3 lunges and 3 push ups. How many rounds in 10 minutes? This time, do the same thing. Work up to 20 minutes of work with as many sets of 5 lunges (per leg) and 5 push ups as possible in the ten minutes.

Questions go in the comments section below...


How often should you train?

Do Workout # 1. Rest 24 to 48 hours then do Workout # 2. Ideally, you should work up to be doing one of the workouts every other day. When you get to a place you can go every other day with a 20-minute walk on the off day, you'll be ready to up the ante.

"Wisdom" regarding the intensity/exertion level:

I quote David Whitley, Master Kettlebell Instructor: "Push yourself but don't be stupid." That should be enough for you. Take responsibility now and recognize that if you hurt yourself or pull something, you weren't listening to your body and you over did it. Remember, you're wanting to get strong, lean and healthy.

This program is designed for you to set a target and get it.

Another piece of wisdom here is something I got from Pavel Tsatsouline. "Finish Stronger." Consider that and apply it to your training. Meaning, you don't need to be wiped out, annihilated and destroyed at the end of every workout. Save that kind of workout for once in a while. You want successful, frequent sessions where you push a little farther then you were last time. Not b@!!$ to the wall, pedal to the metal every time. Savvy?

Combine these two concepts to avoid injury, over training and crapping out.

What about cardio?

Ask me that again when you're nearing the target of 20 sets of 5. If you feel like you need a little kick to your fat burning, then on your non-workout days, feel free to go for a 20 to 30-minute walk.

But there's no direct abdominal work?

Exactly. Again, commit to this program and then get back to me on that. I want to get you moving and moving correctly. If you're looking for spot reduction, try liposuction. Otherwise, whole body training that challenges large muscle groups to work synergistically while improving balance and stability is the way to go. One step at a time here. The 6 pack will arrive in due time.

A Couple thoughts on food and when to train...

If you're not eating right, then exercise is incredibly important. It will also be harder because your body doesn't have the right fuel. If you'd like a couple ideas on how to eat around this workout, try the following:

If you can do this routine first thing in the morning before breakfast on an empty stomach, that will give you a metabolic boost for the rest of the day.

If that ain't gonna work for you then:

90 minutes before you workout, have a lean protein with hardly any fat and very minimal carbs. Think small can of tuna or chicken with a little cottage cheese or one or the other. Something like that. A scoop or two of whey protein shaken with coconut milk is also quite nice. This is a snack designed to preserve muscle during the workout and get the body using sugar and fat for fuel.

After training within 90 minutes, make sure you have more lean protein with a complex carb (black beans, whole wheat pasta, brown rice - nothing white) and make sure you have healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, salmon - a protein/healthy fat 1-2 punch).

Use your head, you know what to eat!

So what just happened?

This simple yet effective routine will do several things but the main thing it's going to do is lay a foundation for you that will put you in a position to have a successful exercise program with out breaking the bank or your back. Too often we quite literally "try" too hard and then we consequently burn the heck out. I want each workout for you to be a mini victory. Every time you train, you should do just a little better than last time. Even if it's only 1 repetition better. An improvement is an improvement.

"A little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing" -Dan Millman

This also will keep you in a progressive state. When you get to a point to where you literally can't move forward, then it's perfectly OK to go back down the ladder a little bit and start climbing up again. Your body will rest while working and on the second time up, you'll climb higher. I Guarantee it!

Cool Down/Chill Out - The Aftermath

10 minutes. Go for a little walk. Jog in place. Practice deep breathing, now's a good time for light stretching. Basically just wind down and chill out. Do not plop down on the couch right away. When the heart rates up, it deserves to come down slowly!

If this routine "seems" too easy, again and for the last time, try it and get back to me. Any other question or concerns, leave a comment below. I'm happy to help. Most importantly come back to this HUB and leave feedback on how this worked out for you. What changes did you see? Not just in the mirror either... Tell me what happened for you. Exercise is not just a physical thing. Exercise is an wonderful opportunity to push your self past a certain point. A point where your mind or ego doesn't want to (nor believe it can) go. The ability to push through will make you stronger in so many other areas of your life.

In 2-3 months, we'll do part two, so stay tuned!!!

Need More? Try These Too...



Rderdowski on January 20, 2012:

Hey David, thanks. Enjoyed part 1 exercise. I run but need conditioning back. Want to get into kickbox, kettlebells soon. The 10 minute workout was a bit tough then 10 minutes yoga. Felt great!

Luis Perez on December 11, 2011:

If a timer is going to help and you need to carry it with you I suggest it's easy to use and there's nothing to download.

David R Bradley (author) from The Active Side of Infinity on October 10, 2011:

brigid, glad you broke the sweat and that you had fun with the kids. That's the key here. If you can get moving and have fun with it, you'll enjoy it more. Can't wait to see the video. Let me know if you're sore tomorrow.

brigid on October 10, 2011:

did the work out today. broke a sweat which felt great!

had to do the warm up with bailey in my arms, so that added a little "strength training"

the workout #1 was comical because of what was going on around me with my kids. on "the pump" the kids thought i was a tunnel and were going under me and jumping over me off the couch when i was down. ill post a video cause it was rather humorous of my "workout reality"

the cool down was an easy walk around my front yard with the kids playing on the grass

David R Bradley (author) from The Active Side of Infinity on October 09, 2011:

Might need to copy and paste that entire link...

David R Bradley (author) from The Active Side of Infinity on October 09, 2011:

vperry, glad you dig it! Are you going to do the program? Feel free to join the "Let's Get Skinny Group" on Facebook:!/groups/103337779738480/

vperry on October 09, 2011:

Very cool hub. Thanks for sharing! Voted up!

David R Bradley (author) from The Active Side of Infinity on October 09, 2011:

Candy, this'll do it! I guarantee it. Feel free to fire off questions as needed. Let's use the comment section for questions, concerns and success stories!

candy on October 09, 2011:

Looks good, David. I need something to add in with my walking to strengthen my core and upper body. Thank you for sharing this!

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