Guys, we all know that regular weight lifting builds muscle and raises your fat-burning furnace. But gym membership is expensive, and let’s face it-commercial gyms are often packed with fit, toned, muscle men, pushing more weight than I’ve lifted in my lifetime. If you’re severely out of shape, going to a commercial gym can be embarrassing. For guys like me, I’ve assembled these 7 beginner tips for working out at home, based on my own experience.
Dumbbells are a great, inexpensive way to work out at home. They don’t require a lot of space, and you’d be surprised what you can do with single set of adjustable dumbbells. You can find them at any sports store. I got mine at Walmart, but you can also try Craigslist or your local thrift stores.
Building muscle takes time. Start with a weight that you can lift comfortably for 8 to 12 repetitions, and work your way up to 4 sets per muscle group. Don’t overdo it. As you get stronger and more experienced, you can increase the amount of weight as you progress. I promise, with time and work, you won’t always be a beginner.
Obviously, many people who work out at home don’t have the luxury of a personal trainer. I know I don’t. There are tons of free, instructional videos for beginners available on YouTube. I work out next to my desktop computer so that I can follow along with the instructors.
If you want to burn fat faster, add a cardio workout on the days that you don’t lift weights. 15 to 20 minutes on a mini-stepper is a great, space-saving way for beginners to work up a sweat. I use mine twice a week in front of the television or while watching music videos on my computer. Mini-steppers range in price, but for around $50 you can find a sturdy one with good resistance bands.
Use a mirror:
Commercial gyms are surrounded by mirrors for a reason. Working out in front of a mirror helps you to see the muscle groups you are targeting and whether you are performing the exercises correctly. I use a cheap, full-length mirror that I found for about $12.
Rest: It may sound counterproductive, but in order to change, your body needs adequate rest. Muscles need time to recover and rebuild. Never work the same muscle groups without at least a day of rest in between. If possible, use a 7 day schedule and lift 3 times in 7 days until you gain strength and experience.
This is a tough one. If you want to grow muscle and burn fat, you have to eat. While I can’t give you specifics for your body type, there are many good resources on the web that offer free dieting tips and eating plans tailored to specific body types and needs. Just remember, the general principle here is that you have to eat enough of the right stuff and drink plenty of water every day to see results.
Home workouts can be an inexpensive and fun way to get in shape in the privacy of your own home. I’ve been doing it for about a year now. I’ve dropped two pant sizes and have discovered that I do have abs-all without ever setting foot in a commercial gym.