This week as part of AdvoCare’s 5 Pillars of Wellness series we’re focused on Exercise. David Thompson’s home workout videos can be found here, and download the entire 24-Day JumpStart Transformation Guide PDF here. Plus, get in on David’s FREE Facebook Workouts starting April 22 (7pmCT)! More Info

You might also like:  Exercising at Home: 15–, 30– and 45–Minute Circuit Workouts, The 5 Pillars of Fitness, Keeping Your Family Healthy and Active, Home Gym on an Budget, and 10 Fitness Facts You Need To Know.

Simple Tweaks That Can Make Your Home Workouts Harder
John McBride, Strength and Conditioning Specialist for World-Class Athletes

During the current stay at home environment it may be difficult to get your regular workout completed. The equipment from the gym is not available. You have a small home gym, but not a lot of weight to really push yourself. What can you do to keep up with your workout routine without losing all your hard earned gains.

There are several things you can do to increase the intensity of your workout at home and still get great results.

  • Focus on building up your lagging muscle groups, whether from an old injury or an area that just has been stubborn to get the desired results.
  • Change the tempo or cadence of each repetition. For example, during the eccentric phase (lowering the weight or body weight) slow the tempo/speed of resisting much slower than normal, say 6-10 seconds. During the concentric phase (raising the weight) lift the weight in a controlled manner, like 2 seconds.
  • During the concentric phase lift the weight as rapidly as safely possible, exploding the weight up.
  • Train each side of the body unilaterally. Train the right arm or leg for an entire set and then the do the left side. I suggest training the non-dominant side first.
  • Do more sets or repetitions than you normally would do. If you normally do 3 sets of 10, do 4 or sets of 10 or 3 sets of 12-15 or a combination of both. I happen to like 7×7 and 8×8 myself.
  • Shorten your rest periods. If you normally rest about 2 minutes between sets, try 60-90 seconds or even less.
  • Use pre-exhaustion techniques by do an isolation exercise like Dumbbell Flyes followed immediately by Dumbbell Bench Press.
  • Completely change the order of your workout routine. What you normally train first, do last. What you normally do last, do first.
  • Incorporate Peripheral Heart Action (PHA) training into your workout routine to maximize the cardiovascular benefit of the training.

These are just some ideas that help increase the degree of difficulty when the weights are not heavy enough, or when body weight is all you have.


John McBride is an AdvoCare Sports Advisory Council Member and is compensated for his role. This information is for educational use only and represents the honest opinions of the author. Before beginning any exercise program or changing your physical activity patterns, you should always consult with your doctor or physician, particularly if you have been injured or have a medical condition.