Weight training at home can be just as effective as weight training in the gym. If you plan your training properly and do the right exercises, you will get very good results.
Regardless of whether you build muscles , improve your athleticism or lift heavy weights – you can do this in your own four Walls.
During my sports science studies, I trained successfully in home gym for many years and was able to record very good strength and muscle gains.
Based on these experiences, I have created a little guide for effective strength training at home . In this post you will get to know the most important basic principles, devices and exercises.
Is strength training at home effective at all?
Yes, weight training at home is very effective IF you get it right.
This article is not meant to simply list exercises, because I assume that you want to get real results . It’s not enough to just do a few squats or pushups. Effective strength training (even at home) requires a little more planning .
But don’t worry: strength training doesn’t have to be rocket science. I would like to convey you the 5 most important training method basics in a simple form.
If you stick to these principles, you will definitely see success.
Strength training at home: 5 principles for more effectiveness
I would like to give you 5 principles that will make your strength training more effective. In classic training method books you will of course find even more principles. But these 5 basic principles have brought me the greatest success in the last few years – they have top priority!
Effective training stimulus
Our body always adapts to the conditions that we impose on it from the outside (adaptation). For strength training to be successful, you have to rely on effective strength stimuli to force your body to adapt.
You can use the BORG scale to control your training stimuli well. You can use a scale from 1 (very easy) to 10 (very difficult) points to assess your perceived stress.
Effective stress is from level 5 (moderate exertion).
Here you can find the breakdown according to the different strength abilities:
|Ability of strength||BORG scale||Subjective stress||Number of repetitions|
|Maximum strength||9-10||very difficult||1-4|
Level 8 feels something like this: The exercise was strenuous, the muscle was very stressed, but two repetitions would have been possible.
If you always train with the same loads (weights and repetitions), then you cannot expect any progress. You’re just maintaining the status quo (which doesn’t necessarily have to be bad).
For more success, however, a continuous increase is necessary.
Do you know the story of Milon, one of the most famous athletes of the ancient world? Based on his training method, we can get an idea of continuous improvement:
Milon lifted a growing calf every day. As the calf grows naturally, so does its strength so that it could still lift it after it grew into a bull.
Use this basic principle for yourself and increase your load regularly , for example through more weight.
Variation of strength exercises
Our body is a marvel and can perform numerous movements at different angles and extents. Use this functionality for yourself and vary your exercises regularly.
This not only increases your motivation , but also the effectiveness of your strength training at home.
The basic exercises remain the same, but you are free to vary the way they are performed. I always give my body 4 to 6 weeks to get used to and then vary the exercise slightly.
You can do push-ups in many different ways, for example:
- Raised push-ups on the table,
- Pushups with feet raised,
- Push-ups in the sling trainer,
- Push-ups wide,
- Diamond push-ups,
- one arm push-ups.
Regeneration after strength training
Your strength and muscles do not grow during training, but afterwards . Therefore it is important to plan enough recovery time.
Our muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones and especially the nervous system need this regeneration.
Always plan a 36 to 72 hour break if you have put a heavy load on a certain muscle group.
Here, too, a subjective assessment is worthwhile. If you don’t feel recovered after 1.5 days, then take another day off.
The same applies to a training cycle. I always train intensively for 6 weeks and then pause the strength training for 7 days to completely regenerate the body and reduce inflammation.
During this time, I limit myself to light running units, mobilization or walks. This stimulates the metabolism and improves regeneration.
Furthermore, healthy sleep is important (for more on this see link)!
Not only strength training is important, but also the nutrient supply before and after training. Only after I understood that my diet also plays an important role have real results been achieved.
The best strength training at home is of no use if the building blocks and the fuel for muscles and strength development are missing.
Nutrient deficiency is one of the most common causes of muscle building problems, lack of strength and energy. testosteron kaufen online deficiency often goes undetected in men, but also in women.
Proteins and collagen are important for our structures (muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones). You should take this after every workout.
Furthermore, magnesium, zinc, iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and many other micronutrients are essential for our metabolism.
Strength training at home – with or without equipment?
Strength training at home is basically also possible without equipment . There are many household items that can easily be converted into exercise equipment (tables, chairs, water bottles).
At first I trained without equipment and was able to achieve good gains.
But I want to be honest: At some point you will come to a point where you after new challenges are looking for. Especially if you follow the principles described above.
A pull-up is also possible on a door, but the fun factor is zero and this device-free alternative is probably not good for the door either. That’s why a pull-up bar for your home is a good investment. I’ve been using my bar for almost 10 years (investment 50 euros).
The best equipment for strength training at home
If you want to make your strength training at home a little more varied, then a basic set of fitness equipment for at home makes sense
My basic equipment cost me less than € 200 and includes the following devices:
If you want to make strength training at home a bit more classic, then a dumbbell and barbell set * or a strength training station * are also suitable.
Strength training at home – the 7 best exercises
The following exercises for your strength training at home are good basic exercises that I have trusted for years. You can do it in different variations as a home workout.
Pushups train your chest muscles and your arm extensors (triceps). This exercise also requires a lot of body tension.
Pushups are a good strength exercise at home (Image source: GIPHY)
You can do squats in an extremely wide variety of ways. Start with regular squats and work your way up to lunge squats. The supreme discipline is the one-legged squat.
You can make the exercise more difficult with additional weight in front of your chest (Image source: GIPHY)
The kettlebell swing is a functional strength exercise that is very dynamic and fun. The exercise trains the entire leg muscles as well as the torso and back. If I had to choose one strength exercise, it would be the kettlebell swing.
With a little more dynamism and a kettlebell, the difficulty of the exercise increases. At the beginning you are also well advised with a dumbbell.
With the rowing pull you train your large back muscles and the back extensors. Since we spend more and more time sitting in everyday life, this exercise becomes more important.
The rowing train works with resistance bands, dumbbells or the kettlebell. Move the dumbbell a little slower than in the picture (Source: GIPHY).
As with the rowing pull, the pull-up trains the back muscles. Hanging is natural for our body and at the same time challenges the arm and core muscles.
It is highly recommended that you train towards this exercise.
You don’t necessarily need a rack for a pull-up; a pull-up bar to hang in is sufficient (image source: GIPHY)
Overhead press strengthens your shoulder and arm muscles. It also requires body tension.
Overhead press with dumbbells (Image source: GIPHY)
With the pelvic lift, you train your hip muscles (buttocks) and the rear leg muscles. The exercise is a good complement to squats. The rear leg muscles and the buttocks are usually too weak in relation to the knee extensor (front leg muscles).
That is why the pelvic lift is ideal for more knee and hip stability.
A one-legged pelvic lift is harder than it looks (Image source: GIPHY)
Excursus: Training of small muscle groups and abdominal muscles
Even the smaller muscle groups like biceps and triceps are well promoted with the training described above. Even without bicep curls, my biceps are very handsome thanks to regular pull-ups. I prefer to save the time that I would otherwise spend on it.
I also do without isolated abdominal exercises. When doing pull-ups, push-ups or squats, the abdominal muscles play a supporting role. This training stimulus is of course for the abdominal muscles and completely sufficient. It is important that you consciously tense your stomach – with every exercise!
Of course, you can also train small muscle groups and the abdomen in isolation if you have the time and the desire. But it is not necessary for effective strength training at home – even if it is represented in this way in every popular mens health workout.
Training plan for strength training at home
I always pay attention to the following distribution of exercises for comprehensive strength training:
- 1x knee-dominant leg exercise (e.g. squat),
- 1x hip-dominant leg exercise (e.g. pelvic lift),
- 1x pressure exercise (e.g. push-up),
- 1x horizontal pull exercise (e.g. rowing pull),
- 1x vertical pull exercise (e.g. pull-up).
In principle, all of the important muscle groups are covered.
This is what a training plan for hypertrophy looks like (muscle building):
- Time: 6 weeks (then 1 week break)
- Training frequency: 3 times a week
- Sets and repetitions: 2–3 sets of 6–12 repetitions
- Break time: 90–120 seconds
- Front squat (with weight in front of the chest)
- One-legged pelvic lift
- Bent over rows
After 6 weeks you treat yourself to a 7-day break and then vary the exercises and repetitions.