Keeping fit is important.
You know it, I know it, everyone knows it.
But when you’ve got work commitments, family commitments, your budget is tight and the nearest gym is miles and miles away keeping fit can be too big a commitment (both financially and in terms of time) to fit into your already crammed daily routine.
Sure you could workout at home to save time but the trouble with working out at home is that it often seems to involve drearily long sessions (40 minutes+) of low-intensity exercise which doesn’t seem to have any discernible impact on your health or body composition.
In order to get a decent high-intensity workout at home some people feel compelled to invest a ton of money on gym equipment. The expense of this can be another barrier which prevents many people from ever getting around to working out.
If any of that sounds like you then read on for advice on how to keep fit without having to sacrifice tons of time or spend a fortune on gym memberships or gym equipment for your home.
The only things you need are:
- A genuine desire to get fit
- 15 minutes (plus a few minutes for getting changed and having a shower is personal hygiene is important to you!)
High-intensity training is by nature hard because it requires maximal effort.
It is impossible to sustain high levels of exertion for very long so rest has to be programmed into most high-intensity workouts.
High-intensity training is arguably the most effective type of training to use to get results without having to invest a lot of time into your training as it allows you to repeatedly push your body hard forcing you to work close to the limit of what you are capable of.
This forces your body to adapt and change fast!
Below are a few different high-intensity workouts you can try at home that don’t require much time or equipment but will get you results (providing you commit to them).
Please Note: High intensity training does often involve dynamic movements such as squat jumps and burpees which may disturb your neighbours if you live in an apartment so it is a good idea to put a few sound reduction measures in place.
Tabata training came about as the result of a research experiment which consisted of comparing two groups of athletes who undertook different types of training over a period of 6 months.
Group A performed hour-long sessions of moderate exercise for a duration of one hour, 5 times a week. Group B performed high-intensity training sessions which lasted only four minutes, four times a week.
Group B’s training sessions consisted of 8 rounds of 20 seconds of maximum effort work followed by 10 seconds rest (this is what is now known as Tabata training).
The study found that while Group A improved their cardiovascular capacity their muscle strength showed little improvement. Surprisingly group B showed a greater increase in cardiovascular capacity than group A and their anaerobic capacity increased by 28%.
So training Tabata is a super effective way to challenge your body and get impressive results with limited time.
You also don’t need to invest in any equipment to do Tabata. Some equipment-free exercises you can do Tabata with include:
- Push-ups (the first tabata workout I ever tried involved push ups – it was a shock to the system!)
While these exercises in and of themselves are simple enough, they soon become very intense when you combine them with the Tabata system of training.
Example Tabata Workouts to try:
Below are a couple of workout variations you could try.
Press up workout:
- 20 seconds max effort press-ups, 10 seconds rest
Repeat this for 8 rounds.
- 20 seconds sit-ups, 10 seconds rest
- 20 seconds plank, 10 seconds rest
- 20 seconds Russian twists, 10 seconds rest
- 20 seconds superman hold, 10 seconds rest
Repeat all the way through one more time.
Tabata is best used to target one particular body area, such as legs (squats) chest and arms (press-ups) or abs as the build-up in intensity prevents your muscles from getting much rest forcing them to adapt and grow.
AMRAP stands for As Many Reps As Possible.
It consists of completing as many repetitions of an exercise, or series of exercises, as you can in a short timeframe.
AMRAP is an acronym which has grown in popularity in recent years through its use in Crossfit where AMRAP workouts are regularly programmed.
AMRAPs can be used as a way to regularly benchmark your fitness. For example, you could complete the same AMRAP workout on a monthly basis and use your score to workout how much your fitness has improved.
Try the AMRAP below and see how you get on.
Set a timer for 10 minutes and complete as many rounds as you can of:
- Air Squats x 15
- Press-ups x 15
- Burpees x 15
- Sit Ups x 15
Keep a note of your number of total repetitions and try and beat this after a few weeks of regular high-intensity training.
EMOM stands for Every Minute On The Minute.
The goal is to complete a set amount of reps every minute. A soon as each minute starts complete the reps as fast as you can, rest for the remaining time and go again when the next minute starts.
EMOMs are a great method of getting some high-intensity training in as they force you to work hard because the faster you complete the repetitions the more rest you get before you start the next minute of work.
EMOMs can be extended or modified as required, for example you could do an E2MOM (every two minutes on the minute).
Set a timer for 8 minutes and complete the following every minute on the minute:
- 0:00 – 15 push ups
- 1:00 – 15 air squats
- 2:00 – 15 situps
- 3:00 – 15 jumping squats
- 4:00 – 15 push ups
- 5:00 – 15 air squats
- 6:00 – 15 situps
- 7:00 – 15 jumping squats
5. Partner Workout
Training with a partner can be a great way of increasing the intensity of your workout, particularly if you are both competitive.
An example workout you could perform together is:
- Partner A performs 20 burpees while partner B performs as many press-ups as they can.
- Partner B performs 20 burpees while partner A performs as many press-ups as they can.
- Partner A performs 40 air squats while partner B performs as many press-ups as they can.
- Partner B performs 40 air squats while partner A performs as many press-ups as they can.
- Partner A performs 60 sit-ups while partner B performs as many press-ups as they can.
- Partner B performs 60 sit-ups while partner A performs as many press-ups as they can.
The winner is the one who gets the highest number of total press-ups.
This kind of workout can get very intense very fast because you are forced to go hard on the pressu-ps to beat your partner and you also have to go hard on the other element of the workout to limit the amount of time your partner has to do their press-ups!
A workout like this won’t take long (5-15 minutes depending on fitness levels) and it will be both fun and intense while not requiring any equipment.
If you want to get fit and you can commit as little as 15 minutes a day to trying then you can make serious progress!