Even before COVID-19, your training intensity, duration and frequency all played a role in your results. If they were important then, they’re more important then ever now. Get the right combination of these 3 variables and you’re guaranteed results.
- Intensity is how hard you train.
- Duration is how long you train.
- And frequency is how often you train.
Things got shaken up, though, when we were all sent into lockdown and gyms closed. You no longer have access to all the fancy equipment you did before. There’s no heavy leg presses, no pump classes, no long treadmill sessions. It’s you, your own bodyweight and maybe some small pieces of equipment at home.
That doesn’t mean you don’t have access to results, though. You can get fantastic results using your own bodyweight.
This is where those 3 variables I mentioned above are more important than ever. There’s no strict amount of sessions p/week that everyone has to adhere to. Everyone’s goals, schedules and lives are different. However, there are certain guidelines that you should follow. Particularly in a time like this when we’re limited with what we can do.
Let’s say you were training 3 days per week before. You had a good split of exercises: lower body on Monday, upper body on Wednesday & cardio/core on Friday. Your intensity was high because you only hit each muscle group once per week. You were in and out of the gym in about 45 minutes.
The problem now, though, is how do you replicate that intensity without any equipment?
While we can manipulate tempo to help make bodyweight movements more challenging, you can’t replicate intensity like that.
So, if 1 of our 3 variables has changed, we need to change another to compensate.
I’m talking about frequency here.
Where you might have smashed your legs on a Monday before. So much so that you could barely walk on Tuesday and Wednesday. Try going easier on your legs, but train them more often.
Increase your frequency, not intensity. By having a lower intensity, you’ll be able to hit each body part 2 or 3, even 4 times per week. Instead of not being able to walk on Tuesday & Wednesday, hit them again on Tuesday or Wednesday! This new stimulus will be an incredible boost for your muscle growth.
It is a tender relationship though – as frequency increases, intensity has to drop down. Don’t make the mistake of increasing frequency and intensity at the same time.
Take the below program for example:
That’s a typical ‘Leg Day’ routine. You go to the gym, use plenty of equipment and shift a lot of weight over the course of an hour. Things are different now, though.
We don’t have access to all that equipment or that amount of weight. And we can’t emulate the intensity of those exercises no matter how many squat jumps and burpees we do. So, how can you still get results from home with your intensity limited?
By increasing your frequency.
Instead of hitting a workout that destroys each bodypart for 3 days every week. Try hitting all your bodyparts more often. The workout below is an example of a full body workout using bodyweight and minimal equipment. The intensity is lower because of this.
This lower intensity though, means that you recover more and can go again.
Studies show that we need around 9-18 sets of work for a muscle group each week. Given that our intensity can only be so high when we train from home, I recommend spreading those sets out over several sessions. Instead of cramming it all into 1 session, try spreading the load across 2 or 3 sessions.
When you exercise, your muscles receive a signal to grow. If you smash your muscles (without going overboard) that signal is louder. So sure, it makes sense to send a loud signal every week, but after a few days that signal dies down. By the next week you may have even lost it altogether.
When you train more frequently, that signal is always there. You’re building muscle all the time now!
Now’s a perfect time to experiment with more frequent, but less intense sessions. If you’re restricted with what you can do with each body part, don’t hammer it in 1 session until you can’t move anymore. Spread that same amount of work out over 3-5 sessions for the week.
You’ll love the amazing results.
If you’re after a well programmed, full body routine with no equipment, sign up to my Steel Home program. I designed an at-home training program long before we were forced into lunges in the lounge room and crunches on the couch.
You can sign up for your free trial here: https://steeltransformationacademy.com/
You’ll get 3 days of training p/week designed to help you build or maintain muscle from home. Over 280 exercise videos. Over 180 healthy, delicious recipes. Educational videos to teach you everything you need to know about your goals, plus much more.
Check out the Steel Transformation Academy here and sign up for your free membership to stay fit from home.