Health And Fitness: How To Design A Home Gym Weight Training Routine

Simple and effective ideas on how to design a home gym weight training routine including equipment, creating room and space in your house, exercises and safety precautions.

In order to design a home weight training routine it is essential to get a few things in order. Medical clearance should be obtained or considered as this is an extremely important element related to safe exercise. It is also very important to decide where in the home these exercises will take place.

If there are any physical limitations that should be adhered to these must be incorporated into the weightlifting routine. This will aid in warding off injuries and set realistic effective methods for attaining sought-after health gains. This will also act as a guide to what types of gains are desired. Some use weight training to gain strength. Some use it to improve flexibility, or to lose weight. Of course proper weight training can accomplish all three. And the old adage to not take two steps forward and three steps back is appropriate to use in this instance. It is better to start out at a slow pace and build momentum as the body strengthens.

The area or room used for weight training should be free of clutter, objects, or furniture that might impede free-flowing movements. Basements and garages are popular places used in the home for working out but just about any open area in the house could be used. A carpeted surface is good for comfort and safety. Inexpensive yoga mats are readily available that would also work very well. Make sure the area is free from a lot of traffic as this might distract from the exercises.

Before beginning it is important to have a warm-up phase. A brisk ten minute walk followed by some basic stretching is effective. If there is a treadmill available this can be used instead. Swing the arms freely and limber up joints and muscles. Without a good warm up the chance for injury is great.

As far as equipment is concerned the keep-it-simple rule applies. Dumbbells of varying weights can be used for arm curls, shoulder raises and shrugs, and triceps extensions. They can also be used for butterfly exercises. A barbell, also with varying weights, can be used for the bench press, behind the neck press, and the military press.

It is also possible to do leg squats and lunges with the barbell. It is important to remember that the legs are usually much stronger than the arms and therefore more weight can be used. But care must be taken so that the knees and ankles are not overstressed by too much weight.



Improvisation works well for the home gym. A broom can be used for side bends, side twists, warm up squats and lunges. A bucket filled with sand can be grasped by the handle and used for arm curls and shoulder lifts. A nearby countertop can be pressed into service for dip exercises and the floor can be used for that old favorite the pushup. There are many things around the house that can be used for weight training.

The pyramid method is effective for a total body workout for the chest, back, legs, and arms. This is a method that uses increasing weight and decreasing repetitions for each set of lifts.

The first set is with light weight and ten repetitions. The next set uses a little heavier weight and six repetitions, then four repetitions then two each time with a heavier weight. That is the up side of the pyramid. For the down side it is reversed. Start off with two repetitions with the heavier weight and work down to a set of ten repetitions with light weight. That is a total of eight sets. Use this for each body part. It is a thorough method. The amount of weight used depends on the individual.

In between sets do a few sit-ups, leg-lifts or other exercises. This will lead to a more anaerobic workout. A twenty minute walk or run on the treadmill with a ten minute cool-down period will end the workout. This can be capped off by a nice long shower or bath.

Music is a good partner to exercise. Even an inexpensive radio can make a workout much more enjoyable. Pick a favorite station, CD, or tape and this will keep some workouts from becoming dull and monotonous.

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