The key to maintaining your muscle training results while at home – 1 of 2
“I prefer muscle training in the gym, but it’s currently not accessible and I do not have any equipment. My motivation is definitely taking a hit!” Article 1 of 2.
On March 15, 2020, fitness clubs were ordered to close their doors to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In the meantime, many people have opted for aerobic activities such as running or HIIT. These activities are great for staying in shape, but if your goals revolve around strength training, you will quickly realize that your needs will not be entirely satisfied. Below you will find a few tips that will motivate you to practice muscle training at home.
Maintaining your strength and hypertrophy gains
First, you will need to redefine your goals. In strength and hypertrophy training (muscle mass), it must be understood that without weights, it becomes difficult to ensure an adequate amount of stimulus so that muscle gains are achieved. Despite this, an effective training program will help you maintain a significant part of your current results. Unfortunately, if your goal remains to increase your strength tenfold and to significantly develop your muscle mass, all without equipment, it is normal to feel demotivated!
Create muscle fatigue to get results
How can this be achieved? I suggest trying the following method which consists in achieving targeted muscle fatigue by varying your types of exercise. For the purpose of this short article, let’s simply define muscle fatigue as the gradual decrease in one’s capacity to produce a given movement. Even though working to the point of fatigue is exhausting, it is the simplest way to ensure a sufficient workout.
Vary your exercises to maximize muscle fiber recruitment
Since repeating the same movement over and over can be very demotivating for most people, I suggest you add variety to your exercises. This will not only prevent monotony, but will also allow you to recruit different groups of muscle fibers, and, in return, help maintain or develop muscular ability.
Let’s take a concrete example! Say you want to train the major muscles of your legs by doing squats. To adjust the effort, you can start with the basic movement, followed by a static contraction and end with jump squats. The number of repetitions and the effort time must be determined according to your fitness level as to ensure a high level of muscle fatigue. If you are looking to apply these principles to a push-up, you can start with rapid or explosive movements, followed by a low push-up hold and finish with a maximum number of traditional push-up repetitions. You, in fact, combine three different types of muscle contractions making the development of muscle fatigue less monotonous but, unfortunately, not less painful!
In conclusion, there are several ways to muscle train at home during the confinement period and, although they don’t replace what your fitness club offers, I hope that the method I presented will interest you and help boost your motivation. Staying in shape during this period will help you return faster to your “pre-COVID” physical condition once the gyms are accessible once again!
In my next article, I’ll give you a concrete plan for you to try at home!